SAR In Depth

Classes for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017

Beginning this fall, the School for Advanced Research is offering two classes on campus, which will be open to SAR members and the general public. The fall class will take a close look at Southwest Native American art, while the spring class will focus on the prehistoric communities of the Four Corners area. Full descriptions below are followed by a registration form. We hope you'll plan to join us for these innovative and thought-provoking courses.

Fall 2017

Inside The Revolution: An Anthropological Approach to Contemporary Cuba

Paul Ryer, SAR Director of Scholar Programs

This course will investigate the nature of social life in Cuba today, within the historical and ethnographic context of a still-socialist revolutionary state in the Caribbean. After a brief historical overview of Cuban society before 1959, we will consider the formal and informal socialist economy established during the Soviet era; gender relations, racial identities, and migration; arts, material culture, religion, and politics within one of the more distinctive republics in the Americas today.

Paul Ryer, Director of Scholar ProgramsPaul Ryer, Director of Scholar ProgramsPhoto courtesy of Paul RyerPaul Ryer, Director of Scholar ProgramsPhoto courtesy of Paul RyerCombining lectures and discussion of related readings, the class is intended as a brief stand-alone introduction, but also to prepare participants for the subsequent SAR trip to Cuba, November 1-8, 2017. Both the class and the trip will be led by Dr. Paul Ryer, SAR director of scholar programs. Ryer was affiliated with the University of Havana and has conducted long-term research on Cuba and its diasporas.

All sessions meet from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in SAR’s Dobkin boardroom, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe, NM

Week One: Tuesday, Oct. 3
From Colony to Revolution

Week Two: Tuesday, Oct. 10
State Socialism

Week Three: Tuesday, Oct. 17
Daily Life in the Post-Soviet Era

Week Four: Tuesday, Oct. 24
Arts, Material Culture, Religion, and Politics Today

Cost: $200 for members; $250 for non-members

For more information about the class, contact Isis Bennett, bennett[at], or 505-954-7245.
Click here to register.


Travel with SAR to Cuba! Join Dr. Paul Ryer and Peggy Gaustad with Cuba Cultural Travels on November 1-8, 2017. For more information and to pay your tax deductible donation to SAR to hold your spot, click here.

Spring 2017

From Casual Farmers to Chaco Canyon: Archaeology and the Dynamics of Prehistoric Four Corners Society

Course Description
How did a few scattered families of part-time horticulturalists in about 1500 B.C. make modest decisions that would transform their descendants into the full-time farmers of the 900s A.D. who supported and shaped the rise of Chacoan Great House Society in the late 1000s A.D.? The answers involve ecology, climate, reproductive and social behaviors, massive amounts of labor, a penchant for problem-solving, and lots of innovation.

David E. StuartDavid E. StuartPhotograph by Jason S. OrdazDavid E. StuartPhotograph by Jason S. OrdazCourse Leader
David Stuart is an internationally recognized anthropologist whose most cited books are Prehistoric New Mexico, Anasazi America, The Guaymas Chronicles, and the recently released Ancient People of the Pajarito Plateau. He earned his PhD in anthropology from the University of New Mexico and served many years at UNM as associate provost for academic affairs. Dr. Stuart served as acting president of SAR and has been a lecturer at SAR and in Edinburgh, London, Mexico City, and at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Dates & Times
Tuesday, April 25, 3-5 p.m.
Tuesday, May 2, 3-5 p.m.
Tuesday, May 9, 3-5 p.m.
Tuesday, May 16, 3-5 p.m.

Class is FULL.

Fall 2016

Southwest Native Arts: An Exploration of Art, Community, and People

Course Description
This four-part course on Southwest Native arts will include classroom discussions, readings, presentations by artists, and the superlative Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) collections. The use of the IARC’s holdings offers an unparalleled opportunity for participants to experience one of the great art and anthropology collections while exploring the Native artistic traditions that have produced distinctive pottery, textiles, baskets, paintings, and jewelry. The course promises to engage participants through interactive discussions about Native arts and the various ways we have come to understand and appreciate them.

Through examination of art, community, and people, course leader Dr. Bruce Bernstein will also provide further understanding and context from his extensive research and work with artists, museum and private collections, and paper and photographic archival sources. Each class will cover a different art form, exploring their historical development and changes, continuities, and innovations. Course attendees also will benefit from presentations by individual Native artists.

Bruce BernsteinBruce BernsteinPhoto courtesy of Bruce Bernstein.Bruce BernsteinPhoto courtesy of Bruce Bernstein.Course Leader
Bruce Bernstein is one of the leading authorities on Southwest Native arts. A trained ethnologist, he has worked as curator and museum director in Santa Fe and Washington, DC. He presently serves as executive director of Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts and director of the History and Preservation Office, Pueblo of Pojoaque.

Dates & Topics
Tuesday, October 4, 3-5 p.m., Paintings
Tuesday, October 18, 3-5 p.m., Jewelry and Baskets
Tuesday, October 25, 3-5 p.m., Textiles
Tuesday, November 1, 3-5 p.m., Pottery

Class is FULL.

Each class will ask participants to read one book chapter, the entire book is a recommended reading.

American Indian Art 1994 (PDF, 34 MB)
Pueblo Painting Ethnogenesis Powerpoint slides (PDF, 10 MB)
Bibliography (PDF, 109 KB)

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