Larry Nesper

Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies


5404 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

  • 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.