Mesoamerican Language and History Round Table

September 16, 2013 - 2:00pm

 Co-sponsored by Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown

The John Carter Brown Library has one of the world’s great collections of research materials in Native American languages. This is a very special moment for the Library: three scholars of Mesoamerican language and culture, from different countries and working with different indigenous languages, are all in residence at the same time. On September 16 they, along with a Brown anthropologist working with a fourth language, will share their experiences and discuss common questions and methodological issues in a public forum.

Everyone interested in the subject is welcome to participate.
Spaces are limited, so please email


Paja Faudree: Mazatec
Paja Faudree is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Brown University. Her book, Singing for the Dead: The Politics of Indigenous Revival in Mexico (Duke, 2013) examines the role of contemporary Mazatec singing and writing in Oaxaca, including the song contest at the annual Day of the Dead festival, as a central aspect of ethnic revival. Her current research is on the history of Mazatec writing from the late colonial period through the present.

Amaruc Lucas Hernández: Purépecha

Amaruc Lucas Hernández is Profesor Investigador at the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas of the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (Morelia). A native speaker of Purépecha (or P’urhepecha), he has done extensive research on sixteenth-century Tarascan society and Catholic evangelization, as well as the long history of Purépecha oral culture up to today. He has published, among other things, an edition and translation of the section of Fray Juan de Medina Plaza’s 1575 Purépecha doctrinal manual on the Seven Deadly Sins.

Julia Madajczak: Nahuatl
Julia Madajczak is Ph.D. candidate at the University of Warsaw. Her current work centers on colonial Nahuatl language evolution induced by contact with Spanish language and culture. She has also done research on Nahuatl kinship terminology, viewed as a system of classification and a tool to understand the worldview of the Nahuas.

Matthew Restall: Yucatecan Maya
Matthew Restall is Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University. Beginning with his 1997 book, The Maya World: Yucatec Culture and Society, 1550–1850 (Stanford), he has worked with colonial indigenous documents as a source for Maya ethnohistory. Among numerous books and articles, he co-edited Mesoamerican Voices: Native Language Writings from Colonial Mexico, Yucatan, and Guatemala (Cambridge, 2005).