Chris Uggen's Blog: out of <i>contexts</i>, into <i>utne</i>

Monday, September 01, 2008

out of contexts, into utne

well, the republican national convention is off to a muted start in st. paul, with politicians, delegates, and reporters looking south to hurricane gustav. undaunted, folks are convening in minnesota to share ideas, fellowship, and some truly outstanding concerts and cultural events. the convention will surely proceed in some form, as will the protests, the counter-protests, and the counter-counter-protests.

for me, an early rnc highlight has been last night's utne reader party at summit brewery. utne self-identifies as a digest "of independent ideas and alternative culture. Not right, not left, but forward thinking ... interested in creating a conversation about everything from the environment to the economy, politics to pop culture."

hmm. that last bit sounds something like our mission at contexts -- with the friendly amendment that we aim to bring sociology to conversations about the environment, the economy, politics, and pop culture. happily, a feature from our spring issue was reprinted in the current utne reader distributed to party guests -- robin simon's "the joys of parenthood, reconsidered."* while i'd like to see contexts build toward utne's six-figure circulation numbers, such reprints seem like positive steps for our magazine's public outreach mission.

i didn't do much schmoozing at the party, so i never met wonkette or matt yglesias. but i enjoyed good talk with some of my favorite local writers, as well as founding editor, eric utne, and current editor-in-chief, david schimke. i also met danielle maestretti, a quick-witted bibliophile with one of the coolest jobs in the world -- utne's librarian, cataloguer, and voracious reader of the 1,500 periodicals the magazine receives each month. here's hoping they find a few more contexts pieces to run in future issues.

*the handy canvas gift bag also included some fine organic chocolate, yoga dvds, natural soap, and free-trade coffee. mmm. i felt all clean and healthy just carrying it around.


At 9:43 PM, Blogger Tom Volscho said...

the attack on Connecticut delegates reeks of agent provacateurs

At 12:53 PM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

hey tom, there's been much local talk of provacateurs. hard to substantiate from a distance, i guess, but the stories strike me as having reasonable face validity.


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