Category Archives: University Press Week

University Press Week 2020 Friday Blog Tour: #RaiseUP Active Voices

Happy University Press Week 2020! Continue the blog tour by visiting these great offerings that illuminate how university presses raise up active voices:

University Press Week 2020 Thursday Blog Tour: #RaiseUP Scientific Voices

Happy University Press Week 2020! Continue the blog tour by visiting these great offerings that illuminate how university presses raise up scientific voices:

University Press Week 2020 Wednesday Blog Tour: #RaiseUP Local Voices

Happy University Press Week 2020! Continue the blog tour by visiting these great offerings that illuminate how university presses raise up local voices:

University Press Week 2020 Tuesday Blog Tour: #RaiseUP Creative Voices

Happy University Press Week 2020! This year’s theme, Raise UP, highlights the role that the university press community plays in elevating authors, subjects, and whole disciplines, bringing new perspectives, ideas, and voices to readers around the globe. Today on the blog tour, visit these great offerings that illuminate how university presses highlight creative voices:

#RaiseUP New Voices

Advisory committees and editorial boards play a key role in university press publishing. At the University of Wisconsin Press, the Press Committee is the guarantor of the press’s imprint, providing final oversight of the peer review process. Their discussions, comments, and questions produce valuable insights, critiques, and guidance to the press editors and director for current and future projects.

For University Press Week 2020, we are highlighting the voices of eight Press Committee members who bring unique new perspectives and ideas to the publishing process.

How do your academic discipline and experiences aid you as a member of the committee?

Anthony Cerulli: I specialize in the study of religion and medical humanities, with an area studies focus on South Asia. This background has helped me assess a wide range of manuscripts that come before the committee that contribute to these areas. I am also hopeful that I offer a helpful outsider’s view on work outside of my areas of expertise, such as the many works of fiction and manuscripts in European Studies.

Kathryn Ciancia: As academics, we know that writing, revising, and editing are processes that both take time and benefit from multiple perspectives. Having a team of people from different disciplines involved in a book can help to make it appealing to as wide a readership as possible.

Nan Enstad: My training and my career have been very interdisciplinary, crossing humanities and social sciences, which not only helps me understand the basis of more books being considered for publication for the press but also helps me understand disciplinary differences and boundaries. In graduate school, I gained training in history, African American studies, feminist studies, and cultural studies, focusing my work on people’s uses of cultural texts including film, popular fiction, and popular fashion. More recently, I’ve moved into Community and Environmental Sociology and study global capitalism, agriculture, labor, and food systems.

Kathryn McGarr: I enjoy being able to draw on my historical training and even simply my experiences as a critical reader to ask questions of the books we review and understand their contributions to their own conversations.

Sara McKinnon: I examine political rhetoric and communication about issues of violence, displacement, gender/sexuality, and human rights with a focus on the Americas. The University of Wisconsin Press has strong holdings in studies of Latin America and the Caribbean, human rights, and LGBT Studies. I apply my expertise in these subjects to assess the strength of the critical projects developed in the manuscripts we consider.

Nandini Pandey: We classics scholars call ourselves philologists—lovers of words. I love applying my love of words, my training in close reading, and my interest in meaning-making within a broader cultural context to my work on the UW Press Committee.

David Pavelich: My career has been built in academic libraries around the country, so I’ve been working with all kinds of books, journals, and other publications for years. Librarians are often generalists, so we take a broad view, and we’re naturally curious about lots of disciplines. As someone who is somewhat separated from academic debates, rivalries, and specializations, I think I bring an objectivity to the committee.

Porter Shreve: I’m a novelist, short story writer and essayist, and I direct the Creative Writing Program at UW, so I tend to lend my voice most often when the committee discusses creative projects. I’ve been very impressed with the range and quality of short story collections, novels and memoirs that have come before the committee. I’m also a screener for the Brittingham and Pollack Prizes in Poetry, which is one of the most respected university press book prizes in the country.

What do you find most fascinating about your role on the press committee?

Anthony Cerulli: I have written one book and recently went through peer review and contract negotiations for another one. Work on the Faculty Committee has opened my eyes to what happens on the press’s end of the book publication process, which, until my service on this committee, had been a little unclear to me. It’s wonderful to learn firsthand just how hard the editors and press’s staff work with authors, each other, and the faculty committee at UW Press, and I’m hopeful operations at most other university presses function this way, too.

Kathryn Ciancia: I’ve just been through the process of publishing my first book, so it’s been really enlightening to see things from the other perspective—that of a press. Plus, it’s just great fun to talk about books, including those in fields far outside of my own academic training, with a group of people who enjoy reading as much as I do!

Nan Enstad: On the press committee, I enjoy hearing about the editorial process and hearing others on the board respond to the topics at hand. I also enjoy reading the books UW Press is publishing!

Kathryn McGarr: Being on the Press Committee gives me a fantastic chance to read literature outside my discipline and enjoy works I normally would not have come across, from collections of short stories to histories of the Irish diaspora.

Sara McKinnon: It is so interesting to get a backstage view of the process of book making. I didn’t understand how much editors serve as advocates for the writers they work with, and just how many eyes are on a book before it goes into production. This experience on the board will undoubtedly shape how I develop my own future book projects and how I mentor colleagues and students who endeavor to publish their work.

Nandini Pandey: This is one of my most fulfilling and fascinating service commitments because it gives me an inside scoop into breaking ideas and trends in other fields, plus insight into things that affect every academic: the production of knowledge, the review and editing process, and the publishing industry. Through the press’s kaleidoscopic range of authors and projects, I get to learn about ideas, cultures, and disciplines that I’d otherwise rarely encounter in my ordinary scholarly life. So my work here redeems the joy in reading and love of imaginative travel that brought me into classics and academia in the first place.

David Pavelich: As a librarian, I’ve worked for years to acquire and provide access to university press books and journals, but I never had the opportunity to learn about university presses themselves. This has been a unique learning experience for me, a really exceptional look into the world of publishing. I’ve gained new insights into questions like, How does the move to e-books impact university presses? Or, How will a greater reliance on shared library collections impact university presses? Of course, it’s also been fascinating to see the results of new research before anyone else. The diversity of disciplines and subjects that the press publishes shows scholars exploring international archives, oral histories, and quantitative data. Librarians like me love to learn about scholars’ research methods and adventures.

Porter Shreve: As someone who submits manuscripts to presses and journals all the time and advises students about when and where to send out their own work, it’s been very helpful to understand the process from the publishing side. Creative Writing programs have such a focus on craft and technique that it’s useful for me to see some of the inner workings of marketing and editorial so my students have a better sense of what happens between the submission and publication of a book.

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.