President’s Message

Michael F. BrownMichael F. BrownSAR PresidentMichael F. BrownSAR PresidentIt’s been a cold and snowy winter in Santa Fe, but the sun is already higher than it was at the December solstice and the days are lengthening perceptibly. At SAR we’re heading into our busy late winter/early spring event calendar, which includes three membership lectures, three Sparks talks, six scholar colloquia, and an exciting lecture series organized by the Indian Arts Research Center in collaboration with the Ralph T. Coe Foundation. We also expect to have our Spring 2016 member field trips announced soon.

The writer and anthropologist David Treuer (Ojibwe) has joined our resident fellows as this year’s Katrin H. Lamon scholar. On February 24, Treuer will be giving a public colloquium on his writing project, a book titled The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee. The author of four novels—most recently, the widely reviewed Prudence—as well as two major works of nonfiction, Treuer joins a growing list of talented Native writers who have spent time at SAR, including last summer’s Lannan Foundation Indigenous Writer-in-Residence, the poet and potter Max Early (Laguna Pueblo).

Four groups of scholars will be on campus this spring for groundbreaking and interdisciplinary advanced seminars, including research team seminars funded by the National Science Foundation. In late February, a team of engineers, economists, and anthropologists will meet to share findings that have emerged from their study of the “water-energy nexus.” In early March, the topic is “New Geospatial Approaches in Anthropology.” In April, we’ll host an advanced seminar titled “A World of Walls: Why Are We Building New Barriers to Divide Us?” Finally, in mid-May, a dozen distinguished archaeologists will be on campus to offer new interpretations of the iconography of Spiro Mounds, an important Mississippian site in eastern Oklahoma. These seminars exemplify the relevant and influential work taking place currently at SAR.

We look forward to seeing you.


Michael F. Brown

About Michael F. Brown

Raised in upstate New York, Dallas, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri, Michael Brown received his AB degree from Princeton and a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan. His research has covered a broad range of topics, including the indigenous peoples of Amazonia, new religious movements, and the global challenge of protecting indigenous cultural property from misuse. He has been awarded research fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Institute for Advanced Study. At SAR, he has been a resident scholar and a participant in two advanced seminars.

In addition to scholarly articles, Brown is the author of six books, including The Channeling Zone: American Spirituality in an Anxious Age (1997), Who Owns Native Culture? (2003), and Upriver: The Turbulent Life and Times of an Amazonian People (2014). He has also published general-interest articles and reviews in Natural History, Smithsonian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the New York Times Book Review. A list of his publications, many downloadable as full-text PDF files, is accessible here.

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