My first conference for Multilingual Matters was AAAL in Portland. I had been reliably informed the AAAL crowd were a very pleasant bunch and that Portland was a gastronomic delight, so when I left the house at 3.30am on a Friday morning I was hoping it was all going to be worth it! I wasn’t disappointed.
The conference itself was great, very well organised and we saw many of our authors and editors during the event. We’re told it was AAAL’s best ever attendance, with 1,700 delegates and a high number of delegates from Australasia and Asia. Our books sold very well indeed, with Bonny Norton’s 2nd Edition of Identity and Language Learning taking the top spot. Other popular books included Multiple Perspectives on the Self in SLA edited by Sarah Mercer and Marion Williams, Ethnography, Superdiversity and Linguistic Landscapes by Jan Blommaert, and Language, Migration and Social Inequalities edited by Alexandre Duchêne, Melissa Moyer, and Celia Roberts (the second volume in our new Language, Mobility and Institutions series). Tommi gave a talk on how to publish your first book to between 50-100 people, and wasn’t too scared, and took part in the colloquium on the future of academic publishing in applied linguistics and was terrified, but both went very well! We had very nice comments about both sessions, with lots of insightful questions from the audience.
Portland was a joy. We ate incredibly well, with the foodie highlight being soufflés with our lovely colleagues from the Center for Applied Linguistics. We managed to squeeze in a trip to Voodoo doughnuts, a must-do in Portland, as well as a visit to Powell’s bookstore – a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. It didn’t take long before we found some of our own books in there!
While we didn’t have long to explore the city, we loved what we saw. From resistance banknotes to bars filled with pinball machines – Portland was a total treat and we can’t wait to be back one day!
Either side of the AAAL conference (which you can read about in Kim’s post here), Tommi and I managed to squeeze in a trip to Los Angeles to visit colleagues and students at UCLA and from Loyola Marymount University, and of course exhibit at the annual TESOL conference as usual.
On arrival in LA we met with Patricia C. Gándara, co-editor of our forthcoming book on the economic advantages of bilingualism, who kindly gave us a tour of the beautiful UCLA campus. The campus has been the shooting location for many films so it was fun to spot buildings which we recognised while Patricia explained what they are actually used for.
After lunch we gave a presentation to students and staff on academic publishing. We were pleased that the audience came armed with questions and were happy to explain some of the mysteries of book publication to them. We also met with Teresa L. McCarty, author of our book Language Planning and Policy in Native America, who has recently moved to UCLA from Arizona State University.
Tommi and I spent the rest of our time in California meeting with Magaly Lavadenz and Elvira Armas from CABE who took us to dinner in the beautiful Marina del Rey area of LA and training for the Bristol 10k, which we are running together with our colleague Sarah in May to raise funds for St Peter’s Hospice. You can read about our challenge here.
Then it was onwards to Portland for AAAL and TESOL. After the successes of AAAL we recharged our batteries ready for TESOL which this year had the theme “ELT for the Next Generation: Explore, Sustain, Review”. As usual we enjoyed catching up with familiar faces and meeting new delegates.
Again it’s the time of year when we start to think about conferences and leaving our office in Bristol for different cities, countries and climates. 2014 is set to be a bumper year of travel as it seems to be the year when biannual and triennial conferences occur, and some one-off conferences also join our usual schedule.
The year has kick-started with CAUTHE and NABE, both of which took place as usual in February. Sarah and Laura headed off in different directions around the globe – Sarah to Brisbane for CAUTHE and Laura to San Diego for NABE. Keep your eyes on the blog to read about Sarah’s trip soon. NABE was slightly blighted by the snow storms on the East Coast which meant that several delegates had to cancel their plans, but those of us who did make it enjoyed the Californian sunshine, when we weren’t at the conference of course!
In March, Tommi, Laura and Kim will be at AAAL as usual. This year’s conference in Portland has a publishing focus, so Tommi will be running a session titled “Publishing your first book: From proposal to published product” in which he’ll outline the process of getting an academic book published, from early preparation and planning, through choosing the right publisher, submitting a book proposal and all the editorial stages to final production, publication, sales and marketing. If you are at the conference and at all interested in this subject please come along to the talk at 12:35 on Saturday.
TESOL in Portland and AERA in Philadelphia are the other conferences in the US which we’ll be exhibiting at this spring. We will have a whole host of new titles with us at these conferences so do feel free to come over and browse the books and say hi. We always offer a special conference price on our books to delegates, and this year we’re able to extend that to our ebooks, so there’s all the more reason to come over and say hi!