||James E. Brady
Phone: (323) 343-2024
FAX: (323) 343-2446
|Teaching Interests| |Research
Interests| |Educational Background|
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
Naj Tunich. He returned to Guatemala in February of 1988 on a
Fulbright Fellowship and lived there until September of 1993 when
moved to Washington, D.C. to take a Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship.
For information on Naj Tunich Cave Archaeology, visit
For information on Talgua Archeological
Project, click here.
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
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.
|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.
|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.
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles 1989
M.A. California State University, Los Angeles 1974
B.A. University of California, Berkeley 1970
| Assistant Professorial Lecturer
George Washington University 1994 - 1998
Cover story in Archaeology
Magazine for Sept/Oct 2003
Science News Magazine cover stories on Dr. Brady's projects:
For more information on archaeology at Cal State
LA, click here.