Category Archives: University Press Week

University Press Week 2019 Friday Blog Tour: How to Practice Compassion

Happy University Press Week 2019! Continue the blog tour by visiting these great university press offerings that illuminate the role of university presses in moving national and international conversations forward on critical and complex issues:

  • Beacon Press sits down for a Q&A with Peter Jan Honigsberg, author of A Place Outside the Law: Forgotten Voices from Guantánamo.
  • Bucknell University Press offers a guest post from author Jason Farr, author of Novel Bodies: Disability and Sexuality in Eighteentgh-Century British Literature.
  • Columbia University Press shares a guest blog post from Elizabeth Segal on how social empathy can help you become a more compassionate person.
  • Penn State University Press editor-in-chief discusses how their Graphic Medicine series can catalyze the practice of compassion.
  • University of Illinois Press features their new Transformations series, radically committed to transformative approaches to knowledge production and social justice.
  • University of Nebraska Press includes an excerpt on compassion from The Heart of Torah by Rabbi Shai Held.
  • University of South Carolina Press quotes from Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement about the importance of inclusivity and support within a diverse queer community.
  • University of Toronto Press acquiring editor Natalie Fingerhut will delve into their new imprint, New Jewish Press, exploring the importance of compassion and empathy.
  • University of Washington Press‘s M’Bilia Meekers and Julie Fergus have a conversation about the intersections between compassion, emotional intelligence, and marketing university press books.

University Press Week 2019 Thursday Blog Tour: How to Build Community

Happy University Press Week 2019! Continue the blog tour by visiting these great university press offerings that illuminate the role of university presses in moving national and international conversations forward on critical and complex issues:

  • Athabasca University Press shares three books that offer tools for building and sustaining community.
  • Columbia University Press reviews eight titles about New York City communities.
  • Georgetown University Press explores their new mission statement and the importance of local and global communities of readers.
  • Johns Hopkins University Press writes about Lawrence Brown’s forthcoming The Black Butterfly: Why We Must Make Black Neighborhoods Matter and considers how scholarly publishing can be a form of activism.
  • MIT Press talks about how the MIT Press Bookstore uniquely sits at the intersection of publishing, scholarship, authors, and community.
  • Princeton University Press highlights some of the new ways Princeton University Press has focused on community building.
  • Syracuse University Press features a guest post from Sean Kirst, the bestselling author of The Soul of Central New York.
  • Temple University Press showcases their new book, Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia, and how it fostered community building.
  • University of Michigan Press posts on how they have been creating and developing community around digital humanities scholarship which needs engagement from authors, readers, publishers, and libraries.
  • University of Nebraska Press author Katya Cengel writes on how learning & telling the stories of others can build community.
  • University of North Carolina Press hosts a Q&A with Lana Dee Povitz, author of Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food Justice.
  • University of Toronto Press discusses building a community for the Journal of Scholarly Publishing as part of its 50th anniversary.
  • University Press of Kansas describes working with local companies to increase awareness of the press and support independent breweries, bookstores, shops and a new literary festival.
  • Vanderbilt University Press looks at a local organization that they are partnering with—the Nashville Adult Literacy Council—and the ways it actively builds a community of learners and volunteers.

University Press Week 2019 Wednesday Blog Tour: How to Be an Environmental Steward

Happy University Press Week 2019! Continue the blog tour by visiting these great university press offerings that illuminate the role of university presses in moving national and international conversations forward on critical and complex issues:

  • Bucknell University Press highlights a guest post by Tim Wenzell on why ecocriticism makes us better stewards of nature.
  • Columbia University Press shares tips from the author of Live Sustainably Now about tips to decreasing your carbon footprint.
  • Duke University Press hosts a round table to answer the a question about one thing that more people need to understand about the current global climate crisis.
  • Oregon State University Press author Marcy Cottrell Houle discusses the conservationists and activists who have been instrumental in preserving Oregon’s natural treasures.
  • University of California Press posts an excerpt from Sarah Jaquette Ray’s forthcoming book, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety.
  • University of Minnesota Press previews Red Gold by Jennifer Telesca, on the managed extinction of the giant bluefin tuna.
  • University of Pittsburgh Press author Patricia Demarco has written about four simple ways that every person can become an environmental steward.
  • University of South Carolina Press features photos from the authors of Carolina Bays about preservation of these unique ecological systems.
  • University of Toronto Press sales rep Alex Keys will discuss the ways in which he is able to merge his job with his desire to be a better steward for the environment.
  • University Press of Mississippi presents an essay from Jessica H. Schexnayder, author of Fragile Grounds: Louisiana’s Endangered Cemeteries.
  • Yale University Press talks to authors connected with A Better Planet about actionable steps to help the environment.

University Press Week 2019 Tuesday Blog Tour: How to Speak Up and Speak Out

Happy University Press Week 2019! Continue the blog tour by visiting these great university press offerings that illuminate the role of university presses in moving national and international conversations forward on critical and complex issues:

  • Fordham University Press features a post from Joan Marans Dim, writer, historian, and co-author of Lady Liberty: An Illustrated History of America’s Most Storied Woman.
  • For Harvard Education Press, Tracey Benson, co-author of Unconscious Bias in Schools, writes about speaking out about racism and education.
  • Northwestern University Press blogs about Lee Bey’s Southern Exposure, a look at Chicago South Side architecture that also illuminates the caustic effects of disinvestment in the area.
  • Syracuse University Press shares insights from Kelly Belanger, the author of Invisible Seasons Title IX and the Fight for Equity in College Sports.
  • University of Arizona Press is running a post on Roberto Rodriguez’s new book, inspired by his own experience with police violence.
  • University of British Columbia Press posts an excerpt of From Where I Stand by Jody Wilson-Raybould, a politician and Indigenous Canadian speaking on Indigenous Reconciliation and self-determination.
  • University of Nebraska Press offers a guest post from Tim Hillegonds, author of The Distance Between.
  • University of Regina Press highlights recent publications that show resistance against power in action.
  • University of South Carolina Press author Will Gravely will talk about how to call out racism.
  • University of Toronto Press Journals division staff share why they chose Publons to support the peer review community and ensure peer reviewers are publicly recognized for their work.

#ReadUP on Global Citizenship

For University Press Week 2019, we are highlighting a collection of books and journal articles that provide insight and comprehensive perspectives on global topics. Whether challenging the conversation around the representations of women in Africa, addressing the role of public presentation in papering over an unchanging power dynamic, or working for social justice by documenting the considerable benefits of early life Medicaid coverage, these authors are helping to shift the conversation towards more equitable and sustainable policies for all.

Holding the World Together Book Cover

In Holding the World Together, edited by Nwando Achebe and Claire Robertson, contributions from leading scholars focus on agency and avoid stereotypical depictions of African women, reframing the way we think about what we know and how we know it. Essays provide critical perspectives on representation, women’s roles in national liberation movements, and their unique challenges in the areas of health and disease.

“The field of African women’s and gender studies is more than abstractly engaged in the daily lives of those it studies, delineating contemporary political, economic, and social implications of African realities. Thus, our changing perspectives are driven not just by, for instance, the desire to contest ongoing negative stereotypes, but also by contemporary history. Recent African women’s and gender scholarship has emphasized political activism and women’s empowerment, in line with rising political power by women in some countries. Researchers join the subjects of their studies in seeking improvements in the situations of ordinary African women in a variety of contexts. Driving this activist impulse is the perception (and reality) that many African women face increasing threats to their well-being with respect to legal, political, economic, and social factors. Decisions made elsewhere in the world capitalist economy often distort African local economies, and political agency and choices are curtailed by outside pressures, corruption, and an electorate often with little formal education. Economies falter in the face of man-made and natural disasters and political corruption, while a rapid pace of social change involving urbanization, social and geographical dislocations, and religious movements fosters innovations in forms of organization. Contributors engage these issues as they relate to women and gender in Africa, paying particular attention to changing notions of gender identity and African women’s perceptions.” (Achebe & Robertson, 8)


How do you motivate parents to spend more time reading to their children? In the article “Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Parental Engagement: The Parents and Children Together Intervention” from the Journal of Human Resources, Susan E. Mayer, Ariel Kalil, Philip Oreopoulos, and Sebastian Gallegos designed an experiment using a digital library on an electronic tablet. The program used behavioral tools (“reminders, goal-setting, and social rewards”) to more than double the amount of time parents spent reading to their children over a six-week period. If such interventions can increase parental engagement in disadvantaged families, they could go a long way toward bridging the skills gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children, a gap that can be observed even before children start school, and which persists throughout school years.


Joanna Allan reveals how authoritarian regimes in Equatorial Guinea and Morocco, in partnership with Western states and corporations, create a public perception of promoting equality while simultaneously undermining women’s rights in order to cash in on natural resources. Silenced Resistance brings awareness to this genderwashing, and how it plays an integral role in determining the composition of public resistance to authoritarian regimes.

  • Silenced Resistance Cover Image
  • Woman sitting near building
  • Women standing in a marketplace

“Sultana could hear the tourists outside chattering and laughing, spectators to Marrakesh’s most famous square. . . . It is easy to miss the architectural understatement of the low-rise, beige Police Commission that sits anemically in one corner of the Djemaa el Fna square. The building’s ability to merge blandly into the background is opportune for the Moroccan regime, which shows a heavily made-up face to the country’s visitors. The Anglophone guidebooks are an ally to Morocco. They make the best of the story of how the Djemaa el Fna (Assembly of the Dead) got its name: ‘heretics’ and ‘criminals’ were tortured here centuries ago, says Lonely Planet. Centuries ago. If the hint of a scream was today to escape from the commission, it would have to fight for attention with the hammers of souq ironmongers, the clashing brass cups of the water carriers, the squeals of dancing monkeys, or the supernatural drone of the snake charmers hypnotizing the guidebook writers. Incidentally, the mouths of many charmed cobras are sewn shut.” (Allan, 3-4)


The United States’ current energy policy attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enforcing standards on the transportation and electricity sectors, promoting the use of renewable fuels. Another possible approach is a carbon tax, which would impose a fee for burning carbon-based fuels. In their article “What Is the Cost of a Renewable Energy–Based Approach to Greenhouse Gas Mitigation?” from Land Economics, Anthony Oliver and Madhu Khanna compare the existing regulations with this alternative, determining that the global emissions reduction achieved by a carbon tax is more than 50% higher than the current policy.


This month, we publish Elusive Justice, Donny Meertens’s new book on the restoration of land rights in Colombia during its transition to peace. There were significant challenges in making the promise of the Victims and Land Restitution Law real for rural women. Meertens contends that women’s advocacy organizations must have a prominent role in overseeing transitional policies in order to create a more just society.

“The three themes of this book—land restitution, gender equity, and reparations—are part of the historical roots of the conflict and core elements of the peace process. . . . Gender equity and redress for the specific forms of violence inflicted on women have been recognized by government and rebels as necessary for building a more inclusive democracy in a postconflict society. Justice, in its multiple forms and interpretations (from criminal to social, from official system to subjective experience), constitutes the backbone of a lasting peace.” (Meertens, 6)


 In “The Long-Term Effects of Early Life Medicaid Coverage” from the Journal of Human Resources, Sarah Miller and Laura R. Wherry study individuals who gained access to Medicaid coverage while in utero and during the first year of life through an expansion of Medicaid that occurred from 1979 to 1993. Because this early period is crucial to development, the authors found that the impacts of this policy shift continued into adulthood, with the cohort experiencing “lower rates of chronic conditions…and fewer hospitalizations related to diabetes and obesity,” as well as increased high school graduation rates.


University Press Week 2018 Friday Blog Tour: #TurnItUP Science

Continue the blog tour today by visiting these great university press offerings:

  • Princeton University Press director Christie Henry writes about the evolution of science publishing at university presses, focusing on how these programs depend on creating equitable and inclusive populations of authors.
  • Columbia University Press acquisitions editor Miranda Martin discusses why it’s importand for university presses to publish in the sciences.
  • Rutgers University Press talks about Finding Einstein’s Brain by Frederick Lepore, MD.
  • University of Colorado Press shares a post from author Char Miller about how imagination requires hope: at once a mode of survival and a form of resistance.
  • Toronto University Press reaches back to the archives of The Heritage Project to highlight some key titles on the history of science.
  • University of Georgia Press posts the latest episode of their podcast: a talk William Bryan gave recently at the Decatur Book Festival for his book The Price of Permanence: Nature and Business in the New South.

Hope you enjoy all these great #TurnItUP posts!

University Press Week 2018 Thursday Blog Tour: #TurnItUP History

Continue the blog tour today by visiting these great university press offerings:

  • University Press of Kansas celebrates the passion of military history readers by interviewing authors, critics and customers.
  • University of Nebraska Press discusses the importance of Midwestern history with Jon K. Lauck.
  • University of Georgia Press spotlights their new series, Gender and Slavery.
  • University of Rochester Press interviews Angel David Nieves about the role of African American women in the design and construction of schools in the post-Reconstruction South.
  • Rutgers University Press focuses on their recently published memoir by acclaimed cultural historian H. Bruce Franklin, Crash Course: From the Good War to the Forever War.
  • University of California Press shares an excerpt from Shaped by the West, Volume 2: A History of North America from 1850 by William Deverell & Anne F. Hyde.
  • Wilfred Laurier University Press explores how the Great War impacted Wittgenstein’s philosophy with author Nil Santiáñez.
  • Beacon Press takes a look at their ReVisioning Amerian History and ReVisioning American History for Young Readers Series.
  • Harvard University Press executive editor Lindsay Waters looks back on the press’s history of publishing philosopher Bruno Latour.
  • University of Alabama Press presents roundup of new and forthcoming history books celebrating Alabama’s bicentennial.
  • MIT Press has a Q&A with longtime editor Roger Conover about his history at the MIT Press.

Hope you enjoy all these great #TurnItUP posts!

University Press Week 2018 Wednesday Blog Tour: #TurnItUP the Neighborhood

Continue the blog tour today by visiting these great university press offerings:

  • University of Illinois Press announces their new regional trade imprint, Flame & Flight Books, which will tell the unknown stories of the heartland’s unique places, people, and culture.
  • Syracuse University Press writes about their encyclopedic grasp on the region they hold dear.
  • Northwestern University interviews Harvey Young, founding series editor, about the “Second to None” Chicago regional series.
  • Columbia University Press features excerpts from some of their newest and most poplular publications about New York and its neighborhoods.
  • Rutgers University Press discusses Walking Harlem by Karen Taborn, recently featured in a New York Times roundup of walking tour books.
  • University of Washington Press shares some highlights from an interview by prison scholar Dan Berger with John McCoy, co-author of Concrete Mama: Prison Profiles from Walla Walla, soon to be released in its second edition.
  • University of Toronto Press writes about connections to their neighborhoods.
  • Ohio State Press takes a behind-the-scenes look at Time and Change, a forthcoming book celebrating the University’s 150th year.
  • University Press of Mississippi posts a Q&A with Catherine Egley Waggoner and Laura Egley Taylor, authors of Realizing Our Place: Real Southern Women in a Mythologized Land.
  • Oregon State University Press talks to journalist John Dodge about the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 and his forthcoming title, A Deadly Wind.
  • University of Manitoba Press talks to GIS specialist and author Adrian Werner about how he used mapping to make a Metis community in Winnipeg visible.
  • Following Temple University Founder Russell Conwell’s ideas of Acres of Diamonds, Temple University Press mines riches in its backyard.
  • Fordham University Press discusses the changing neighborhood of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant with Ron Howell.
  • University of Alberta Press author Carissa Halton explores what is it like to move into a neighborhood that was given a zero quality of life rating.
  • University of Georgia Press hosts a Q&A with Sandra Beasley, editor of a poetry collection that touches upon uniquely southern connections to food.
  • University of Texas Press presents an interview with Lance Scott Walker about his oral history of Houston Rap.

Hope you enjoy all these great #TurnItUP posts!

Complicity, Complacency, and #TurnItUP Politics

For University Press Week 2018, we are highlighting an interview with Michael J. Lazzara, author of Civil Obedience: Complicity and Complacency in Chile since Pinochet which was published in May as part of the Critical Human Rights series. We spoke with Lazzara about civilian complicity, complacency, and the implications of Chile’s political history on the country today.

Q. Why is it so important to talk about civilian complicity now, more than forty years after the September 11, 1973, coup that put General Augusto Pinochet in power?

A. In the midst of the Cold War, the Pinochet regime (1973-1990) came to power as a violent reaction against democratically elected President Salvador Allende’s “Peaceful Road to Socialism.” Pinochet’s seventeen-year dictatorship resulted in the murder, disappearance, and exile of thousands of Chilean citizens who longed to build a more just and equitable society, as well as the torture of tens of thousands more. Throughout the 1990s, the early years of Chile’s transition to democracy, people almost exclusively attributed the Pinochet regime’s human rights violations to the military, the most egregious perpetrators. Yet we know that dictatorships are always supported behind the scenes by a cast of complicit civilians who play roles—major or minor—in perpetuating the violence and who, through complex processes of rationalization, manage to turn a knowing blind eye to the torture and murder of their fellow citizens.

The stark reality is that many of those who supported the Pinochet regime “behind the scenes” in the 1970s and 1980s remain active in politics, business, and other sectors today. Victims, their families, artists, academics, journalists, lawyers, and concerned citizens have struggled for decades to fight for memory and create a culture of respect for human rights. To a great extent, they have succeeded. But we can’t easily forget that memory and human rights constantly find themselves under attack from political and economic forces that still perpetuate certain violent attitudes fostered under dictatorship.

Q. Is the public discourse of these civilian accomplices relevant for thinking about the “post-truth” era in which we’re living?

A. Definitely! My book is not only about civilian complicity in Chile but also about how civilian accomplices remember and justify their past actions and commitments. I use the phrase “fictions of mastery” to talk about the vital lies (or partial truths) that such accomplices spin, both publicly and privately, in order to live with themselves or to convince others that they were acting in the “best interest” of the country or out of a sense of patriotic duty.

Clearly, our contemporary scene is full of individuals who spin stories to advance particular agendas or maintain their hold on political and economic power. My book deconstructs and “outs” such self-serving fictions—and actors—while also advocating for a need for accountability (moral, ethical, and even judicial, when applicable).

Q. Your work provocatively suggests a relationship between complicity and complacency. How are these two concepts linked?

A. The question is important because it forces us to ask: Who is complicit? My book answers this question boldly, even somewhat controversially. It asserts that the spectrum of complicity is vast—that it includes not only those who participated directly in the dictatorship’s crimes but also those who knew what was going on but stood by and did nothing. Even more assertively, I argue that the vast spectrum of complicity in Chile may very well include certain people who years ago fought for revolutionary change and social justice and who now, decades later, wholeheartedly embrace the neoliberal model that the General and his civilian economists espoused. I call these revolutionaries-turned-neoliberals “complacent subjects” and wonder if their political stance, interested in protecting their own status and wealth, might be construed as a form of complicity with the dictatorship’s legacy.

Q. The Chilean dictatorship ended nearly three decades ago. Many analysts praise the country’s transition to democracy as highly “successful.” Why is it important that we continue thinking today about the legacies of the Pinochet regime?

A. Many people, especially economists outside of Chile, have called Chile an “economic miracle” because its economy did relatively well when compared to other countries in the region. This may indeed be true by some measures. But we cannot forget that Chile’s economic strength has its origins in a dark history of torture, disappearances, and murders. We also can’t forget that, despite its economic growth, Chile remains one of the most unequal countries in the world. Moreover, socioeconomic inequality has sparked massive protests and deep disenchantment with political elites from across the ideological spectrum.

The past does not go away. Anyone who goes to Chile today can see and feel signs of the dictatorship’s legacy everywhere. It’s palpable! The political and economic class that sympathized with the dictatorship is now back in power, and the dictatorship’s constitution, penned in 1980, remains in effect. There are still families who have not located their disappeared loved ones. And despite the valiant efforts of those who have struggled to create a culture of human rights and justice, every so often people in positions of power appear in the media denying past human rights violations or explaining them away. Schools avoid talking about the recent past, particularly at the primary and secondary levels. Lots of families remain politically divided. For all of these reasons, it is just as important now as it was in the 1980s and 1990s that we continue the fight for accountability, truth, and justice.

When I began researching Civil Obedience, eight years ago, almost no one was talking about civilian complicity with the South American dictatorships. The topic was complete public taboo. Over the past five or so years, important works of journalism have started to address the subject, and it is now commonplace to hear people in Chile use the term “civilian-military dictatorship” (dictadura cívico-militar). I hope that my book will help fuel an honest debate about the uncomfortable ways in which Chile’s brutally violent past still maintains a hold on the present.

Michael J. Lazzara is a professor of Latin American literature and cultural studies at the University of California, Davis. His several books include Chile in Transition: The Poetics and Politics of Memory and Luz Arce and Pinochet’s Chile: Testimony in the Aftermath of State Violence.

Critical Human Rights
Steve J. Stern and Scott Straus, Series Editors 

 

University Press Week 2018 Monday Blog Tour: #TurnItUP Arts and Culture

Happy University Press Week! Begin the blog tour today by visiting these great university press offerings: 

  • Duke University Press writes about how partnerships with museums have helped them build a strong art list. 
  •  Athabasca University Press offers a playlist by author Mark A. McCutcheon of all the songs featured in his book The Medium Is the Monster: Canadian Adaptations of Frankenstein and the Discourse of Technology
  • Rutgers University Press dedicates a post to our their book Junctures in Women’s Leadership: The Arts by Judith Brodsky and Ferris Olin.
  • Over at Yale University Press, check out a post by author Dominic Bradbury about how immigrants enrich a country’s art and architecture. 
  • University of Minnesota Press is running a post about their author Adrienne Kennedy, who will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame on Nov. 12th.

Hope you enjoy all these great #TurnItUP posts!