At the moment, the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) is taking place in San Jose. The AAA has done some work with its homepage and written some (really useful) press releases that serve as a guide for journalists. I haven't discovered news from the conference yet, though.
The first blog post - live from the conference - was written by Jen Cardew at Synthesis of Thoughts. In Cardew's opinion, "the vibe of the AAA conference" is different from other conferences and he "really was very put off by it":
I'm not sure what exactly it is, but the people don't seem to be as friendly, people really don't like you in the eyes but at your name badge and there is a slight air of overall stuffiness. I've never felt like that at the SFAA. I'm hoping that this was just an "off day" and the rest of the week is different, because I usually thoroughly enjoy conferences.
Jen Cardew also tells us about a new initiative - the blog http://studentanthro.blogspot.com/ - it is part of the session "At A Critical Intersection: Exploring the Expectations and Needs of Anthropology Students in 2006" (not yet much activity there, though)
Another anthroblogger - a new discovery - "Nani" on her blog Everyday Anthropology - comments on a panel where Native Indians and archaeologists talked past each other. It's her first conference ( "Everyone wore a badge (except me) and had in their hand the novel-length AAA Meeting program.")
Nani is writing a thesis on the issue of repatriation and reburial of Native American human remains and cultural items.
In her second blog post she tells us about why anthropology is relevant to her. Anthropology gives answers to personal questions:
It was the only field that could answer my personal questions: Why did my Chinese-Indonesian relatives and friends see and treat me differently because of my dark(er) skin? Why were GUESS, Esprit, and other American brands so popular in my high school in Bandung, West Java? Why do I feel neither "feminine" nor "masculine", like the oppositional way society defines the two? Why don't Native Indonesians and Chinese-Indonesians get along? What is evolution, and how are we the same as and different both within our own species and from other species? etc.
I suppose there will be more news from anthropology bloggers at the conference, among others we can expect news about the Open Access activities by the Savage Minds bloggers
In San Jose, the members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) approved resolutions condemning the occupation of Iraq and the use of torture
Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall , Associate Professor of Design Anthropology at University of Illinois at Chicago, writes that she prefers workshops to presentations:
The two workshops I facilitated were interesting because they were very interactive. Using a lot of Post-it notes to get participants to brain storm about the brand attributes of anthropology and opportunities to craft audience appropriate messages.
Someone said to her: "You can't be an anthropologist. Your presentation looks too good."