Posted by: Johan Normark | April 19, 2011

EMC 2011

I have not attended the European Maya Conference (EMC) since 2006 although I was on the way to Madrid last year before I canceled my paper because a workshop on gender archaeology at Stockholm University coincided with that event. I decided to attend the workshop since it is part of a long-term strategy of mine (to raise funds for a future project on entrainment).

This year the EMC takes place in Copenhagen. It will be hosted by my former Licentiate opponent Jesper Nielsen and Christophe Helmke. The theme is The Maya in a Mesoamerican Context: Comparative Approaches to Maya Studies. I will definitely go there (Copenhagen is only four-five hours away by train), but I will not give a paper. My experience is that once you enter a concept that criticizes or replacess Culture as a concept your paper will be rejected by the EMC board. I did not use that in 2010 and the paper was accepted. This year the theme is framed by the Mesoamerican Culture Area concept. Hence, I will not even bother writing an abstract, but apart from that I think it will be an interesting conference. If you want to send in an abstract do it before April 30. Here is a summary of what the conference is about:

The theme of the conference highlights the integration, interaction and co-development of Maya culture with the wider cultural area of Mesoamerica, as originally defined by Paul Kirchhoff in 1943. In contrast to earlier conferences (1999, 2005) which have emphasized the more immediate or direct neighbours of the Maya, we wish to stimulate a discussion and focus on a geographically broader and chronologically deeper comparative approach to Maya studies, ranging from Preclassic times to the present. The crux is to provide integrative approaches to the Maya as viewed in a Mesoamerican context, rather than operating within the traditional parameters of Maya studies. The goal is a greater awareness of the shared features of the Mesoamerican cultures – as well as the marked differences between areas and periods. Four focal sub-themes have been defined for the conference, and are: a) Linguistics and languages, b) Epigraphy and writing systems, c) Religion and ritual practices and d) Archaeology and material culture serve to organize and focus the topic.

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