Monday, April 11, 2016

SAA Conference in Orlando

Well, the SAAs are over and, despite being held at that overpriced and rather creepy Potemkin Village near Orlando, the Annual Meeting was productive and interesting. Florida Atlantic University was well-represented by students and alumni.

The symposiumm I organized with Geoff McCafferty, Cerámica Sin Fronteras, went well. We had a prime time slot, Friday afternoon; interesting, original, and significant papers; and a good audience. Rosemary Joyce saved the entire symposium with her adapter for the projector's serial cable. We had participants from Canada, the U.S., France, and Honduras. My students Kelsey Willis and Ashley Gravlin Beman gave excellent presentations, for which I can take little credit because I merely offered a little coaching. Even though I'm directing their research, I learned (i.e., acquired new information) from their presentations. I want to convey my sincerest thanks to all who participated. I regret that more our of Central American colleagues could not attend, but I was delighted that Dra. Eva Martínez came from Honduras and spoke about her work in the Jamastrán Valley.

In addition to my symposium, several others included substantial participation by folks from FAU. Christian Davenport organized a session on the Belle Glade Culture. He is a Ph.D. candidate at FAU, and many of our students and former students presented papers in that symposium, inclulding Katie Smith, Dorothy Block, Rebecca Stitt, and, of course, Chris himself.

Valentina Martínez, one of the other archaeologists on the faculty, presented at least 3 posters, including one with Andres Garzon-Oechsle, a graduate student here, and another with Nicole Jastremski, a biological anthropologist in our department (and a former graduate student!).

Ryan Wheeler, Director of the R. S. Peabody Museum, former State Archaeologist of Florida, and graduate of our department, organized a symposium in honor of Wm. Jerald Kennedy, a professor emeritus in our department. That session included not only Dr Kennedy himself, but Michael Harris, the current department chair, and a whole passel of department alumni.

I noticed that there were other alumni of our program around in other sessions, but I don't even know the whole list of our former students, so they're difficult to track.

A small assemblage of twenty or thirty of us went out for a bite on Saturday night. What fun!

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