A Decade of Duke University Press

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As we enter a new decade, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at what was happening at Duke University Press ten years ago, in 2010, and consider how we plan to move forward in the 2020s.

Director of Duke University Press in 2010: Steve Cohn
Director in 2019: Dean Smith

We are excited to be starting a new decade at the Press with a new director. After serving as director for twenty-five years, Steve Cohn retired in June 2019 and Dean Smith took over our helm. Dean plans to continue our commitment to open access, deepen our partnerships with other units on campus, develop new products and business models, and expand into new subject areas.

Number of Employees
2010: 93
2019: 120

As we expand the number of books and journals we publish, we need more staff to acquire, edit, produce, and market our products. We’ve also been expanding our efforts to become a more inclusive workplace through the efforts of our Equity and Inclusion group. In 2019 over half our staff participated in initiatives sponsored by that group. Think you’d make a great addition to our team? Check out our job openings.

Number of Books Published
2010: 120
2019: 140

We’ve increased the number of titles we publish each year and expect to continue expanding as we enlarge our editorial team with a new Editorial Director in 2020.

Bestselling Books

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2010: African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston
It’s bittersweet to revisit our bestselling title of 2010, as jazz great Randy Weston passed away in 2018. Booklist called his autobiography “a moving testament to a life well lived.”

Living a Feminist Life2019: Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed
Our bestselling book of 2019 is also our bestselling book of the decade. Living a Feminist Life was called “an instant classic” by Bitch Magazine. And check out Sara Ahmed’s latest book What’s the Use?, published this October.

Top Selling Books of the Decade

Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed
Staying with the Trouble by Donna Haraway
Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett
The Mexico Reader edited by Gilbert M. Joseph and Timothy J. Henderson
Cruel Optimism by Lauren Berlant
The Affect Theory Reader edited by Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth
The Queer Art of Failure by Jack Halberstam
Liquidated by Karen Ho
The Cuba Reader edited by Aviva Chomsky, Barry Carr, Alfredo Prieto, and Pamela Maria Smorkaloff
Meeting the Universe Halfway by Karen Barad

Number of Open-Access Books
2010: 0
2019: 80+

We are pleased to participate in several open access programs, including TOME (where we have more open-access titles than any other university press) and Knowledge Unlatched. You can find most of our open access books on the OAPEN platform.

Number of Open-Access Journals

2010: 0
2019: 2

Our efforts to make scholarship widely available also include the publication of two fully open-access journals: Critical Times: Interventions in Global Critical Theory and Environmental Humanities.

Number of Journals Published

2010: 40
2019: 54

In 2020, we look forward to adding two more journals to our publishing program: History of the Present: A Journal of Critical History and the Romanic Review. We’ve enjoyed expanding our list in subject areas including Asian studies, gender and feminist studies, language and literature, mathematics, and more.

Most Popular Articles on Social Media

Published in 2010: “Creaky Voice: A New Feminine Voice Quality for Young Urban-Oriented Upwardly Mobile American Women?” by Ikuko Patricia Yuasa, American Speech 85:3

Published in 2019: “The Trump Effect: Postinauguration Changes in Marketplace Enrollment” by David Anderson and Paul Shafer, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 44:5

Social Media

Twitter (@DukePress) Followers
2010: 3200
2019: 33,800

Facebook (Duke University Press) Page Followers
2010: 1000
2019: 12,828

Social Media was still pretty new in 2010, but the Press has been on Twitter since 2008 and Facebook since 2007. Over the decade we’ve added presences on YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. Please join us on all these sites!

In the next decade, we will celebrate our centennial (2026) and we look forward to continuing our work publishing bold, progressive scholarship for many more decades.

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