Lecture | Being There: Listening in on Maya Glyphic Writing

The stillness of art runs counter to its reception. For viewers and readers, images and accompanying texts ripple with sound. Recreating noisy worlds, they run wild with cackles, howls, hisses, and grunts, or they evoke more sonorous speech, song, or prayer. The ancient Maya of Central America and Mexico left many reflections of sound. Some occur as glyphic texts; others exist visually as marks of vocalization. In this talk, Stephen D. Houston, professor of anthropology, Brown University, reports on these lost worlds of experience. He suggests how we might listen in, participating, by Maya intent, as witnesses who confirm truths brought as visual and textual hearsay. Introduced by Bryan Just, Peter Jay Sharp, Class of 1952, Curator and Lecturer in the Art of the Ancient Americas.