Department of Religious Studies

David Stuart


Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Professor, Department of Art & Art History; Linda and David Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing
David Stuart

Contact

Interests


Religion in Mesoamerica | Ancient Maya religion and culture

Biography


David Stuart is the David and Linda Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D in Anthropology from Vanderbilt University in 1995, and taught at Harvard University for eleven years before arriving at UT Austin in 2004, where he now teaches in the Department of Art and Art History. His interests in the traditional cultures of Mesoamerica are wide--ranging, but his primary research focuses is the archaeology and epigraphy of ancient Maya civilization, and for the past three decades he has been very active in the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing. Over the past two decades his major research has centered on the art and epigraphy at Copan (Honduras), Palenque (Mexico), Piedras Negras, La Corona, and San Bartolo (Guatemala). Stuart's early work on the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphs led to a MacArthur Fellowship (1984-1989). His books include Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya (Thames and Hudson), and most recently The Order of Days (Random House) a popular account of ancient Maya calendars and cosmology. Stuart is also currently the Director of The Mesoamerica Center at the University of Texas at Austin, which fosters multi-disciplinary studies on ancient American art and culture. In addition, he oversees the activities of the newly established Casa Herrera, UT's academic research center in Antigua, Guatemala, devoted to studies in the art, archaeology and culture of Mesoamerica.

Courses


ARH 347M • Maya Art And Architecture

20264 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM DFA 2.204
(also listed as LAS 327)

Ancient Maya civilization emerged some 3000 years ago within a larger cultural region called “Mesoamerica,” or what is today southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.  Over the course of more than two thousand years, the Maya developed one of the great civilizations of the ancient world, well-known for its impressive ruins, temple pyramids and palaces, stone sculptures, and elaborate hieroglyphic writing system.  The city-states of Palenque, Tikal, Calakmul, and Copan (among a great many others), were political and cultural centers where artistic space dominated the scenery, often conveying important messages about kings, noble status, and their connection to gods and the greater cosmos.  Great changes came with the “collapse” of the Classic period around 800-900 AD, when a great many old cities were abandoned and new ones rose, seemingly based on very different ideologies and visual cultures. The arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century then brought near-destruction to the indigenous world, but the Maya and other Mesoamerican peoples emerged resilient in the wake of conquest; today six-million strong, the modern Maya continue to express their cultural identity in the art and politics of modern Mexico and Guatemala.

ARH 390 • Mesoamerican Iconography

20330 • Spring 2016
Meets TH 9:30AM-12:30PM ART 3.432
(also listed as LAS 381)

This course offers an in-depth examination of an important topic in the representational art of symbolism of ancient Mesoamerica. No previous exposure or study to Mesoamerican art is required. Our focus this year is the “iconography of periodicity” – that is, the ubiquitous art and symbolism connected with calendar stations and associated ceremonies among the Aztec and Maya. Students will analyze the complex and highly varied imagery associated with these so-called period endings, using case studies that elucidate concepts in Mesoamerican religious belief and ritual practice, including world-renewal, ideologies of kingship, and varieties of royal performance

ARH 347N • Aztec Art And Civilization

20185 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM DFA 2.204
(also listed as LAS 327)

An introduction to the art, symbolism, and visual culture of the ancient Aztecs. Subjects include the representations of history and mythology in architecture, stone monuments, and pictorial manuscripts.

ARH 390 • Calendar/Ritual In Anc Mesoam

20580 • Spring 2011
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM ART 3.432
(also listed as ANT 384M, LAS 381)

Prehistoric cultural developments of a major geographical area; comparative cultural developments in ecologically similar areas.

LIN 391 • Intro Maya Hieroglyph Writing

42345 • Fall 2007
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM DFA 4.104

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

LIN 391 • Writing Sys In Anc Mesoamerica

42030 • Fall 2006
Meets T 9:00AM-12:00PM DFA 4.104

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

LIN 391 • Intro Maya Hieroglyph Writing

40120 • Fall 2005
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM ART 3.432

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

Profile Pages


External Links