December 17, 2012 – Mexico, the Maya, and “The End of Time?”

DATE: Monday, December 17, 2012

TIME: 2:00 P.M.
LOCATION: Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine (Directions / Campus Map)
Join us on a guided tour for an opportunity to explore the Mesoamerican ceramics and other artifacts on exhibition.  Generally produced by Maya scribes and artisans during the Classic period, these artifacts contain a wealth of information about Maya ideology-religion, beliefs, and cosmic concerns.

TIME: 2:45 P.M.
LOCATION: Bodwell Lounge, Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine
Abstract: Predictions are that the world will end on 21 December 2012. Doomsdayers, sometimes referred to as 2012ologists, predict a cataclysm based on a rare planetary lineup during the 2012 winter solstice and the remnants of a Maya hieroglyphic inscription which may, or may not, indicate 21 December 2012. Nevertheless the meaning, resorts in Mexico intend to capitalize on the interest, and the fear, the date evokes. One can find December 2012 holiday packages to resorts in Mayaland from the Yucatan to Honduras at Dr. Thompson will explain what the mysterious Maya inscription means, and what it does not, and how it expresses the Maya conception of time through the Maya complex calendrical system and cosmology. She will also place the recent interest in the Maya in its modern Mexican context during what is an important time of political transition as a new president takes office in Mexico on December 1, 2012.

Dr. Angela Thompson

About the Speaker: Dr. Angela Thompson (PhD University of Texas at Austin, 1990) teaches Latin America and Atlantic World History at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Her research and publications focus on Mexico in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with special emphasis on mining, public health and epidemics, education, and families during the tumultuous period of Mexican Independence. Over twenty years ago, when Dr. Thompson was teaching at the University of Maine, she gave a presentation on the process of the decipherment of Maya glyphs, a process she participated in as a staff member of the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas, where the Maya Hieroglyphics workshops were held.