I just arrived in Mongolia after attending the ACMS annual meeting in Chicago. Each year the ACMS holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the Association of Asian Studies annual conference. The windy city is home to a significant population of Mongolian expatriates. This was rather fortuitous, because representatives from the Mongolian Cultural Center were able to draw on the local performing arts community to organize musical performances that followed the meeting. Approximately 100 people were on hand for the meeting which featured standard protocol such as acceptance of the previous meeting's minutes, as well as reports on the ACMS' activities during the year. Once the meeting was adjourned and the musical performances complete, the attendees were treated to an exhibit of Owen Lattimore's photos taken during trips to Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang in the 1930s and Mongolian People's Republic in the 1960s and a poster session with scholars conducting research in Mongolia. The Mongolian Cultural Center also provided buuz, boiled meat, and salad for those interested in sampling the culinary aspects of Mongolia.
The annual meeting is always a great time to touch bases with the wider community of scholars and lay people interested in Mongolia. Because of the large Mongolian community in Chicago, this year also attracted a lot of new people who had not previously known about the ACMS and its programs.
Next year the annual meeting will be held in Philadelphia which is only a few hours away from Washington, so we expect we'll have another large turn out for the meeting. It should be a very enjoyable event just like this year's meeting.