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ANTH-400: Maya Resiliency

Summer 2014 in Guatemala
Professor Thomas Garrison
Dates: June 16, 2014-June 28, 2014

This 4-unit Problems Without Passport course studies the how the Maya people of Central America have forged a strong cultural identity in both the past and present. Archaeology has played an important role in these processes. On the one hand, data recovered from archaeological investigations teaches about the ancient Maya and there once great city-states. On the other hand, the modern Maya use the reconstructed, "tourist attraction" ruins as symbols of the antiquity of their cultural heritage and their connection to the lands now controlled by modern Guatemala. Through visits to archaeological sites, museums, and Maya communities students will engage with the complexities of issues relating to the frequently conflicting interests of indigenous cultural heritage and national economic development. At ruins and museums in Guatemala we will see how the Maya are presented to the public, both nationally and internationally. During visits to modern Maya highland markets and towns we will witness how the modern Maya live today. Guest lectures and informed guided tours will help to enrich the experience. Readings, evening discussions, and short writing assignments will help students to engage with the complex issues being played out at the different places we visit. When we return to USC in the fall, students will make presentations based on a research paper that they write over the summer based on their international experience.

Program Costs:

Tuition: $6,144

Airfare: $TBA

Additional expenses* $3,000

Total: $9,144*

*Additional expenses include estimated costs for airfare, accommodations, visa fees and personal expenses (which can vary greatly from student to student).

Funding is available through SURF, summer undergraduate research fund and Continuing Student Scholarships

For further information on this course, contact Dr. Thomas Garrison at