Yucatan and the Maya: A History Apart—FULL

Wednesday, September 16, 6:30–8:00 P.M. | Private residence.

The Maya created the most sophisticated civilization in the Ancient Americas, with a writing system, intricate codes of law, and teeming cities full of great public and private art. Many of the descendants of these people live in the Yucatan peninsula, where Mayan languages are still regularly spoken. While the Spanish conquest was swift, brutal, and total in central Mexico, the Mayan area of the Yucatan was not as completely conquered nor as firmly held, leading to a unique blending of Spanish and indigenous peoples.

Rex Koontz, professor in the school of art at University of Houston as well as its director, will explore how the sophisticated ancient civilization and the colonial experience have joined to produce a rich, innovative, and singular culture on the peninsula. His lecture will lay the groundwork for our spring 2016 journey to the Yucatan. Dr. Koontz is the author of Lightning Gods and Feathered Serpents: The Public Sculpture of El Tajin (University of Texas Press, 2009); coeditor with Heather Orr of Blood and Beauty: Organized Violence in the Art and Archaeology of Mesoamerica and Central America (The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 2009); and coauthor with Michael Coe of Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (Thames & Hudson, 2013, 7th edition).



Fall 2018 brochures are out! Please let us know if you did not receive one and we will be happy to send one to you.

Registration is now open. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. 


The interest list for the fall and spring study tours is also now open. If you are interested in traveling with the Houston Seminar to Natchez in the fall of 2018 or Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy.


Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12. 


Also note Art Underground: Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern is FULLY SUBSCRIBED. Please contact the registrar if you would like to be wait listed for this course. 


Have a great summer. We look forward to seeing you this fall!


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.