Archive for the ‘Book notices’ Category

The September 2011 (Vol. 1, No. 4) issue of the Society for American Archaeology’s Newsletter of the History of Archaeology Interest Grouphas just been posted on the web.  http://bit.ly/HAIGNews

It’s edited by Prof. Bernard K. Means at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is an important source for anyone working on the history of archaeology. 

For those with an interest in the photography of Augustus and Alice Dixon Le Plongeon or their personal papers please go to Page 3 of this issue of the Newsletter. On that page are annotated links to finding aides for the Le Plongeon photo collections and papers archived at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, and the Wilson Library of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Another link on Page 3 is provided to access all my published papers on the history of archaeology, the Le Plongeons, and a text version of my out of the print book A Dream of Maya about Augustus Le Plongeon. And downloadable as a PDF is a catalog titled: The Nineteenth Century Photographs of Alice Dixon Le Plongeon and Augustus Le Plongeon. The catalog is 416 pages with data entries on each of the 1,054 Le Plongeon archaeological and ethnographic photos taken in Yucatán and Belize in 1870s and 1880s. You can find a link to the home page of ArchaeoPlanet web site on the side bar under Blog Roll. A link specifically to my papers on the history of archaeology and the Le Plongeons is: ArchaeoPlanet: Lawrence G. Desmond writings on the history of archaeology.

Editor Means, in addition to his archaeological field projects, has focused much of his research on the archaeology carried out under president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s. The Newsletter keeps us up to date on developments on that area of his research.

In this issue he provides links to obituaries on the passing of the pioneer of the New Archaeology movement Louis Binford; French Egyptologist Christiane Desroches Nobelcourt who worked to save Egypt’s sites from the flooding of the Aswan Dam; and archaeologist Edmund S. Carpenter who led a crew of Seneca Indians employed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal to excavate sites in Pennsylvania.

The Newsletter has the following in-depth articles and notes:

  • Histories of Archaeological Illustration.
  • GIS for New Deal Archaeology Update.
  • Recent or Noteworthy Publications.

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The New Mexico Book Association announced that its book design award has been given to: Yucatán through eyes. Alice Dixon Le Plongeon, writer and expeditionary  photographer.


Thursday, 23 June 2011 15:01
Written by Mary E. Neighbour
The New Mexico Book Association is proud to announce the winners in this year’s Southwest Book Design & Production Awards for Excellence. These awards recognize creativity and quality in book design and distinction in production. The awards help raise the bar and set standards of book excellence throughout the Southwest.
Special recognition to: Yucatán through her eyes by Lawrence G. Desmond.

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Church and State Education in Revolutionary Mexico City

Author: Patience A. Schell. Senior lecturer in Latin American Studies at Manchester University, UK.

Revolution in Mexico sought to subordinate church to state and push the church out of public life. Nevertheless, state and church shared a concern for the nation’s social problems. Until the breakdown of church-state cooperation in 1926, they ignored the political chasm separating them to address those problems through education in order to instill in citizens a new sense of patriotism, a strong work ethic, and adherence to traditional gender roles.

This book examines primary, vocational, private, and parochial education in Mexico City from 1917 to 1926, and shows how it was affected by the relations between the revolutionary state and the Roman Catholic Church. One of the first books to look at revolutionary programs in the capital immediately after the Revolution, it shows how government social reform and Catholic social action overlapped, and identifies clear points of convergence while also offering vivid descriptions of everyday life in revolutionary Mexico City. Comparing curricula and practice in Catholic and public schools, Patience Schell describes scandals and successes in classrooms throughout Mexico City. Her re-creation of day-to-day schooling shows how teachers, inspectors, volunteers, and priests, even while facing material shortages, struggled to educate Mexico City’s residents out of a conviction that they were transforming society. She also reviews broader federal and Catholic social action programs such as films, unionization projects, and libraries that sought to instill a new morality in the working class.

Finally, she situates education among larger issues that eventually divided church and state and examines the impact of the restrictions placed on Catholic education in 1926. Schell sheds new light on the common cause between revolutionary state education and Catholic tradition, and provides new insight into the wider issue of the relationship between the revolutionary state and civil society. As the presidency of Vicente Fox revives questions of church involvement in Mexican public life, her study provides a solid foundation for understanding the tenor and tenure of that age-old relationship.

Hardcover: 253 pages

University of Arizona Press


ISBN-10: 0816521980

ISBN-13: 978-0816521982


“A groundbreaking book . . . should be the standard on education and church-state relations in Mexico City for many years to come.” — William H. Beezley, co-editor, The Oxford History of Mexico.

“Particularly timely in light of the reemergence of Catholic Mexico after the stunning electoral victory of Vicente Fox.” — Adrian Bantjes, author of As If Jesus Walked on Earth: Cardenismo, Sonora, and the Mexican Revolution.

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The women’s revolution in Mexico, 1910-1953

Editors: Stephanie E. Mitchell and Patience A. Schell


This book reinvigorates the debate on the Mexican Revolution, exploring what this pivotal event meant to women. The contributors offer a fresh look at women’s participation in their homes and workplaces and through politics and community activism. They show how women of diverse backgrounds with differing goals were actively involved, first in military roles during the violent early phase of civil war, and later in the state-building process. Drawing on a variety of perspectives, the volume illuminates the ways women variously accepted, contested, used, and manipulated the revolutionary project in Mexico. All too often, attention has been limited to elite, pro-revolutionary women’s formal political activities, particularly their pursuit of suffrage. This timely volume broadens traditional perspectives, drawing on new scholarship that considers grassroots participation in institution building and the contested nature of the revolutionary process. Recovering narratives that have been virtually written out of the historical record, this book brings us a rich and complex array of women’s experiences in the revolutionary and post-revolutionary era in Mexico.

List of Contributors:
Katherine Elaine Bliss, Sarah A. Buck, Stephanie E. Mitchell, Carmen Ramos Escandón, Martha Eva Rocha, Nichole Sanders, Patience A. Schell, Stephanie Smith, and Andrew G. Wood.

About the editors: Stephanie E. Mitchell is director of the women’s and gender studies program and assistant professor of history at Carthage College. Patience A. Schell is senior lecturer in Latin American cultural studies at the University of Manchester.

Two reviews

“Through nine impressively crafted essays, the authors investigate numerous and various ways women shaped revolutionary activism in Mexico from 1910 to 1953 .Through innovative investigations of temperance workers, teachers, prostitutes, urban elite women, female military veterans, and other women, this important book reveals how the revolution created new opportunities for women to become social actors while broadening their contributions in areas traditionally reserved for women. The essays reveal that as the government expanded its role in people’s lives, crossing into sectors previously regarded as “the women’s sphere,” women became more influential in crafting the revolutionary agenda. An important consequence of the book is the recognition that additional critical investigations of women will reshape contemporary interpretations of the revolution. Such an expanded analysis has had other significant results, including a broader interpretation of feminism in Mexico, the ways gender roles are considered and evaluated, and how women’s history in Mexico might be more expansively studied. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals.”—Dec 2007, Choice

“This fascinating collection of essays puts women’s history at the forefront of the Mexican Revolution and identifies women’s complex political participation. This volume should encourage a debate about how revolutionary ideology in Mexico placed women at the margins at the same time that mothers formed the core of Mexican modernity.”—Donna Guy, The Ohio State University.

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007

6 x 9 inches, 233 pages, 1 halftone

Paper 0-7425-3731-5 / 978-0-7425-3731-6

Cloth 0-7425-3730-7 / 978-0-7425-3730-9

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Phillip Hofstetter, chair of the department of art at California State University East Bay, has recently published a book of enchanting and eye bending photographic panoramas of Maya archaeological sites.

Maya Yucatán: An Artist’s Journey

Author: Phillip Hofstetter; Foreword: David Freidel


“Before ever setting out on my adventures in Yucatán I did not know that I was preparing to walk a spiritual path in that ancient country. Before going there I had not taken much account of my yearning to seek out sacred places. But in Yucatán I discovered this longing for wandering among the people and landscapes of the peninsula. I eventually understood that there was an invisible spirit world of the Maya that animated their stories, their ancient ruins, and all their works from two thousand years of civilization in that ancient land.”–from Maya Yucatán. 

Phillip Hofstetter first visited Yucatán in 1987 and was entranced, as much by the sheer physical beauty of the region as by the enduring character of the Maya people still inhabiting the region. For more than twenty years he has been documenting his travels in Yucatán and his professional collaboration with archaeological excavation projects there. His reflections on the Maya culture emphasize survival and adaptation, while images of ancient sites, the churches of the Franciscan mission period, and the ruined haciendas of the henequen period serve as physical reminders of the enduring ways in which the Maya have shaped the landscape of Yucatán over millennia.

Hardback- 11 x 9 in., 160 pages, 102 color and black-and-white photographs, 1 drawing, 2 maps.

University of New Mexico Press

ISBN 978-0-8263-4694-0

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Jesse Lerner, filmmaker and curator, and professor in the Intercollegiate Media Studies program of the Claremont Colleges has just published his new and insightful book that examines visual interpretations of the “mysterious” Maya “characterized by a continuing series of reinterpretations, collaborations, and exchanges in which Yucatecans, Mexicans and foreigners, mestizos, Mayas, and others all participate and are free to endorse, misunderstand, reinterpret, or reject each other’s ideas.”

The Maya of Modernism: Art, Architecture, and Film 


From the time when archaeologists first began to discover the civilization’s spectacular ruins, Mexico’s Mayan past has been a boundless source of inspiration, ideas, and iconography for the modernist imagination. This study examines the ways artists, architects, filmmakers, photographers, and other producers of visual culture in Mexico, the United States, Europe, and beyond have mined Mayan history and imagery.

Beginning his study in the mid-nineteenth century, with the first mechanically reproduced and mass distributed images of the Mayan ruins, and ending with recent works that address this history of representation, Lerner argues that Maya modernism is the product of an ongoing pan-American modernism characterized by a continuing series of reinterpretations, collaborations, and exchanges in which Yucatecans, Mexicans and foreigners, mestizos, Mayas, and others all participate and are free to endorse, misunderstand, reinterpret, or reject each other’s ideas.

Hardback– 6 x 9 in., 224 pages, 24 halftones

ISBN-10: 0826349811

ISBN-13: 978-0826349811

University of New Mexico Press, 2011

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