You may have noticed it’s been a bit quiet around here lately. That’s because the four of us, usually spread out between 3 countries and 2 continents, have currently been travelling due to conferences, fieldwork, and (brace yourself) actual holiday time. And three of us (Suzie, Brenna, and Becky) actually managed to be at the same place at the same time…
The 80th Annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology took place in San Francisco, California, from April 15-19. TrowelBlazers—and more specifically the ever-captivating Brenna—gave a great talk to a standing-room-only crowd (though admittedly it wasn’t the Grand Ballroom) in a session run by Chris Webster, better known as @ArcheoWebby. Fossil Hunter Lottie had pride of place at the podium (and at all the social events, of course!).
You can listen to the audio from the Archaeology Podcast Network here – TrowelBlazers starts at 34:00.
In addition to our session, we went to a few others that were both poignant and important. While Brenna attended a session in honor of Ruth Tringham, Becky and I attended a forum chaired by Barbara Mills and Lynne Goldstein (@LynneGoldstein), “Gender Disparities in Research Grant Submissions” that reported on the findings of a previously formed task force. One of the main findings suggested that women were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) grants at the same rate as men, but applied less often; this may point to institutional and structural issues, such as service and teaching obligations, which prevent women from submitting applications as frequently as men. There was also a session in honor of #trowelblazer and new SAA President Diane Gifford-Gonzalez.
We were also pleased to see that when Russell Alleen-Willems (@MjStrwy) compiled a word cloud of 1,000 #SAA2015 tweets, we had some presence. We already have a great community, but there are still lots of people who have no idea we exist-so it was great to introduce TrowelBlazers to a new audience at SAA.
All in all, I think it’s safe to say that one of the highlights of the meetings for us all was to have a chance to meet so many of you that we interact with all the time online, but rarely (if ever!) see face-to-face. There was a super fun tweetup organized by John Lowe (who also bought TB a round of drinks-thanks John!) but in addition to that, we had the opportunity to meet a few people at the Women in Archaeology Interest Group, over evening drinks, dinner, and coffee. Thanks again to all of you for your interest and enthusiasm. We had a very productive meeting and look forward to seeing everyone again next year!