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thanks to barry for resurrecting the mischief of peak tanning hours ... the name “sunbelt” was itself a bit of mischief, as was the hospitality suite, which has not, i’m happy to say, been absorbed by sessions and has become a standard feature of sunbelt.
about that name ... as lin describes in his wonderful book, there were several conferences in the 1970s that were instrumental in bringing people from many disciplines together. by 1979, though, there were too many people who were interested in, and producing research on, social networks to invite them all to a funded conference. as lin says, al wolfe i talked in 1979 and 1980 about holding a conference in tampa, in the middle of february, and inviting anyone to show up, at their own expense, to give papers on network analysis. we held that conference in 1981. ... calling it the sunbelt social networks conference (now the international sunbelt social networks conference, but long ago shortened among the cognoscenti to “sunbelt” – as in “will i see you at sunbelt this year?”) was mischief , but it worked. there were 35 participants at the first conference. colleagues at the conference asked us to repeat it, and in 1982 there were 70 participants. the conference moved the next year to san diego and rotated, u.s. east-west for the rest of the ‘80s, but that didn’t make it easier for the europeans, and frans stokman convened the first european social networks conference in 1989. in 1995, with the european conference in london, the two conferences merged, but by that time, the idea of a sunbelt conference had taken hold and the name was retained in the merger. the conference in london was, felicitously, held in july. the 2013 conference in hamburg is scheduled for may.
with kind regards to all on this list