President’s Message

Janet Paige Reeves at a book signingSWAA President’s Winter Message

Winter greetings!

Even in the Southwest, we are feeling the chill. But, we are looking ahead to April and the sunny skies of Albuquerque. We are ramping up our planning for the SWAA Annual Conference which will be held at the Hotel Albuquerque on April 24 and 25. The conference venue is a really lovely hotel with lots of local flavor located in Albuquerque’s historic Old Town. This will be a conference where you won’t be stuck in the hotel. You will be able to walk to the plaza and Old Town’s shops, museums, and restaurants.

The Albuquerque Museum has fantastic collections related to the history and art of New Mexico, the New Mexico Natural History Museum has great exhibits that help people understand and get the feel of the local geology and wild life, and ¡Explora! is a wonderful experiential museum that “creates opportunities for inspirational discovery and the joy of lifelong learning through interactive experiences in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.” Children love it but frankly so do adults! And a short drive from the hotel, the University of New Mexico has the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology—a small but exceptional museum focusing on artifacts and cultures from New Mexico and the southwest. [See more about a local museum on page 11 of this newsletter.]

For the conference itself, we have been ramping up planning and logistics. The theme for the conference is “Community, Culture and Wellbeing.” The Keynote speaker will be medical anthropologist, Dr. Emily Mendenhall from Georgetown University. Dr. Mendenhall’s groundbreaking theoretical work on syndemics and how trauma and poverty are “entangled” with disease provides novel ways of thinking about health equity and how community and culture are interconnected with health outcomes. We will begin accepting abstracts for papers, panels, posters, and salon sessions in January. I look forward to seeing you all in Albuquerque in April.

Janet Page-Reeves
SWAA President 2019-2020