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Grant number like: AC-50136-12

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Valencia College, Osceola Campus (Kissimmee, FL 34744)
Marlene Temes (Project Director: July 2011 to September 2014)

Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic-Serving Institutions
Education Programs

$100,000 (approved)
$99,291 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2012 – 12/31/2013

PreColumbian Humanities Expansion and Integration Initiative

A two-year project for a study group of twelve community college faculty to create new course content on Mesoamerican cultures before Columbus.

"Integrating Pre-Columbian Studies into the Humanities Curriculum" is a two-year project beginning in 2012 at Valencia College that supports a study group of twelve community college faculty as they create new course content on Mesoamerican cultures before Columbus. Project director Marlene Temes (Latin American humanities) heads a faculty study group on the Aztec, Maya, and Inca cultures; this group expands curricular offerings by developing a new course in Pre-Columbian Humanities. The group also integrates the knowledge gained about these cultures into the existing curriculum of Introduction to Humanities, the highest-enrollment humanities class at the college. The study group unites seven part-time faculty who teach Introduction to Humanities with four full-time faculty members (in Latin American studies and in humanities) and the project director. For year one, faculty readings address such areas as pre-Columbian worldview and religion, visual arts and architecture, and indigenous communities today. In year two, the material developed for course integration allows comparison between the rise and fall of Mayan civilization and that of the Roman empire, and consideration of Mesoamerican ballgames alongside ancient Olympic games. Robert Sitler (Stetson University, modern languages) provides external expertise on Mesoamerican civilizations and guides faculty on a Spring 2013 site visit to Guatemala for first-hand study of major architectural and cultural monuments. The resulting curriculum, which serves as a model for colleges nationwide, is disseminated via a website and through conference presentations (e.g., for the Community College Humanities Association).