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Re: [SACC-L] Re: Who is Scott A. Lucas? (Who can afford to attend a conferen...

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  • LAWolfe@aol.com
    This has been a fascinating thread as we hear from people who rarely if ever attend SACC Conferences explain who they are and what SACC means to them. In any
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 4, 2005
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      This has been a fascinating thread as we hear from people who rarely if ever
      attend SACC Conferences explain who they are and what SACC means to them.
      In any case I'm inspired to take a crack at this.

      I attended my first SACC Conference in 1990 in Merida Yucatan. I mostly
      went because I'd done field work in the Yucatan some years earlier and wanted an
      excuse to return to the village in which I'd lived. At the conference I met
      Lloyd -- and following the conference we drove out to the village he'd done
      field work and began a long and wonderful friendship. When I began writing
      about my personal research journey on multiple partner sexuality he readily
      published four of my essays in SACC Notes. (One is being reprinted in the
      upcoming Annual Editions Anthropology 06/07)

      When SACC held its 1996 Conference in LA, I attended at least in part
      because its my home and I wouldn't need to deal with airfares or hotels. Inspired
      by the collegiality despite that my research interests (polygamy/polyamory)
      were far apart from the other SACC presenters, I managed to get myself to
      every meeting for the next four years. Being a part timer, I'd get small
      stipends from the different colleges I'd be teaching at, then I'd search the web for
      low airfares or cash in frequent flier miles, look for others to share hotel
      rooms and/or stay with family, friends or Servas (Peace and Justice travel
      network) hosts. I developed friendships with Mark, Barry, Tony and
      Frank...but often felt a disconnect with many of the midwesterners. I liked going out
      to dinner with one person at a time -- the boisterous group dinners were not
      my style.

      Eventually I faced that I'd be better off doing my professional networking
      with people who have more similar research interests and I focussed on
      attending Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and polyamory and swinging
      conferences. I did reappear at last year's Montreal meetings--it was fun
      reconnecting with old friends, but despite using some frequent flier miles and
      getting a small stipend from my school, I decided that I didn't get enough
      professionally (re: my research interests) to commit to attending regularly.

      If I may make one further anthropological observation, I find the SACC
      Conferences to be heavily populated by aging and retired midwesterners--it
      functions much as a social club -- with perhaps a day devoted to a hugely eclectic
      scattering of papers -- and then the rest of the weekend gets devoted to
      socializing in the form of field trips and meals. While I so appreciate the
      complete lack of pretentiousness amongst SACC anthropologists, I do find other AAA
      conferences more academically stimulating.

      Leanna Wolfe

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