The Seventh Biennial Meeting of the Society for Amazonian & Andean Studies
March 5-6, 2022
Harrisonburg, Virginia

The Society for Amazonian and Andean Studies (SAAS) Meeting is a biennial national conference dedicated to showcasing and promoting research in the Amazonian and Andean regions of South America.

First held at Florida Atlantic University in 2008, the SAAS meeting has since taken place at the University of Florida (2010), the University of Central Florida (2013), Louisiana State University (2015), Millsaps College (2017), and the University of Alabama (2019). 

This year's meeting is hosted by the James Madison University Department of Sociology and Anthropology with support from the Dean's Office of the College of Arts & Letters and Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies. Distinguished keynote speaker Dr. Sonia Alconini from the University of Virginia will give a public lecture. We encourage participation from scholars working in a wide range of disciplines who are interested in archaeological, historical, cultural, and/or contemporary themes in the Amazonian and Andean regions. 

Located in the diverse and picturesque small city of Harrisonburg, the James Madison University campus is within a half-hour drive of the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) and within an hour's drive of the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO).To contact us with specific inquiries, please email SAASJMU@gmail.com.


We look forward to seeing you!

Di Hu and Jamie Haverkamp (Conference co-organizers)



(Registration deadline for papers and posters: February 12; Registration deadline for attendees: March 2nd)


Conference program (pdf)

Distinguished Keynote Lecture (Free and open to the public): 

Rethinking Andean and Amazonian relations: The taypi yungas as spaces of encounter, ethnogenesis  

and sociopolitical transformations 

Time and location: 5:30-6:30PM, March 5th, Grafton-Stovall Theatre

Reception to follow (6:30-6:50PM, Grafton-Stovall Theatre Lobby)

Sonia Alconini 

University of Virginia 


The eastern tropical mountains, whether conceived as the yungas, piedmont or ceja de selva, were part of the massive Cordillera spine that run through a sizable portion of South America. It divided the Andes from the Amazonian basin. Even though it is often conceived as a natural barrier or strategic filter, it was also the axis that made possible Andean and Amazonian relations. They were known as the taypi yunga and chaupi yunga, both embodying concepts of centrality. In this presentation I explore the critical role that ancient trading corridors had in the cultural interregional dynamics. Since antiquity, peoples of different ethnic origins, languages and cultural traditions converged, dwelled and established kindred relations along these interethnic corridors. By zooming in one of these corridors that run to the east of the Titicaca basin in the province(s) of the Kallawayas and Chunchos, I will highlight the changes in the sociopolitical dynamics, and the forms in which altiplanic, valley and Arawak-speaking communities, among others, were articulated into these networks.  

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