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Mississippian Iconographic Conference


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The Mississippian Iconographic Conference is an annual conference devoted to the study and interpretation of Native American art of the Mississippian period. It is a multi-disciplinary approach referred to, in a recent publication, as the San Marcos School of Interpretation. 2005 marks the thirteenth annual meeting of the conference.

Hosted by Dr. F. Kent Reilly III, the conference began its' roots in the spring of 1992 in conjunction with the Mayan Hieroglyphic Workshop held at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. Shortly after, the conference was moved to Texas State University (called Southwest Texas University at the time) in San Marcos, Texas. It has resided in San Marcos since.

To facilitate this multi-disciplinary approach, past participants to the conference have included Anthropologists, Archaeologists, Native Americans, Art Historians and Folklorists.

Publications include:

Reilly, F. Kent, III and James F. Garber, eds. 2006. Studies in Mississippian Iconography, vol 1. University of Texas Press.

Townsend, Richard F., ed. 2004. Hero, Hawk and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South, Yale University Press.

Participants have also presented numerous papers at symposiums throughout the Southeast.

2013 Conference

MagnumThe Dept. of Anthropology and CASAA announces that the 2013 Mississippian Iconographic Workshop will convene at the Chickasaw Nations Cultural Center (CCC) in Sulpher, Oklahoma, for May 14-19. Our two student organizers this year are Kevin McKinney and Nathan Heep. A Chickasaw student will match each of our student volunteers, and members of the Chickasaw Cultural Center will be observing us throughout the conference. This will be a fantastic opportunity to interact with members of the Chickasaw Nation, and will be a unique experience throughout the workshop.

This year’s conference has a specific agenda. The stated goal is to work with the Chickasaw people (both scholars and students) in an effort to explore the links between the Mississippian symbols recovered during our previous workshops and the traditions of the Chickasaw Nation. We will allocate time for each of the groups to at least have a day to a half a day to work on their previous projects.

We will be extending the workshop one additional day. Saturday will be presentation day. We will have members from the Chickasaw Government in attendance, as well as Native American scholars, students, and other interested parties. The point of these presentations is to demonstrate how important these ancient objects are for the recovery of Native American history. We want to focus on how important it is that these objects are preserved, made available for study, and treated with respect.