Larry Nesper


Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1994
Joined UW-Madison faculty in 2002

Joint Appointment : American Indian Studies


  • African Studies
  • Center for Culture, History and the Environment
  • Legal Studies
  • The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies


My research is in the area of Great Lakes Indian law and politics, largely in the federal Indian policy era of Self-determination (post-1960s), but I also have ethnohistorical interests in the region. I am generally interested in institutional development and am currently working on a research project on the development of the tribal courts in Wisconsin.


I have been teaching since the mid-1970s and have a rather diversified portfolio in this domain having taught middle school, high school, GED students, and college students in seven different institutions of higher learning. Here I teach:

  • Anthro 104 – Cultural Anthropology and Human Diversity
  • Anthro 300 – Theory and Ethnography
  • Anthro 448 – Anthropology of Law
  • Anthro 353 – Indians of the Western Great Lakes
  • Anthro 471 – Ethnohistory of American Indian Religious and Political Movements
  • Anthro 940 – Seminar: Public Anthropologies
  • Anthro 940 – Seminar: Law in Culture and Society

Select Publications

    • 2015
      “Ordering legal plurality: Allocating jurisdiction in state and tribal courts in Wisconsin” Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Vol. 38, No. 1: 30-52.
    • 2013
      Tribal Worlds. SUNY Press, with Brian Hosmer.


  • 2012
    “Twenty-five Years of Ojibwe Treaty Rights in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Volume 36, Number 1
  • 2011
    “Twenty-five Years of Treaty Rights and the Tribal Communities,” in Minwaajimo: Telling a Good Story, eds., LaTisha A. McRoy and Howard J. Bichler. GLIFWC.
  • 2011
    “Traditional Cultural Property” in the Organized Resistance to the Crandon Mine in Wisconsin, Law and Social Inquiry 36(1):151-169.
  • 2007
    “Negotiating Jursiprudence in Tribal Court and the Emergence of a Tribal State: The Ojibwe in Wisconsin.” Current Anthropology, Volume 48, Number 5, October.
  • 2007
    The Politics of Intercultural Resource Management, with James Schlender, in Native Americans and the Environment: Perspectives on the Ecological Indian, ed., Michael Harkin and David Rich Lewis. University of Nebraska Press.
  • 2006
    Articulating Continuity in Difference among the Anishinabeg at Lac du Flambeau, in Native Peoples of North America: Cultures, Histories, and Representations , ed., Sergei Kan and Pauline Turner Strong, pp. 98-121. University of Nebraska Press.
  • 2005
    Historical Ambivalence in a Tribal Museum, Museum Anthropology: Journal for the Council for Museum Anthropology 28(2):1-16.
  • 2004
    Treaty Rights, in Companion Guide to the Anthropology of American Indians, Blackwell Publishers, pp. 304-320. Ed., Thomas Biolsi.
  • 2003
    Simulating Culture: Tourism and Identity in Lac du Flambeau’s Wa-Swa-Gon Indian Bowl. Ethnohistory 50(3): 447-472.
  • 2002
    The Walleye War: The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and Treaty Rights. University of Nebraska Press.

Curriculum Vitae

Larry Nesper CV (updated 2015)


Office: 5404 Sewell Social Science Bldg.
Office phone: (608) 265-1992
Email address: