Thomas Sheridan

Research Anthropologist, Southwest Center
Professor of Anthropology, School of Anthropology

Thomas E. Sheridan is Research Anthropologist and Professor of Anthropology at the Southwest Center and School of Anthropology of the University of Arizona.  He was named a Distinguished Outreach Professor at UA in 2016.  He has written or co-edited sixteen books and monographs including Arizona: A History, Revised Edition (UA Press 2012), Landscapes of Fraud: Mission Tumacácori, the Baca Float, and the Betrayal of the O’odham (UA Press 2006), Stitching the West Back Together: Conservation of Working Landscapes (with Susan Charnley and Gary Nabhan: U Chicago, 2014), The Border and Its Bodies: The Embodiment of Risk on the U.S.-México Line (with Randall McGuire: UA Press 2019), and Moquis and Kastiilam: Hopis, Spaniards and the Trauma of History, Vol. I (with S. Koyiyumptewa, A. Daughters, D. Brenneman, TJ Ferguson, L. Kuwanwisiwma, and L. Lomayestewa, UA Press, 2015).  Vol. II will be published in Spring 2020, completing the Hopi History Project, a formal collaboration between the University of Arizona and the Hopi Tribe which compares and contrasts what Spanish officials and Franciscan missionaries wrote about the Hopis (“Moquis”) with Hopi oral traditions about the Spaniards (Kastiilam).  He is currently working with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to develop a Yaqui Ethnography and Cultural Landscapes Project and carrying out research for an Ethnographic Overview of Ranching and Agriculture at Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.

Dr. Sheridan is chairman emeritus of the Canoa Ranch Foundation and former chair of Pima County’s Canoa Ranch Conservation Committee. He is a member of Pima County’s Conservation Acquisition Commission, a part of its visionary Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, during which he chaired the Ranch Conservation Technical Advisory Team.  He is past president of the Anthropology & Environment Society of the American Anthropological Association, and currently serves on the board of the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance, a not-for-profit organization of ranchers dedicated to the conservation of open space, biodiversity, and working ranches in the Altar Valley southwest of Tucson.  He received the Sonoran Institute’s Faces of Conservation: Sustainable Communities Award in 2007, the Earl Carroll Fellowship from the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona in 2009, the Alene Dunlap Smith and Paul Smith Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Tucson Pima County Historical Commission in 2016, and the Byron Cummings Award from the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society in 2016. He was named a Distinguished Outreach Professor at the University of Arizona in 2016.


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, UA, 1983