Monday, April 27, 2009

Authors mingling, signing, and smiling

We recently attended the American Educational Research Association's annual conference in sunny San Diego. We hosted three celebrations for the following authors and their books: Patrick Finn, Literacy with an Attitude, Second Edition; Alan Singer, New York and Slavery; and Janet Bixby and Judith Pace, Educating Democratic Citizens in Troubled Times.

The celebrations were well attended, with authors signing copies, meeting and greeting people, and, as you can see from the pictures, having an all around good time. Alan Singer and Judith Pace even sent along their thoughts on the signings, so we're including those below. Thanks to all who made these events happen and to those who attended, plus a special thanks to our authors for participating.

The book signing at AERA was a delightful experience. It was well advertised; in fact a few colleagues told me as soon as I arrived at the conference that they'd learned I had a new book published. The wonderful book cover was made into a poster hanging up in the SUNY booth. During the signing I had the opportunity to inscribe copies, catch up with friends who came by, and eat chocolates. Fran Keneston and Anne Valentine, from SUNY Press, were very considerate and took great photos. All in all the event was great publicity and a lot of fun!

— Judith Pace

What is unique, for me, about this book is the way it blends history and approaches to teaching. As a high school teacher and teacher educator I always grapple with understanding the past and finding ways to make it meaningful to my students. At the AERA I gave two papers based on work included in the book New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth. One focused on high school students who organized a walking tour of lower Manhattan were they teach elementary and middle school students about the history of slavery in New York. The other paper focused on student responses to learning about the history of slavery in New York. Since publishing the book I have changed my focus a bit and I am now concentrating on Black abolitionists from New York. At the NY State History conference in June I will present research on their pivotal role in the years leading up to the Civil war.

— Alan Singer