Department of Anthropology

 
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Professor of Anthropology
Photo of Dr. Brady   James E. Brady
Phone: (323) 343-2024
FAX: (323) 343-2446
Email: jbrady@calstatela.edu
 
|Introduction| |Teaching Interests| |Research Interests| |Educational Background| |Professional Background|
 
Introduction

Dr. Brady joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1998. He is widely recognized as having founded the self-conscious sub-discipline of Mesoamerican Cave Archaeology. His research interests include the role of ideology in complex societies, cultural landscapes, religion, cave use, and archaeological method and theory. While living in Guatemala from 1979-1982, Dr. Brady became interested in caves after visiting Naj Tunich. He conducted two seasons of work there before entering UCLA for his doctorate. His dissertation was an investigation of Maya ritual cave use and focused on this work at Naj Tunich. He returned to Guatemala in February of 1988 on a Fulbright Fellowship and lived there until September of 1993 when he moved to Washington, D.C. to take a Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship.

For information on Naj Tunich Cave Archaeology, visit here.

For information on Talgua Archeological Project, click here.

Teaching Interests

While Dr. Brady teaches a wide range of courses, he was brought to Cal State L.A. to be the department's Mesoamerican archaeologist. He feels that there are two very different levels of interest in Mesoamerica and both should be served. Survey courses should be fun and informative and impart an appreciation of the grandeur and beauty of Pre-Columbian cultures to those who wish to know something about the history and development of the Olmec, Maya, Toltecs and Aztecs. On another level, there are students with a serious academic interest in the area. For these, Dr. Brady has conducted seminars and has started a Mesoamerican Cave Archaeology Field Program. Students are offered the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research in Central America and expected to present professional papers and publish on their results. The 2001 Field Program worked in the Maya lowlands of Guatemala.

Research Interests
Representative Professional Activities
A list of Dr. Brady's publications is available here.
Dr. Brady has led an active program of field research in Central America and elsewhere for over 20 years. He directed the investigation of Naj Tunich Cave [National Geographic, Aug. 1981; Archaeology Magazine Nov/Dec 1986] in Guatemala from 1981 to 1989. He returned to the site in 1993 and again in 1998 to carry out conservation work. In 1991 he directed excavations at Gordon's Cave in Copan, Honduras. From 1990 to 1994 he directed the Petexbatun Regional Cave Survey as part of the Petexbatun Archaeological Project [National Geographic, Feb. 1993]. In 1994 and 1995 he was field director of two projects for Archaeological Consultants of the Pacific in Hawaii. From 1994 to 1996 he returned to Honduras to direct the Talgua Archaeological Project that investigated the famous Cave of the Glowing Skulls [Archaeology Magazine May/Jun 1995]. In 1997 he was once again in Guatemala to work at the Cobanerita Caves. In 1999 and 2000 he worked with the Mesoamerican Research Foundation in Puebla, Mexico and in 2001 he led the Cal State, L.A. expedition to the Balam Na Caves in Guatemala.

 

Grants
Dr. Brady's research has been supported by three grants from the National Geographic Society, and grants from the Center for Advanced Study of the Visual Arts, Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, the National Science Foundation, two Exploration Fund Grants from the Explorers Club and four grants from the Asociación Tikal in Guatemala.

 

Fellowships and Honors
Dr. Brady was a Samuel H. Kress/Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study of the Visual Arts in the National Gallery of Art in the winter of 1999. In the fall of 1998 he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. During the summer of 1998 he worked as a Cultural Specialist in Guatemala for the U.S. Information Agency. He spent the 1993-1994 academic year as a Fellow in Pre-Columbian Studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Brady has won two Fulbright Fellowships to Guatemala in 1987 and again in 1992. Upon receiving his Ph.D., he was named the Outstanding Graduate Student of the 1989 graduating class at UCLA.
Educational Background

Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles 1989

M.A. California State University, Los Angeles 1974

B.A. University of California, Berkeley 1970

Professional Background
Assistant Professorial Lecturer
George Washington University 1994 - 1998

 

 

 

View Proyecto Ulama 2003

ulama game

Cover story in Archaeology Magazine for Sept/Oct 2003

 

Science News Magazine cover stories on Dr. Brady's projects:

magazine cover      magazine cover

 

For more information on archaeology at Cal State LA, click here.


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