We live full-time in San Francisco but it doesn’t feel like it because we spend now three months every year in France, mostly in Paris, but with visits to some other places from time to time. We’re now addicted to the 5th arrrrondisement and that’s where we’ll be this coming year as well.
We’ve been involved in some interesting events related to Do You Know . . . ? The Jazz Repertoire in Action, the book about the music business Rob Faulkner and I published in 2009. Here’s what’s happened since. In 2010 (this seems like a distraction but really isn’t), Dianne and I met Franck Leibovici, a conceptual artist and poet who lives in Paris. He was organizing a project in which he asked artists and others to make something which showed the “form of life” which supported the work they did. He invited us to participate and we did. The results of this project were published in a “Panini,” or “Sticker book,” the kind kids paste stickers of sports figures in, after trading with others. We both said yes and you can see the results in (des forms de vie): une écologie des pratiques artistiques. I wasn’t sure what to do until Dianne reminded me that Faulkner and I wrote our entire book without meeting in person for more than very brief periods and, really, the whole thing was done by e-mail, which thus was the form of life that supported that work. So Rob and I pasted all the e-mails together into a long document, which Dianne edited meticulously, and Franck wrote a Preface for. Of course, no conventional publisher would publish such a thing, but Larry Gross, who among other things is the head of the Annenberg Press, agreed to publish it as an e-book. And so Thinking Together: An E-Mail Exchange and All That Jazz is available now from Amazon, the Apple Store, and other places that handle e-books. And, to top it off, a printed version (yes, on paper! and, yes, in English only) is available from Questions Théoriques.
I’ve continued to write (it’s a hard habit to break!) and so the University of Chicago Press will publish Evidence in June 2017. I’d thought about this topic for years and finally finished it. The Press will also publish, more or less simultaneously, a translation of Alain Pessin’s book about me and my sociologizing, The Sociology of Howard S. Becker: Theory with a Wide Horizon. Alain was a good friend and a fine sociologist who unfortunately died unexpectedly several years ago. And there are several new papers to read listed on that part of this site.
Here’s something for the curious. There once was another sociologist named Howard Becker, who was quite famous in his day (roughly the 30s to the 60s). Learn more about him, why we aren’t related, and who he was related to by clicking here.