News Release| 2012 Mesoamerican Conference; Cal State L.A.

January 25, 2012

Note to editors and news directors: Cal State L.A.’s Professor Manuel Aguilar-Moreno and others are available for advance interviews in English and/or Spanish. To make arrangements, please call or email the Public Affairs contacts listed above. (Journalists are welcome to attend the conference.)

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations—a journey from Teotihuacan to Tenochtitlan

Two-day conference at Cal State L.A. to feature Alfredo López Austin and other distinguished scholars

Los Angeles, CA – To pay homage to international Mesoamerican scholar Alfredo López Austin, the Art History Society of California State University, Los Angeles is hosting a conference Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11, to explore the culture, history and art of ancient sites in Mexico—the cities of Teotihuacan, Xochicalco, Cholula, Tula and Tenochtitlan.

Open to the public, the conference—entitled “Teotihuacan to Tenochtitlan: Cultural Continuity in Central America”features topics that range from archaeology to ulama, an ancient Mesoamerican ballgame. Other sessions will cover topics, such as Aztec and Teotihuacan new discoveries, codices, cosmology, architectural buildings, paintings and feather mosaic, and buried offerings.

According to Professor Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, chair of the organizing committee integrated by students of the Art History Society of Cal State L.A., the conference is “a deserved homage” for Mexican scholar Alfredo López Austin for his lifetime of achievements in the study of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures of Central Mexico, especially the Aztecs.

“I dare to say that all Mesoamerican scholars in the world today have been influenced in diverse ways by the work of López Austin,” said Aguilar-Moreno. “The purpose of this symposium, besides honoring Dr. López Austin, is to bring to the academic and community of Los Angeles a line-up of some of the best international scholars in the field of Mesoamerica, and to share their knowledge and research of the ancient cultures that shaped the history of the American Continent.”

He added, “This event, unique in the history of Cal State L.A., reflects the interest and efforts that faculty and students are doing for advancing the understanding of the pre-Columbian past.”    

The two-day conference will also feature distinguished scholars in the field of Mesoamerica: Eduardo Matos Moctezuma of the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico and founder of the Templo Mayor Project; Diana Magaloni-Kerpel, director of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico; Leonardo López Luján, current director of the Templo Mayor Project; David Carrasco, professor of Mesoamerican Religion at Harvard University; John Pohl, adjunct professor of anthropology and art history at UCLA; Karl Taube, professor of anthropology at UC Riverside; and Kevin Terraciano, professor of history at UCLA.

It will include panel presentations by other top archaeologists and art historians from Mexico, Europe and the United States, including art historian Eloise Quinones-Keber from City University of New York, anthropologist Ken Hirth from Pennsylvania State University, anthropologist Eric Taladoire from the University of Paris, anthropologist Frances Berdan from CSU San Bernardino, and Art History Professor Manuel Aguilar-Moreno from Cal State L.A.

López Austin will conclude the conference on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with a keynote address, “La Tradición Mesoamericana a Ojo de Pájaro, a Ojo de Hormiga.”

López Austin was an established attorney in his hometown of Ciudad Juarez, México, before earning his doctorate in history from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).  He quickly acquired a reputation as a brilliant scholar in the field of Mesoamerican mythology and cosmology.  His emphasis is on the Nahua people. Today, he is an emeritus professor of history at UNAM’s Facultad de Filosofí­a y Letras and an emeritus researcher at UNAM’s Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas.

The Friday program will be held in the State Playhouse, and the Saturday program will be in the Golden Eagle Ballroom on the Cal State L.A. campus. (General admission, $10; CSULA students, $5) For campus map and directions to Cal State L.A., go to /univ/maps/ 

A conference schedule and other details are available here:

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