Yesterday Celina Kapoor (my good friend and only helper) and I recorded one session. The session was part I of the University of South Florida’s impact on Applied Anthropology. As you may know, USF’s department of Anthropology was the first applied program in the country. It was also where I received my bachelor’s degree. I had a particular interest in the session, so I actually chose this one. I’m not sure what sort of audience it might have since it is about a particular department, but the speakers were all engaging and illustrated how different aspects of the discipline can be applied in praxis.
We also had the opportunity to record Gretal Pelto’s speech she gave after being awarded the Malinowski Award. She, like many others that have agreed to be recorded, appeared to be excited about the opportunity. It was a fantastic speech and I am happy that we will the recording as an archive. I’ve read a few of the Malinowski Award lectures from the past decade and always find them to be interesting.
We sat through the entire award ceremony last night. It was short and sweet, but still interesting to see what others had done in the past year or throughout the careers (Sol Tax Award and Malinowski). We were only able to record Pelto’s speech because of the limitations (not restrictive- but set in advanced) of the project. Sue-ellen Jacobs was awarded the Sol Tax Award. Jacobs and Pelto, as well as the anthropologists that introduced them, shared, in brief, their experience of interacting with the Society and applied anthropology. In particular, I found Jacbos’ story to be inspiring. Jacobs was the president of the SfAA in the 80’s, which was a time of, what seemed to be, chaos for the organization. The Society lost a lot of their (monetary) capital because of a situation with the AAA and she stuck out her term and was faced with difficult times, situations, and decisions. It showed her long-term dedication and reassured us that our presidents do indeed care.
The dedication and passion of most of the speakers to the discipline showed through in their talks. It seems as though many of them started attended conferences at a relatively early age, have stuck with it throughout their careers, and are truly “at home” in the Society.
I have found that I, myself, feel “at home” at the conference and within the Society as well. The atmosphere of the conference is rather inviting and I’ve found that in attending the sessions and chatting with folks in the hall, I have a better idea of what is going on within the discipline.
Today is the last day of the conference. It’s almost bitter sweet in that I’m really enjoying it but I’m also exhausted. There are four sessions scheduled to be recorded and I will be presenting at 1:30 p.m. (S-103).