Greetings SfAA members, allies, and friends! Groundwork is well underway for the upcoming 2022 conference in Salt Lake City. This year’s program committee is largely in place, and will start reaching out to start brainstorming sessions, panels, roundtables, posters, and any other creative formats that strike a cord. For example, the anthropology of higher education TIG does such things as “mini-clusters” of thematically related sessions, as well as a “capstone” session at the conference’s end that serves as a thumbnail summary and an opportunity to plan for the following year.
So if and when a program committee member or someone from your network reaches out about putting together a session, please take the call! We are so looking forward to a big, vibrant meeting after being on hiatus for one year, and fully virtual for one more. As anthropologists, we know the power of a good get together, and know better than to squander a meaningful ritual.
In mid-September, Don Stull (former SfAA president; HO editor; and current SfAA annual meeting and awards coordinator) and I will be visiting our conference hotel digs in Salt Lake City, as well as with anthropology departments in the greater region. We strongly encourage departments to bring students and get them involved in a variety of professionalizing presentation formats. I envision us being as far north as Idaho State University and as far south as the University of Nevada-Las Vegas—Pocatello to Las Vegas is a pitch at 580 miles. My rental car will get a good workout as I trod across that route, driven many times while I lived in SW Utah.
Salt Lake City beckons with its mountain backdrop of the Western Rockies and flatlands across the Great Salt Lake and Bonneville Salt flats. There is much to see and do there. Salt Lake City is the region’s most important cultural hub. The old mining town of Park City is just up the canyon, and itself a short drive from Robert Redford’s Sundance operation. Salt Lake City sits the shadow of the Mount Timpanogos National Monument and American Fork Canyon which is a remarkable Alpine Scenic Loop Backway that traverses through the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
If folks come early or stay on after the conference, I’d highly recommend heading south to catch Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Pipe Spring, and Cedar Breaks National Monument, which are all clustered together in the southwest corner of the state. If you go a little further afield, you can find ourself at the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
Be sure not to miss Dr. Michael Paolisso’s newsletter column in this issue on current plans for a hybrid meeting format for all those unable to attend in person.