Jay I. Kislak Chair for the Study of the History and Cultures of the Early Americas
About the Chair
The Kislak Chair supports in-depth research projects in the disciplines of archaeology, history, cartography, epigraphy, linguistics, ethno-history, ethnography, bibliography, and sociology, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects that combine disciplines in novel and productive ways. With a focus on the Western Hemisphere, the Chair may consider regions from the Arctic to Patagonia, including the Caribbean; from the eras before the arrival of Europeans to about 1825; and regarding themes as diverse as the histories of indigenous peoples, colonial and post-colonial movements, the geopolitics of empire, including among others those of France, England, Spain, and Portugal, new routes of trade and modes of commerce, and issues relating to environmental history and exposure to novel flora and fauna.
By encouraging broad interdisciplinary enquiry, the Kislak Chair helps to nourish a broad conversation ranging from the technical aspects of archeological discovery to issues of interest in the current cultural conversation. The annually appointed chair also helps to convene scholars, invited by the chair for seminars, consultations, and ongoing study of the artifacts in the Kislak Collection.
Louise M. Burkhart
Louise M. Burkhart is Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Albany. Burkhart investigates the ways in which Indigenous Mexicans experienced, engaged with, and manipulated the Christian texts and teachings introduced under Spanish colonial rule. She works primarily with materials in the Nahuatl (Aztec) language, often produced by literate Native people working under varying degrees of priestly supervision. These materials complicate notions of "conversion" or "syncretism" by documenting the varied, sophisticated, and often subtly nativistic innovations that characterized new, Indigenous Christianities. Her largest body of work deals with Nahuatl religious theater, a rich and diverse genre including morality plays, Passion plays, stagings of saints' legends and other biblical stories, and adaptations of Spanish Baroque dramas. Other research foci include the collision between Roman Catholic and Indigenous moral systems, and the development of Nahua devotion to the Virgin Mary.
The disciplines of archaeology, history, cartography, epigraphy, linguistics, ethno-history, ethnography, bibliography, and sociology, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects that combine disciplines in novel and productive ways.
By the Librarian of Congress
$13,500 per month
For More Information
The John W. Kluge Center
Phone: (202) 707-3302