Saturday, January 25, 2014

Where Are the Young Thinkers?

I’m talking with a publisher about editing a book series, tentatively called something like “Cultural Environment, Cultural Justice.”  The idea would be to publish relatively short books about topics somewhat outside the mainstream of or more inclusive than fields like “historic preservation”, “archaeology,” “CRM,” and the like as they’re commonly defined, focusing on maintaining/preserving what people and communities value in the environment – in the Americas and world-wide.

Reviewers of the series proposal have suggested – and I entirely agree – that I ought especially to look for young or at least new authors, who relate well to contemporary (and future?) technology and who are informed by the thinking of folks like those in the Occupy movement and Idle No More.  I’m all for it, but unsure where to find such authors.

I’m looking for books that will challenge the status quo(s) and lay out new and better – but at least arguably practical – ways of managing aspects of the cultural environment, broadly defined, and/or of managing the world’s impacts on aspects of that environment.  I'm not much interested in chest-pounding diatribes or obscure theorizing -- I think what we need are books that articulate problems and solutions, without being too hung up on current standard practice but with a recognition of political realities.

If you’re interested in doing a book (and you don’t HAVE to be young or otherwise “new”; I just want especially to encourage young and little-known people), or if you know of someone who might be interested (anywhere in the world, though I expect that the books will be published in English), please drop me a note at, letting me know what you have in mind.  I should stress that nobody gets rich writing books of this kind, though they do (sometimes) produce royalties.



1 comment:

grass_dancer said...

Good afternoon Dr. King,

I am a Yakama tribal member and an archaeologist for my tribe. I am not sure where you are at with this project but it sounds interesting. I just stumbled on to your blog today after searching for an article you wrote where you explain the driving force behind Bulletin 38. You wrote that the White House was critical of the NPS because NHPA could only be accessed by archaeologists. You wrote more, but the point jumped out at me because archaeologists still continue to consider evaluation of sites through Criteria D and it is almost a mental block for them to think otherwise. What ultimately happens is a site is destroyed either by construction or by excavation by more archaeologists. The Yakama Nation are preservationists and have a real problem with more archaeologists digging up more sites for the sake of development. If we continue at this rate, what will be left of our history? All of this excavating and mitigating under NHPA cannot be a good thing, right? Is that really what NHPA was meant for? My rule of thumb has always been this "Whatever can be interpreted against Tribes, will be interpreted against Tribes". At times, it seems that we do not own our past, our remains, our image or our history. We need more tribal presence, voices, and stories in CRM if we, as professionals, are going to protect resources significant to Tribes.

Thank you for the work that you have done on behalf of the resources. There are rewards waiting for you. I will enjoy reading more of your writing.


YN Archaeologist