Elizabeth Allen Alumni Speaker in Art History Dr. Rhonda Taube

As part of the 2018-2019 Elizabeth Allen Visiting Alumni Scholars in Art History Series Dr. Rhonda Taube (NIU 1998) of Riverside City College will present a lecture entitled “Xena Warrior Princess Meets Efraín Ríos Montt: Contemporary Maya Dance and Pop Culture Imagery in Highland Guatemala.” 

Nestled deep in the heart of the western highlands, Momostenango, Guatemala, annually hosts a variety of customary, ritual dance-dramas performed during the féria, the public festival dedicated to Santiago Apóstol, the patron saint of the community. This lecture explores how the contemporary events in Guatemala, such as the recently ended armed conflict, the consolidation and spread of globalized mass culture, and the rise of transnational migration to the United States have contributed to the development of new forms of religious worship, often expressed as dances. These events often create and differentiate the social, political, and religious boundaries of particular populations within and outside of the community. In addition to functioning as comic, festive events that feature foreign elements, these dances also operate as a site for the production of identity by signifying gender, class and ethnic affiliation. The organizational structure of the dance societies, the days on which the dances appear, and the types of costumes the dancers wear symbolize their place within society and how they connect to the outside world. This lecture investigates how local Guatemalans draw on foreign images to produce local meaning during the féria and which meanings are shared within society and the methods and means of linking community reality with its ideality through public ceremonial life.

Tuesday, March 26 at 5:00 PM

Jack Arends Hall (Art Building), 100
330 Gilbert Dr, DeKalb, IL 60115

Event Type

Lectures, Presentations and Workshops


Arts and Culture, Research

Target Audience

Students, Faculty and Staff, Alumni, General Public, Prospective Students



College of Visual and Performing Arts, School of Art and Design
Contact Name

Art History Division

Contact Email or Phone

(815) 753-1474

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Sarah Sabo posted a photo 12/21/2018

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