Message from the 2023 Conference Program Chair

2023 AM Logo.jpgJuliana McDonald
University of Kentucky

I hope everyone is getting in the last minute beach visits, ballgames, picnics, and golf in a blazing hot July!  August is just around the corner and planning for the 2023 SfAA Conference in Cincinnati, OH is intensifying.  The Program Committee (PC) is formed and ready to start contacting many of you!  During this process, I have had so many wonderful and creative conversations with passionate SfAA members who are already planning dynamic and interesting sessions for what we believe will be a very big meeting!  Three years after we had to abruptly cancel the 2020 meeting, we hope this meeting (even though labeled as hybrid) will be even more in-person than online, fingers crossed.  Cincinnati is a super city, full of interesting things to do, easily accessible from anywhere with an international airport.  We have a stunning hotel venue, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, in downtown close to the Ohio River that we know you will find to be over-the-top!  I grew up right down the road in Kentucky and Cincinnati has always been a fun place to visit.  You can call it “Cincy” or you can call it “‘Nati.”  Either way we hope to make all of you feel very welcome to this special place, a true historical crossroad.  

Continuing our theme of crossroads, we think this is a critical time to highlight a conversation that has always been there but now takes center stage, as we enter a new era where professionally trained anthropologists are no longer peripheral (the “lone anthropologist in the back of the room model”) but are leading research, education, and application in solving important human problems.  This is a time to focus our efforts on professionalizing and training the next generation of applied anthropologists to work in nonacademic settings as well as academic programs.  

Our 2023 PC members are going to work hard to reach out to colleagues everywhere to organize invited sessions.  If you are contacted by a committee member, please get in on the planning right away!  But organizing sessions is not confined to the PC!  We especially invite students to create sessions and be heavily involved at this meeting.  Students are the lifeline and future of anthropology and the Society.  We have a dynamic student committee busily planning great activities at the meeting.  Their contact information is on our website.  We want students to be well-prepared to find the jobs they want and follow their passions in all types of new and exciting places in “the real world.”  The meeting in Cincy will have many opportunities for students to explore the possibilities, network, and participate in crucial conversations on doing the work of problem-solving in the 21st century.   

If you make plans to take a bit of a vacation or extend your spring break along with the meeting, please look at all the wonderful sites and activities in Cincinnati, and Northern and Central Kentucky.  Just to give you an estimate, driving time south on I-75 to Lexington and surrounding areas is only about 90 minutes.  This gives you easy access to Red River Gorge (about 2 ½ hours), the Bourbon Trail around Frankfort, KY (about an hour and a half), and the Kentucky Horse Park (a little over an hour) just for starters.  In Cincy, you will find more than enough to plan a trip around.  The Cincinnati area is full of historical sites including many churches, the Underground Railroad and the Harriet Beecher Stowe house, and the Roebling Suspension bridge connects with Covington, KY.  Other attractions include the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, more than 100 art galleries including the Contemporary Arts Center and the Taft Museum.  There are local theaters and the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.  The Seven Hills are each unique and individual neighborhoods to visit (don’t miss Over-the-Rhine and Mt. Adams) and you must explore the Banks and Riverfront Park, Cincy’s “front porch.”  You might enjoy a beer or a bourbon along the way.  It will be too early for the Reds or the Bengals but with so much else to do, we are sure you won’t miss them on this trip!    

Be sure to read SfAA President Michael Paolisso’s newsletter column for current plans for this hybrid meeting for those unable to attend in person.  But we really hope to see you in March in the Queen City on the banks of the mighty Ohio!  Start planning here:

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