Written by Lucero Benitez, COSS Communications Specialist

Fresno State Anthropology students have a unique opportunity this year as the 89th Annual Southwestern Anthropological Association (SWAA), the regional association of academic and applied anthropologists and students, will be held in Fresno this weekend.

Students will present their research and volunteer, allowing them the opportunity to meet anthropologists from different regions.

SWAA brings together people interested in the archaeology of the Southwest including professionals and amateurs who exchange ideas and hear of local and world-wide progress in the field.

The organization was designed to facilitate cooperation and mutual aid among the various archaeological organizations. Its members do research in all areas of the world  including social-cultural anthropologists, linguistic anthropologists, archaeologists, biological anthropologists, and applied anthropologists in all fields.

Up to 200 anthropologists are expected to attend the two-day conference where there will be professional presentations of research, poster sessions, films and a talk by keynote speaker Dr. Yolanda Moses.

Anthropology professor, Dr. Hank Delcore has attended the conference for 10 years, and has been a board member and vice president in the past. This year he is the president of the organization and chose to bring the conference to Fresno.

“I’m a big fan of downtown Fresno and I wanted to make sure we highlight what Fresno has to offer, including the murals and great diverse food,” Delcore said.

A walking tour of murals in downtown Fresno is set for Friday, May 4 from 3:45- 4:45 p.m. Students have worked to profile immigrant and refugee food entrepeneurs in order to give attendees options of places to eat.

About 20 students will present their work at the conference, for most, it will be their first time presenting their original research. Members of the organization hope to encourage innovative research and to promote public interest in all varieties of anthropological inquiry.

The SWAA conference will be held on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Fresno.

The event is co-sponsored by the College of Social Sciences. For more information about the conference visit their website.