Another year, another AAA come and gone. It felt like one of the busiest yet—from the frenzy of pre-conference tweeting about the role of scarves in an anthropologist’s wardrobe, to the crazy long lineups for coffee in the Chicago Hilton, to the lively conversations that were brimming with creative ideas for new books and new ways of thinking about how to approach teaching. We’re exhausted, but in a good way. And we’re excited about turning some of these ideas into reality in the near future.
It was great to see so many UTP authors stop by the booth. John Barker, author of the bestselling Ancestral Lines and academic editor of the Teaching Culture Series, dropped by to help talk up our new Anthropological Insights Series. Judging by my discussions with a variety of people, there is significant interest, and I look forward to being deluged with proposals in 2014! (Full proposal guidelines can be found on the UTP website.)
Bob Muckle, famous online archaeology blogger and tweeter extraordinaire, arrived to help promote his suite of UTP books. Wait until the new edition of his Introducing Archaeology book comes out next year, and a new introductory 4-field text co-authored with Laura T. Gonzalez follows soon after. We’ll have to hire part-time help to show off his wares!
One of the most popular books at the UTP booth was Gillian Crowther’s Eating Culture: An Anthropological Guide to Food, which, paired with an Eating Culture shopping bag, became the “it” item to have at the meetings. Beyond that, the new editions of our anthropological theory texts, A History of Anthropological Theory and Readings for a History of Anthropological Theory, both by Paul A. Erickson and Liam D. Murphy, elicited plenty of interest. And, as expected, the Teaching Culture Series and the Anthropological Horizons Series were of central importance at our booth.
We also snapped a photo of Ron Niezen holding his new Truth and Indignation book while sporting his Movember mustache. Sorry, Ron, but what you hoped was ephemeral will now live on in cyberspace!
For the first time in a few years, I managed to attend early morning panels every day before the book exhibit kicked into high gear. From thinking about new methods of capturing and representing research where linguistic and visual anthropology overlap, to an enlightening Five Fields Update, to a fascinating (if not brain-stretching) discussion of the Limits of Experience, there was a hovering sense of excitement in the air—excitement about where anthropology may be headed, about new ways of knowing/feeling/representing, and about the potential for collaboration (be it between artists and anthropologists, between various subfields, or between human and non-human life) to move us forward. It felt like the most inspiring and hopeful set of meetings in some time.
While Americans head into a weekend full of turkey, football, and shopping, we Canadians will be catching our breaths in what is the last lull before the holiday madness descends. That said, it seems a particularly good time to express our gratitude to the people we call our community. Thanks for dropping by our booth, for engaging in conversation, for sharing an idea with us, for buying a book, for considering our publications for your courses, or for just expressing delight at our presence. This business (if we can call it that) is all about relationships, so thanks for making it feel reciprocal.
Rest up, because there is a lot of work to do (and hopefully fun to be had) between now and #AAA2014 in Washington!
Anne Brackenbury, Anthropology Editor