College of Arts and Sciences

Distinguished Lecturer Series

The College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Lecturer Series brings world-wide expertise to Northeastern Indiana and the Purdue University Fort Wayne Community. In the fall, we bring in a world-class scholar from outside Purdue Fort Wayne. Each spring we feature one of our own exceptional faculty. 

The goal is a glimpse into the mind and heart of an expert, presented at a level that any interested person can learn from. The series began in 1982 and spans all the disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Distinguished Lecturer Series events are free and open to the public.

Dr. Richard Sutter

Professor of Anthropology

Purdue University Fort Wayne

Sutter dotCMS

Purdue University Fort Wayne's College of Arts and Sciences presents Professor Richard Sutter as the internal 2019-2020 Distinguished Lecturer Series speaker.  Dr. Sutter will speak about the Moche of Peru.

Ancient Lessons for Modern Times: Spectacular Violence, Population Displacements, and Climate Change During the Moche (AD 200-850) of Peru


Wednesday, March 4 | 12:00 p.m.
Walb Student Union, Classic Ballroom
Refreshments will be served.

The Moche (AD 200-850) were a nascent state on the north coast of Peru, that lacked some of the infrastructure that we often associate with developed states. Because of this, they had limited options available to expand their
sovereignty beyond their original territory. As part of the Moche's attempt to control newly incorporated subjects, and to acquire new ones, they deployed bellicose media throughout the state. My examination of the bodies of Moche sacrificial victims and comparisons made with local Moche peoples indicates that they used
brutal, public torture and executions of captured foreign enemies. I argue that their political strategies have direct parallels to weak modern quasi-states, such as ISIS and the Taliban, who also use threats, intimidation, and spectacular violence that is depicted and glorified in visual media used to control subjects. However, for all of
the Moche's success, strains on resources caused by climate-induced population dispersals from the
adjacent highlands led to demise of the Moche. I suggest that similar climate-induced challenges faced by the Moche will continue to impact developed societies today and in the near future.