The ICA in Portland, Maine publishes art books and they have offered to publish one about my obeast project. Hooray! This is a really great opportunity and I’m pretty excited.
I suggested (and they approved) doing a two-book bound set. The first book will be a complete overview of the North American Obeast from within the narrative of the project. It will describe obeast biology, history, conservation, MOCS, PETNAO (People for the Ethical Treatment of North American Obeasts– a radical activist spin off group of MOCS. This is new. I’m not 100% on the group’s name.), and so on. This first book will be an extension of the project itself. I totally welcome creative contributions from others on this. Say, for example, someone wants to write a manifesto about why obeasts should not be protected (ie, they ruin crops, there’s plenty), or perhaps a manifesto from someone in PETNAO decrying MOCS for being too moderate in their conservation efforts. The sky’s the limit and I’m happy to help give background info, brainstorm, or whatever else.
The second book is more serious and puts me way out of my comfort zone in the sense that I’ll be doing something entirely new to me–but that’s a good thing, right? My aim is to locate the obeast project in a cultural, scholarly context by doing a collection of articles by smart people (I’ll take the liberty of including myself in their company) who are writing from the place where their current interests intersect with the obeast project. To be clear, I don’t think I would ask people to specifically write about my project (unless they wanted to) but rather to use my project as a jumping off place to write about related thoughts, concerns, ideas, etc. Given that my project incorporates many fields, genres, and ideas (including science, cultural identity, satire/hoax/comedy, nature conservation, fat activism, cultural anxiety, mass media, etc), I want this second book to represent that spread pretty evenly and not tilt too heavily into one discipline.
And so this is the phase I’m in: trying to think of people to ask to contribute to the books. If you are interested (ahem, Chuck Dyke, Stefanie Snider, Amelia Jones, Marilyn Wann, Rebecca DuClos) please drop me a line with your thoughts and questions. (Some of you can expect an email from me soon.)
Publication will have to be in the mode of a true academic journal–as in you do it for the publication and glory, not riches– since there’s no money involved. Sorry guys. There’s no money for me either really. I can promise this: everyone who contributes will receive an obeast t-shirt. How’s that for swag, eh?