JCB Fellow's Talk: Jamie E. Forde

May 2, 2018 - 4:00pm

Jamie E. Forde (University of Pennsylvania), Center for New World Comparative Studies Fellow

“Ruination and Renewal: The Lives and Afterlives of Sacred Space at San Miguel Achiutla, Oaxaca, Mexico”

The community of San Miguel Achiutla, located in the Mixtec highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico, was home to a prominent oracle in Prehispanic times. It was conquered by the Aztecs in 1511, then shortly thereafter by the Spanish in 1522. Over the course of this tumultuous period and well beyond, religious buildings at Achiutla were repeatedly erected and destroyed. This talk examines how indigenous residents of this community have continuously manipulated, dismantled, and repurposed sacred space and architecture, including Prehispanic temples and Christian churches, over one thousand years. Framed framed as a narrative “biography of place,” this study interweaves evidence from historical documents, architectural analysis, and archaeological excavations in tracing out this long-term history. This talk shows how sacred spaces at Achiutla have remained inextricably bound with notions of community identity and negotiations of power here over the course of the colonial encounter and into the modern day.

The Reading Room will close to researchers at 3:30 pm.