Michael Carrasco (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is a specialist in the visual culture and architectural history of the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America, with a specific focus on the Maya. His research interests include: Mesoamerican iconography and writing systems; Maya epigraphy, literature, and ethnopoetics; as well as theories of representation and the intersection between anthropology and art history. Developing out of his work on the volume Pre-Columbian Foodways: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food, Culture, and Markets in Ancient Mesoamerica, he has a growing interest in how mythology, domestic and agricultural practice, and the representation of flora, fauna, and the “natural world” in indigenous visual cultures provide insight into ethnoecological systems, including ancient classificatory schemes and the conceptualization of the environment. He teaches in these areas and others as part of the art history department’s program in the Visual Cultures of the Americas.
Before coming to FSU, Carrasco was the Luther Gregg Sullivan Visiting Scholar in Art History at Wesleyan University (2003-2006), where, with the Learning Objects Studio, he developed the website, Unaahil B’aak: The Temples of Palenque. He has also taught in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati (2006-2007) and conducted workshops on Maya epigraphy for the University of North Carolina and Duke University Summer Yucatec Program, the Universidad de Oriente, Valladolid, Mexico, and the Maya Meetings at the University of Texas at Austin.
He is currently working on two book-length projects. The first is tentatively entitled Of How they Pleased the Hearts of their Gods and traces the history of ritual image use and conceptualization from the Late Formative to the ethnographic present to explore such issues as divine embodiment, cognition in the context of ritual, and icon use among Mesoamerican cultures. The second, From the Stone Painter’s Brush: An Anthology of Classic Maya Literature, (with Kerry M. Hull) presents translations of important texts from the corpus of Classic Maya inscriptions.
Lecture Courses Offered
- Great Traditions in Mesoamerican Art and Culture
- The Art and Culture of the Maya
- The Art, Architecture, and Cultures of Central Mexico from the Postclassic (AD 1200) to the 16th Century
Recent Graduate Seminars
- Precolumbian Ceramic Art/ Painted Ceramics
- Representation and Reality: Towards an Anthropological Theory of Art
- Writing, Art, and Literature in Mesoamerica
- Pre-Columbian Foodways
- Visual Cultures of the Americas
- Parallel Worlds: Genre, Discourse, and Poetics in Contemporary, Colonial, and Classic Maya Literature. (co-editor Kerry M. Hull). Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2012.
- Pre-Columbian Foodways: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food, Culture, and Markets in Ancient Mesoamerica. (co-editor John E. Staller) Springer, 2009
- “The History, Rhetoric, and Poetics of Three Palenque Narratives.” In Parallel Worlds: Genre, Discourse and Poetics in Contemporary, Colonial and Classic Maya Literature, edited by Kerry M. Hull and Michael D. Carrasco. Boulder: University Press of Colorado (forthcoming).
- “Performativity and Presence in Maya Hieroglyphs.” In Early Writing and Agency: Epigraphy and Agents in the Archaeological Record, edited by Joshua Englehardt. Boulder: University Press of Colorado (under contract).
- “From Field to Hearth: An Earthly Interpretation of Maya and other Mesoamerican Creation Myths.” In Pre-Columbian Foodways: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food, Culture, and Markets in Mesoamerica, edited by J. Staller and M.D. Carrasco, pp. 601-634. New York: Springer, 2010.
- “The First-Person Independent Pronoun in Classic Ch’olan.” (co-author Kerry Hull and Robert Wald) Mexicon, Vol. XXXI, N. 2 (April 2009).
- “The Changing Styles and Contexts of the Mask-Flange Iconographic Complex.” Art for Archaeology’s Sake: Material Culture and Style across the Disciplines, Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Chacmool Conference, University of Calgary, Canada, 2005.
- “Mak-‘Portal’ Rituals Uncovered: An Approach to Interpreting Symbolic Architecture and the Creation of Sacred Space Among the Maya.” In Continuity and Change: Maya Religious Practices in Temporal Perspective. (co-author Kerry Hull) 5th European Maya Conference, University of Bonn, Germany Dec. 2000. Acta Mesoamericana, Vol. 14, pp.131-142.
- “The Cosmogonic Symbolism of the Corbeled Vault in Maya Architecture.” (co-author Kerry Hull) Mexicon, Volume XXIV, No. 2 (April 2002).