President’s Message

Fall 2014
Michael F. BrownMichael F. BrownSAR PresidentMichael F. BrownSAR President
As the days shorten and nights turn brisk, Santa Fe shifts from high-energy mode—summer’s opera performances, nightly concerts in the plaza, the hubbub of Indian Market, the spectacle of Zozobra—to a more contemplative state.

That’s when SAR picks up the pace of its public activities. The theme of our Membership Lectures this year is the Journey to Becoming Human.  As the title implies, this series of talks by eminent evolutionary scientists tracks the rise of our species through key changes in the brain, transformations in child-rearing and other family relationships, and the impact of diet on human health and well-being. Membership Lectures, which are held in the auditorium of the New Mexico History Museum, are free to SAR members; non-members pay a $10 entry fee.

Our Sparks Talks on New Mexico and the Southwest kicked off on September ninth with a lecture by Deirdre Kann of the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. Dr. Kann spoke to a full house on our state’s extreme weather events and their implications. Sparks Talks are afternoon lectures held in the SAR boardroom, 660 Garcia Street, and are free and open to the public.

SAR’s resident fellows began the Wednesday Colloquium Series on September 10 with the “table of contents” colloquium. Each of the year’s scholars, interns, and the fall Native artist gave brief presentations of the projects they will work on during their residencies. The presentations are held at noon in the SAR boardroom and continue through the fall with hour-long talks by each of the fellows, as well as several distinguished guest speakers. The colloquia will cover topics as diverse as the archaeological traces of the Pueblo Revolt in San Ildefonso Pueblo and the journey of Peru’s Awajún indigenous people from headhunters to energetic proponents of formal education. Like the Sparks Talks, SAR colloquia are free and open to the public.

Our immensely popular fieldtrips, open to SAR members only, are mostly sold out for the fall. To learn if there are places available on the wait-list, please contact Janie Miller at 505-954-7230. In the coming months, we’ll be working to increase fieldtrip capacity to meet demand.

The key to full involvement with SAR is membership, which helps us to stay in touch with you about our constantly changing roster of lectures and events.

Michael F. Brown, PhD

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.