We are looking for prospective panelists for a proposed panel at the ASE 2021, on the theme of "Emotive Readings of the Aztec/Nahua Codices". Proposed papers could also focus on other kinds of manuscripts from which one is able to uncover emotive expressions; also very welcome: linguistic dicipherments of emotions, as such expressions are gleaned via graphic modes of communication:
One distinctive way we offer in reading the Codex Xolotl, as well as parallel Nahua/Aztec codices, is through the lenses of emotive scenes. Emotive scenes' allude to deeply-rooted oral traditions within the graphic communication system, which is typical of Nahua culture: this is all about transferring/communicating the scenes to an external observer. The painter/scribes (tlaquiloqueh) had to take into account the need to lead the observer’s eye through the scenes by placing cues as to the direction of looking at them, as well as enhancing emotional identification; this is carried through a) electing specific individuals appearing within the scenes to become the guiding personalities, in order to produce empathy in the observer, namely, with whom the observer will identify and want to follow their path of fate (e.g. highlighting episodes of distress/despair experienced by these personalities); b) by giving the personalities and the critical scenes an out-of-the-ordinary size, that could produce the required, overwhelming effect on the observer. In this sense, what the painter/s are trying to project is basically the human factor: human trials, actions, failings, and their individual, emotive expressions. Some of these scenes may well have formed part of the Nahua lyric genre of cuicatl.
Prof. Amos Megged, University of Haifa and Davide Tamburrini, Ph.D student, Madrid Universidad Complutence, Spain.
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