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Meeting Perspective – Day Two

We’re pleased to share the this blog post from special AN reporter D Archie Frink (Middle Tennessee University). He shares his observations from the second day of the 2011 AAA meeting.

Thursday morning in the Palais des Congrès. Photo courtesy Amy Goldenberg, Anthropology News

In the morning of the second day of the AAA conference — and the first for many — the activity is buzzing: novice students display poster research and intermingle with those passing by amid established anthropologists who have come to share ideas.

This morning I attend the first panel of the day, Beyond the Social Life of Things: Natural Resources and Emergent Personhoods, organized by Sabrina A Peric with discussant Sylvia J Yanagisako. Inside there is an air of attentive nervousness and patient intellect among those presenting their papers and the audience dispersed throughout the room. The papers follow a trajectory of ethnographic practice among mining industries, crossing continents through each paper. This morning we have our tentative focus on individuals and community through our shared field experience. Smiles cross the room as we gain insights from one another.

For many attendees this is likely the first panel of the conference at Pales des Congrès this year in Montréal. On a personal note, this is my initiatory meeting with the American Anthropological Association, and with the commotion among attendees this morning it is refreshing to know that at present we are in the best of company –– our colleagues at Pales des Congrès.

Anticipation of what will come throughout the week in the brisk city stirs through the winding halls and expositions, as we invoke conversations with fellow scholars to discuss our ideas of ethnography over coffee.


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