Anthropology | Indians of Mexico and Central America
E340 | 0411 | Kahn


This class offers a comprehensive survey of past and present indigenous
cultures of Mexico and Central America.   We begin with the pre-Columbian
cultures [e.g., Olmecs, Aztecs, Mayans] and then continue on to how
colonial, neo-liberal, and contemporary national politics and economics
have influenced (and been influenced by) indigenous culture.   We will
spend considerable time analyzing how the indigenous peoples of this
region did and still do actively recreate their cultures and gain
political and cultural power in their respective nations.   By focusing
each week on a particular subject (religion, myth, economy, gender, dress,
identity, migration, cultural movements, resistance, stereotypes, tourism)
and specific indigenous groups [e.g., Mayans, Embera, Garifuna,
Zapotecans, Miskitu Indians] students will gain an understanding as to how
the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America have maintained vital
and influential cultures throughout a history of assaults on their
economies, autonomy, beliefs, and land.  Students will be required to
write a research paper (including proposal and annotated bibliography),
take two exams, and do one oral presentation.