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“The Global Reach of University Presses”

November 10-16 marks University Press Week 2013! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


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: “Last day for University Press Week blog tour”
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 — PUP 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.

“The Importance of Regional Publishing”

November 10-16 marks University Press Week 2013! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


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.

“Subject Area Spotlight”

November 10-16 marks University Press Week 2013! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


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.”

“Future of Scholarly Communication”

November 10-16 marks University Press Week 2013! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


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.”

“Meet the Press”

November 10-16 marks University Press Week 2013! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.

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.

November 10-16 is University Press Week 2013! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up in the afternoon!


November 11-17 marks University Press Week 2012! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


New York University Press: “Celebrating the regional pride of University Presses”
Author and New York Times editor Connie Rosenblum talks about writing and publishing local with a university press to reach a broad audience: her own book on the Bronx, essays on the city, and neighborhood real estate profiles have all been published with NYU Press.

Columbia University Press: “Sheldon Pollock on the Importance of University Presses and the Role of Universities” and “Jennifer Crewe on University Presses: Who Are We? What Do We Do? And Why Is It Important?”
Sheldon Pollock, professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia, underlines how publishing is critical to the university’s purpose as a transmitter of knowledge, and how the collaborative “South Asia Across the Disciplines” series serves as a model for the university-press relationship. In a separate post Editorial and Associate Director Jennifer Crewe discusses how university presses fill the economic gaps in publishing: publishing first-time authors, serious nonfiction, books for upper-level courses—even establishing new fields of scholarship.

University of North Carolina Press: “John Sherer on returning to university press after years in NY trade publishing”
Press Director John Sherer explains the logic behind his return to UNC Press after two years in trade: while “the metrics of advances and print runs” aren’t the same, there’s still just as much, if not more, room for risks and rewards and editorial freedoms at the smaller scale.

University of Alabama Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
Author Lila Quintero Weaver voices her gratitude toward UA Press for their focus on a variety of content, from memoirs like hers to vital scholarly writing. And Jennifer Horne, former UA Press Managing Editor and the co-editor of two books on Southern culture, praises the experience, quality, and continuity of the university press publishing process to create “that wonderful package we call a book.”

University of Virginia Press: “Open for Business”
Author Catherine Allgor tells the story of her three volumes of early America scholarship: the first, published with UVA Press; the second, by a major publishing house; and the latest—back again with UVA, where “the integrity of the ideas and the commitment to making the best book we could drove every decision.”

Oregon State University Press: “University Presses: Through the Eyes of an Intern”
OSU Press intern Jessica Kibler explains how mixing words with music inspired her excitement over the digital experimentation taking place at university presses like OSU, and her relief as a lover of well-made books that digital and physical publishing “don’t have to cancel each other out,” but can build on each other in myriad ways.

November 11-17 marks University Press Week 2012! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


Princeton University Press: “A Conversation with the Co-owner of Labyrinth Books”
Local independent bookstore owner Dorothea Von Moltke speaks with Princeton’s Jessica Pellien on what university press books mean for her business: “our focus throughout the store and nowhere more than with university Press books is to give books a long life … they just need to still seem relevant to a deeper understanding of our past, present, or future.”

Indiana University Press: “University Presses: An Essential Cog Within Our Society’s ‘Sophistication Machine'”
Former IU Press intern Nico Perrino compares UPs’ role in scholarship to loading docks at a factory, a stage in a theater, or tables at a restaurant: a basic necessity for sharing the creative products of scholars and authors with the world. (And a special shout-out to Indiana UP for organizing this week’s blog tour!)

Fordham University Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
Press Director Fredric Nachbaur wrote his post in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the destruction wrought on his home city of New York and native state of New Jersey, reflecting on how the work of university presses and their authors have, in times of tragedy, helped us understand the events of the moment.

Texas A&M University Press: “The Value of a University Press”
TAMU author and Houston Chronicle business columnist tells the story of how he came to write and publish a book with the Press, a book that itself told the story of his father’s journey from an electrician with a hobby to a foundational practitioner of nautical archaeology—and the role the Press played in that story of a man and a fascinating field of knowledge.

Georgetown University Press: “We speak your language!”
Press publicist Jacqueline Beilhart was inspired by a journalist’s offhand comment to canvass AAUP members on their commitments to publishing language acquisition materials in Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs). The resulting list of languages whose learning is supported by university presses (scroll…scroll…keep scrolling…) is a clear testament to how uniquely this kind of publishing connects us across place and time.

Friday’s leg of the tour begins at New York University Press.

November 11-17 marks University Press Week 2012! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


The University of Chicago Press: “Scott Esposito on Wayne Booth”
To read literary critic and editor, Quarterly Conversation, Scott Esposito’s persuasive case for the enduring importance of Wayne Booth’s Modernist Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent is to know that it is the power of the ideas we publish that is  “why university presses matter.”

The University of Minnesota Press: “What Was a University Press?”
Read excerpts from Press Director Doug Armato’s recent plenary talk at the Charleston Conference, by all accounts a stimulating exchange of ideas between Doug, California Press Director Alison Mudditt, and the conference’s overflowing audience of librarians and publishers.

The University of Illinois Press: “Write for the World”
Musician and writer Stephen Wade (author of Illinois’ Fine Print* selection, The Beautiful Music All Around Us) riffs on the words of former UI Press Editor Judith McCulloh and celebrates university presses’ “commitment to humane scholarship” as embodied in such storied projects as the Music in American Life series.

The University of Nebraska Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
UNP’s Bison Books Manager Tom Swanson looks at how the Bison Books imprint embodies the regional commitments of university presses and how presses such as Nebraska give us “a voice for our place.”

Syracuse University Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
Laurence Hauptman (SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, SUNY New Paltz, and scholar of Native American, New York, and Civil War History) explains what university press editors and staff meant to his development as a scholar and author, and to the development of essential fields of research in Northeastern Native American history.

Thursday’s leg of the tour begins at Princeton University Press.

Back in August, we asked member presses to think about their work in a new way: geographical impact. What better way to show university press “contributions to culture, the academy, and society” in the modern, global publishing economy than to visually illustrate their reach? This was the idea behind the Mapping Our Influence project.

Using the Google Custom Maps tool, we developed an iconographic key to represent authors, subjects, and other points that might be plotted. The simplicity of the Google Maps construct allowed us to imagine a variety of maps: a season’s worth of titles, a disciplinary list, a regional focus. But of course, soon maps started rolling in—38 to date—and the virtual pushpins took on a rainbow of new meanings.

Melissa Pitts, director at University of British Columbia Press, piloted the Maps project with Valerie Nair, Assistant to the Publisher, and the press’s current work-study student. UBC Press mapped authors and subject matter from the latest season, and then got creative with adding events and awards. (Their map is here.) Clusters of pins color the Vancouver and Toronto areas, scattering thickly across Canada and down through the US, reaching west across the Pacific to Japan and New Zealand, east across the Atlantic to northern Europe and Israel.

And yet, with markers blooming like party balloons or bright speech bubbles—“we’re here! and here and here and here!”—across the globe, Pitts notes that the map is most definitely a work in progress. It currently represents 2011 and 2012 publications, which Pitts plans to continue to expand with new seasons. She’s considering integrating it into the publication process for each new book, carrying it beyond University Press Week.

Future iterations, possibly to be used in meetings with the university administration, may build off of other presses’ ideas—like that of University of New Mexico Press.

New Mexico’s map is a monochromatic blue: 367 pins representing libraries around the globe that have purchased 2012 publications. (See the map here.) Unsurprisingly, the US has transformed to a sea of blue, with outliers marking off libraries around the globe, both public and university—in Peru, South Africa, Malaysia, China…the list goes on.

“We did consider several options including maps showing the locations of our authors or the subjects of our recent books (or a combination of several metrics),” writes New Mexico director John Byram. “The problem was capturing and representing data that succinctly reflected the Press’s global footprint most dramatically. A map showing the location of libraries who purchased our new books in the last calendar year seemed to offer the best opportunity to represent the influence we have as a publishing operation both for scholars and for the general public.”

Like Pitts, Byram has plans to update the map; he’s already shared it with the press’s faculty advisory board and the university administration. Temple University Press Director Alex Holzman has done the same: “It’s become my favorite new toy in presentations to both administration and faculty. Temple’s been emphasizing its international presence in recent years and I’ve been saying that our books have a presence on every continent except possibly Antarctica. Saying it is one thing; all these pins provide a fabulous graphic showing it. I also think the map is a great acquisitions tool. What author doesn’t want to daydream about people around the world reading their work?”

Holzman is referring to the unique elements of the Temple map: the press also mapped 2012 authors and subjects, but on top of that, two more colors to denote, first, countries where local publishers have licensed rights for their particular languages, and second, every country where Temple books have been purchased. (Take a look here.) The former, language rights, pop up in Brazil, India, South Korea, and more; the latter, purchases, truly cover the globe—and from 2012 titles alone. Says publicist Gary Kramer, “we were happily amazed at the extent of what we were able to cover with just this one year of data”. And Holzman is already brainstorming new maps for the coming years: “I could think of a few—course adoptions come to mind—but I’ll let Gary and Brian [who plotted the map] take a break first!”


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