Conference preview: American Association of Geographers (AAG), 2018

We’re excited to exhibit books and meet authors at the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in New Orleans April 11-13. Geography is an important and growing scholarly area for WVU Press—one that draws on the strength of the university’s extraordinary geography department and connects to our broader publishing program in areas like Appalachian studies and studies of energy and environment. If you plan to be in New Orleans we hope you’ll visit us in booth 604, which we’re sharing with our colleagues in WVU’s department of geography.

Some highlights: New series . . .

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 7.02.13 PM

We’re rolling out new book series in Gender, Feminism, and Geography (edited by Jennifer L. Fluri and Amy Trauger), Radical Natures (edited by David Correia, Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro, Mazen Labban, and Judith Watson and copublished with the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism), and Energy and Society (edited by Brian Black). If you’re doing book-length work in one of these fields, please feel free to get in touch and tell us about your project.

. . . and books

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 4.30.17 PM
Muriel Rukeyser’s map of Gauley Bridge, from The Book of the Dead.

Written in response to the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel disaster of 1931 in Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, The Book of the Dead is a powerful account of one of the worst industrial catastrophes in American history. The poems collected here investigate the roots of a tragedy that killed hundreds of workers, most of them African American. They are a rare engagement with the overlap between race and environment in Appalachia. “Muriel Rukeyser’s words are a painful, haunting memorial to an American crime,” says Jedediah Purdy, author of After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene.

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 4.36.14 PM.png
Site of Harriet Tubman’s Raid, Beaufort County, South Carolina. From Marked, Unmarked, Remembered.

From Wounded Knee to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and from the Upper Big Branch mine disaster to the Trail of Tears, Marked, Unmarked, Remembered: A Geography of American Memory presents photographs of significant sites from US history, posing unsettling questions about the contested memory of traumatic episodes from the nation’s past. Focusing especially on landscapes related to African American, Native American, and labor history, Marked, Unmarked, Remembered reveals new vistas of officially commemorated sites, sites that are neglected or obscured, and sites that serve as a gathering place for active rituals of organized memory. “Brilliant and memorable,” says the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Tim Jelfs’s The Argument about Things in the 1980s: Goods and Garbage in an Age of Neoliberalism is a broad study of the literature and culture of the “long 1980s.” It contributes to of-the-moment scholarly debate about material culture, high finance, and ecological degradation, shedding new light on the complex relationship between neoliberalism and cultural life. “A superb book,” says Stephanie Foote, editor of Histories of the Dustheap: Waste, Material Cultures, Social Justice. See a playlist inspired by the book here.

The Politics of Lists: Bureaucracy and Genocide under the Khmer Rougeby James A. Tyner, winner of the AAG’s Meridian Award, analyzes thousands of newly available Cambodian documents both as sources of information and as objects worthy of study in and of themselves. How, Tyner asks, is recordkeeping implicated in the creation of political authority? What is the relationship between violence and bureaucracy? How can documents, as an anonymous technology capable of conveying great force, be understood in relation to newer technologies like drones? “Original and far-reaching,” says Oliver Belcher of Durham UniversityTyner’s book will be published this fall, but we’ll have bound pages at the conference.


Leave a Reply