2013 C. P. Snow Lecture/Discussion: Doomsday Scenarios and the Ancient Maya.


Contributed by Craig Duncan

This year's C. P. Snow Lecturer is Dr. Anthony Aveni, who on Wednesday, April 10 at 7pm in Textor 102 will present a talk entitled "Doomsday Scenarios and the Ancient Maya:  At the Crossroads of Culture, Science, and Religion."  On the previous day, Tuesday, April 9 at 7pm in Business 111, there will be a panel discussion entitled "Four Views of the Apocalypse" consisting of Ithaca College faculty members from the departments of Physics, Philosophy and Religion, and Writing.

Anthony F. Aveni is the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, Anthropology, and Native American Studies at Colgate University.  Featured in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the ten best university professors in the country, Aveni is considered one of the founders of cultural astronomy, owing to his research into the astronomical history of the Aztec and Maya Indians of ancient Mexico. He has more than 300 research publications to his credit, including sixteen books.  His most recent book is The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012.

In the Wednesday, April 10th lecture, Prof. Aveni will explore beliefs about the end of the world, especially those manifested in the recent December 21, 2012 Maya pop-cultural craze.  He will examine the deep American cultural and religious roots of apocalyptic thinking, and draw connections between the 2012 phenomenon and the many visionaries, prophets, and evangelical preachers who have set specific "scientifically-based" countdowns to the end of the world.  The lecture will reveal that the study of end-of-time beliefs is no fringe matter, for in fact this study can give us insight into competing views regarding the nature of both religion and history.

The Tuesday, April 9th event entitled “Four Views of the Apocalypse: A Panel Discussion on the Idea of the End,” will consist of presentations by Ithaca College faculty, in which they will discuss their ideas about apocalyptical thoughts and beliefs about the end of time.  The panel will consist of Ron Denson (associate professor, Writing), Luke Keller, associate professor and chair, Physics), Nancy Menning (assistant professor, Philosophy and Religion), and Rachel Wagner (associate professor, Philosophy and Religion).  The discussion will be moderated by Stephen Clancy (professor, Art History).  Questions and participation from the audience are welcome.

Both events are free and open to the public. 

For more information, please visit ithaca.edu/cpsnow.

The C. P. Snow Lecture Series, the longest-running lecture series at the College, began in the School of Humanities and Sciences more than 40 years ago as a means of bridging the gap between the sciences and the humanities. The series was named after Sir Charles Percy Snow, a man who truly embodied the mission of the series for his work as an internationally renowned scientist, author, lecturer, and past member of the British cabinet.

(Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact Leann Kanda, at 607-274-3986, orlkanda@ithaca.edu. We ask that requests for accommodation be made as much as possible in advance.)