Critical Antiquities Network | Book Launch: Edgar Garcia – School of Humanities Critical Antiquities Network | Book Launch: Edgar Garcia – School of Humanities

Critical Antiquities Network | Book Launch: Edgar Garcia

Critical Antiquities WorkshopBook Launch: Edgar Garcia, Emergency: Reading the Popol Vuh in a Time of Crisis


  • Ignacio Carvajal (UC San Diego)
  • Robin Rodd (Duke Kunshan University)

Written during the lockdown in Chicago in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, these essays consider the Popol Vuh as a work that was also written during a time of feverish social, political, and epidemiological crisis as Spanish missionaries and colonial military deepened their conquest of indigenous peoples and cultures in Mesoamerica. What separates the Popol Vuh from many other creation texts is the disposition of the gods engaged in creation. Whereas the book of Genesis is declarative in telling the story of the world’s creation, the Popol Vuh is interrogative and analytical: the gods, for example, question whether people actually need to be created, given the many perfect animals they have already placed on earth.

Emergency uses the historical emergency of the Popol Vuh to frame the ongoing emergencies of colonialism that have surfaced all too clearly in the global health crisis of COVID-19. In doing so, these essays reveal how the authors of the Popol Vuh—while implicated in deep social crisis—nonetheless insisted on transforming emergency into scenes of social, political, and intellectual emergence, translating crisis into creativity and world creation.


On Zoom


  • Tuesday August 30: 20:00–21:30 (Chicago)

  • Wednesday August 31: 11–12:30 (Sydney)

The Zoom link
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The Critical Antiquities Workshop is an initiative of the Critical Antiquities Network (CAN) at the University of Sydney. CAN, co-directed by Ben Brown and Tristan Bradshaw, connects scholars working at the intersection of ancient traditions and contemporary critical theory. 

Classics and Ancient History is part of the School of Humanities at the University of Sydney.

Social Media


Aug 31 2022


11:00 am - 12:30 pm



Other Organizers

Classics and Ancient History
University of Wollongong

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