Larry Nesper

Position title: Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies


Phone: 608-265-1992

4233 Sewell Social Science Bldg.


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


Larry Nesper CV

Areas of Focus

Cultural anthropology, Legal anthropology, North America, Wisconsin


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


“Northeast: Research Since 1978,” with Kathleen J. Bragdon, Handbook of North American Indians: Introduction, William Sturtevant, general editor.  Igor Krupnick, volume editor. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.


“Our relations…the mixed blood: Indigenous Transformation and Dispossession in the Western Great Lakes” SUNY Press, Tribal Worlds Series, April 2021


Goodbye to “rough fish”: paradigm shift in the conservation of native fishes,”  Fisheries Magazine, Andrew L. Rypel, Parsa Saffarinia, Caryn C. Vaughn, Larry Nesper, Katherine O’Reilly, Christine A. Parisek, Matthew L. Miller, Peter B. Moyle, Nann A. Fangue1 Miranda Bell-Tilcock, David Ayers, Solomon R. David


“The politics of expressive forms, ethnographic practice, and indigenous-state relations,” Reviews in Anthropology,”  June.


“The Society of American Indians at the University of Wisconsin in 1914,”  The Wisconsin Magazine of History, Volume 102, No. 2 (Winter 2018).


“Native Nation Building: The long emergence of the Oneida Judiciary,” American Indian Quarterly, Volume 42, No. 1 (Winter 2018).


“Ordering legal plurality: Allocating jurisdiction in state and tribal courts in Wisconsin” Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Vol. 38, No. 1: 30-52.


Tribal Worlds. SUNY Press, with Brian Hosmer.


“Twenty-five Years of Ojibwe Treaty Rights in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Volume 36, Number 1


“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.


“Traditional Cultural Property” in the Organized Resistance to the Crandon Mine in Wisconsin, Law and Social Inquiry 36(1):151-169.


“Negotiating Jursiprudence in Tribal Court and the Emergence of a Tribal State: The Ojibwe in Wisconsin.” Current Anthropology, Volume 48, Number 5, October.


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.


The Walleye War: The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and Treaty Rights. University of Nebraska Press.