College of Arts and Sciences

Alan R. Sandstrom

Photo of Alan Sandstrom

Distinguished Lecturers

"Anthropology Gets Religion: Shaman-Priests and Water Mountains in Mesoamerica"
Dr. Alan R. Sandstrom

Wednesday, April 22, 2008
Science Building, Room 168
12:00 p.m.


Alan R. Sandstrom is professor of anthropology and chair of the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Department of Anthropology.  He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Indiana University, Bloomington, and has conducted extensive ethnographic field research among Tibetans in exile in the Himalayas of northwestern India, and among Nahuatl speakers in the tropical forests of northern Veracruz, Mexico.

Editor of the international Nahua Newsletter, he has published numerous articles, book chapters, and two major books on the Nahua people of Mexico: Traditional Papermaking and Paper Cult Figures of Mexico (with Pamela Effrein Sandstrom, University of Oklahoma Press, 1986); and Corn is Our Blood: Culture and Ethnic Identity in a Contemporary Aztec Indian Village (Civilization of the American Indian series, vol. 206, University of Oklahoma Press, 1991).  A co-authored book entitled Ethnic Identity in Nahua Mesoamerica: The View from Archaeology, Art History, Ethnohistory, and Contemporary Ethnography (University of Utah Press) was released in March, 2008.

In the past several years he completed three edited volumes, Native Peoples of the Gulf Coast of Mexico (with E. Hugo García Valencia, University of Arizona Press, 2005), Mesoamerican Healers (with Brad R. Huber, University of Texas Press, 2001), and Holy Saints and Fiery Preachers: The Anthropology of Protestantism in Mexico and Central America (with James W. Dow, Praeger, 2001).  Other recent publications include "Water and the Sacred in Mesoamerica" to be included in the UNESCO publication History of Water and Civilization (Cambridge University Press), and "Curing and Counter-Sorcery Among the Nahua of Northern Veracruz, Mexico" (with Pamela Effrein Sandstrom) to be included in an edited volume on the Huasteca region (University of Oklahoma Press).

In 1999 he was selected for the Visiting Distinguished Professor Program by the Mexican Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology and in 2003 he was inducted into the Mexican Academy of Anthropological Sciences.  He was on sabbatical leave during 2006-2007 to continue ethnographic field research in northern Veracruz, Mexico, investigating the place of the Milpa in Nahua cultural identity and strategies employed by individual Nahua horticulturalists in response to changing national agrarian policy.