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Amara Solari

Amara Solari’s research focuses on processes of cultural, visual, and theological interchange between indigenous groups and Spanish settlers of New Spain. Solari has published articles on colonial Maya mapping systems in The Art Bulletin and Terrae Incognitae and her book reviews have appeared in Ethnohistory, American Anthropologist, Colonial Latin American Review, and The Hispanic American Historical Review. In 2011, Solari published 2012 and the End of the World: The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse (co-authored with Penn State history professor Matthew Restall), which argued that the roots of the 2012 apocalyptic mania can be directly traced back to medieval Europe’s fascination with the End of Times. In 2013 Solari published her first monograph, Maya Ideologies of the Sacred: The Transfiguration of Space in Colonial Yucatan. Central to this project was the translation of Maya and Spanish textual sources, the analysis of which was used to investigate how Franciscan friars of the sixteenth century co-opted indigenous notions of sacred space to advance their efforts of Catholic conversion. Currently, Solari is working on a number of collaborative book-length projects, including an edited volume on Yucatec colonial art and another on the life and times of Bishop Diego de Landa. Her current monograph project, tentatively titled Idol Threats: Historicizing Maya/Catholic Icons from the Yucatan Peninsula, 1600–1800, investigates discourses surrounding early modern conceptions of contagious disease and indigenous idolatry, using Maya-venerated cults of the Virgin Mary to understand the development of Yucatecan Catholic religiosity. She has been the recipient of several awards, most recently a National Endowment for the Humanties long term fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library and a Kislak Fellowship at the Library of Congress’s Kluge Center.

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