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Conference Speakers:

Catherine J. Allen

Catherine Allen received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and is currently Chair of the Anthropology Department at George Washington University. In addition to teaching courses on art and culture, symbolic anthropology, and anthropology of religion, she has engaged in extensive fieldwork in Andean communities.

Title: Directing the Flow of Life: Reciprocity in Andean communities

Reciprocity (AYNI) is like a pump at the heart of Andean life. The constant give-and-take of AYNI maintains a flow of energy throughout the community. This flow extends beyond the human community as well. The obligation extends to domesticated animals and plants, to the Earth, to the many animated places in the landscape itself, and even to the saints.

In this worldview, all existing things -- people, llamas, mountains, potato fields, houses, whatever -- are imbued with life. The life-force (SAMI) can be transmitted from one living thing to another. The flow of SAMI depends on a material medium; there are no disembodied essences in the Andean universe. In this, SAMI resembles the Polynesian MANA and our own concept of ENERGY. The flow is neutral in itself and must be controlled and directed so that all things attain their proper mode and degree of liveliness. All activity revolves around this central problem: controlling and directing the flow of life.

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William J Conklin

William J Conklin is a Research Associate at the Textile Museum in Washington and was recently The Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in the National Gallery. He is also currently a Vice President of ARC and an architect.

Title: Reading the Unwritten:
Interactive Dualism in the Textile Traditions of the Ancient Andes.

Although the ancient Andeans did not use writing, their art and their structural sensibilities are well preserved in their ancient textiles. From these images and constructions, we can perceive some of their fundamental understandings of the world they inhabited. It is possible to trace the evolution of their concept of interactive duality through thousands of years of preserved textiles, both through the visual art of the preserved textiles and through the analysis of their deep structures. Illustrations will include textiles from the major cultures of the ancient Andes --- Chavin, Moche, Chimu, Tiwanaku and the final Inka culture.

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Tom Cummins

Tom Cummins is currently associate Professor, Department of Art History, University of Chicago and received his Ph.D. from UCLA. His latest publication is Native Traditions in the Postconquest World, Elizabeth Boone and Tom Cummins, Editors, Dumbarton Oaks, 1998.

 Title: Between a Rock and a Hard Place: 
Substance, Image and the Manifestation of the Andean Sacred

Inca art uses geometric abstract images to represent a variety of Andean religious and social concepts. This talk will discuss how the sacred in Inca art is manifested rather than represented.

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Bruce Mannheim

Bruce Mannheim is Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Michigan. A linguistic anthropologist, he is author of The Language of the Inka Since the European Invasion (University of Texas Press, 1991) and co-editor of The Dialogic Emergence of Culture (University of Illinois Press, 1995), along with many articles on Andean language, culture, and history.

The Grammar Of Reciprocity And Reversal In The Language Of The Inka

The grammatical system and the more structured parts of the vocabulary of a language provide a matrix through which cultural forms are transmitted and reproduced over time. For the anthropologist, they provide one of the main windows on the organization of key conceptual domains such as reciprocity. This paper considers the grammar and vocabulary of reciprocity in Southern Quechua, concentrating on three main domains:

(1) the ways in which notions of reciprocity are embedded in grammatical voice;
(2) the meanings of the vocabulary of reciprocity as understood through (1); and
(3) the vocabulary of reversal and related spatial-temporal notions.

A key finding is that anthropologists have misunderstood AYNI and related concepts through a Western moral filter; ayni is not reciprocal in itself but carries the social expectation of reciprocity. While reciprocity does not inhere in the vocabulary that anthropologists have usually thought of as "reciprocal" it IS expressed in more abstract ways through the grammar and through the spatial-temporal lexicon.

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David L. Miller

David Miller is the William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities at Syracuse University. Dr. Miller is the author of five books and more than sixty articles and book chapters. He works especially in the areas of religion and myth, depth psychology and literary theory. Dr. Miller is a frequent lecturer to civic, religious, and educational groups in the United States, as well as in Europe and Japan. He was formerly a board member (1963-1993) and president (1992-1993) of the Society for the Arts, Religion, and Contemporary Culture.

"As discussant, my way into "Ayni" will be two-pronged: first, to reflect on the complex of notions surrounding complimentarity, ideas of weaving, textile, texture and text, and second, to allow these notions to speak to the everyday human problem variously described as oppositionalism, dualism, binarism, and either/or thinking."

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Jeffrey Quilter

Jeffrey Quilter is currently the Director of Pre-Columbian Studies and Curator of the Pre-Columbian Collection at Dumbarton Oaks, but previously taught at Yale and Ripon College. His education includes his Ph.D from Santa Barbara and course work with Mircea Eliade. His research interests include studies of the Moche art and culture of ancient Peru but his annual archaeological fieldwork is in Costa Rica.

Title: Animism, Anamatism, and Animation in New World Thought and Culture

"How do we understand the prevalent view of objects imbued with life-like forces found in the New World?" This presentation investigates the issue starting with paintings from the Moche Culture of northern Peru, expanding to examine the issue from a continental perspective and paying particular attention to the concept of dynamic dualism.