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Dr Charles M Pigott

Dr Charles M Pigott

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, Centre of Latin American Studies


Departments and Institutes

Centre of Latin American Studies:

Research Interests

My current project, based at the Centre of Latin American Studies and funded by an Early Career Fellowship jointly awarded by The Leverhulme Trust and The Isaac Newton Trust, is entitled Ecological Visions in Mayan and Quechua Literature: A Comparative Study. Taking inspiration from the central importance of nature in both the Maya and Quechua cultures, the project compares Maya and Quechua literary production in terms of how the natural world is perceived, understood and engaged with. Two monographs will be produced, one on Mayan literary interactions with nature, and another exploring the same theme in Quechua literature. A number of comparative articles will result from this. This is the first study to compare an Andean and a Mesoamerican culture in the native languages. The theoretical dimension of the project is broadly situated within the framework of Environmental Humanities, and will open the way for a transdisciplinary symbiosis of comparative literature with ethnobiology, the study of the cultural importance of non-human organisms. The overall aim of the project is to question the extent to which the categories of ‘humanity’ and ‘nature’ can be meaningfully distinguished, and to explore their interrelation, using the method of intercultural dialogue. Alongside the project, I deliver individual seminars in a range of postgraduate courses offered by CLAS, and help to organize the Centre’s termly schedule of seminars by invited speakers.

A podcast about my work was published by the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute in 2016, and is available here.

Other Professional Activities

I do consultancy work for the BBC, helping to develop their programmes on Maya culture for the children’s online series, Bitesize.

I co-organized the Centre of Latin American Studies’ contribution to the Festival of Ideas (October 22, 2016), leading interactive information sessions on the cultural importance of birds in Latin America.

I was invited to give a talk, La importancia de las aves en la cultura maya [The Importance of Birds in Maya Culture], at the Cancún Bird Festival (Mexico, May 27, 2016)

Key Publications

Pigott, Charles (2014) “Ecological Ethics in Two Andean Songs”, in Studies in American Indian Literatures 26/1, pp. 81-109.

Pigott, Charles (2009) “Cracid Surveys in the Bolivian Rainforest” in Annual Review of the World Pheasant Association 2008-9, p. 32.

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