President’s Message

Janet Reeves photoLooking forward to SWAA Conference in Albuquerque!

Greetings! We are so excited about this spring’s SWAA annual conference, which will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 24-25, 2020. We have some very cool things planned and we expect it to be a fantastic event. The theme of the conference will be “Community, Culture and Wellbeing.” This seems apropos given the troubling nature of political discourse related to the meaning and nature of “community,” and the decline of any semblance of a social contract. The aging of the population, increasing health disparities, challenges to the Affordable Care Act, and the current interest in Medicare for All make thinking about health and wellbeing a critical dimension of our anthropological endeavors. I am certain that the panels, papers, posters and films at the conference will be revealing and thought provoking. I have already had many people tell me about the work they plan to present.

We are excited about some special events that we are planning. On the first day of the conference, there will be two “President’s Panels” highlighting amazing work being done to connect community and culture in initiatives and programs to improve wellbeing here in Albuquerque. One panel will present work being done by community organizations related to access to primary care, substance use disorders, behavioral health services, diabetes, and adverse childhood experiences. The other will feature representatives from Mayor Tim Keller’s office discussing innovative work being done by the City of Albuquerque. I’m hoping we might even have the Mayor on hand! We will see! In addition, there will be a lunchtime workshop about careers for anthropologists in health sciences. And in the evening, there will be a reception co-sponsored by the Scholars Strategy Network.

On the second day of the conference, we will have a lunchtime workshop conducted by a representative of a major health journal on strategies for anthropologists to publish their work. And the Distinguished Speaker at the Saturday night banquet will be medical anthropologist and Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Dr. Emily Mendenhall. [See page 2 of this newsletter for more information about Dr. Mendenhall’s work. Also, see Book Corner (page 17) for descriptions of two of her books.]

We hope you will join us for the conference. The conference venue, the Hotel Albuquerque, is really wonderful and will give you a lot of New Mexico flavor. It’s conveniently located for the many attractions available here in Albuquerque—and easy access to Santa Fe (1 hour away).I look forward to seeing you in April! Abstracts can be submitted January 1 through February 15, 2020.

I look forward to seeing you in April! Abstracts can be submitted January 1 through February 15, 2020. See the SWAA website

Janet Page-Reeves
SWAA President, 2019-2020
University of New Mexico