UCL Anthropology


Alonso Zamora Corona


UCL Email: alonso.corona.16@ucl.ac.uk
Websites: https://ucl.academia.edu/AlonsoZamoraCorona
Year of Start: 2016
Supervisors: Prof. Martin Holbraad
Subject: Social Anthropology
Fieldsite: Santiago Momostenango, Guatemala

PhD Research

Time and power among the K'iche' Maya

My research centers on the relationship between calendrics and power among Maya patrilineages in Santiago Momostenango, Guatemala. Through the use of the divinatory 260-day calendar and the rituals associated with it, traditional or costumbrista Maya families structure their daily lives, agricultural and commercial activities, and power relationships, in which both modern politics and traditional hierarchies compete. Divination through blood, the agency of Maya days (conceived as animated beings who hunger for burned offerings in the hundreds of altars in the zone), calendrical omens and sorcery, perspectivist transformations and visits to dangerous sacred places within the mountains and volcanoes of the zone coexist with present-day preoccupations like conflicts with mining companies, competing faiths, emigration to the US and Europe, widespread insecurity and the looming memory of Civil War. By making a new ethnographic account of Momostenango, I hope to make a contribution to the issue of the anthropology of time (Gell 1992) both in the mesoamerican context and in a more general outlook.

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of time
  • Mesoamerican calendars
  • Divination
  • Amerindian ontologies
  • Maya epigraphy


Zamora, A. 2016. "Deciphering Ontologies: Divination and 'Infinition' in Classic Maya Inscriptions." Revista de Antropología 59 (3): 73-89.

Presentations & Conferences

The two infinities in El Aleph of Jorge Luis Borges. Ecos de la Mística en la narrativa contemporánea. UNAM, 2013.

Teaching Experience

I worked as a junior lecturer at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México where I taught in some of the undergraduate courses on the Anthropology of Ritual offered by Dr Johannes Neurath (Universität Wien/Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia).

Education History

  • BA in Hispanic Literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, with a thesis on the notion of infinity in the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, the metaphysics of Arthur Schopenhauer and Georg Cantor's set theory.
  • MA in Mesoamerican Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, with a thesis on the Anthropology of Time in Classic Maya Inscriptions.

Honours, Awards & Funding

  • UNAM Scholarship, Mexico (2012-2014)
  • CONACYT UCL Graduate Fellowship, Mexico-UK (2016-2020).

Additional Information

Editorial Assistant at Social Analysis.