Press News

An Interview with Jessica Loudis, editor of World Policy Journal

Jessica Loudis recently became editor of World Policy Journal (WPJ), the flagship publication of the World Policy Institute. We sat down with her to discuss the new editorship, the direction of the journal, and upcoming issue themes.

m_ddwpj_35_1_coverWhat are your plans for the journal during your tenure as editor?
I want to cover policy in unexpected ways, and to draw in readers who don’t yet know they’re interested in the subject. Part of this involves taking a more multidisciplinary approach. For instance, our current issue has a piece about Dubai’s efforts to send a manned mission to Mars, and another about how Britain’s public space laws were shaped by music festivals in the 80s and 90s. Basically, WPJ will be the place to read the kinds of pieces you wouldn’t initially expect to find in a policy magazine.

How do you see the journal developing in the next few years?
I’m interested in discovering new, talented writers from all over the world, and in giving them the opportunity to tell stories that wouldn’t work for other magazines. We want to cultivate a sensibility that is incisive, offbeat, and multidisciplinary, and to do so by putting journalists and scholars and thinkers in conversation with one another. Ultimately, I want to create an intellectual community around the magazine, and to start meaningful conversations that have a broader impact.

How have you selected issue topics for the journal?
I’m interested in topics that are open-ended and allow for different avenues of access. For instance, the theme of our summer issue is “Megalomania,” and it will include a piece on a rising female fascist politician in Italy, another on a failed attempt to abolish time zones, and one on former London Mayor Boris Johnson’s overambitious architectural initiatives. I like topics that can speak to people in different ways, and which allow for a bit of fun.

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Oh, on a related note, we’ve also brought on a cocktail historian, Eben Klemm, to create original cocktails based on our themes. For “Megalomania,” Eben has designed a cocktail that is a combination of Mussolini and Saddam Hussein’s favorite drinks, with an Idi Amin flourish thrown in for good measure.

Are there certain topics or fields you’re interested in focusing on?
I come from a literary background, and I’m very interested in having people from literature and the arts think about policy and politics in new ways. I’m also interested in anthropology and sociology, and I’ve really enjoyed working with specialists in those fields. In general, I want to surprise readers by drawing connections they hadn’t previously considered.

Can you tell us more about upcoming issues?
Our upcoming issues are “Megalomania,” “The Limits of Big Data,” and “Tourism.”

I already told you a little about megalomania, and for “The Limits of Big Data,” we have a piece I’m excited about on facial recognition software and programmable empathy. Another piece I’m looking forward to is  on the Vatican’s big data initiative. As for the rest, you’ll have to wait and see…

For the tourism issue, we’re looking at a lot of different kinds of tourism: medical, adoption, dental, retail, to name a few.

WPJ34_3One of the interesting things about the journal is its work recruiting journalists from around the world, can you shed more light on how you find new voices and stories?
I was fortunate to work at Al Jazeera and Bookforum before WPJ, which allowed me to cultivate an international network of writers and critics. Beyond that, I just read constantly, and try to do so as widely as possible. I follow the book publishing catalogs (especially Duke’s, which is consistently excellent), I read magazines, I pay attention to what’s happening in journalism, and I do a bit of Twitter stalking to see who the people I respect are reading and talking to. Finally, I’ll often ask colleagues or friends in my field for recommendations or advice on particular topics.

Tell us more about any other World Policy programs you’d like us to know about.
World Policy Journal and World Policy Institute are about to launch a very cool new program called “Renegotiating the Social Contract.” There will be a few parts to this, including conferences, publications, and multimedia projects. The idea is that the classic social contract as we’ve known it has broken down, and in a lot of ways, changed. While keeping in mind how the social contract used to be structured between citizens and the government, we’re looking how it’s currently structured, and what’s been lost or gained.

Celebrating the Editorship of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies

MEW-logoWe are excited to share the final post in our month-long series highlighting the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, a letter from current editors Frances S. Hasso, Banu Gökarıksel, and miriam cooke that summarizes the past three years of their editorship of the journal. Their tenure ends in May, when the editorship of the journal will shift to Soha Bayoumi, Sherine Hafez, and Ellen McLarney.


JMEWS is the official journal of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies and has been published in three issues per annual volume since 2005. With the 2015 volume, the JMEWS Editorial Office shifted to Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Concurrently, JMEWS moved to being published by Duke University Press Journals. The new Editors took the opportunity to continue the strongest features of the journal and instantiate a new vision for structure, content, and design that aimed to widen the transnational impact of the journal theoretically and across disciplines and sites.

Structurally, we re-organized the journal into three sections: Articles, Review Essays and Reviews, and Third Space. The revised structure facilitated improvements in content because it allowed for more consistent editorial expectations for published articles, including in their engagement with relevant feminist and sexuality scholarship. Article content was also revitalized by active recruitment of thematic manuscripts and an annual open call for papers whose theme is determined by a JMEWS North Carolina-based Editorial Collective of feminist scholars. Since our editorship, JMEWS has published thematic article sections on Everyday Intimacies (July 2016), The Gender and Sexuality of Militarization and War (November 2016), Egyptian Women Writers (March 2017), Gendered and Sexual Mobilities (July 2017), and Borders and Margins (November 2017). These sections include invited prefaces written by scholars who widen the intellectual reach of the journal.

Content changes include review essays and individual reviews that discuss books as well as museum exhibits, academic panels, films, and web-based projects, facilitating provocative engagements with a wider variety of texts. Review Essays and Reviews under our editorship depend on more intentional solicitation of objects of review structured by the editorial vision.

Interventions published in Third Space, which are typically solicited and internally edited, include timely activist, creative, and scholarly interventions of different forms and lengths that vary from 500 to 4,000 words, although they are usually less than 1,000 words. This part of the journal offers thematic initiatives, such as on contemporary challenges of autonomous feminist formations from Morocco to Iran (March, July, and November 2015), implications of the Turkish military coup attempt (March 2017), and feminist reactions to the Trump presidency (November 2017). It also includes visually-based essays and wide-ranging interviews, such as between Judith Butler and Nayereh Tohidi (November 2017) and Jasbir K. Puar and Kathryn Medien (March 2018).

In a meeting of structure, design and content, Third Space includes short Art Concept essays by the cover artist and editor that connect the art with the content of each issue. Other content innovations include vibrant cover art, visual essays, and Duke Press design. These shifts in structure, content, and design have opened opportunities for productive cross-disciplinary discussions about art among the editors and the Editorial Collective.

JMEWS has benefitted from less visible shifts that affect content. The Managing Editors Tamar Shirinian (cultural anthropology) and Rachel Greenspan (literature), the first readers of all article manuscript submissions, were competitively chosen advanced graduate students trained in feminist theory. The Review Editor, Amy Kallander, is a feminist historian of North Africa who is actively involved in articulating the vision of the journal and instantiating it. We have expanded the expert reviewer base to be more international, cross-disciplinary, and multi-generational. In order to facilitate generative conversations across area studies and disciplines, we often include non-area studies or out-of-discipline expert reviewers and we encourage writing that speaks across knowledge areas, languages, and sites. Many more kinds of “stakeholders” and voices are involved in the JMEWS project as authors, including those not trained in US and European academies.

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JMEWS is the official journal of the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies. This interdisciplinary journal advances the fields of Middle East gender, sexuality, and women’s studies through the contributions of academics, artists, and activists from around the globe working in the interpretive social sciences and humanities.

Do you want to learn more about the journal? Sign up for latest issue alertssubscribe to the journal, and follow along with the JMEWS blog series.

Journals Designer Sue Hall Retires after 23 Years at Duke University Press

sue-hallToday we’re sharing the bittersweet news that Duke University Press Journals Designer Sue Hall will retire this month after 23 years of working at the Press.

Sue has won numerous design awards for her work from the Association for University Presses (AUP) and the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ). Her most recent awards include the CELJ 2015 Award for Best Journal Design for the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, and the AUP 2017 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show awards for the interior and cover design for volume 67 of Archives of Asian Art and the cover design of volume 29 of Public Culture. She has contributed a chapter about journals design to Rich Hendel’s 2013 book, Aspects of Contemporary Book Design.

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Sue began working at Duke University Press in 1995 and immediately started to work with editors all over the world to design and redesign their journals’ covers and interiors. She found the process of redesigning an existing journal or designing a new one from scratch to be a positive and synergistic one. In a previous interview with Sue and former Journals Designer Kelly Andrus, Sue explained the process of redesigning a journal: “I enjoy the redesign process because I feel like I’m collaborating with a couple of people. One is the original designer of the journal, because I try to retain the things I think are successful and workable. I like the idea of the redesign being an evolution and not just a sudden change. To make it feel like an evolution, it needs to have a sense of continuity.” She also believes that  a complete reboot and overhaul of a journal’s design is sometimes needed to signal a change of direction in editorial mission or to reach a new audience.

miriam cooke, co-editor of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, shared her experience of redesigning the journal with Sue: “We had extraordinary conversations with Sue Hall about how to design the journal about things that never would have occurred to us. The care that every single page elicited from the design team was extraordinary. The way the journal looks externally is really important. What Duke does so well is to really work on the presentation of the journal and to make it change each time, which then becomes fun for the editors; it’s enormous fun.”

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Over the years, editors have called attention to Sue’s work for being innovative, award-winning, superb, beautiful, gifted, and meaningful. She takes pride in the trust and teamwork that she has been able to build over the years with journal editors. “I’ve discovered that there are a lot of nice pluses, one of which is working with Sue Hall, the journals designer, who is a really important collaborator for us because so much of our creative journal is conveyed through the art,” Tom Sellar, editor of Theater magazine, shared about working with Sue. “Sue has a great eye and great instinct for the photo that will really pull you into an article or to a feature, or how to position a cover in such a way in that it is an utterly alluring object to pick up.”

Sue has been integral to the ability of the Journals Production team to embrace two decades of inevitable and necessary changes to publishing, the department, and our vendor processes and workflows. She has been part of a team that has kept Duke University Press at the forefront of journal production and design with her ability to innovate and keep up with a challenging and changing publishing industry.

Throughout her tenure at Duke University Press, Sue has mentored several designers, and her design aesthetic can be seen not just in journal covers and interior designs, but in our marketing materials and online presence. She was a part of the teams who developed the Press’s original web presence and our new brand identity, and enjoyed the different iterations of design that she participated in while working at the Press.

Sue will be retiring from Duke University Press to resume her freelance design company, Number Nine, which she had been running when she originally started to do freelance work for the Press. While we are sad to see Sue leave, we are so excited to continue to follow her career and wish her the best in her future endeavors!

EASTS wins 2018 STS Infrastructure Award

EASTSCongratulations to East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (EASTS), winner of the 2018 STS Infrastructure Award from the Society for Social Studies of Science. The STS Infrastructure Award is given each year to recognize exemplary initiative to build and maintain infrastructure supporting science and technology studies.

The selection committee notes, “EASTS was established just over a decade ago but has become an exciting, well-respected forum for publishing STS scholarship. Thanks to each of its issues it is possible to enjoy a careful work centered on the wide range of STS topics, that bridge STS with others, amplifying interpretations, languages and insights, presented moreover in distinctive and attractive covers to the audience.”

ddeasts_12_1_coverWen-Hua Kuo, editor of EASTS, wrote in an acceptance statement:

Though a relative newcomer, EASTS has been an active and visible presence at 4S meetings via its editorial meetings, paper sessions, and activities like “EASTS night”. It in turn makes East Asia visible to the world—through not only the scholarly articles it carries but also the research notes, forums, review articles, and essays. Since its very inception, EASTS has committed itself to being more than “just another STS journal”; aside from its own publishing role, EASTS has provided an umbrella for a growing network of STS scholars across Asia, transcending the various national STS societies and giving a space for global scholars to work within. By recognizing infrastructure as a network and a platform for building society, we are grateful that our work with the journal has been recognized this way. With this award, EASTS will continue to work closely on an expanding, interactive, and also challenging STS world in which East Asia is not an outsider but has a permanent part.

Congratulations again to all who work on EASTS. Learn more about the award here.

New article looks at the rise and fall of Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board

ddjhppl_42_3“Technocratic Dreams, Political Realities: The Rise and Demise of Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board,” an article by Jonathan Oberlander and Steven B. Spivack in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (volume 43, issue 3), offers a groundbreaking, in-depth look at the troubled history of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), enacted as part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and repealed in February 2018 when President Donald Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

This article addresses technocracy and healthcare through IPAB, a board of healthcare experts hailed for its innovation and designed to formulate Medicare policy recommendations based on evidence and reason rather than politics. Authors Oberlander and Spivack explore why Congress initially enacted IPAB, how we understand its broad appeal to the health policy community, and why IPAB failed to live up to its original hype and remained in political purgatory, paralyzed by controversy and partisanship.

Most health policy experts supported IPAB. The board was an ambitious way to combat the influence of interest groups and the health care industry on Medicare policy. It was also seen as an antidote to legislative inertia and Congress’s inability to manage Medicare. Experts, as well as some members of Congress, agreed that lawmakers could not make difficult decisions about Medicare and envisioned the board as an instrument of health services research and congressional self control. After the board’s establishment, industry groups attacked it, while many Republicans and some Democrats criticized IPAB and supported its repeal. Instead of realizing its aspirations, the board was mired in irrelevance. Prior to its repeal, IPAB existed as a shell under a presidential administration opposed to its existence.

“IPAB’s brief, troubled history offers a cautionary tale about the role of evidence, expertise, and independent panels in US health policy making,” Oberlander and Spivack write. “IPAB’s establishment reflected good intentions: to restructure Medicare governance so that program policy making was driven more by evidence and less by interest group pressures; to compel policy makers to consider and ultimately make difficult choices in Medicare reform; to prevent Congress from micromanaging and mismanaging Medicare; to ensure that, if Congress did not act, steps were still taken to restrain Medicare spending; and to create safeguards against excessive spending. Yet the aspirations to rationalize Medicare through IPAB have floundered against political realities.”

For more information regarding the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, please visit dukeupress.edu/jhppl.

Read the full article here.

In the Spirit of Négritude: Kehinde Wiley in Africa

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Portrait of President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley

The most recent issue of Nka features an essay on Kehinde Wiley, who recently unveiled his portrait of President Barack Obama for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

In his article, “In the Spirit of Négritude: Kehinde Wiley in Africa,” author Daniel Haxall traces the influence of  Négritude and the long-standing egagements with African art and culture by Wiley, an American artist. He discusses how Wiley’s encounters with Africa (both in the United States and in Nigeria) inform aspects of his work and contribute knowledge about Africa and its peoples to the viewers of his art.

Haxall argues: “Akin to the Pan-African advocates of the twentieth century, the artist employed a realist  style to locate a shared heritage among the African diaspora. Reclaiming the African subject in portraits that reference traditional, colonial, and contemporary histories, Wiley continues the legacy of Négritude both aesthetically and conceptually.”

Read the essay, made freely available.

Congratulations to our Award-Winning Designers

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Once again our book and journal designers have been honored by the Association of University Presses in the annual Book, Jacket, and Journal Show.

978-0-8223-6366-8_prCongratulations to Amy Ruth Buchanan, whose interior design of Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium by John Corbett was honored in the Scholarly Typographic category. The cover design is by Matt Tauch.

ddaaa_67_1In the Journals category, we congratulate Sue Hall. The committee singled out her overall design for Archives of Asian Art and  in particular her design for Volume 67. They also honored her design for Public Culture Volume 29.

The annual Book, Jacket, & Journal Show celebrates the design and production excellence demonstrated by university presses. The Show was founded in 1965 to “honor and instruct,” focusing on the principles of high-quality publication design, and how such design can serve readers and ideas. Through the annual catalog and the traveling show, the Association provides an inspiring hands-on look at this area of professional skill and artistry.m_pcult_29_3_83_cover

The 2018 Book, Jacket, & Journal Show Committee was chaired by Marianne Jankowski (Northwestern University Press), and the jurors were: Robert Bringhurst, author of The Elements of Typographic Style; Linda Secondari, principal at Studiolo Secondari; Sunra Thompson, Art Director at McSweeney’s; and Dan Wagstaff of Publishers Group Canada.

Congratulations, Amy and Sue, and thanks to all our designers for their wonderful work on our books and journals.

 

 

Employee Spotlight: Rob Dilworth, Journals Director

We’re happy to feature this employee spotlight on Rob Dilworth, the journals director at Duke University Press. In this interview, Rob describes his responsibilities here at the Press, discusses our journals program, and talks about current priorities and challenges in scholarly publishing.

rob.jpgTell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC. In college, I double majored in English and economics. I moved to North Carolina in the early nineties to follow my girlfriend (now wife), who was in graduate school. I answered an ad in the newspaper for a job at Oxford University Press’s office in North Carolina and was hired, though I had no publishing experience at the time. I’ve always been attracted to both the humanities and business, so scholarly publishing has been a good career path for me. And having a career in a mission-driven field has been wonderful—something that has given my life a great deal of purpose and meaning.

Outside of work, I spend time with my wife and two daughters, read, watch films and TV (I love shows about celebrity chefs, such as Chef’s Table on Netflix), and am a soccer maniac. I coached both of my daughters’ soccer teams when they were younger, currently play on an over-forty team, and closely follow my favorite professional team in England.

Describe your career path and current responsibilities at Duke University Press.
At the beginning of my career, I worked at Oxford University Press for about five years—first as an editorial assistant and then as a production editor. Then I came to Duke University Press—first as the managing editor of our journals program and then as the partnership manager for our humanities and social science journals. Since 2015, I have been DUP’s journals director. I’ve been at the Press for over twenty years. As journals director, I’m ultimately responsible for acquiring new journals and for retaining journals that we already publish. (I work closely with Erich Staib, our senior editor, and Steve Cohn, our director, on these activities.) I’m focused on the Press continuing to have a competitive journals program, and I spend a lot of my time on partnership management. That is, I try to make sure that the editors and sponsors of our journals are having a good experience, that we’re working collaboratively with them, and that we’re answering their questions and resolving concerns quickly.

What do you like best about your role as journals director?
It would be hard to name one thing. I enjoy working with editors and society officers, whom I often get to know personally, and I’ve enjoyed my role in helping to develop strong journals over time. Again, I’ve been at the Press for over twenty years, so I’ve been able to watch journals grow over the long run—in terms of intellectual reputation but also in terms of circulation, online usage, and economic sustainability. This is very satisfying to me.

I also get to work with some talented colleagues. The success of our journals program is a collective effort, involving many staff members from different groups and with different areas of expertise. And I’ve had the honor to work with some close colleagues for many years. These are people that I truly value and trust.

Describe the current priorities and challenges for the journals program at Duke University Press.
We have a lot of strategic priorities at the Press—refining a new online content platform that combines the content from our books and journals, growing international sales, improving our capabilities in managing rights and permissions, creating efficiencies in our editorial-production workflows, etc. As journals director, I see it as my job to help DUP achieve its organizational objectives while still maintaining good relationships with our editorial offices and society partners.

Contemporary publishing is dynamic. For instance, there’s pressure to reduce costs to maintain financial sustainability, to standardize so that our content works well in digital environments, to ensure that rights and permissions are accurate to distribute content effectively, and so on. We try to navigate many issues in ways that work not just for us as the publisher but also for the editors of our journals and our society partners.

We want our journal partnerships to be beneficial and energizing for both parties.

What organizations and digital resources do you find valuable for your career?
I’ve gained a great deal from my involvement with the Association of University Presses throughout the years. I’ve met many talented colleagues from university presses via AUP, particularly a couple of years ago when I was chair of its annual conference. I have collegial relationships with journals directors at peer presses and often reach out to them to get feedback or ask how they’re dealing with specific issues. I think the main digital resource that I use every week is the Society for Scholarly Publishing’s “Scholarly Kitchen” blog. It’s an invaluable resource for being informed about trends in scholarly publishing and helps me stay connected with the greater publishing community.

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Duke University Press JournalsDo you love our content? Are you looking for a way to stay up to date with our journal scholarship? You can by signing up to receive email alerts directly in your inbox when new issues are available.

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Foerster 2017 Prize Winner Announced

ddal_89_4We’re pleased to announce the 2017 winners of the Norman Foerster Prize, given to the best essays of the year published in American Literature. This year’s winner is John Levi Barnard for his essay “The Cod and the Whale: Melville in the Time of Extinction,” featured in volume 89, issue 4.

An honorable mention was awarded to Andrew Donnelly for “The Talking Book in the Secondary Classroom: Reading as a Promise of Freedom in the Era of Neoliberal Education Reform,” featured in volume 89, issue 2.

The committee had this to say about the prizewinning essay:

“John Levi Barnard’s ‘The Cod and the Whale: Melville in the Time of Extinction’ exemplifies what the interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities can contribute to the study of literature. Dazzlingly researched and theorized, the essay’s elaboration of a textual and historical ‘extinction-producing economy’ models for critics and readers how to think about matter and text in the same analytic horizon.”

Regarding Donnelly’s honorable mention, committee members commented that the essay “takes seriously the intellectual and social stakes of how humanists have put their faith in the promise that literacy will lead to freedom. Deeply informed by the intersecting histories of literacy, gender, and race, Donnelly’s essay balances the urgency of resisting neoliberal institutional practices that reward the exceptional individual with a careful account of the ambivalence inhering in established narratives about the intrinsic power of literacy. The essay is a serious, thoughtful piece about the necessity of thinking about pedagogical practices through an intersectional and historical lens.”

The 2017 committee members were Stephanie Foote (chair), Rachel Adams, Marianne Noble, Matthew Taylor, and Priscilla Wald.

Congratulations to John Levi Barnard and Andrew Donnelly! Read the essays, made freely available.