Honors Director Dr. Julia Frederick will speak on the role of women in Pre-Columbian society.

There is a tendency to generalize Pre-Columbian women within their societies.

In a 2:00 lecture Saturday March 1, Assistant Professor and Honors Program Director Dr. Julia Frederick will show that this view is inaccurate.

"We tend to assume that Pre-Columbian women were mothers, cooks, weavers, minimal figures in their societies. But they could also be priests, shamans, queens... even goddesses," notes Frederick.

"And in Incan society, women were not only important, they were essential. The Incas held that everything was dual, and therefore shared. And so there was no king without a queen; one held the scepter, one held the crown, but the two were inseparable."

According to Frederick, there is a dearth of the female form in Pre-Columbian art and artistry. The men tended to be the artists; one exception to this was pottery, where men and women were both employed.

Frederick also notes that except for the Inca, the smaller the society, the more status women tended to have, as the mutual dependency promoted egalitarianism.

The lecture will take place in the lobby of the Lulu and Paul Hilliard University Art Museum at the corner of St. Mary and Girard Park Drive.

Julia C. Frederick is Director of the UL Honors Program and Assistant Professor of History at UL. In 2004, the University awarded her the annual Excellence in Teaching Award.

Frederick’s teaching and research focus on Latin American History, Asian History, and Cultural Geography. Her translations and publications include, “A Blood Test Before Marriage: Limpieza de Sangre in Spanish Louisiana” in Louisiana History (2002) and “’Colinda’: Mysterious Origins of a Cajun Folksong” in Journal of Folklore Research (1992) .

Her current research and writing include King’s Man-Luis de Unzaga and Bourbon Reform in Spanish Louisiana, a book-length study of the effects of the Bourbon reform’s in Spain’s last colony. In addition, The Aftermath of the Caracas Company—Venezula 1776-1790, examines the career of Luis de Unzaga y Amezaga as Captain General in Caracas in terms of his efforts to reestablish a sound economic base for Venezula after the dismissal of the Caracas Company monopoly.

She is also developing a general text on women in Latin America, beginning in the Pre-Columbian period.