Due to my teaching schedule, I was only able to attend the second day of the conference. Tanya has already summarized the content of the presentations (which should appear on-line in the near future), so I’ll take a slightly different tack.
I generally don’t consider myself much of a people person. That said, one of my favorites things about conferences is seeing and meeting people. At the FAIR conference which ended yesterday, I had plenty of opportunity to see friends, put faces to names of people I’ve only known via message-board or email, and meet other new interesting people of various backgrounds and persuasions.
For example, I rubbed shoulders with Kerry Shirts, David Bokovoy (who recently won a Hebrew Bible teaching award at Brandeis), co-blogger and cousin Tanya Spackman, Mike Parker, Brant Gardner, John Dehlin, Kevin Barney, Brian Hauglid, Mark Wright (the lone up-and-coming LDS Mayanist, who had some fascinating insight into Alma 5), Lou Midgely (who had to leave the conference midway to go interrupt the Tanners having fondue), Juliann Reynolds, and others.
I had a brief chat with Brent Metcalfe, met Dan Vogel and Michael Marquardt, who came at the end to hear Brian Hauglid’s KEP discussion.
I had one very international conversation about the non-availability and need for LDS material in foreign languages with three people, a brother from Brussels, a bishop from Germany, and Jonathon Curci who is an Italian lawyer currently at BYU, but also knows his Hebrew quite well (as well as English, Italian, German, French, and a few others, I suspect.)
I rode home to Provo with Daniel Peterson and his wife Deborah.
It’s a great place to meet LDS authors, people from the bloggernackle or LDS message boards, BYU profs, FARMS folks, FAIR folks, as well as those who disagree with their views. Look for brief coverage of the conference in the Deseret News, as well as the Church News.