2011 – Omaha

2011 – Omaha

Meeting Information:

Location: Omaha, NE.
Date: April 6-9, 2011
Theme: Cultural Diversity in the Community College and Teaching Anthropology

Meeting Summary:

SACC’s 2011 Annual Conference took place April 6-9, 2011 at the Embassy Suites in the Old Market area of Omaha, NE.

SACC member Dianne Chidester’s eloquent summary of the Omaha meeting, organized by President Mel Johnson, that she sent to the listserve is published here:

It was a wonderful SACCfest in Omaha! Mel, you did such a terrific job of organizing and keeping us on track. As usual, SACC takes me to places that are new, interesting, and where I might not otherwise go.

The hotel was unbelievable. I think it’s the best I’ve experienced at SACCfest! We had suites, free breakfasts, and, most importantly, a free happy hour when we were back at the hotel in time.

The location of the hotel was terrific. If folks didn’t explore the gastronomic opportunities in Old Market, they really missed out. I had Omaha steaks, some of the best Persian food ever, and ate at a French Café. I heard the Italian restaurant was really good, too. I’m sorry I didn’t have more time to explore!

The keynote lecture on Using Four-Field Anthropology in Forensic Science by Melissa Connor made me realize the important role and practical application of forensic anthropology, though some of the visuals weren’t easy to look at.

The students from the University of South Dakota (Dona Davis is calling them the “SACCettes”) presented excellent papers and were fun to hang out with. I hope we didn’t scare them off!

Becky, thanks again for organizing the papers so they were all part of a cohesive whole. How do you do that? And thanks to presenters for sharing their knowledge.

The tour of the Primate Center at the Henry Doorley Zoo given by supervisor Christine Dupre was unbelievable. I can’t believe we got so close to those wonderful silverbacks. I had to stand with my hands in my pockets to keep from making contact. I doubt that I will ever get another opportunity to be that up close and personal with gorillas!

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2010 – San Francisco

2010 – San Francisco

Meeting Information:

Location: San Francisco, CA.
Date: March 17-21, 2010
Theme: SUSTAINABLE TEACHING IN THE 21ST CENTURY, CAN ANTHROPOLOGY HAVE AN IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP?

Meeting Summary:

SACC’s 2010 annual meeting took place at the Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, March 17-21. President George Rodgers and fellow SACC member Jo Rainie Rodgers did an extraordinary job of not only arranging the conference but also generously and expertly preparing and sharing delicious food and drink.

SACC was honored to have Professor Laura Nader (U Cal Berkeley) as keynote speaker and AAA President Virginia Dominguez (Professor, U IL, Champaign-Urbana) as a visiting guest and conference participant. Nader is editor of The Energy Reader (Wiley-Blackwell, May 2010), and advocates emphatically that social scientists—especially anthropologists—collaborate with physical and nuclear scientists and take leadership positions in evaluating and formulating energy policies. She feels that anthropologists have the general cultural perspective so often lacking in other policy makers. She is also highly critical of current nuclear energy practices and insists that we must first solve the waste disposal problem before building more nuclear power plants.

Dominguez selected SACC as one of a number of section conferences to attend, in order to learn more about the diverse groups that comprise the AAA. She dined with us and traveled with us on our field trip that included a behind-the-scenes look at some collections of the California Academy of Sciences and the King Tut Exhibit at the De Young Museum of Art, both in Golden Gate Park. She attended SACC presentations and led a stimulating discussion with us on such topics as the goals of AAA, the goals of SACC, and the relationships between the AAA and its 38 sections.

In Ann Kaupp’s stead, Dianne Chidester presented SACC Teacher of the Year Awards to Laura Tubelle de González of San Diego Miramar College and Tad McIlwraith of Douglas College, New Westminster, BC, Canada. Nominations materials sent to The Awards Committee (Ann Kaupp, Chair, Beverly Bennett, Dianne Chidester and Nikki Ives) said that both recipients “possess sensitivity, creativity, and connectivity in teaching students of diverse backgrounds” and make “a significant difference within their respective communities.”

Lloyd Miller, SACC editor

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2009 – Tucson

2009 – Tucson

Meeting Information:

Location: Tuscon, AZ.
Date: April 8-11, 2009
Theme: Borders and Boundaries

Meeting Summary:

The 2009 meeting, organized by co-presidents Mary Kay Gilliland and Maren Wilson, took place in Tucson, Arizona, April 8-11, 2009, within walking distance of the university. The conference theme was “Borders and Boundaries.”

The organizers offered two pre-conference workshops, one on Zooarchaeology at the Arizona State Museum, and the other on Dendrochronology at the Tree Ring Lab, which were highly praised.

Live music accompanied the reception following the board meeting to which all were invited. After the Business Meeting with a buffet lunch, an invited speaker talked about Native Seed Search. The award nominated student film “Yes is Better than No,” a poignant story of a Tohono O’odham family, was presented by Gabrielle Cazares-Kelly. In addition to two days of paper presentations, attendees also had an opportunity to attend the Good Friday Deer Dance at a local Yaqui community.

The Saturday fieldtrip began with visit to the O’odham reservation of San Xavier to view the stunning San Xavier del bac historic catholic church/mission and museum. This outstanding experience was followed by a trip to the renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a beautiful sprawling outdoor zoo/botanical garden in a desert environment. The day and conference ended by the group enjoying a delicious Mexican meal and conviviality in the historic part of Tucson.

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2008 – Washington DC

2008 – Washington DC

Meeting Information:

Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: 2008

Meeting Summary:

The SACC 2008 annual meeting, organized by President Ann Kaupp, was held in Washington, D.C. in honor of Leonard Lieberman (1926–2007), president of SACC in 2000–01 and a beloved colleague and friend to many of us. In a session on teaching race dedicated to Len, Phil Naftaly, Mark Lewine and Tony Balzano gave presentations on his contributions and their significance for students and for teaching anthropology.

As a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s (SI) Anthropology Outreach Office and editor of AnthroNotes, a publication for educators, Ann was able to provide some excellent guest speakers from SI as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the Natural History Museum. SI historian Pamela Henson detailed Smithsonian’s development throughout the nineteenth century, including its founding in 1846 and the establishment of the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1879.

In the Natural History Museum’s anthropology seminar room, archaeology curator Dennis Stanford presented evidence for his hypothesis that the Americas’ earliest inhabitants migrated west from Northern Europe (rather than across the Bering Strait from Siberia). Much of his evidence included striking similarities between American Clovis and European Solutrean spear points. Physical anthropology curator Douglas Owsley and his assistant, Kari Bruwelheide, spoke about their forensic research on human skeletal remains from the seventeenth century Chesapeake. Both are preparing an exhibit titled Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake and scheduled to open early next year.

We also visited the National Museum of the American Indian and were treated to a presentation by Curator Gabrielle Tayac. She explained that unlike traditional museums of indigenous peoples, the NMAI’s philosophy is to present an institutional indigenous voice, a Native American emic perspective. Exhibits are thematic rather than lineal. Some display a few objects behind glass and offer accompanying drawers with additional objects to view if desired, giving the museum a feeling of sparseness rather than clutter. Also, the museum’s cafeteria-style Mitsitam Café features a variety of indigenous foods from the Americas that are not to miss, including planked Northwest Coast salmon and buffalo ribeye steaks.

Our final guest speaker was AAA Director of Public Affairs Damon Dozier, a former legislative assistant for MA Senator John Kerry. Dozier said that one of his duties is to be an advocate for sections like ours both within and outside of AAA. He offered a step-by-step guide to lobbying on Capital Hill, with practical advice that one could apply to many situations requiring tact and diplomacy.

In addition, we went on a “Washington after Dark” bus tour that gave us illuminated views of many of the memorials. Conferees gave the usual variety of interesting presentations, some to be published in the next issue of Teaching Anthropology: SACC Notes. In my opinion, we had a great time.

Lloyd Miller, editor, Teaching Anthropology: SACC Notes.

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