The Rise and Fall of Ancient Maya Civilization: A Comparative Perspective

Waldeck, Frédéric de. "Divinity, priest or hero of Maya..." Vault Oversize Ayer Art Waldeck box.
Waldeck, Frédéric de. "Divinity, priest or hero of Maya..." Vault Oversize Ayer Art Waldeck box.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
(This program continues for multiple sessions)
Wednesdays, September 17 – November 5 (class will not meet October 15)

2 - 4 pm

This class is full and registration has closed.
Led by Don McVicker

Of all the pre-Hispanic civilizations of the New World, the Maya inspire a particular fascination for scholars, artists, and the public. How did they achieve such splendor in the inhospitable rain forest and why did their civilization collapse from such heights? Although Maya history challenges those who seek to trace its undulating path, they were not the only early civilization to experience disruption and dissolution. This seminar will use a comparative perspective to understand the underlying causes of the dramatic events that occurred in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica over a thousand years ago. Please read the Preface and Introduction (Chapter 2 is optional) of Michael Coe’s The Maya for the first session

Don McVicker holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago and is a research associate in anthropology at Field Museum and is associated with the Oriental Institute.

Materials List

Required Text(s):

  • Coe, Michael, The Maya (8th Edition, 2011), ISBN 978-0-500-28902-0
  • Diamond, Jared, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Revised Edition, 2011), ISBN 0143117009

Optional:

  • Cline, Eric H., 1177B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed (2014)

Readings for the First Session:

  • Please read the Preface and Introduction (Chapter 2 is optional) of Michael Coe’s The Maya for the first session.

CPDU credit for this course is available for Illinois teachers seeking recertification. For more information see the Registration Information page.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program.

Cost and registration information: 

Seven sessions, $220.
This class is full and registration has closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to be added to the waiting list.