Speaking with the Past

An International Symposium on Language and History in Mesoamerica.

"Speaking with the Past" is an international symposium on the study of the language and indigenous histories in Mesoamerica. How can we use language as an historical source for events and processes in the Mesoamerican past, and how is language used now to represent and circulate these histories in the present? By attending to language, both as an historical source and to the medium through which we narrate the past, we can achieve a degree of depth in our understanding the largely unwritten histories of Mesoamerican peoples. The symposium unites scholars from the US, Mexico, UK, the Netherlands and Denmark who work with languages and histories of three major Mesoamerican language families. Mayan, Uto-Aztecan, and Otomanguean.

The symposium is open to the public.

Part I

09:00 – 10:00  Mesoamerican Philology and the Nonquantitative Linguistic Dating of
                          Michael Swanton, Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas, UNAM

10:00 – 11:00  Tsotsil Histories: The Development of Oral and Written Historical
                          Narratives in Chiapas after 1980
                         Sarah Washbrook, University of Copenhagen

11:00 – 12:00  Mesoamerican Lexical Calques at Teotihuacan: Forays in Historical
                          Christophe Helmke, University of Copenhagen

Lunch 12:00 - 13:00

Part II

13:00 – 14:00  CosMayapolitan Conversations: (Re)constructing Ancient Futures
                         Genner Llanes Ortíz, Leiden University
14:00 – 15:00  Between Speech and Song: Mazatec Whistling in Historical and Social
                         Paja Faudree, Brown University
15:00 – 16:00  Speaking with the Past: Studying the Language-Society-History Nexus 
                          Magnus Pharao Hansen, University of Copenhagen