ISU Headlines

ISU professor selected for NEH Summer Institute in Mexico

Posted June 19, 2007

Sharon Sieber, PhD, Spanish professor at Idaho State University, has been selected to be a participant in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute “Oaxaca: Crossroads of a Continent” in Oaxaca, Mexico, July 2007.

This four-week institute is an in-depth study of history and culture with a focus on the Zapotec and Mixtec peoples in pre-Columbian, colonial and contemporary contexts. Twenty-four faculty selected throughout the United States will have the opportunity to study in the field with nine internationally known scholars and writers in the humanities and social sciences disciplines.

Field excursions to important archeological sites are also planned, where participants will have the opportunity to study pre-Columbian history and culture on site.

The Oaxaca region has some of the most impressive archaeological sites in Mesoamerica. Foremost is Monte Albán, prominently situated atop an artificially flattened mountain and consists of temples, palaces, tombs, ball courts, plazas and inscribed stones, some bearing emblems of conquest along with undeciphered glyphic inscriptions.    

One of the tombs at Monte Albán, excavated in the 1930s, yielded what is still the richest excavation in North American archaeology. The tomb contained spectacular Mixtec gold artifacts, now displayed in the Regional Museum of Oaxaca.

Another major Oaxacan archaeological site Sieber will study is Mitla, which features unique architectural characteristics.

Sieber has been a previous NEH participant in the Summer Institute in 1998, “Center and Periphery in New Spain: 16th and 17th Century Spanish and Indigenous Cultures in Mexico and New Mexico.” She has been an NEH panelist and a former Fulbright scholar to Colombia in 1999.

She previously received a release time grant for the fall semester of 2006 from the Faculty Research Committee to complete several articles that will be included in her book project, “Re-Visioning Time: Indigenous Literatures of the Americas.” She has also received a grant for release time support for external funding for the fall semester of 2007.

Sieber was recently elected as the new editor for ISU’s academic and interdisciplinary journal, “Rendezvous.” She will assume the editorship in the fall of 2007.