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Department of Art|College of Arts and Sciences
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Mary Katherine Scott

B.F.A, Fine Arts & Spanish, University of Wyoming
M.A., Spanish, University of Wyoming
M.A., Art History, Northern Illinois University

Ph.D., World Art Studies, Sainsbury Research Unit, University of East Anglia (UK)

Courses teaching:

ART 2010: Art History Survey I

ART 2020: Art History Survey II

ART 3002: Mesoamerican Art and Architecture

ART 4790: Seminar: African & Oceania

SPAN 4125: Literature of the Americas

My research and methodology span the social sciences and the humanities. I am a specialist in the the indigenous cultures of Mexico—their art, religion, history and politics from pre-Columbian times to the present. With a focus on contemporary handicrafts made by Yucatec Maya artisans, I explore how these objects are marketed to international tourists and become representative of Maya art, identity and history, in effect serving as a form of cultural production. In particular, I am concerned with the construction of value systems within local tourist art markets. The research is informed by my ongoing ethnographic fieldwork with Yucatec Maya artisans since 2006.

Current research looks at textile production in Yucatán, and I am interested in the ways in which artisans and vendors strategically navigate the tourism industry to communicate complex messages to tourists about their identities as contemporary indigenous peoples, as well as for their own financial gain. I have also recently begun investigating experiential and community-based learning and its advantages for university students, the research for which was begun during a study abroad program I organized and led to Yucatán, Mexico in summer 2014.

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