A Brief History of the Southwest Symposium
The first Southwest Symposium Conference was organized by Paul E. Minnis and Charles L. Redman in 1988 and hosted at Arizona State University (Click here to see the program from that first meeting). The goal of this first conference was to create a venue where archaeologists working in the greater Southwest could gather to present and discuss work focused on broad questions of regional, theoretical, and methodological significance facing the field as a whole. This conference was seen as an important complement to long-running conferences like the Pecos Conference or sub-regional meetings that focused on particular areas or the results of field research. The Southwest Symposium was designed to spur archaeologists working in the region to broaden their horizons to consider the Southwest as a whole and to recognize the similarities in the processes and trajectories marking the long and diverse occupation of this region. The proceedings of this first meeting were published two years later in 1990 by Routledge Press in Perspectives on Southwestern Prehistory, edited by Minnis and Redman.
With the success of the first meeting, the Southwest Symposium Organization was created to organize and host a conference every other year. For each conference, the themes would be set to reflect current topics of interest in the region, but also to maintain that connection the initial goal of considering the Southwest as a whole and the regional context of local research. In the decades since 1988, the Southwest Symposium Conference has continued to grow and expand its horizons. In 1998, the first international meeting was hosted in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. This move represented a recognition that the modern international border had, for too long, structured archaeological research. Beyond this, the range of topics considered in the Southwest Symposium has continued to expand including areas of cutting edge academic research as well as social and political issues facing the field as a whole such as the need for tribal participation and engagement in archaeology, NAGPRA, the expansion of CRM archaeology, and legal battles over archaeological protection and preservation. Recent conferences have continued to push the boundaries even further with sessions focusing on areas of the Great Basin, the Fremont region, and the Plains.
The Southwest Symposium Organization is also focused on ensuring that the results of each Southwest Symposium Conference are published and accessible. The table below represents the history of conference hosts cities and themes as well as the publications that resulted from each conference.
Conference Locations, Themes, and Publications
|1988||Tempe, AZ||Perspectives on Southwestern Prehistory||Minnis and Redman 1990|
|1990||Albuquerque, NM||The Ancient Southwestern Community: Models and Methods for the Study of Prehistoric Social Organization||Wills and Leonard 1994|
|1992||Tucson, AZ||Interpreting Southwestern Diversity: Underlying Principles and Overarching Patterns||Fish and Reid 1996|
|1994||Tempe, AZ||Migration in the Southwest JAA 14(2); The Archaeology of Gender in the American Southwest (1995) JAR 51(2)||Lekson 1995; Spielmann 1995|
|1996||Tempe, AZ||The Archaeology of Regional Interaction||Hegmon 2000|
|1998||Hermosillo, SO||Boundaries and Territories: Prehistory of the U.S. Southwest and Northern Mexico||Villalpando 2002|
|2000||Santa Fe, NM||Traditions, Transitions, and Technologies: Themes in Southwestern Archaeology||Schlanger 2002|
|2002||Tucson, AZ||Identity, Feasting, and the Archaeology of the Greater Southwest||Mills 2004|
|2004||Chihuahua City, CH||Archaeology Without Borders: Contact, Commerce, and Change in the U.S. Southwest and Northwest Mexico||McBrinn and Webster 2008|
|2006||Las Cruces, NM||Contemporary Archaeologies of the Southwest||Walker and Venzor 2011|
|2008||Tempe, AZ||Movement, Connectivity, and Landscape Change||Nelson and Strawhacker 2011|
|2010||Hermosillo, SO||Building Transnational Archaeologies||Villalpando and McGuire 2014|
|2012||Albuquerque, NM||Exploring Cause and Explanation||Herhahn and Ramenofsky 2016|
|2014||Las Vegas, NV||Interaction and Connectivity in the Greater Southwest||Harry and Roth 2019|
|2016||Tucson, AZ||Engaged Archaeology||Forthcoming|
|2018||Denver, CO||Pushing Boundaries||Forthcoming|
The Southwest Symposium Board
The Southwest Symposium Organization is operated by a volunteer board with members serving two year terms and officers elected by the board members. The board is responsible for managing the finances of the organization and recruiting hosts and venues for the biennial conference. Current board members are:
- President – Matthew Peeples, Arizona State University
- Treasurer – Laurie Webster
- Donna Glowacki, University of Notre Dame
- Greg Schachner, University of California, Los Angeles
- Kari Schleher, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
- Michael Searcy, Brigham Young University
The Southwest Symposium Logo
The Southwest Symposium logo shown at the top of this page was drawn in 2007 by Will Russell for the 20th anniversary of the organization. The logo is based on a Magdalena Black-on-white bowl recovered from 2007 excavations at Roadmap Pueblo near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico by the Arizona State University field school.
Bibliography of Southwest Symposium Publications
Ahlstrom, Richard V. N., Carla R. Van West, and Jeffrey S. Dean
1995 Environmental and Chronological Factors in the Mesa Verde-Northern Rio Grande Migration. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(2):125–142.
Cameron, Catherine M.
1995 Migration and the Movement of Southwestern Peoples. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(2):104–124.
Cordell, Linda S.
1995 Tracing Migration Pathways from the Receiving End. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(2):203–211.
Crown, Patricia L., and W. H. Wills
1995 The Origins of Southwestern Ceramic Containers: Women’s Time Allocation and Economic Intensification. Journal of Anthropological Research 51(2):173–186.
Fish, Paul R., and J. Jefferson Reid (editors)
1996 Interpreting Southwestern Diversity: Underlying Principles and Overarching Patterns. Archaeological Research Papers No. 48. Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
Harry, Karen, and Barbara J. Roth (editors)
2019 Interaction and Connectivity in the Greater Southwest. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Hegmon, Michelle (editor)
2000 The Archaeology of Regional Interaction: Religion, Warfare, and Exchange across the American Southwest and Beyond. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Herhahn, Cynthia L., and Ann F. Ramenofsky (editors)
2016 Exploring Cause and Explanation: Historical Ecology, Demography, and Movement in the American Southwest. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Howell, Todd L.
1995 Tracking Zuni Gender and Leadership Roles across the Contact Period. Journal of Anthropological Research 51(2):125–147.
Lekson, Stephen H.
1995 Introduction. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(2):99–103.
Lekson, Stephen H., and Catherine M. Cameron
1995 The Abandonment of Chaco Canyon, the Mesa Verde Migrations, and the Reorganization of the Pueblo World. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(2):184–202.
Lipe, William D.
1995 The Depopulation of the Northern San Juan: Conditions in the Turbulent 1200s. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(2):143–169.
Mills, Barbara J.
1995 Gender and the Reorganization of Historic Zuni Craft Production: Implications for Archaeological Interpretation. Journal of Anthropological Research 51(2):149–172.
Mills, Barbara J. (editor)
2004 Identity, feasting, and the archaeology of the greater Southwest. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Minnis, Paul E., and Charles L. Redman (editors)
1990 Perspectives On Southwestern Prehistory. Routledge.
1995 Thoughts on Migration by Santa Clara Pueblo. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(2):247–250.
Nelson, Margaret C. and Colleen A. Strawhacker (editors)
2011 Movement, connectivity, and landscape change in the ancient Southwest the 20th anniversary Southwest Symposium. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Roney, John R.
1995 Mesa Verdean Manifestations South of the San Juan River. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(2):170–183.
Simon, Arleyn W., and John C. Ravesloot
1995 Salado Ceramic Burial Offerings: A Consideration of Gender and Social Organization. Journal of Anthropological Research 51(2):103–124.
Sarah Schlanger (editor)
2002 Traditions, transitions, and technologies: themes in Southwestern archaeology : proceedings of the 2000 Southwest Symposium. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Villalpando, M. Elisa (editor)
2002 Boundaries and Territories: Prehistory of the U.S. Southwest and Northern Mexico. Archaeological Research Papers No. 54. Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
Walker, William H. and Kathryn R Venzor (editors)
2013 Contemporary Archaeologies of the Southwest. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
Spielmann, Katherine A.
1995 Glimpses of Gender in the Prehistoric Southwest. Journal of Anthropological Research 51(2):91–102.
Stark, Miriam T., Jeffery J. Clark, and Mark D. Elson
1995 Causes and Consequences of Migration in the 13th Century Tonto Basin. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14(2):212–246.
Villalpando, Elisa, and Randall H. McGuire (editors)
2014 Building Transnational Archaeologies: The Southwest Symposium, Hermosillo, Sonora. Arizona State Museum, Tucson, AZ.
Webster, Laurie D, and Maxine McBrinn
2008 Archaeology Without Borders: Contact, Commerce, and Change in the U.S. Southwest and Northwestern Mexico. University Press of Colorado; Conaculta/INAH, Boulder, CO; Chihuahua, MX.
Wills, W. H., and Robert D. Leonard
1994 The Ancient Southwestern Community: Models and Methods for the Study of Prehistoric Social Organization. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.