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NEW! University of Michigan LACS Course Spotlight (Summer 2017)

September 15, 2017


I talk about my course "Inca, Aztec, and the Spanish Conquest" which I've been teaching since 2012. I speak to Alana Rodriguez about the use of 3D technology, 16th-century fake news, and why Inca history is like Game of Thrones Season 7.



2017 Society for Amazonian and Andean Studies Conference
November 4-5, 2017
Millsaps College
Jackson, Mississippi


I presented my paper "The Middle Horizon Détente: How Did Wari and Tiwanaku Escape Thucydides’s Trap?" A thousand thanks go to Professor Véronique Bélisle for organizing this fantastic conference.

Abstract:

Thucydides thought that the rise of one superpower in challenge of another would result in war: “What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta.” Political scientist Graham Allison’s recent book (2017) on the subject presented 12 cases from history (e.g., Athens/Sparta, France/Germany, Russia/Japan) where countries did indeed fall into “Thucydides’s Trap,” but he also offered four cases or exceptions where, curiously, the superpowers found ways to maintain peace. To these exceptions I would like to add one more: the 400-year-long co-existence of Wari and Tiwanaku, whose fates intertwined as evidenced by their almost simultaneous (at least in archaeological time) collapse that concluded the Middle Horizon. Perhaps if we searched hard enough we could find many more exceptions to Thucydides’s Trap where states or empires co-evolved and colluded as frenemies. We need to challenge the conventional model of a single-winner, zero-sum trajectory of state development -- consolidation of heartland, expansion, and empire -- and consider the great variations and configurations of political landscapes by which powers could be balanced, like the Aztec Triple Alliance, world-system European empires, and the current inseparable bond linking two seemingly buttheading competitors, China and USA.






Hello and thank you for visiting my website. I have been conducting archaeological research in Peru since 1999. From 2006 to 2007, I directed the excavation of Las Varas, a village in northern Peru that dates to AD 1000.

I am a lecturer at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, coordinator of the Indigenous Languages Program, and editor of the online, open-access journal Translating the Americas at the University of Michigan.

At the University of Michigan I teach the courses "Globalization and Indigenous Communities in South America" and "Inca, Aztec, and the Spanish Conquest." You can find the student evaluations of these courses here.


Contact: hitsai@umich.edu

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Room 3661, School of Social Work Building
1080 South University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1106

(734) 763-0553







I was interviewed by Inverse on the use of Quechua in Star Wars:









Howard Tsai, Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Michigan


Lecturer, South American Anthropology/Archaeology

Coordinator, Indigenous Languages Program
Coordinador, Programa de las Lenguas Indígenas de las Américas

Editor, Translating the Americas
Editor, Revista Traduciendo las Americas

Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, University of Michigan


Director, Las Varas Archaeological Project (Cajamarca, Peru)
Director, Proyecto Arqueológico Las Varas