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Conference Notes: American Anthropological Association
December 1st, 2010 - Posted by Natasha Varner

First Peoples attended the 109th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association a few weeks ago in New Orleans. This was a busy conference with over 6,000 attendees and thousands of papers delivered over the course of the five-day meeting.

We were kept busy at our booth for the majority of the conference where we had wonderful conversations with current and forthcoming First Peoples authors including Scott Morgensen, co-editor of Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature (UA Press, Spring 2011), Bianet Castellanos, author of A Return to Servitude: Maya Migration and the Tourist Trade in CancĂșn (UMN Press 2010), and Paul Liffman, author of Huichol Territory and the Mexican Nation: Indigenous Ritual, Land Conflict, and Sovereignty Claims (UA Press, Spring 2011), among many others.

We also met a number of students and junior scholars who stopped by to talk about research ideas, future book projects, dissertation woes, and a variety of other topics. It’s always so invigorating to see how much great work is being done by up-and-coming Indigenous scholars and others working in the field!

Bianet Castellanos poses with her recently published First Peoples book, “A Return to Servitude” (UMP 2010).

The Association of Indigenous Anthropologists (AIA) hosted several interesting sessions. “Configuring Indigeneity: From Fantasy to Practice” and “Tribal Sovereignty/Cultural Sovereignty: Between Anthropology and the Law” were two that stood out among several compelling sessions hosted by the group. While the majority of the AIA’s sessions centered on American Indians, there were numerous other sessions at the conference that incorporated a host of Indigenous issues from around the globe.

This was the last conference of our Fall 2010 season but we’re looking forward to another full year of conferences and symposia in 2011, beginning with the American Historical Association annual meeting in Boston, January 6-9. Hope to meet many of you on the road!

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