Unfortunately the title is not a joke, since none of the conference papers are available online for public viewing. I also can’t talk much about my own experiences, since I was busy with job interviews. But there are a couple of things I do want to share:
First of all, I finally met in person: Rex, Ozma, Museum Freak, Karen Nakamura, Danah Boyd, Biella, Noah, and Scott Jaschik. Not to mention all those readers who came to the Savage Minds party sans domain name. Such face-to-face encounters are one of the great joys of blogging!
Secondly, I was shocked how few people showed up for the labor forum I mentioned here earlier. Maybe more people need to read why unions matter. I also urge everyone to sign this petition to NYU president John Sexton regarding the putative measures he is threatening against striking graduate students.
I did make it to about four panels, including two with a strong Taiwan focus, one on indigenous language education, and a wonderfully irreverent festschrift for Jay Ruby. There were a few duds, but most of the papers were fairly strong and well presented. Still, anthropologists need to kick the power-point habit. Except for Karen Nakamura, whose skill as a photographer made for some excellent slides, most people’s bullet points were more distracting than useful. My favorite presenter was Sarah Elder, whose talk was a fifteen minute experimental video. It seems to me that there was a time when anthropologists were more willing to experiment with form…
Regarding job interviews, I’ll be able to write about it more freely when the process is over, but I did want to share this one incident:
As I was walking out of an interview, a committee member turned to me and said: “I just wanted to let you know, I’m a big fan of Savage Minds.”
Take that, Ivan Tribble!
I leave the country tomorrow to go shoot a film in India, so I’ll not be writing much over the next two months. (I’ll try to pop in when I can.) However, I have arranged for a few guest bloggers to fill in for me while I’m gone. The first one should be logging on sometime next week.