Guy Hepp, a Cal State San Bernardino associate professor of anthropology, has been picked to be a contributing editor for the U.S. Library of Congress’ “Handbook of Latin American Studies.”

As a contributing editor, Hepp will be part of a network of 130 academics from various disciplines – including anthropology, art, literature, political economy and more – who provide a selective bibliography with annotations and bibliographic essays to the handbook, also known as HLAS, which are then edited by librarians in the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress.

“This position will have me reviewing a wide variety of published literature in English and Spanish related to Mexican archaeology (outside the Maya region) and writing synthetic essays assessing the state of archaeology in Mexico,” said Hepp, whose primary research emphasis is early complex societies of Mesoamerica.

According to its webpage on the Library of Congress website, “Since 1936, HLAS has made scholarly research on Latin America more easily accessible by identifying and describing books, journal articles, conference proceedings and papers, book chapters, maps and atlases, and—more recently—electronic resources (blogs, websites, online videos, etc.). Annually, the contributing editors receive and review 2,000-3,000 published works from the Library of Congress collections. Their descriptions are added to the HLAS database and their essays are published annually by the University of Texas Press.”

The opportunity came about at the recommendation of his former Ph.D. advisor at the University of Colorado, who was a contributing editor for many years, Hepp said. After reviewing Hepp’s publications, the Library’s social sciences editor extended the invitation for the editorship.

The post signals a new chapter in Hepp’s career, which he likened to moving from the early career to mid-career stage. “Recently, I’ve been asked more frequently to be a peer-reviewer, to write an invited book review for a journal, and now to be a contributing editor commenting on the status of published archaeology of Mexico. I’ve been a reviewer in both English and Spanish and have helped UNAM (the Autonomous University of Mexico) to assess their applicants for graduate study,” he said.

That work has helped establish him as an international scholar on the subject. And it’s also an extension of the CSUSB Department of Anthropology faculty’s scholarship.

“For a small group of professors, we’re active in the discipline and join other departments in offering a lot of educational value for our students,” Hepp said. “Teaching is important, of course, but we’re not just teachers. We’re actively engaged in the fields we study.”

In doing so, Hepp and his fellow faculty stay on the cutting edge in their field – and the students benefit from that.

“Everything I do in archaeology affects my teaching,” he said. “I think something this position will mean for our students, and for me, is that it will encourage me to be even more up to date on the (international) published research in Mexican archaeology in both English and Spanish.

“This should help me keep my class content current and ensure that our discussions are covering emerging issues and debates in the field,” Hepp said. “My students have reported that they appreciate seeing their professor as an active scholar in the field they are studying, and the contributing editor position will make me (and thus my students) even more aware of the current issues in the archaeology of Mexico.”