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Harvard's David Carrasco to lecture April 6 on storytelling in 16th century Mexico

April 03, 2012

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

David Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard Divinity School and Harvard's Department of Anthropology, will give a lecture "An Indigenous American Pictorial Epic: Storytelling from the 16th Century Mexican Codex-Mapa de Cuauhtinchan (Place of the Eagle's Nest)" on Friday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.

This free event will also feature a performance by the Brazilian Ensemble at 6:30 p.m.

Carrasco is a Mexican American historian of religions with a particular interest in religious dimensions in human experience, Mesoamerican cities as symbols, immigration and the Mexican-American borderlands. Working with Mexican archaeologists, he has carried out 20 years of research in the excavations and archives associated with the sites of Teotihuacan and Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

He has participated in spirited debates at Harvard with Cornel West and Samuel Huntington on the topics of race, culture and religion in the Americas. This has resulted in publications on ritual violence and sacred cities; religion and transculturation; the Great Aztec Temple; and the history of religions in Mesoamerica and Latino/a religions.

Recent collaborative publications include "Cave, City, and Eagle's Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2" (University of New Mexico Press, 2007), gold winner of the 2008 PubWest Book Design Award in the academic book/nontrade category and featured in the New York Review of Books.

His work has included a special emphasis on the religious dimensions of Latino experience—mestizaje, the myth of Aztlan, transculturation and La Virgen de Guadalupe.

He is co-producer of the film "Alambrista: The Director's Cut," which puts a human face on the life and struggles of undocumented Mexican farm workers in the United States, and he edited the book "Alambrista and the U.S.-Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Immigrants" (University of New Mexico Press). He is editor-in-chief of the award-winning three-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. Carrasco has received the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor the Mexican government gives to a foreign national.

Carrasco's lecture is co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Anthropology Club, the Religion Graduate Organization and the Native American Studies Program in The College of Arts & Sciences.

For more information, contact Philip Arnold, Native American Studies Program, at 443-3861, or

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