Jaime Awe is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University, Director of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project, and Emeritus member of the Belize Institute of Archaeology. After receiving his Ph.D. from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, Awe taught in the Anthropology Departments of Trent University, and at the Universities of New Hampshire and Montana. Between 2003 – 2014, he served as the first Director of the Belize Institute of Archaeology where he was responsible for managing the cultural heritage of this Central American country. He subsequently joined the faculty at Northern Arizona University in 2014. During his extensive career in archaeology, Dr. Awe has conducted important research and conservation at most of the major archaeological sites in Belize, he has published numerous articles in various books, journals, and magazines, and his research has been featured in several national and international television documentaries. His diverse research interests also cover topics that span from the Preceramic period to the time of European contact in Belize.
Dorie Reents-Budet, Ph.D. specializes in Maya ceramic studies, combining analytical approaches from the fields of art history, studio art, archaeology, and nuclear geo-chemistry. She holds a BFA in studio art from the University of Northern Colorado, an MA in anthropology and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dorie is senior research associate in the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, serving as the art historian for the Maya Ceramics Project. She also is curator of the art of the ancient Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and has been a consulting curator at the DeYoung Museum (San Francisco), Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art (Toronto), Dayton Art Institute, Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), and Casa K’inich (Copán, Honduras). She has held art history and anthropology faculty positions at The Johns Hopkins University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Stanley Guenter studied archaeology at the University of Calgary, La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, before receiving his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the latter in 2014. He has worked with three projects in Guatemala, at the sites of El Peru-Waka, La Corona, and a number in the Mirador Basin, as well as at Cahal Pech in Belize with AFAR, at Lake Minnewanka, in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada, and at Phnom Kulen in Cambodia. Stan's work involves combining archaeological, epigraphic, and ethnohistoric data to better understand ancient civilizations and their history, and to compare this with paleoenvironmental data to better understand how ancient societies affected and were affected by their changing climates.
Mary Kate Kelly is currently a Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, working toward a PhD in Linguistic Anthropology at Tulane University. Mary Kate's dissertation, under the direction of Marc Zender, focuses on the linguistics of Maya hieroglyphic writing. Her research studies the linguistic variation present in the inscriptions, in order to gain better insight as to the distribution of different but related linguistic groups among the Maya. Her interests lie at the crossroads of language, literature, and culture, and extend to historical linguistics and the world’s writing systems.
Maxime Lamoureux-St-Hilaire currently is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at Tulane University and a Junior Research Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. His dissertation research focuses on the political institution of the Classic Maya royal court. Max investigates this topic by excavating the regal palace of La Corona, Guatemala, and by reading a ton of comparative literature. Over the years, Max has dug holes looking for old things around Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Honduras, and Québec.
Marc Zender received his PhD from the University of Calgary in 2004, and he is presently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at Tulane University. He has taught linguistics, epigraphy, and Mesoamerican languages at the University of Calgary (2002-2004), Harvard University (2005-2011), and Tulane University (2011-present). Marc’s research interests include anthropological and historical linguistics, comparative writing, and decipherment, with a regional focus on Mesoamerica (particularly Mayan and Nahuatl/Aztec), and he is the author of numerous books and articles exploring these topics. Marc is also the editor of The PARI Journal, and (with Joel Skidmore) maintains Mesoweb.com, a key internet resource for the study of Mesoamerican cultures.
Virginia E. Miller completed her doctorate in Pre-Columbian Art History at the University of Texas. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on the indigenous arts of all the Americas for over 30 years. The recipient of two Fulbright teaching/research awards, Virginia also taught at universities in Guatemala and Mexico. Other fellowships have been awarded to her by the National Endowment for the Humanities and twice by Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard University) in Washington D.C.
Virginia has conducted research on a variety of topics in ancient Maya art and architecture, particularly focusing on the iconographic traditions of northern Yucatán. Among her publications are The Frieze of the Palace of the Stuccoes, Acanceh, Yucatan, Mexico (1991) and an edited book, The Role of Gender in Precolumbian Art and Architecture (1988). Recent publications include a chapter on the Castillo-sub at Chichén Itzá, for the edited book Landscapes of the Itza: Archaeology and Art History at Chichén Itzá and Neighboring Sites, a co-authored article with Rubén Maldonado documenting the chacmools of Chichén Itzá for a symposium volume published in Mexico, and a contribution on Maya skull racks for an issue on Mesoamerican skull racks for Arqueología Mexicana. Forthcoming are two more articles on Chichén Itzá, one focusing on the representation of hair at the site for an edited volume on the head in Mesoamerica and the Andes and the other on body color and adornment for a book on pigments applied to bodies and codices in Mesoamerica.
Ramón Folch González is a student at the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia (ENAH) in Mexico City. He has worked in very different places such as the Sonora desert coast looking for nomad camping sites, digging at Copalita in the bays of Huatulco in the coast of Oaxaca, in the Mayan area in Yucatan at the colonial site of Tahcabo and has centered his research in the Lacandon Jungle between Guatemala and the state of Chiapas. His dissertation research is focused on the largest lake of the region, Lake Miramar where all kinds of artifacts, paintings and sites can be found, making it a pretty unusual place to talk about!
Geoff Wallace is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University and currently a visiting researcher at the Center for Latin American Studies in Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. His research focuses on the environmental history of the northern Maya lowlands in the first two centuries after Spanish contact and on digital approaches to early modern archival data. His dissertation, “The Living Rock: People and Landscapes in Early Colonial Yucatán,” will be available this summer.
James Meierhoff is a PhD candidate and historical archaeologist studying at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His formal archaeological training has focused on ancient societies of the New World, and highlights include three diverse field seasons at the Chan Archaeological Project in western Belize, and excavations within the Imperial chicha brewery atop Cerro Baúl in Moquegua, Peru. In collaboration with colleagues at the Field Museum he has researched and published several studies on the elemental sourcing of Mesoamerican obsidian. However his own research interests in culture contact in historical contexts have led to several self-organized projects including archaeological work investigating the logging rail roads of Belize, the Black Hawk War of 1832 and World War II German POW camps near Chicago. Recently James returned to the Maya world to investigate culture change in frontier settings, and the formation of the post-colonial societies we interact with today.
Erin E. Patterson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Tulane University. She is the project osteologist for the El Perú-Waka’ and La Corona Archaeological Projects in Guatemala, where she has been working since 2011. Her dissertation research is focused on health and diet, and she is also interested in migration. Erin has also done fieldwork in Peru and the southeast U.S.
Beniamino Volta is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, San Diego. He is interested in how ancient cities functioned and how they can help us better understand the present. For his dissertation, Ben developed an agent-based computational model of an ancient Maya settlement and compared its output with archaeological survey data. He also has published on archaeological chronology-building and human-environment interactions in the Maya region. Ben has conducted fieldwork at Uxul, Oxpemul, Chichen Itza, Pusilha, Kiuic, Xocnaceh, and Labna, as well as in the Near East and the southwestern United States.
Khristin Landry-Montes is Assistant Professor in Art History at Elon University and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois Chicago. Landry-Montes specializes in Precolumbian art with a particular focus on Maya art, architecture and culture of the Postclassic Period. Her dissertation entitled, “The Sacred Landscape of Mayapán, a Postclassic Maya Center,” was recently successfully defended December of 2017. Her dissertation explores the interrelationships between built spaces, its associated art, and geological and celestial worlds. Khristin’s dissertation stems from her larger interests in the intersections between phenomenology, material culture and urban environments. Landry-Montes also engages with issues in museum practices including museum access for indigenous populations and the display of Native American objects in large institutions. Her recent work includes an article, co-written with Dr. Jeff Kowalski, “On Practices of Inclusion and Exclusion: Exhibiting Native American, Maya, and African Objects at the Field Museum and Art Institute of Chicago” and a paper presented at the Coloquio Internacional de Estudios sobre Culturas Originarias de América in Havana, Cuba focusing on the reuse of archaeological sites by contemporary Maya in Yucatan. Khristin’s primary vocation, however, is being a mother to her two, slightly overweight cats.
MORE TO COME!