Good news everyone! The Wisconsin Chapter has officially been approved by the board during the Annual Meeting at the 2017 Conference in Tuscaloosa. Though I was unfortunately unable to make the first few days of the conference which ran from June 20th to June 24th, I did manage to swing attending the last day and met some lovely people, heard some interesting presentations, and had an all-around great time. The long drive from Chicago was fortunately uneventful, even with the tropical depression coming into Alabama, and I was greeted at check-in with a conference swag umbrella in case it decided to storm again.
Instead of attending any cemetery tours, I opted for Dr. June Hadden-Hobbs workshop: “Using Classical Rhetoric to Create Winning Conference Presentations”, which I must say, I probably would have benefited from taking before creating my presentations for later that day. June’s workshop was informative and I recommend taking it if it is offered again in the future. She discussed how to arrange parts of speech, collect and build an argument, and ultimately strengthen memory to give extemporaneous speeches. We later got to see Dr. Hadden-Hobbs’ skills in action when she received the Harriette Merrifield Forbes Award and presented on the cliché of death.
Dr. Sullivan, unfortunately, could not make the conference, so I presented his paper on the acculturation of German immigrants in the Fond du Lac region of Wisconsin, colloquially known as the Holyland. I presented a slimmed down version of my MA thesis about how a landscape approach enables an archaeology of emotion. An abstract for these presentations can be found here.
We had a lovely, bright, sunny day in Tuscaloosa, with the occasional torrential downpour. I tried grits for the first time and took pictures with a mastodon cast at the Alabama State Natural History Museum where the closing banquet was held (The original mastodon skull, by the way, came from Kenosha Wisconsin). I am looking forward to representing Wisconsin and Ireland at next year’s conference in Connecticut.