Anthropologica - Anthropology in Action

Dr. F. Kent Reilly III
Department of Anthropology
Texas State University, San Marcos

Thursday, October 7, 2010
2:30 - 3:40 p.m.

Tennessee Room, James Union Building

PDF Flyer

War and conquest was a constant theme in Classic and Post-Classic Mesoamerican art. Until recently, the theme of warfare was not recognized within the sculptural corpus of Olmec-style art. Evaluations of Olmec stylistic and symbolic data demonstrate that warfare representations created in the Middle Formative Period were couched in a supernatural framework based on feline and human interaction and transformation. This recognition lends support to the hypothesis that sees Mesoamerican warfare representations as an expression of paradigmatic ideology strongly grounded in the larger artistic corpus of the Mesoamerican Formative Period (1200-500 BC). Furthermore, this thematic recognition clearly supports a linkage between Olmec art and symbolism and that of later Mesoamerican Cultures. Dr. Reilly received his Ph.D. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin under Dr. Linda Schele. He is the Director, Center for the Study of Arts and Symbolism of Ancient America, and professor at Texas State University, San Marcos. He has published extensively on the Olmecs and Native Americans, including studies of iconography and symbolic systems of communications. In 1995 he was a guest curator and a catalog contributor to the Princeton University exhibition The Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership. His forthcoming book, Visions to Another Realm: Art, Shamanism and Political Power in the Olmec World, will give some of the latest information on the Olmecs.

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Middle Tennessee Anthropology Society. For More Information, contact: Professor Kevin E. Smith (615) 898-5958,

Visiting Lecture Series

ANTHROPOLOGICA: Anthropology in Action is a visiting lecture series sponsored by the Program in Anthropology of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in cooperation with the MT Anthropology Society.

Twice a year, anthropologists invited from throughout the region present their "cutting edge" research with a particular emphasis on the applications and contributions of anthropologists in a diversity of settings -- alongside and intermingled with their career experiences and anecdotes. Subtitled Anthropology in Action, the series is designed to present the real-world applications and impacts of anthropological scholarship for a diverse audience.

These lectures are selected to address issues of broad interdisciplinary interest and with solid relevance to local, regional, national, and/or international human issues. As dedicated and active professional anthropologists, our faculty hope to further the goals of raising the profile of the discipline of anthropology and its relevance at MTSU and regionally. We believe that anthropology offers a particular capability in helping to solve human problems through building partnerships in research and problem solving; acknowledging the perspectives of all people involved; focusing on challenges and opportunities presented by biological variability, cultural diversity, ethnicity, gender, poverty and class; and addressing imbalances in resources, rights, and power.