Honors College

New UHC Course: Mayan Culture & Religion

As part of the new program requirements, the Honors College was pleased to announce new colloquia offerings for the Spring 2014 semester. These courses are interdisciplinary and feature topics not normally found in standard course offerings, often specialties of the faculty. One of these courses is UHC 397-998: Mayan Culture & Religion, taught jointly by Dr. John Chuchiak and visiting Fulbright scholar Dr. Milan Kováč from Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. This will be the first time the Honors College has hosted a Fulbright scholar.

“The goal of this course is to bring students from many different disciplines and expose them to a subject they may not have the chance to study otherwise. Looking at a culture gives students the ability to not only examine something new, but also the opportunity to apply their field of study in a different way.”

Dr. John Chuchiak

In addition to the main course, students have the opportunity to take a Maya language course to gain even more understanding of the culture. Students in this course will also be attending the Tulane Maya Symposium & Workshop in New Orleans this March to interact with leading researchers in Maya studies.

Dr. Chuchiak is a specialist on colonial Latin American history, emphasizing the history of Mexico and Maya ethnohistory. His general research focuses on the history of the colonial church in Mexico, specifically the Franciscan Missions, the Inquisition, and the Catholic Church in colonial Yucatán. He also serves as director of Latin American, Caribbean & Hispanic Studies Program.

Dr. Kováč is the founder of Mesoamerican and Maya studies in Slovakia, serving as one of the leading scholars in this field in Central Europe. His research focus is on Maya anthropology, Maya archeology, and Maya hieroglyphic writing. At Comenius University he serves as Director of Commission for Doctoral Study for the History of Religions, Department Head of the Comparative Religions Department, and Director of the Center for Maya Studies.