Author: Laura Sell

Publicity and Advertising Manager, Duke University Press

Personhood Is a Weapon by Eli Clare

Today’s post is an excerpt from Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure by Eli Clare, with an introduction by the author.

In this political moment as hate violence is on the rise, Trump is trying to ban Muslim refugees from the country, and the Attorney General has blamed disabled students for the lack of civility and disciplinbrilliant-imperfection-covere in public schools; so many groups of marginalized peoples are being treated as unworthy and disposable, essentially denied full personhood. The following meditation on personhood is excerpted from my newly released book, Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure. I wrote it thinking about white disabled woman Terri Schiavo, who died over a decade ago after a well-publicized and protracted legal struggle over ending her life. But I could as easily have been writing about significantly disabled Black lesbian teenager Jerika Bolan, who after expressing a desire to die wasn’t provided counseling and community support. Rather she was allowed to commit medically sanctioned suicide six months ago. Or I could have written about the unnamed Salvadoran asylum seeker, who in mid-February collapsed at a Texas ICE detention center, was taken to a hospital, diagnosed with a brain tumor, and then in the midst of treatment forcibly taken back to the detention center. If Jerika Bolan had been granted full personhood, she’d still be alive; if the Salvadoran asylum seeker had been granted full personhood, she wouldn’t be locked up in a detention center. More than ever, I believe personhood can be used as a weapon.

Some of us are granted personhood as our birthright, but others are required to prove and defend it every day. And when we fail this perverse test, we’re in trouble. Listen. I want us to remember Terri Schiavo. Debates about her raged in the news in 2004 and 2005.

Whatever happens after we die, our body-minds composting back to earth and air, I hope it’s more peaceful than Terri Schiavo’s last few days as she died of dehydration. Everyone — her parents, her husband, her doctors, the media — had an opinion about her and the feeding tube that had just been removed from her stomach.

She was a white woman who collapsed one day, her body-mind changing radically in a matter of minutes as oxygen stopped flowing to her brain and then started again. Some say she lost her ability to communicate, to think, to feel. Or perhaps we lost our capacity to listen. We’ll never know what floated beneath her skin. I want us to mourn for her.

Pundits and reporters, activists and scholars have written about her endlessly. I don’t know why I’m adding to their pile of words, except my memory of her won’t leave me alone.

She was a heterosexual woman whose husband decided she’d rather die than be disabled. Her hands curled, stiffened, joints freezing into contraction. He asserted his patriarchal ownership, refusing to let nurses slide rolled towels into her hands to help loosen her muscles. Nor would he allow them to teach her to swallow again, even though there was every sign that she could. He spent all his court-awarded settlement money on lawyers rather than care, comfort, and assistive technology. What words or fluttering images did she hold in her muscles and bones?

So many people surrounding Terri Schiavo assumed that she knew and felt nothing. Over and over again neurologists, journalists, judges made decisions about her body-mind based on the beliefs that language and self-awareness make us worthy, that death is better than disability, that withdrawing the basic human rights of food and water can be acts of compassion.

I could ponder self-consciousness, spiritual connection, and the divide between human and nonhuman. I could argue with the bioethicists who separate humanness from personhood, declaring pigs and chimpanzees to have more value than infants and significantly disabled people. But really, I’m not interested. I want us to rage for her.

She was a woman living in a hospital bed, referred to as a vegetable more than once. Did she lie in a river of shadow and light, pressure and sound? That too, we will never know. When she died, did we call her name?

Body-minds have value. Certainly I mean our own human selves, but I also mean heron, firefly, weeping willow. I mean dragonfly, birch, barn swallow. I mean goat and bantam rooster, mosquito and wood frog, fox and vulture — the multitude of beings that make home on this planet. I mean all body-minds, regardless of personhood.

She appeared to track the motion of balloons across her hospital room and grinned lopsidedly into the camera. Her life hung between a husband who said one thing and parents who said another, between legal pronouncements and diagnostic judgments. Do we remember her? I don’t mean the editorials, the pro-life versus pro-choice rhetoric, the religious and secular arguments, the political protest and vigil staged outside her hospice, the last-minute drama as Florida’s governor Jeb Bush and the U.S. Congress tried to intervene. I mean: do we remember her?

Too many of us acted as if Terri Schiavo’s body-mind stopped being her own. Depending on who we were and what stake we had in her life or death, we projected our fear, belief, hope, disgust, love, certainty onto her.

I’m trying to say that life and death sometimes hangs on an acknowledgement of personhood. Trying to say that personhood is used all too often as a weapon. Trying to say that while personhood holds tremendous power, its definitions are always arbitrary. Trying to say—I stutter over the gravity of those words.

Copyright Duke University Press, 2017. To order Brilliant Imperfection from us at a 30% discount, enter coupon code E17CLARE at checkout.

 

Congratulations to Our Award-Winning Designers

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Congratulations are again in order for our book designers, who have been honored by the Association of American University Presses for their book and cover designs. This year, 241 books, 2 Journals and 320 jacket and cover designs were submitted for a total of 563 entries.  The jurors carefully selected 50 books and 50 jackets and covers as the very best examples from this pool of excellent design.

Amy Ruth Buchanan was honored for her interior design of Performance by Diana Taylor and Natalie Smith received recognition for her cover design of the same book.

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Heather Hensley was honored for her cover design of Eating the Ocean by Elspeth Probyn.

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And Natalie Smith was also recognized for her cover design of My Life with Things by Elizabeth Chin.

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Congratulations to these talented staff members!

Lauren Pond Wins 2016 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize

“We find ourselves at a moment when photo books are as important as ever, because they are concrete statements of artistic vision, essential counterweights in the ‘Ocean of Images’ that we swim through every day.”
—Peter Barberie, judge, 2016 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography

Pastor Randy “Mack” Wolford prays for a man during a service at the Church of the Lord Jesus in Jolo, West Virginia, September 2011. Photography by Lauren Pond.

 

Congratulations to Lauren Pond, a photographer based in Columbus, Ohio, who was selected by curator Peter Barberie of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to win the eighth biennial First Book Prize in Photography for her color series Test of Faith that document, as Pond writes, “a family of Pentecostal Holiness serpent handlers that I have photographed since 2011.”

Pond says, “Serpent handlers, also known as ‘Signs Followers,’ hold a literal interpretation of a verse in the New Testament’s Gospel of Mark, which states that, among other abilities, true believers shall be able to ‘take up serpents.’ Despite scores of deaths from snakebites and the closure of numerous churches, there remains a small contingent of serpent handlers devoted to keeping the practice alive. Who are the serpent handlers? What motivates them to keep going? These are questions that I sought to answer when I first traveled to West Virginia and met Pastor Randy ‘Mack’ Wolford, one of the best-known Signs Following preachers in the region.”

Pond photographed the events that followed and has continued her relationship with Mack’s family. As she says, “I no longer see my images as being about serpent-handling practice and culture. Instead, they serve as a record of my rich friendship with the Wolfords, our shared experiences, and the valuable insights they have given me into the tenets of their faith—namely, forgiveness and redemption.”

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First Book Prize judge Peter Barberie, Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art selected Pond’s photographs to win from a group of nine finalists because her “long-term documentation of the Wolford family emerged as a unique, cogent, and powerful topic for publication. Lauren Pond plunges us into the hothouse atmosphere of their faith. Through her photographs I can almost feel the physical strain of Mack’s worship, and I long to hear the song that his mother, Snook, sings as he accompanies her on guitar. Who are these purposeful, vibrant people so different from myself? Test of Faith commands this question and prompts me to consider the basis and limitations of my own worldview.”

Pond receives a grant of $3,000, inclusion in a website devoted to presenting the work of the prizewinners, and publication of a book of photography. Barberie will write the introduction, and Pond an afterword, to the book, which is forthcoming in November 2017 from Duke University Press in association with CDS Books of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Pond will also have a solo exhibition in Duke’s Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery, and the photographs will then be placed in the library’s Archive of Documentary Arts.

Lauren Pond, a documentary photographer who specializes in faith and religion, is currently the multimedia content producer for the American Religious Sounds Project within The Ohio State University’s Center for the Study of Religion. She also manages an art gallery and works on freelance projects across the country. She received her Master of Arts degree in photojournalism from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication in 2014, and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and art from Northwestern University in 2009. Pond’s photographs have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, and have been recognized by the Magnum/Inge Morath Foundations, the Lucie Foundation, FotoVisura, Photo District News, College Photographer of the Year, and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, among others. She has spoken about her work at universities and conferences across the United States.

The CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is awarded by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the Honickman Foundation.

 

A Peruvian Punk Playlist

Shane Greene’s new book Punk and Revolution: Seven More Interpretations of Peruvian Reality is about the rise of an underground arts and music scene during Peru’s period of massive political violence between the Maoist Shining Path and a repressive state apparatus. Here is his playlist of many of the songs mentioned, or analyzed in depth in the book.

While not a definitive list, this is an excellent sampling of “rock subterráneo” music from 1980s Lima, Peru.  With a couple of vinyl exceptions, most of the music circulated in “demo” cassette format, and the songs selected represent a variety of musical sounds inspired by punk, post-punk, and hardcore genres that arose in the late 1970s and evolved into the present.

Band: Anti
Song:  ¿A quien quieres engañar?

Band: Autopsia
Song:  Mayoría equivocada

Band: Ataque Frontal
Song:  Ya no formo parte de esto

Band: Delirios Krónikos
Song: Bingo

Band: Curriculum Mortis
Song:  Decapitando curas

Band:  El Cuervo Sucio
Song: Hacía las cárceles

Band: Erecto Maldonado
Song: Venga a vivir a Ayacucho

Band: Eutanasia
Song:  Ratas callejeras

Band:  Éxodo
Song: Rock en Lima la Podrida

Band:  G3
Song: Antisocial

Band:  Guerrilla Urbana
Song:  Eres una pose

Band: KAOS
Song: Ayacucho – centro de opresión

Band: Kaos General
Song:  Botas militares

Band: Leusemia
Song: Astalculo

Band:  María T-ta y el Empujón Brutal
Song: La Desbarrancada

Band:  Narcosis
Song:  Destruir

Band: Q.E.P.D. Carreño
Song: Mi vida agoniza

Band: Salón Dadá
Song:  Gente insaciable

Band: Sociedad de Mierda
Song:  Púdrete pituco

Band:  Voz Propia
Song:  Hacía las cárceles

Band: Zcuela Crrada
Song: La esquina es la misma

To save 30% on Punk and Revolution, use coupon code E16PUNK at checkout on our website.

 

Happy Birthday, Margaret Randall!

randall-f15-author-photo-courtesy-albuquerque-the-magazineToday we wish writer and activist Margaret Randall best wishes on her eightieth birthday. To celebrate, we are offering a 30% discount on her in-stock books with coupon E16MRBDY.

Randall has lived an exciting life, living among New York’s abstract expressionists in the 1950s and early ’60s, sharing the rebellion of the Beats, participating in the Mexican student movement of 1968, living in Cuba during the second decade of that country’s revolution (1969-1980), residing in Nicaragua during the first four years of the Sandinista project (1980-1984), and visiting North Vietnam during the last months of the war there (1974). In the 1980s she fought a five-year battle to regain her U.S. citizenship, after the U.S. government attempted to deport her.  In 1990 she was awarded the Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett grant for writers victimized by political repression; and in 2004 was the first recipient of PEN New Mexico’s Dorothy Doyle Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and Human Rights Activism.

Randall has published over 100 books, and we’re pleased that she has chosen to publish some of her most recent titles with us. Her editor Gisela Fosado says, “Looking back, it was a pretty gutsy move to contact Margaret Randall to work with me as an editor.  I was just starting out in my book publishing career and I hadn’t edited a single book.  And yet here I was, contacting one of the most prominent, eloquent and prolific authors writing about revolutionary Latin America to see if she would consider working with me.  Margaret and I immediately connected and she made me feel like I was one of the best editors she ever had. She launched my confidence and my career.  Four years and five Duke books later, I can’t imagine living life without Margaret as one of my closest friends.”

978-0-8223-5592-2_prChe on My Mind is the first book of Margaret Randall’s that we published, in 2013. The book is an impressionistic look at the life, death, and legacy of Che Guevara. Recalling an era and this figure, Randall writes, “I am old enough to remember the world in which [Che] lived. I was part of that world, and it remains a part of me.” Writing about the book in Left History, Budd Hall said, “Perhaps only a poet could capture the complexities of the life, lives, myth and myths of Che. . . . [I]n the able and creative capacities of Margaret Randall, the many verses of Che’s life are woven into an epic poem.”

In 2015, we published Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Haydée SantamaríaRevolutionary: She Led by Transgression. In this intimate portrait, Margaret Randall tells the story of her friend Haydée Santamaría, the only woman to participate in every phase of the Cuban Revolution. Although unknown outside Cuba, Santamaría was part of Fidel Castro’s inner circle and played a key role in post-revolutionary Cuba’s political and artistic development.

when-rains-became-floodsRandall is also well known as a translator, and in 2015 we published her translation of When Rains Became Floods: A Child Soldier’s Story by Lurgio Gavilán Sánchez.  As a child soldier, Gavilán Sánchez fought for both the Peruvian guerilla insurgency Shining Path and the Peruvian military during the Peruvian Civil War. After escaping the war, he became a Franciscan priest. His book is being made into a movie in Peru.

Only the RoadThis fall, we’ve brought out Randall’s Only the Road/Solo el camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry. Featuring her translations of the work of over fifty poets from diverse backgrounds born between 1902 and 1981, it is the most complete bilingual anthology of Cuban poetry available to an English readership.

RandallFThis spring we are excited to be publishing Randall’s next book, Exporting Revolution: Cuba’s Global Solidarity. In this timely book,  Randall explores the Cuban Revolution’s impact on the outside world, tracing Cuba’s international outreach in healthcare, disaster relief, education, literature, art, liberation struggles, and sports to show how this outreach is a fundamental characteristic of the Revolution and of Cuban society. It will be out in April 2017.

Happy Birthday, Margaret Randall! Thank you for all these books and for all your hard work promoting them. We look forward to your next project.

Order any of Margaret Randall’s in-stock titles and save 30% using coupon code E16MRBDY on our website.

 

 

Save 40% on Gift Books Today Only

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Just getting started on your holiday shopping? Got one or two gifts left to get? Today is the final day of our special Cyber Monday sale, so get those gifts now at 40% off. We’ve got lots of general interest titles for all your friends and family.

978-0-8223-6272-2For poetry lovers on your list, we suggest several recent titles. Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity by Alexis Pauline Gumbs is an urgent but lyrical collection of poems depicting scenes of fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. Following the death of Fidel Castro, Cuba is in the news, and poet Margaret Randall says, “Anyone who wants to know what Cubans are thinking and doing should read Cuban poetry.” Sample a wide variety of Cuban poems in her new bilingual collection Only the Road/Solo el camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry. For readers who want to know about the lives behind the poetry, Love, H: The Letters of Helene Dorn and Hettie Jones offers an intimate look at the lifelong friendship between two artists.

Shopping for music lovers? We suggest two essay collections: Chuck Eddy’s flyboyTerminated for Reasons of Taste: Other Ways to Hear Essential and Inessential Music will appeal to your contrarian friend who champions the music everyone else hates. Greg Tate’s Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader collects the work of the premier hip-hop writer of his generation and features essays about everything from Miles Davis to Ice Cube. Got someone in your life who loves to share stories about dancing at Studio 54 or The Saint back in the day? Get them Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983 by Tim Lawrence.

978-0-8223-6235-7For the foodies in your life, get a copy of Real Pigs: Shifting Values in the Field of Local Pork. Anthropologist Brad Weiss traces the desire for “authentic” local foods in our own Piedmont region of North Carolina. He interviews chefs, farmers, and butchers and explores the history and culture of local pork. Prefer fish to bacon? Elspeth Probyn’s Eating the Ocean takes an ethnographic journey around the world’s oceans and fisheries and forces us to consider the ocean as much as the land in our food politics.

Finally, if you want to give beautiful coffee table books this year, we’ve got some of those, too. Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art, a catalog from the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, features the work of sixty artists including Romare Beardon, Theaster Gates, Kara Walker, Barkley L. Hendricks, and Ebony G. Patterson. 978-0-8223-5582-3_prPhotography lovers will enjoy any of the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography winners. The most recent are Aunties by Nadia Sablin, featuring pictures of her Russian aunts’ surprisingly colorful and dreamlike days, and Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene by Gerard H. Gaskin, a fabulous peek into the world of house balls. Another gorgeous photography book perfect for giving is Bill Brumfield’s Architecture at the End of the Earth: Photographing the Russian North, at once an art book, a travel guide, and a personal document about the discovery of a bleak but beautiful region of Russia that most readers will see here for the first time.

We hope you’ll find something for everyone on your list at our sale, but shop fast! The 40% off sale ends at 11:59 pm on November 29. Use coupon CYBER40 at checkout to save.

Save 40% During our Cyber Monday Sale

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year … sale time at Duke University Press! For two days only, save 40% on all in-stock books and journal issues.

To get the discount, shop our website and enter the coupon code CYBER40 when you check out. Please note that the discount does not apply to journal subscriptions or society memberships. See all the fine print here.

Stock up on books for next semester’s courses or get your holiday shopping done. But act fast, because this sale is over tomorrow.

Fidel Castro, ¡presente!

On the occasion of the death of Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro, we offer a guest post by Margaret Randall.

1024px-fidel_castro_-_mats_terminal_washington_1959Fidel Castro, longtime leader of the Cuban Revolution, died on November 25th at the age of 90. He withdrew from public office in 2008, when his younger brother Raul took over. Raul has said he will step down in 2018. At the Cuban Communist Party congress in April of this year, Fidel voiced an awareness of his impending death: “Our turn comes to us all,” he told the assembled delegates, “but the ideas of Cuban communism will endure.”

It is unclear how much of Fidel’s vision for his nation will endure in the face of a rapidly changing world with neo-fascist forces gaining ground in so many countries, including our own United States. What cannot be denied is that 57 years ago Fidel led a small group of revolutionaries to victory in Cuba, and against enormous odds established the “first free territory in America.” The Cuban Revolution stood up to a world power many times its size and strength, put basic human needs on its agenda, all but eradicated illiteracy and soon achieved a ninth-grade education for all adults, guaranteed universal healthcare and good free public education from kindergarten through the post-graduate level, worked to provide adequate housing and made full employment a reality. Progress was made against racism and sexism. People discussed and passed new laws. Book publishing was subsidized. Culture and sports events were free. Despite a multiplicity of problems from outside and within, for half a century Cuba stood as a beacon for other countries suffering poverty and neocolonial domination. With almost half a century of U.S. economic blockade, the implosion of the European socialist bloc and other impediments, some of these accomplishments no longer shine as brightly as they once did. Still, Cuba gave the world a new idea of what justice might look like.

I lived in Cuba for eleven years in the 1970s, but only met Fidel once, very briefly in 1968. We were at a large reception with many hundreds of guests. A friend who knew the man took me to where he stood surrounded by other visitors. The year before, in Mexico, I had published an anthology of new Cuban poetry and visual art in the bilingual journal I edited, El Corno Emplumado / The Plumed Horn. To my astonishment, Fidel brought up that publication, referring to several of the included works by name. I tried to imagine what it might be like to have such a conversation with any high level political leader in the United States.

Fidel Castro the man has drawn resounding praise and pervasive insult. Whatever one’s opinion, he was a uniquely brilliant strategist and great leader, whose ideas merit our respect and gratitude. Today I weep with the Cuban people. As they say throughout Latin America, Fidel Castro, ¡presente!

Margaret Randall is the author of dozens of books of poetry and prose, including Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression and Che on My Mind, and the editor of Only the Road / Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry, all also published by Duke University Press. Her next book Exporting Revolution: Cuba’s Global Solidarity, comes out in the spring.

#FollowFriday: Authors and Editors on Social Media

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Many of our authors and editors are on various social media platforms, but a few of them have especially large followings and vibrant feeds. On this final Friday of University Press Week, we encourage you to give them a follow.

With over 20,000 followers, Sara Ahmed is our most popular author on Twitter. Follow her feed and her blog, Feminist Killjoys to read her thoughts on racism, feminism, and diversity, particularly in academia. Her new book Living a Feminist Life will be out in February 2017.

If you don’t mind profanity and a few poop emojis, follow George Ciccariello-Maher, author of We Created Chávez, for smart commentary on Venezuela, politics, police violence, and socialism.  He has more than 8000 followers on Twitter. George is not afraid to engage with his haters and things get pretty hot on his feed. His next book, Decolonizing Dialectics, comes out in February.

Another great author to follow on Twitter is Karla FC Holloway, author of Passed On, Private Bodies, Public Texts, and Legal Fictions. Karla often tweets about race and bioethics to her nearly 10,000 followers.

On Instagram, self-described queer Black troublemaker and Black feminist love evangelist Alexis Pauline Gumbs (@alexispauline) has been posting great photos surrounding the release of her new poetry book Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity.

Last night at the Durham launch of SPILL!

A post shared by Alexis Pauline Gumbs (@alexispauline) on

We also love keeping up with Trevor Schoonmaker (@toschoon), curator at the Nasher Museum of Art and an editor of the exhibition catalog Southern Accent. His Instagram feed is full of fascinating artwork.

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Us Around 2015-16 by @hankwillisthomas in #southernaccent @nashermuseum

A post shared by Trevor Schoonmaker (@toschoon) on

On Facebook, consider following journalist and critic Greg Tate, author of Flyboy 2. He writes about music and black culture for his nearly 5000 followers.

Another author active on Facebook is Tim Lawrence, whose new book is Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983. Tim shares his thoughts on music, politics and history as well as details about his active events schedule.

Many of our journals are on social media as well.
Follow Project Euclid (@projecteuclid), a non-profit community-driven partnership of libraries, publishers, and scholars in theoretical and applied mathematics and statistics, for news about Project Euclid mathematics, probability, and statistics journals, as well as updates about the community in general.
Environmental Humanities (@EnvHumanities), is a peer-reviewed, international, open-access journal. The journal publishes outstanding interdisciplinary scholarship that draws humanities disciplines into conversation with each other, and with the natural and social sciences, around significant environmental issues. Follow this account for information about the journal and environmental humanities as a whole.
The Twitter feed for the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (@JHPPL) focuses on the initiation, formulation, and implementation of health policy and analyzes the relations between government and health—past, present, and future. They regularly share information on health policy from leading change makers.

Founded in 1918, Hispanic American Historical Review (@HAHR21) pioneered the study of Latin American history and culture in the United States and remains the most widely respected journal in the field. Follow them on Twitter for great resources for Latin American history.

A resource for Victorianists, the Carlyle Letters Online (@carlyleletters) features letters written by Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle and Jane Welsh Carlyle. All letters are open access, so make sure you check them out!

Of course you can follow us on all these platforms, too. Please join us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on our new Instagram account. And share your love of university presses with the hashtag #ReadUP!

The University Press Week blog tour concludes today. Check out The University of California Press for a #FollowFriday post with links to UP colleagues – blogs, social channels – showing how they foster community through their publishing and dynamic outreach efforts. Seminary Co-op Bookstores features a #FF post with links to all UP authors that spoke at the Seminary Co-op in November. The University of Nebraska Press lists and congratulates recent literary contest winners. The University of Minnesota Press is also on the tour. The University of North Carolina Press shares a #FollowFriday post connecting readers to many of their publishing partners. Thanks for a great week of thoughtful blog posts, everyone!

The Work of Intellectual Exchange Continues

The work of an academic publisher is not glamorous. Our work preparing books and articles for publication is detailed and time-intensive—we care deeply about the readability and layout of content on the page and online, about peer review, and about how and where people can access scholarship. Our readership is engaged and passionate, but we ultimately reach only a small fraction of the world’s population.

But while our readership is small, our ideas are not. As the United States considers the impact of the election on the major issues of our day, academic work feels particularly crucial. We urge our readers and their libraries to promote the free exchange of ideas by supporting the work of university presses and other nonprofit and independent publishers who provide a platform for voices of dissent and for the critical ideas that move society towards a more inclusive and pluralistic future.

Works on gender, race, political theory, culture, the environment, and area studies are at the center of our publishing program. Over the years, we’ve been proud to publish critical work on a wide range of important societal issues:

We are grateful for the many people who work in the service of scholarship in tandem with us: our authors, our editors and editorial boards, our peer reviewers, our readers, and our many partners in scholarly communication. When you choose to write for independent and nonprofit publishers, when you purchase the journals and books that matter to you (or ask your library to), and when you bring critical work to a larger audience through your teaching and research, you help move our shared project of intellectual exchange forward. We thank you.

About us

Our mission

On our open access work

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The University Press Week blog tour continues today. The theme is “Throw Back to the Future.”  First head to Yale University Press for a feature on the book A City of Tomorrow focusing on the future of communities. Indiana University Press gives a rundown of their ‘Bicentennial Bookshelf’ feature, in which IU Press authors talk about their favorite Indiana books and authors in preparation for Indiana University’s upcoming bicentennial celebration. Seminary Co-op Bookstores shares a scan of a Front Table newsletter from the 1980s. The University of Michigan Press focuses on digital scholarship, highlighting their innovative Gabii project that allows users to engage with scholarship via a gaming platform, and the Fulcrum platform launched just a few weeks ago. IPR License explains how they are building a community of university presses on its onlight rights platform and helping them to increase their revenue stream from backlist rights sales. In order to look forward at possibilities for future collaboration between university presses, Columbia University Press looks back at the history of the South Asia Across the Disciplines series, jointly published by the University of California Press, the University of Chicago Press, and Columbia University Press.

Check back here tomorrow for a #FollowFriday post on some of our authors and journals you should be following on social media.