Hartwick Welcomes Prominent Anthropologist for Aztec Lecture

October 1, 2009

Hartwick College will welcome Professor Elizabeth Brumfiel of the department of anthropology, Northwestern University, for a lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, in the Anderson Center for the Arts Theatre on the College campus. Her talk is titled “Presenting Aztec Culture: Archaeology as an Antidote to Great Art.” It is free and open to the public.

The talk will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the “Aztec World” exhibit for Chicago’s renowned Field Museum.

“Great works of art in the ancient world were sponsored by wealthy patrons who wished to communicate specific political messages,” Brumfiel explained. “Exhibits that focus only on great works of art risk reiterating the elite point of view. In contrast, exhibits that incorporate the results of archaeological research can present a more rounded perspective of ancient civilizations. The Aztec exhibit organized for the Field Museum, 2008-09, attempted to use archaeological knowledge to counter elite bias, but the effort was more difficult than we anticipated.”

Brumfiel is an archaeologist with broad interests in social and economic inequality, whether by class, race, gender, or sexuality. Her primary focus is Aztec culture. She is a prolific author and presenter, and served as president of the American Anthropological Association (2003-05).

The lecture is sponsored by the Anthropology Department through its Hardy Chair endowed speakers fund. H. Claude Hardy, the first chair of Hartwick’s combined Anthropology and Sociology Department, generously endowed Hartwick College with a fund to establish a lecture series in his memory. He left instructions that the speakers must be able to connect their studies of academic matters with information of interest to the contemporary community.

A reception will follow this event, and community members are especially invited to attend. For further information, contact Associate Professor of Anthropology Jason Antrosio at 607-431-4987 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030