Publishing

Call for Papers: Teaching Critical Theory in the Era of Globalization

ddped_18_1Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture is seeking submissions for a special issue edited by Helena Gurfinkel (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) and Gautam Basu Thakur (Boise State University), titled “Critical Theory in the Era of Globalization,” and scheduled for October 2020.

The editors of this special issue are seeking contributions on teaching critical theory in the global present. What is the relevance of teaching theory in the era of globalization, and what is at stake? What are the challenges and unavoidable paradoxes of teaching theory at a time when global classrooms are geared toward both neoliberal information/skills acquisition and conservative knowledge accumulation?

Changes in the classroom reflect changes in global politics. In the decades following the Second World War, that is, in the midst of the Cold War and the rapid decolonization of the globe, critical theory gained popularity across Anglo-American English departments with its radical interrogations of traditional society, politics, and culture. It drastically dislocated the imperial boundaries of English studies and was responsible for challenging the canon – “birthing” gender and postcolonial studies and connecting literature to politics, subjectivity, and networks of commodity relations. But does theory retain these strengths in the twenty-first century college classroom? What relevance does it have as pedagogy and practice to better understand and address the challenges of contemporary social reality – climate change, depredation of democracy, neoliberalism and violence, and the so-called “death of the humanities”?

This special issue will ponder these questions, as we seek new ways of teaching undergraduate and graduate literary theory and criticism courses. The editors would particularly like to rethink the institution of the survey course, an accepted narrative that begins with formalism and ends with identity.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Teaching a theory survey course (graduate and/or undergraduate) in a globalized world: challenges, rewards, and methodologies.
  • Teaching critical theory: new methodologies, forgotten theories/forgotten methodologies, new theories.
  • Teaching critical theory in a graduate course in the current (global) job market.
  • Teaching global literatures as theory/ Global literary theory as pedagogy.
  • Teaching a global critical theory survey: resisting chronology.
  • Teaching critical theory beyond the Western university.

The editors invite articles of 5000-7500 words and position papers of 1500 words. Articles are open to all theoretical approaches. Position papers should address one of the following: 1) teaching queer theory; 2) teaching postcolonial theory; 3) teaching the non-human turn. In all cases, global pedagogical contexts are essential. Pedagogy uses The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

Submission Deadlines:

March 2, 2018: 1-page CVs; abstracts of 500 words for articles, or of 150 words for position papers to Helena Gurfinkel and Gautam Basu Thakur.

September 4, 2018: full articles and position papers to Helena Gurfinkel and Gautam Basu Thakur.

Queries welcome.

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.

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.

New Publishing Services Partnership from Duke University Press, MSP, and Project Euclid

Duke University Press, MSP (Mathematical Sciences Publishers), and Project Euclid announce a new publishing partnership, Alloy: A Publishing Services Alliance.

Alloy was forged with two goals in mind: to offer journals the finest suite of nonprofit publishing services available in the field, and to welcome publishers into a collaboration that treats journals as true partners, not just as clients or profit centers.

MSP founder and president Rob Kirby said, “MSP was conceived as an alternative to the big, profit-driven publishers. We are thrilled to join forces with Duke University Press and Project Euclid in pursuit of our goal to strengthen, defend, and expand independent scientific publishing.”

Each organization will bring its own set of strengths, skills, and experience to the partnership. Alloy features:

  • editorial management supported by EditFlow from MSP,
  • editing and production from MSP,
  • marketing, sales, and customer relations from Duke University Press,
  • and online presence from Project Euclid.

Duke University Press Director Steve Cohn said, “We are delighted to bring MSP into the long and very successful collaboration between DUP and Project Euclid. They will bring to this partnership deep knowledge of mathematics and the math community, plus the very best peer-review system in existence for use with math-related subject matter.”

“Providing publishers with the hosting services they need to be competitive and discoverable has always been at the core of Project Euclid’s mission. With MSP and Duke University Press, we have found like-minded partners who can offer publishers truly excellent solutions to the rest of the publication process,” said Leslie Eager, Project Euclid’s Director of Publishing Services.

For more information about collaborating with Alloy, contact Erich Staib at erich.staib[at]dukeupress[dot]edu.

To learn more about Duke University Press, MSP, and Project Euclid, read the full press release.

An Interview with English Language Notes Editor Laura Winkiel

We recently sat down with new English Language Notes (ELNeditor Laura Winkiel to discuss the journal’s editorial philosophy, the journal’s new “Of Note” section, and upcoming special issues of the journal.

ELN-55.1-2-web-cover

How would you describe the journal’s editorial philosophy?

The journal’s core editors are a rotating group of professors housed in the English Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the aim of the journal is to highlight and further new critical trends. We’re trans-historical and trans-interdisciplinary, so what that’s meant is that we push the envelope on a given critical question for an interdisciplinary, trans-historical field. We’re special issue driven, so we have a special issue editor, or two, who writes the introduction to map out the wide parameters of a critical question. The journal is methodologically driven, instead of historically driven.

How does English Language Notes differentiate itself from other journals in the area?

ELN is a special issue-only journal; every issue is different. It’s hard to fit us into a box because, for example, we are currently publishing a “Comparative Mysticisms” issue , while we have just published a biopolitically-driven issue, called “In/security” and an environmental humanities issue, called “Environmental Trajectories.”

One of the things we want to start doing next year is to have a section called Of Note, which will address all kinds of critical angles in literary studies and beyond. This section will be separate from whatever the special issue editor is curating. “Of Note” will serve as a thread of contemporary criticism and dialogue that is continuous across all issues to solidify our identity and to begin to generate attention to a continuous open call at the journal for short, position-taking submissions. This can be in the form of a review essay, or a short essay akin to the “Theories and Methodologies” section of the PMLA.

Can you tell me a little more about this new “Of Note” section and what you’re looking for in submissions?

English Language Notes has always had a variety of formats: the long scholarly article, creative submissions, and clusters and forums. We are looking to build upon this strength.  We will begin by publishing a CFP for “Of Note” this spring.  We’ve already built an in-box for submissions in Editorial Manager, and the Senior Editor will be in charge of curating this section for each issue. I think scholars will have a sense of what we’re looking for by reading the CFP.

What are some forthcoming issues of English Language Notes?

What has always motivated my editorial work is the desire to learn a field in depth: who is working in it, and what the salient debates are. Editorial work is scholarly work that is collaborative and collective.

I’m currently working on a special issue called, “Hydro-criticism,” that will be out in April 2019.  Though I’ve worked on the black Atlantic for a long time now, the maritime turn in humanities is changing this field in many compelling ways. I’m interested in how the two can meet. The topic of “Hydro-criticism” is perfect for an ELN issue: it is transhistorical, interdisciplinary, there are scientists, social scientists, anthropologists, artists and humanists working in this field, if one can call it that. I have circulated a range of question topics: wet ontologies, entanglements, provincializing Europe, long histories, questions of sovereignty, shipwrecks and other seafaring disasters, literary form, and problems of scale. The deadline to submit to this issue of English Language Notes is March 1, 2018.

Comparative Mysticisms” is in production now and coming out in April 2018. It’s edited by Professor Nan Goodman, who is in the English Department and directs the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Maria Windell and Jesse Alemán’s “Latinx Lives in Hemispheric Context” will be published in October 2018.

After the “Hydro-criticism” issue, Ramesh Mallipeddi and Cristobal Silva will publish an issue titled “Memory, Amnesia, Commemoration.”

Are there any ways you would like to shape the journal in the future?

I think I’ve already outlined most of the important work that has gone into our move to Duke University Press and our vision for the journal’s future. I will add that the journal is also going through a redesign, so it will have a new look in terms of layout as well. In addition, we have started to reach out to co-editors from other institutions and departments as a way to broaden our editorial vision. I think English Language Notes is a journal to pay attention to, now more than ever.

A respected forum of criticism and scholarship in literary and cultural studies since 1962, English Language Notes (ELN) is dedicated to pushing the edge of scholarship in literature and related fields in new directions. Broadening its reach geographically and transhistorically, ELN opens new lines of inquiry and widens emerging fields. Each ELN issue advances topics of current scholarly concern, providing theoretical speculation as well as interdisciplinary recalibrations through practical usage. Offering semiannual, topically themed issues, ELN also includes “Of Note,” an ongoing section featuring related topics, review essays or roundtables of cutting-edge scholarship, and emergent concerns. Edited by Laura Winkiel, ELN is a wide-ranging journal that combines theoretical rigor with innovative interdisciplinary collaboration.

2017’s Top 10 Blog Posts

As 2017 comes to a close, we’re grateful for another year of sharing Press news and essential scholarship on our blog. Travel back in time with us as we take a look at our most-viewed blog posts of the year.

Test of Faith10. Introducing our Fall 2017 Catalog

“Our Fall 2017 catalog is here! We’re excited to give you a preview of all the great books that will be available in the next few months.

Every two years we publish the winner of the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize. The 2017 winner is Lauren Pond and her photos of Pentecostal serpent handlers in Appalachia. Test of Faith: Signs, Serpents, Salvation features 100 color photographs and provides a deeply nuanced, personal look at serpent handling that invites greater understanding of a religious practice that has long faced derision and criticism. It will be available in November.”

James Martel9. The Power of Misinterpellation

Today’s guest post is by James Martel, author of the new book, The Misinterpellated Subject.

“In all the sense of crisis and doom that we are currently experiencing with the advent of the Trump administration—despair over an administration that seems equal parts determined fascists and incompetent lunatics, horror and grim determination as thousands, perhaps millions, of people are to be deported, bathrooms becomes zones of exclusion and the war on people of color and the poor goes on unabated—there is one element that is critical to keep in mind. For all of his seeming power, self-confidence and authority, Donald Trump and his “alt-right” (i.e. neo-Nazi) minions do not command the absolute form of control that they think they have and we often imagine them to have (hence contributing to the efficacy of such a power).”

readtorespond8. Read to Respond: Articles for Student Activists

“Our ‘Read to Respond’ series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.”

ddbou_44_17. Bernard Stiegler: Amateur Philosophy

“The most recent issue of boundary 2, ‘Bernard Stiegler: Amateur Philosophy,’ edited by Arne De Boever, brings together three lectures on aesthetics delivered by the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler in Los Angeles in 2011 with articles by scholars of Stiegler’s work.

Aesthetics, understood as the theoretical investigation of sensibility, has been central to Stiegler’s work since the mid-1990s. The lectures featured here explicitly link Stiegler’s interest in sensibility to aesthetic theory proper as well as to art history. In “The Proletarianization of Sensibility,” “Kant, Art, and Time,” and “The Quarrel of the Amateurs,” Stiegler expounds his philosophy of technics and its effects on human sensibility, centering on how the figure of the amateur—who loves what he or she does—must be recovered from beneath the ruins of technical history. The other contributors engage the topics covered in the lectures, including the figure of the amateur, cinema, the digital, and extinction.”

sbriglia - author photo6. Slavoj Žižek: In Defense of a Lost Cause

“Happy birthday to renowned philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek! Today’s guest blog post comes from Russell Sbriglia, editor of the new collection Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Literature but Were Afraid to Ask Žižek.

Today marks the 68th birthday of Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek. In my recent collection for Duke University Press, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Literature but Were Afraid to Ask Žižek, I make the case for Žižek’s relevance for literary studies—a relevance long overshadowed by the work done on Žižek in other fields such as film, media, and cultural studies. On this particular occasion, however, I’d like to make the case for Žižek’s continued relevance as a political thinker. Žižek has come under heavy fire of late for a number of his public positions, most notably those regarding the Syrian refugee crisis and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. For those well-versed in and sympathetic to Žižek’s work, there is little that is controversial, let alone “conservative,” about these stances. Yet there now seems to be an entire cottage industry devoted to misreading and misinterpreting Žižek.”

LittleManLittleMan5. Duke University Press to Bring James Baldwin’s Only Children’s Book Back Into Print

Little Man, Little Man is the only children’s book by acclaimed writer James Baldwin. Published in 1976 by Dial Press, the book quickly went out of print. Now, at a time when Baldwin is more popular than ever, and readers, librarians, and booksellers are clamoring for more diverse children’s books, Duke University Press is proud to bring the book back into print. It will be available in August 2018.”

lynn_comella_by_krystal_ramirez_small4. Q&A with Lynn Comella, Author of Vibrator Nation

Lynn Comella is Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. An award-winning researcher, she has written extensively about sexuality and culture for numerous academic publications and popular media outlets. She is coeditor of the comprehensive New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law, and a frequent media contributor. In Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure—the first book to tell the story of feminist sex-toy stores and the women who pioneered them—she takes a deep dive into the making of the consumer market for sex toys, tracing its emergence from the early 1970s to today. Drawing on more than eighty in-depth interviews with retailers and industry insiders, including a stint working as a vibrator clerk, she brings readers onto the sex-shop floor and into the world of sex-positive capitalism and cultural production. Lynn Comella is on a national tour this fall and winter; check back here next week for a full tour schedule.”

ddTSQ_1_1-2_cover3. TSQ 101 for International Transgender Day of Visibility

“In honor of the ninth annual International Transgender Day of Visibility, a celebration of transgender people that raises awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, we selected nine articles from issues of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly that provide essential insights into terms, conversations, and challenges within the field of trans* studies.”

Wissoker, Ken2. Editorial Director Ken Wissoker on Why He Loves Peer Review

It’s Peer Review Week. In this guest post, our Editorial Director Ken Wissoker shares what he loves about this crucial, and sometimes misunderstood, element of academic publishing.

I love peer review. Many authors fear it, or see it as a necessary evil, perhaps good for others less accomplished than themselves. Many hope for it to be as quick and minimal as possible, or as with some commercial academic presses, done in a cursory and non-binding way. Enough of a review that the scholar can count their work as a peer-reviewed publication, but not so much that they would actually have to change their manuscript in light of what the reviewers say.”

The Revolution Has Come by Robyn C. Spencer1. The Black Panther Party and Black Anti-Fascism in the United States

Today’s guest post comes to us from Robyn C. Spencer, author of the new book The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland.

Fascism has been thrust into the mainstream political vocabulary of the United States after the election of President Donald Trump on a platform grounded in xenophobia, corporate dominance, and right wing white nationalism.  After the election, search engines and online dictionaries reported a dramatic increase in users seeking to define the term. News outlets from Al Jazeera (“The Foul Stench of Fascism in the Air”) to Forbes (“Yes, a Trump presidency would bring fascism to America”)  to the Washington Post  (“Donald Trump is actually a fascist”) published articles analyzing how Trump fits into fascist paradigms. Most recently, The Nation (“Anti-Fascists Will Fight Trump’s Fascism in the Streets”) chronicled the long history of anti-fascist organizing in Europe and the United States to inspire activists engaged in resistance at this political moment. Black history has been marginalized in this burgeoning contemporary discourse about fascism. Analyses of the US as fascist have a long history in the Black intellectual tradition. Black thinkers like Harry Hayward, Claudia Jones, George Jackson and Kuwasi Balagoon used fascism as an analytical framework to understand the rise of segregation in the South after Reconstruction; white populism at the turn of the 19th century; land and labor struggles in the Black Belt South, and the evolution of capitalism in the 1970s.”

The Most Read Articles of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, we’re reflecting on the most read articles across all our journals. Check out the top 15 articles that made the list, all freely available until the end of January.

ddjhppl_38_2Arrests of and Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women in the United States, 1973-2005: Implications for Women’s Legal Status and Public Health
by Lynn M. Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin

The Impact of the ACA on Premiums: Evidence from the Self-Employed
by Bradley T. Heim, Gillian Hunter, Ithai Z. Lurie, and Shanthi P. Ramnath

Revisiting Postmodernism: An Interview with Fredric Jameson
by Nico Baumbach, Damon R. Young, and Genevieve Yue

Policy Diffusion across Disparate Disciplines: Private- and Public-Sector Dynamics Affecting State-Level Adoption of the ACA
by Rena M. Conti and David K. Jones

ddpcult_27_1Instafame: Luxury Selfies in the Attention Economy
by Alice E. Marwick

Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?
by Cathy J. Cohen

Necropolitics” by Achille Mbembe

Pascal’s Wager: Health Insurance Exchanges, Obamacare, and the Republican Dilemma
by David K. Jones, Katharine W. V. Bradley, and Jonathan Oberlander

Policy Diffusion in Polarized Times: The Case of the Affordable Care Act
by Craig Volden

Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy
by Arjun Appadurai

ddbou_44_2The Authoritarian Personality Revisited: Reading Adorno in the Age of Trump
by Peter E. Gordon

My Words to Victor Frankenstein above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage
by Susan Stryker

Introduction: Antinormativity’s Queer Conventions
by Robyn Wiegman

Michael Brown
by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten

Althusser’s Dramaturgy and the Critique of Ideology
by Étienne Balibar

New online reading platform for Duke University Press books and journals

yaynewsite

In partnership with Silverchair Information Systems (Silverchair), Duke University Press recently launched a new site for its books and journals at read.dukeupress.edu. The new site is home to 50 journals and 2,300 books in the humanities and social sciences, providing scholars with a single reading and research experience across books and journals.

On the new site, our readers can:

  • Discover related works and other content relevant to their interests.
  • Enjoy an easy-to-navigate site with tools to aid in their research.
  • Read books and journals on the go with a responsive site that adapts seamlessly to devices of any size.

Sign up for Latest Issue Journal Alerts:

Our readers will also be able to sign up for Latest Issue Alerts to stay up-to-date with the most recent scholarship from Duke University Press journals. These alerts deliver the most recent table-of-contents from new issues directly to a reader’s inbox.

Register and sign up for Latest Issue Alerts at read.dukeupress.edu/my-account.

 

The Best Books We Read in 2017

From young adult literature to sci-fi trilogies, we love to read at Duke University Press! In this post, our staff members share their favorite reads from the past year. We hope you enjoy their suggestions, and perhaps find a few gift ideas in the mix.

Jeff VanderMeerChris Robinson, Copywriter in Books Marketing, recommends the Southern Reach trilogy: “This year I crossed off one of my bucket-list reads (Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow) but what really struck me was Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. It’s set in a coastal region in the southeastern US where some kind of unknown supernatural event has transformed the landscape so that nature is removing traces of human development. The Southern Reach is a government agency tasked with investigating the area, but it’s never quite clear what happened or is going on. Part sci-fi, part eco-criticism, part surrealist adventure, there’s something for everybody. And the movie trailer for the first book – Annihilation – looks great.”

Gabrielle ZevinKatie Smart, Publicist and Exhibits Coordinator in Journals Marketing, recommends a new novel: “This year I challenged myself to read 100 books written by women and I finished the challenge with four books by Gabrielle Zevin on my list! My favorite was her most recent novel, Young Jane Young, which tells the story of a young congressional intern who has an affair with the congressman she’s working for. Zevin’s latest is funny and thoughtful, and her main characters are courageous and so well-written I wanted to know them in real life.”

Han KangMary Hoch, Senior Editorial Assistant in Acquisitions, recommends two books: “The Vegetarian by Han Kang. This novel, told from three perspectives, is equal parts beauty and brutality. I recommend setting aside time to read it all in one go (it’s quite short!) and reading nothing about it before starting. Tenth of December by George Saunders. Before he won this year’s Booker prize with Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders was best-known for his sci-fi short stories. This collection showcases his ability to put you immediately and intimately inside his characters’ heads.”

 

CaveBarbara Williams, a Production Specialist, recommends a study on books: “The History of Books in 100 Books by Roderick Cabe and Sara Ayad appeals to me because it covers so many time spans and cultures (cave paintings to e-books). It’s necessarily superficial, but succinct and beautifully illustrated. Although I’ve have done a lot of reading on Western book history, I knew very little about the book in Asia and South America; 100 Books was a helpful introduction.”

SaundersLiz Beasley, Managing Editor for Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, recommends three books for 2017: “I read so many beautiful books this year, and oddly, many of them were written by—or about—people who died at a far too young age: Max Ritvo’s stunning poetry debut, Four Reincarnations, which was published just after his death at age twenty-five; Nina Riggs’s brave, funny cancer memoir The Bright Hour; and George Saunders’s strange but superb Booker Prize–winning novel Lincoln in the Bardo, whose plot is fueled by the death of Willie Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s eleven-year-old son. All are deeply moving, gorgeously written, and sui generis. Ritvo’s lines from ‘The Big Loser’ capture the spirit of all three books: ‘The angel thinks he’s applying lemon oil / to the creaky, wounded wood of the box. / He knows it’s palliative, but it’s beautiful.'”

SpuffordSenior Project Editor for Journals, Charles Brower, recommends two books this year: “Francis Spufford’s Golden Hill, set in 1740s New York, offers everything you want in a historical novel—a secretive stranger, romance, a duel, a trial, a witty narrator—but also is impressively woke to themes of race, gender, and sexuality. Emil Ferris’s graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the illustrated diary of a young girl in 1960s Chicago who’s trying to come to terms with her mother’s illness, her loving but careless older brother, her sexual identity, and the mysterious death of her upstairs neighbor, a haunted Holocaust survivor. The story is a page-turner, but the art is so intricate and gorgeous that you want to linger over each drawing.”

Thanks to our staff for another year of great reads and recommendations! We look forward to expanding our collective literary minds in 2018.

University Press Week: #Twitterstorm

upw-banner-2017_web

 

Welcome back to the University Press Week blog tour. Today’s theme is #TwitterStorm, featuring posts about how authors and university presses use social media to spread their messages. Check out the video above to see our author Lynn Comella discuss how she considers social media a form of activism. Then head over to Harvard University Press to get a look at how social media has played a role in the publication of Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide. Next, Greg Britton, Editorial Director of Johns Hopkins University Press, extols the virtues of Twitter. Athabasca University Press showcases how they utilized social media channels to create a citywide book club. Finally, a post from Beacon Press demonstrates how social media has helped advertise and keep conversation going about Christopher Edmin’s For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too.

Come back tomorrow for a great Veterans Day post from us and more from the University Press Week blog tour. And keep sharing your love for university presses on social media with the hashtags #LookItUP and #ReadUP.