The 89th Annual Southwestern Anthropological Association conference is almost here. I am excited to welcome all conference attendees to Fresno on May 4-5. The deadline for online registration is April 19 at midnight.
Vice President and Program Chair, Dr. Sarah Grant (CSU Fullerton), has skillfully worked this year’s submissions into a very promising program. There are a strong number of organized sessions, individual papers, and several salon sessions (discussion circles around a theme). There are also three film sessions and a two poster sessions. As usual for SWAA, the program includes many intriguing entries on technology, but also community, health, food, identity, and religion, among other topics. Clearly, the many mediations of humanity will be up for discussion. Fittingly, the distinguished guest at the Saturday night banquet, Dr. Yolanda Moses, will speak on, Human Mediation in the Trump Era: Back to the Future.
Plans for the Friday afternoon mural tour of downtown Fresno are progressing. The tour, Rebranding & Displacement: The Politics of Murals, Race, and Technology in Downtown Fresno, will be led by mural scholar, Carissa Garcia. You can sign up for the tour when you register for the conference, but interest has been strong, so register soon.
Fresno State anthropology students are currently completing digital stories about local immigrant, refugee, and diasporic food entrepreneurs. A website with the stories, Fresno Foodways, will go live the week before the conference. When the site is ready, I will share the link with all conference attendees. I hope you take the opportunity to learn more about the contributions these entrepreneurs make to Fresno, and consider visiting some of them while you are here. Some restaurants we are profiling include: El Patio (Mexican), La Arepa (Venezuelan), Oaxaca (Oaxacan), Fasika’s (Ethiopian), Chef Paul’s (soul food), Ofelia’s (Mexican), Tower Sushi, Green Papaya (Thai/Lao), Tapsi (Pinoy), Thai Phuket (Thai/Lao), Central Fish, Casa de Tamales (Mexican), and El Cochinito Contento (Mexican). Restaurants in italics are walking distance from the DoubleTree hotel; the rest are within a ten-minute drive.
While not part of the Fresno Foodways project, you might want to check out some of these restaurants, all of which are downtown and most a short walk from the DoubleTree: HoP PK, The Cosmopolitan, Tree of Life, Umi Sushi, Club One, Quesadilla Gorilla, Joe’s Steakhouse, and Tokyo Garden. Also very close by are two local breweries: Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company and Beer Garden (just a few steps from the DoubleTree), and Full Circle Brewery (close by, in Chinatown).
I am truly looking forward to seeing the university colleagues, students, and practitioners that make SWAA such a rewarding venue to share research and deepen our shared anthropological insights. Safe travels and see you in Fresno!
Henry D. (Hank) Delcore, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology
California State University, Fresno
P.S. The Fresno Bee recently published a short guide to some downtown restaurants.