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The Annual Meeting in Minneapolis: Notes from the Program Chair

Paul Minnis

The snow is melting, extra vats of Minnesota-made Spam are cooking, and the Pillsbury Doughboy is learning to use a line level and the word "discourse." Minneapolis prepares for the 1995 Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. And we are just about prepared for Minneapolis. By now all members and presenters should have received copies of the Preliminary Program. Rather than simply reiterate it, I'd like to highlight the meeting.

SAA has grown greatly and, as importantly, has grown more diverse. The society requires many voices and venues. Given the society's expansion and the location of the 1995 meeting in an area of population concentration, we had a record number of submissions. In fact, the 1995 Minneapolis meeting will be the largest in SAA's history, with more than 1100 individual presentations, forums, and workshops. Instead of silencing a large number of our colleagues by having an unacceptably high rejection rate, the program was expanded to accommodate as many participants as possible. Thus, you will note, perhaps with some discomfort, there will be Thursday evening presentations and 14 concurrent sessions. Nevertheless, the Program Committee still had to decline four percent of the submissions. Because of the size and complexity of the 1995 Annual Meeting, everyone will need to be well organized, and the sessions must stay on schedule.

The Opening Session of the Annual Meeting coincides with Minnesota Archaeology Week. A Wednesday evening dedicatory drumming and welcoming ceremony with representatives of Minnesota's archaeologists and Native Americans begin the meeting. Then, Don Fowler will present "Archaeology in the 21st Century: We're All in the Past Together," in honor of Elden Johnson.

There will be sessions and activities of interest to all archaeologists. In addition to a very large number of North American symposia, the 1995 meeting has 20 Old World sessions and 27 sessions devoted to Latin America. Nearly 25 theory symposia are joined by many sessions, workshops, and forums on CRM, public archaeology, and methodological issues. The meeting is further enhanced by numerous excursions and adjunct activities.

Make room in your schedule for two notable sessions. Stephen Lekson organized a very special Plenary Session, "Telling Archaeology: Parks, Museums, Print, and Video," on the public image of archaeology. This Saturday evening program includes a distinguished group of participants who have been especially important in molding and nurturing archaeology's image. At the request of the Executive Board, board members Catherine Cameron and Roger Anyon organized a Thursday night session, "Finding Creative Solutions for Restructuring American Archaeology," to rethink the structure of archaeological research.

You will have also noted that this year's Annual Meeting has 24 roundtable lunches, opportunities for those with common interests to get together informally. Unfortunately, most of the lunches are limited to 20 participants each. The society is considering forming interest groups within the society, and many of the lunches could become seeds for such future groups. Lunch participants should consider beforehand how they could institute greater communication among archaeologists with similar interests.

Let me take this opportunity on behalf of the Program Committee to thank you for your submissions, participation, and cooperation. We much preferred organizing a meeting for an active membership overflowing with many creative ideas than one for an ossified and dull discipline. We enjoyed working with all of you. Thank you.

Of course, there are always regrets and missed opportunities. I take no responsibility for the lack of a field trip to one of the most fertile areas of anthropological research, the Mall of America, the world's largest mall just outside Minneapolis. Blame SAA executive director Ralph Johnson (who, perhaps rightly, suggested if anyone was interested they would surely find their own way there!) Perhaps I'll see you at the mall during one of the infrequent lulls in the Annual Meeting's schedule.

Paul Minnis is with the University of Oklahoma at Norman.

NAGPRA Sponsored Forum

On Friday, May 5, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., SAA's Task Force on Repatriation will sponsor a forum on the issue of unaffiliated and unclaimed human remains and objects. The forum "NAGPRA and the Disposition of Unaffiliated Human Remains" will feature a short presentation by Jonathan Haas of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Haas is a member of the Department of the Interior's NAGPRA Review Committee, and he will outline some proposed recommendations for the disposition of unclaimed and unaffiliated remains. Full copies of the committee's draft recommendations will be available for distribution. Following Haas's presentation, there will be ample time for questions and comments from the audience. The session will be moderated by Lynne Goldstein, chair of SAA's Task Force on Repatriation. This is your opportunity to provide direct input while recommendations are still being developed.

Public Education Committee

Get Involved in the Past! Attend the 5th Annual SAA Public Session, May 6

Teresa L. Hoffman

Broaden your perspective on the past and find out what SAA and others are doing for the archaeological public by attending the 5th annual SAA public session at the 1995 SAA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. "Learning from the Past: Getting Involved in Archaeology" offers activities of interest to professional and avocational archaeologists, educators, and all people interested in the past. Join us on Saturday, May 6, from 1 to 5 p.m. A sample of planned events and activities includes:

The public session is sponsored by SAA and its Public Education Committee. Participating organizations include the Minnesota History Center, Minnesota Archaeological Society, Minnesota Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, Institute for Minnesota Archaeology, Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center, Program for Interdisciplinary Archaeological Studies/University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Algonquin Archaeological Consultants, Inc., and many more. See your registration packet at the meeting for more details on the public session.

For more information on the SAA Public Education Committee's activities, contact Edward Friedman, Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007, D-5650, Denver, CO 80225, (303) 236-1061, ext. 239.

Teresa L. Hoffman is with the Environmental Division of the Bureau of Reclamation in Phoenix, Arizona.

New Session Added to 60th Annual Meeting

FERC Workshop -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Office of Pipeline Regulation (OPR), will convene a cultural resources compliance training course in conjunction with SAA's 60th Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. The one-day course is being held on Wednesday, May 3, at the Minneapolis Hilton and Towers so that cultural resources managers and the regulated pipeline industry can gain an understanding of 1) how FERC meets its responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and 2) what cultural resources information the industry needs to file with FERC before and after FERC issues a certificate.

The course will include the following topics: objectives and requirements of FERC regarding compliance with section 106 of the NHPA and related historic preservation laws; guidance for reporting on cultural resources investigations; definition of cultural resources terms used by FERC in the compliance process; and efficient strategies for planning and conducting cultural resources investigations.

There is no fee for the course, which will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but attendance is limited and you must preregister. To receive information and/or a registration form for the course, please contact Donna Connor by telephone at (617) 542-8805, or by mail at Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation, 211 Congress St., Boston, MA 02110.

Employment Opportunities in Archaeology

Write or fax today for information about the Employment Service Center (ESC), which will be operated by the Society for American Archaeology at the 60th Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. The ESC is open to members free- of-charge. Members need not attend the Annual Meeting to take advantage of this service.

Past listings have included opportunities in academe, consulting firms, federal and state agencies, and museums. We have revised the format of the ESC based on suggestions from previous participants; the new ESC is designed to be more convenient and flexible for both employers and individuals seeking employment.

For more information about this free-to-members service, write: Employment Service Center, Society for American Archaeology, 900 2nd Street N.E. #12, Washington D.C. 20002, fax (202) 789-0284, to request guidelines for users.

If you are not already a member, let us know in your request and we will forward membership information to you promptly!

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