As the fall term draws to a close, and as many of us head to Vancouver for AAA-CASCA, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself as the new editor for anthropology texts at the University of Toronto Press.
Over the past six months, I have been familiarizing myself with our outstanding books and series, connecting with our current and future authors, and planning for the months and years ahead. Many of you have reached out to me with questions about the future of the anthropology publishing program at UTP. I am here to tell you that we remain as committed as ever to the accessible and creative approaches to anthropology that we have supported over the years.
The Teaching Culture series still occupies a unique space in the academic publishing world, and newer series such as Anthropological Insights and ethnoGRAPHIC have provided teachers with new tools to explore current anthropological research and innovative ethnographic methods with their students. I am excited to be engaging with these projects and helping authors translate their work into books that can reach a student audience and an even broader public.
Since Anne Brackenbury started this blog seven years ago, much has changed in both anthropology and academic publishing—and yet, as I look back on that first post, I realize we are still facing many of the same challenges we were then: an emerging open access movement, a backlash against textbook prices, and massive technological changes. There are new challenges too, as student bodies become more diverse and universities become more invested in applied skills and experiential learning.
Over the years, the Teaching Culture blog has provided a space to work through these challenges and learn from each other. It has built a community of anthropology professors with common interests and goals, and it has connected teaching and publishing in a tangible way.
As part of University Press Week earlier this month, my colleague Vannessa Barnier wrote about How to Build Community. In her post, she discusses feelings of isolation and the importance of having a space to connect and converse with your peers. She closes by saying, “To be open to community requires presence, passion, and the desire to share ideas and provide platforms for others to grow.”
It is my hope that Teaching Culture is—and will continue to be—such a platform. Moving forward, I will be curating content from anthropologists around the world who have ideas to share on teaching, writing, and more. In December, keep an eye out for a new two-part entry from Andrew Gilbert (Ethnography Lab, University of Toronto) on Teaching Anthropology through Sequential Art.
If you have an idea for a blog post that you would like to share, or if you have any questions or comments about the anthropology publishing program at UTP, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And speaking of community building, I hope to see many of you at AAA-CASCA this week. Take a look at our late-breaking post, Making #AAACASCA Manageable, and stop by the UTP booth (#207) to say hello!
Editor, University of Toronto Press