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Skidmore College
Anthropology Department
Jill D. Sweet

Jill D. Sweet

Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus



  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of New Mexico. (Dissertation Title: The Effects of Tourism on Tewa Indian Ritual Dance), 1981.
  • M.A., Anthropology, University of New Mexico, 1979.
  • M.F.A., Dance, University of California, Irvine, 1975.
  • B.A., Dance, University of California, Irvine, 1972.


Professor Jill Sweet brings to the classroom her years of experience in Southwest Native American communities. She has been most interested in their ritual dance events as powerful, sacred, social, and aesthetic expressions. Sweet sees these as vehicles for understanding the values and worldview of the people who create and perform them. Interpretive or symbolic anthropology is her primary theoretical orientation. In addition to basic research on ceremonial dance, she has conducted several applied projects. Her applied work looks at the impact of tourism, community development, and the legacy of paternalism in contemporary reservation communities. In 1994 Sweet received a grant from the Aspen Institute to conduct evaluation research on a non-profit organization working with reservation communities. She was made a Weatherhead Fellow and Resident Scholar at the School of American Research in 1979-1980 and again as a Summer Scholar in 2002 under a grant from the Ethel-Jane Bunting Foundation.

Some Favorite Publications:

  • 2012 - Whiskers and Tales: Service Dogs, Family Pets, and Animal Shelters. Troy, NY: Troy Book Makers.
  • 2011 - Pueblo Dancing. Nancy Hunter Warren and Jill Drayson Sweet. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
  • 2005 - “The Anthropology of Dance: Textual, Theoretical, and Experiential Ways of Knowing,” in Teaching Dance Studies, Judith Bennahaum (ed.) New York: Routlege, pp. 133-148
  • 2004 - Dances 0f the Tewa Pueblo Indians: Expressions of New Life, revised edition. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.
  • 2001 - Staging the Indian: The Politics of Representation, with Ian Berry. Saratoga Springs, NY: Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.
  • 1999 - "Pueblo Ritual Dance in the 1920's: From the Outside Looking In." Performance de Santa Fe, 26-32.
  • 1997 - "Ethical Considerations in an Intergenerational Life History Project." Anthropology Newsletter, (April) 11, 17.
  • 1996 - "Unification of Mind, Language, and the Moving Body." Anthropology and Humanism 21(2):219-220.
  • 1994 - "The Horse, Santiago, and a Ritual Game: Pueblo Indian Responses to Three Spanish Introductions," with Karen Larson, Western Folklore, 53(June):69-84.
  • 1992 - "The Beauty, Humor and Power of Tewa Pueblo Dance." in Native American Dance, Charlotte Heth, ed. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, with Starwood Publishing, Inc.:83-103.
  • 1991 - "Let 'Em Loose: Pueblo Indian Management of Tourists," American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 15(4):59-74.
  • 1990- "The Portals of Tradition: Tourism in the American Southwest," Cultural Survival Quarterly, 16(2):6-8.
  • 1989 - "Burlesquing 'The Other' in Pueblo Performance," Annals of Tourism Research (special edition: Semiotics of Tourism), Dean MacCannell (ed.), 16(1):62-75.
  • 1985- Dances of the Tewa Pueblo Indians: Expressions of New Life., School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Jill Sweet