Mesoamerican religions expert to speak at university lecture series

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Mesoamerican religions expert to speak at university lecture series

David Carrasco, a Harvard Divinity School professor who specializes in Mesoamerican religions and the Mexican-American borderlands, will speak at California State University, Fresno on Tuesday, Nov. 13, as part of the University Lecture Series.

He will discuss “Mexican Days of the Dead: From Aztec Sacrifice to Chicano Murals ”at 7:30 p.m. in the Satellite Student Union, 2485 E. San Ramon.

As a historian of religions, Carrasco specializes in New World religious imaginations, millenarian movements, colonialism as ceremony and ritual violence. He has written on the myth of Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent and the formation of colonial regions in Mesoamerica. His work has included a special emphasis on the religious dimensions of the Latino experience, including mestizaje, transculturation and La Virgen de Guadalupe.

Mesoamerica is the portion of Central America that developed one of the world’s first clusters of great cities, the Aztec and Mayan civilizations.

Carrasco, who joined Harvard this year as the inaugural Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America, is the first Hispanic on the Harvard Divinity School faculty. He previously taught eight years at Princeton University.

He is director of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project and editor-in-chief of the new, three-volume, 1,300-page “Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures” (Oxford University Press). The five-year project involved a “who’s who” of scholars from around the world who contributed 600 original entries and some 200 illustrations representing 4,000 years of Mesoamerican history and culture.

Carrasco holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Maryland College, and two master’s degrees and a doctorate from the University of Chicago.

Lecture ticket prices are $7 in advance and $10 at the door for community. Faculty, staff and Alumni Association member tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. Student tickets are $2.

Carrasco’s appearance is sponsored by the James R. Carr Lecture Series/Lutheran Campus Ministry of Fresno.

The University Lecture Series is a program of the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs with assistance from James and Coke Hallowell, the University Student Union and Associated Students Inc. Media support is provided by KJWL Radio.

For more information, call 278-2431.