Dr. Julia Guernsey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research and publications focus on the Middle and Late Preclassic periods in ancient Mesoamerica, in particular on sculptural expressions of rulership during this time. She is project iconographer for the La Blanca Archaeological Project, where she continues to participate in on-going excavations and analysis of materials from this Middle Preclassic site on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. She is currently working on a book that deals with the enigmatic potbelly sculptures that date to the Preclassic period and are found in highest concentrations along the Pacific coast and piedmont of Mesoamerica. Her first book, Ritual and Power in Stone: The Performance of Rulership in Mesoamerican Izapan-Style Art (University of Texas Press, 2006), explored the significance of monuments at the Late Preclassic site of Izapa, in Chiapas, Mexico. Her research also appears in various journals and publications, including Antiquity, Ancient America, Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, Mexicon, Journal of Latin American Lore, Memorias de la Segunda Mesa Redonda Olmeca, proceedings of the annual Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, and the exhibition catalogue Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship.