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Archaeologist Steve Wernke to Present AIA Lecture on January 29 in Cohen Hall

Posted by on Friday, January 25, 2019 in Digital Humanities, Events, HART, Lectures, News, Technology, Vanderbilt University, VRC.

Steve Wernke, associate professor and director of the Spatial Analysis Research Laboratory, Vanderbilt’s Department of Anthropology, will address “Colonizing Spaces in the Andes: Toward Embodied Archaeological Perspectives Through Virtual Reality and Simulation” on Tuesday, January 29, at 6:00 pm in Cohen Hall 203. A hands-on VR demo and reception will follow in the Cohen atrium.

AndescroppedThe Spanish invasion and colonization of the Andean regions of South America proceeded in large measure through projects of mass resettlement and compulsory urbanism. The Spanish brought with them certain Mediterranean orientations about urbanism that orderly cities and towns were not only a necessary condition but also a major force for civic community. Fueled by this ideological fervor, over the course of a decade—the 1570s—the Spanish forcibly resettled more than a million native Andeans into more than a thousand compact “reduction” towns. How these towns were situated and built, how living in them affected daily life in indigenous communities, and whether they produced the docile subjects and communities envisioned remain vexing questions.

Wernke’s lecture renders these processes in detail through holistic spatial-analytical research centering on a spectacularly preserved reduction town in the high altitude reaches of the Colca Valley of southern Peru. Spatial analyses of the settlement and historical demography reveal the processes involved in locating and building the town as well as the mapping of Andean community onto its urban grid.

Free and open to the public, the event is cosponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, the Program in Classical and Mediterranean Studies, and the Department of History of Art. Parking is available in all non-reserved spaces in Lot 95 near Cohen Hall on the Peabody campus.

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