UP Week 2013 Blog Tour

Each year, we take a tour of blogs in our larger community, with themed series each day bringing us to new and varied voices. This year we examined university press innovation from a variety of angles, including conversations with the innovators themselves.

Monday: Meet the Press

McGill-Queen’s University Press
Happy University Press Week!
MQUP kicks off the tour with a dual interview of editors Kyla Madden and Jonathan Crago, from their beginnings in university press publishing, to their favorite new titles from the press, to the upcoming Making Knowledge Public on-campus author roundtable about scholarly books and public engagement.

Penn State Press
Meet the Press: John Morris, The Invisible Manuscript Editor
John Morris, Penn State University Press’s Manuscript Editor, talks telecommuting from Michigan, the peculiar memory of a copyeditor, why PSUP authors are a dream (they never use trendy language and are always nice about corrections), and more.

University of Illinois Press
Meet the Press: Laurie Matheson
Editor-in-Chief Laurie Matheson discusses her experience with university press publishing, including the difference between her time in scholarly and commercial publishing: “I’m much more at home in scholarly publishing, where we publish for the long term, rather than the flavor of the week, and where we have the support of a community of scholars who serve as peer reviewers and then consumers of our books.”

University of Hawai’i Press
University Press Week: Employee Profile
The UHP blog profiles retiring Journals Manager Joel Bradshaw’s travelogue of a life, begun in Japan and bouncing across the Pacific (plus Romania) ever since, and how experience with linguistics and print production led to his 15-year career with the press.

University of Missouri Press
Staff Profile: Director David Rosenbaum
Ten days into his role as Director, the UMP blog features a profile of David Rosenbaum, who appreciates “the culture of cooperation between university presses varies considerably from the culture of competition between commercial publishers,” and hopes to bring more of to the university-press relationship as well, seeking “a stronger connection to the University of Missouri itself.”

University Press of Colorado
It’s University Press Week!
Managing Editor Laura Furney shares the details of her 20 years at UPC: her wide-ranging experience, her assistance with the press’s recent merger with Utah State University Press, and her leadership on the digital frontier.

University Press of Florida
Meet the Press – Sian Hunter, Acquisitions Editor
The UPF blog interviews Assistant Editor-in-Chief Sian Hunter: as with many of today’s interviewees, she recognizes that “sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good” when setting out to build a career, but also appreciates the payoff of thoroughness, persistence, and intellectual integrity she has found in scholarly publishing.

Tuesday: The Future of Scholarly Communication

Duke University Press
Priscilla Wald on the Slow Future of Scholarly Publishing
DUP author and editorial board chair Priscilla Wald finds promise for scholarly publishing in young authors’ return to manual typewriters, reading it as an appreciation of concentration, deliberation, and “the labor of writing.”

Harvard University Press
What Is a Scholarly Book?
Jeffrey Schnapp, HUP author and expert on the internet and networked culture, delves into the longstanding conventions of scholarly books and looks ahead to future possibilities—which he is currently experimenting himself—astutely noting that “revolutions in media are never reducible to the mere substitution of old media by the new.”

Stanford University Press
The Future of Scholarly Communication
SUP Director Alan Harvey recognizes innovative new efforts by university presses, while lamenting their likely lack of influence over key tenure and promotion decisions. Meanwhile, new modes of academic conversation continue to evolve, and will best be supported by collaboration and by continued reach beyond the academy.

Temple University Press
The Future of Scholarly Communication
Alex Holzman, Director at Temple, agrees that a broad audience is vital to university press—and library—sustainability. He explores how presses and libraries have worked together, and why they must continue to in the future.

University of Minnesota Press
#UPWeek: Announcing Forerunners
UMP marks University Press Week in a big way: with the announcement of a new series, Forerunners, which will “focus on fresh ideas that often don’t have a traditional publishing outlet,” flipping sometime ephemeral, evasive online scholarly conversations into lasting but innovative peer-reviewed shorts.

University of Texas Press
The Texas Bookshelf: New Ways to Share Scholarship
UTP Assistant Editor-in-Chief Robert Devens puts his faith for the future in the “think globally, act locally” nature of the press’s new Texas Bookshelf program, which features local history and culture that, in turn, portray the broader movement of people, culture, and ideas beyond Texas borders.

University of Virginia Press
The River of Change
Holly Shulman edited UVAP’s first publication under its Rotunda e-imprint ten years ago. While she anticipates a scholarly world without even “magisterial” collections of historic letters and documents “in print on smooth creamy paper, heavy with text,” Shulman also celebrates the ability of platforms like Rotunda to trace “relationships and trends of a distant era in a way that no print publication could have.”

Wednesday: Subject Area Spotlight

MIT Press
Aural History on the Web: Reconstructing the Past through Sound
Editorial Director Gita Manaktala explores the rich context of the The Roaring Twenties project, demonstrating how university press scholarship can excel beyond the book. Historian and author Emily Thompson shares how the experience compared with traditional scholarly publication.

Texas A&M University Press
Texas A&M Press Leader in Texas History Titles Since 1974
Like many university presses, TAMU Press is a major publisher of regional history. Texas author, historian, and water rights expert Charles Porter reflects on the press’s contribution of key scholarship to critical community debates.

University of Georgia Press
University Press Week: Guest Blogger Nik Heynen
University of Georgia professor Nik Heynen recounts the university press’s strengths in publishing geography titles via one story of adopting a series that “engage[s] the importance of space for questions of social and political change,” intended to engage scholars but also serve as tools for policymakers and local activists.

University of Pennsylvania Press
Growing from Our Strengths: Penn Press Builds on Its Distinguished Traditions
Publishing upward of 150 titles per year, Penn Press focuses its editorial strength on a variety of humanities and social science lists developed over decades that have garnered well-earned recognition—among them, medieval studies, American studies (both early and modern), human rights, and public policy—that will soon continue to expand into the digital shorts arena.

University of Toronto Press
Medieval and Renaissance Studies at University of Toronto Press
UTP currently publishes more than a dozen medieval and Renaissance series, along with a historical database of early modern English; the strength of these growing lists along with the press’s involvement in key scholarly conventions make it a leader in the field.

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Subject Area Spotlight: The Environmental Humanities
Environmental Humanities series editor Cheryl Lousley discusses why the environment must be addressed not only in respect to technology issues: “environmental problems are embedded in culture and thought … Ecology is not only about the sciences, but also an urgent question for the humanities … Too often, for example, environmental problems are taken to be about animals or landscapes when human health, cultures, and experiences are also stake.”

Thursday: The Importance of Regional Publishing

Fordham University Press
University Press Week: The Importance of Regional Publishing
Director Frederic Nachbauer sold books for FUP before he ran it, experience which showed him the strength of the press’s regional New York lists and relationships with local museums and libraries. Thus began Empire State Editions, established in 2010, which has built on those foundations through, for example, co-publication and promotion.

Louisiana State University Press
How Do You Get to a Dance Hall in Eunice?
LSUP’s mission to “make sure every book finds a home,” to build on a collection of great local books that value the complexity that accompanies authenticity, often as varied and eclectic as the unique Louisiana treasures that make up their lists’ subject matter.

Oregon State University Press
Defining the Pacific Northwest: Publishing at OSU Press
OSUP editor Mary Elizabeth Braun discusses how regional publishing can mean many things, from what exactly your region is—there are many ways of outlining the Pacific Northwest—to defining local literature and welcoming a variety of citizens, from Native American and Indigenous peoples through generations of immigrants.

Syracuse University Press
The Importance of Regional Publishing
Syracuse author Chuck D’Imperio explains how every Great American Novel is rooted in regional stories, which can be the simplest and most lasting chronicling of personal and local history.

University of Alabama Press
The Importance of Regional Publishing
UAP explains why smaller can be better: university presses can take risks in an age when commercial giants are wary to “bet the farm” on anything but proven mass success: “In the hands of a mainstream publisher, Meet Me in St. Louis would’ve been Meet Me in the USA or maybe Canada.”

University of Nebraska Press
UP Week: Publishing and Place
Editor-in-Chief Derek Krissoff explains how regional publishing is about more than recognizing communities that might otherwise go uncelebrated. At Nebraska, for instance, the developing History of the American West series works to remind us that the idea of place is never static, and a critical part of knowing a place is understanding how it came to be.

University of North Carolina Press
Mark Simpson-Vos: Remembering Region
In the age of globalization when publishing interests are ever-expanding, the UNCP Editorial Director reflects on the role of Southern university presses originally founded for publishing great university scholarship that the North wouldn’t notice.

University Press of Kentucky
The Importance of Regional Publishing: Because Nobody Understands Kentucky Like We Do
Kentucky embraces new forms of digital content by explaining their key role in the Kentucky community via a few words from their regional book editor … and animated GIFs.

University Press of Mississippi
Your No One Is My Everyone
UPM Marketing Director Steve Yates describes the day he was converted to the mission of university press publishing, and why he’s now a champion for the significance of scale in deciding when a book is notable and when it’s not.

Friday: The Global Reach of University Presses

Columbia University Press
Columbia University Press and Global Publishing
Columbia’s role as global university press began a half century ago with the university’s own burgeoning interests in the non-Western world, and has grown to include today the distribution of Irish, Chinese, and German presses, on everything from literary fiction to queer studies to post-Soviet pop culture, encouraging readers to recognize “commonality in the midst of diversity, and diversity in the midst of commonality.”

Georgetown University Press
Giving Our Readers a Global Reach
Georgetown is a global press in many ways. One of the most fascinating is through its Georgetown Languages imprint, which produces linguistics and language learning materials that go beyond English, Spanish, and French, and into the “LCTLs,” or less commonly taught languages: Chinese, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek, Pashto, Tajiki, Kazakh, Portuguese, Turkish, Japanese, and Arabic.

Indiana University Press
Framing the Global
Working with the university’s Center for the Study of Global Change, IUP has embarked on a Framing the Global initiative to advance the field of global studies and support and publish some of its best emerging scholarship. The first title, Framing the Global: Entry Points for Research, will be released in spring 2014.

Johns Hopkins University Press
Our Reach Is Far and Wide
The founding mission of Johns Hopkins is to advance knowledge “far and wide.” The press’s books department has had English-language bestsellers translated and distributed around the world, and takes in and translates to English some of the best global scholarship. The journals department has just issued an edition with scholars and ideas from five different continents. And digital hub Project MUSE draws more than half of its subscriber base from 78 countries outside of North America.

New York University Press
Chip Rossetti on the Library of Arabic Literature
Chip Rossetti edits NYU Press’s new Library of Arabic Literature, which publishes bilingual editions of Arabic texts, many of which have never been translated into English before. The seven titles published thus far include works Rossetti finds comparable to touchstones of Western literature, like Tristram Shandy and the Divine Comedy: “ultimately, we want non-Arabic-speaking readers to view these authors and their texts as part of their global cultural heritage, so that an educated reader is as familiar with the names of Ibn al-Muqaffa’ and al-Ma’arri as she is with Homer, Tolstoy and Confucius.”

Princeton University Press
Game of Tongues: Press Director Peter Dougherty Reflects on the Importance of Translations
“Over the past ten years the number of Princeton’s translation rights has nearly tripled,” notes Director Peter Dougherty, expanding especially in China, Korea, and Japan, but also Turkey, Brazil, the Czech Republic. At the center of it all is Foreign Rights Manager Kim Williams, who met with nearly 200 publishers in the rush of this year’s international Frankfurt Book Fair.

University of Wisconsin Press
Reclaiming the “Unknowable” History of Africa
UWP illustrates their place as a global press through an interview with longtime author Jan Vansina, one of the founders of the scholarly field of African history, “a time not so long ago when there was still a widely held view that cultures without written texts had no history … Up to that point, ‘African’ historiography focused entirely on the history of European colonizers in Africa.”

Yale University Press
Yale University Press and the Global Reach of University Presses
Marketer Ivan Lett explains what publishing is like for a press with home offices on both sides of the Atlantic, and also how that duality is changing with the onset of digital publishing and the ongoing evolution of media channels. Launching book-related apps simultaneously in the UK and US, for example—unlike the usual staggered release of print titles—accentuated how original print versions had found different audiences with different expectations.