Chronicle of an ASA Foretold

So, I got back from ASA in Boston around midnight last night. The 14-hour drive home was not quite epic, but it was long (14 hours to be precise…), and you can only read Economy and Society for so long before your mind gets to wandering. Anyway, on the drive I made a few notes for things to write up from ASA. Here they are in list form:

  • Lots of props to Anomie and Monsoon of Wicked Anomie. As ASA veterans, they had lots of helpful tips, and also were very fun to hit up even the lamest parties with (I’m looking at you, Harvard bar night). Additionally, Anomie has an especially good restaurant sense, as the French cafe we went to for lunch on Saturday proved.
  • Lots of props again to Tina of Scatterplot. At her suggestion, I attended the Soc of Sexualities section party and it was indeed the best of the meetings. Good food, strong drinks, a party atmosphere, friendly folks, and the most amusing (and touching) awards ceremony. It was nice also to see a colleague from UCSD, Tom Waidzunas, get rightfully honored for his work on gay teens. I heard him present that paper when I was at UCSD and it remains one of the best things I’ve seen. When he goes on the market, snap him up! I’m now tempted to join the section, but my research interests are about as far from sexuality as you can go…
  • Props as well to Jon Smadja of Minnesota (and the Contexts website specifically) for showing me around the North End, the Italian district of Boston, and learning me up on the history of Boston, as well as our more expected discussion of Free/Open Source Software.
  • My favorite single moment of ASA was hearing a cry of “Traitor!” as I walked through the lobby of the Marriott, only to turn and see one of my favorite professors from UCSD beaming at me. It was nice to catch up, and to know that my leaving wasn’t taken too seriously – at least by that prof.
  • Another UCSD moment was catching up with my old advisor at the big ASA reception. Unfortunately, we went straight for the wine, and by the time we stopped talking to look for food it was all gone. So I ended up consuming too much wine on an empty stomach which led to a fun morning.
  • Ann Arbor really needs an Au Bon Pain. That place was tasty, moderately priced, and by far the best spot to run into other soc folks amusingly enough.
  • I had the pleasure of meeting several of the grad student bloggers, including Union Street and YLi. Next year we definitely need to get the grad student bloggers together a bit more, as y’all are fun.
  • Oh, I also attended about 6 panels of varying quality. I suppose that’s why I was there. I really enjoyed one of the political economy panels, as well as some off the performativity stuff, which is both good and unsurprising as it’s the kind of work I’d like to do in the future.
  • Really, I was there to get one of these awesome scatterplot ribbons. I wore mine throughout the convention, which I think had the added effect of confusing people into thinking I was a professor as, at a distance, the ribbons are very similar to the section officer ribbons (blue text on white ribbon). I definitely noticed people did double-takes when playing the ritual ASA status game of badge-checking. Also, I will definitely buy Shamus’s next book if he uses that picture on it.

I think that’s it for the list-version of ASA. Next year’s in SF, so I will definitely be attending. Now I just need to write something worth presenting by then… hmm…

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  1. Great to meet you, Dan. Sorry I pooped out on the sexualities after-party, but I imagine you had more fun without the grumpy, tired version of me.

  2. We had a nice chill time. It was a good way to end ASA, meeting new people, having a beer, but nothing too frenetic.

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