UCP News

Announcing the 2012 Guggenheim Fellows

April 13, 2012
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Announcing the 2012 Guggenheim Fellows

  The 2012 class of Guggenheim Fellows was announced this week by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, inciting some exuberant responses on the part of several winners (check out Terry Teachout’s Twitter feed). The Guggenheim has long been hailed as the “mid-career award,” honoring scholars, scientists, poets, artists, and writers, who have likely published a book or three, professed a fair amount of research, and are actively engaged in projects of significant scope. The fellowship possesses some tortured origins—(John) Simon Guggenheim, who served as president of the American Smelting and Refining Company and Republican senator from Colorado, seeded the award (1925) following the death of this son John (1922) from mastoiditis (Guggenheim’s second son George later committed suicide, and more infamously his older brother Benjamin went down with the Titanic). Among this year’s crop (we dare say more forward-leaning than previous years?) is a roster of standout “professionals who have demonstrated exceptional ability by publishing a significant body of work in the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the creative arts,” affiliated with the University of Chicago Press: Creative Arts Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine and author of three poetry collections, coeditor of The Open Door: . . .

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Rev. Frederick William Danker (1920–2012)

February 13, 2012
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Rev. Frederick William Danker (1920–2012)

The world lost one of its most noted lexicographers earlier this month with the passing of Rev. Frederick William Danker. A scholar of the New Testament and the Greek tragedians, a prolific author, a much-admired teacher, and perhaps the foremost expert on the early Christian use of the ancient Greek language, Danker died following complications from a fall. His crowning achievement, the Third Edition of Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (2000), for which he served as editor, totaled almost 1,100 pages and contained more than 5,500 ancient Greek words and 25,000 additional references to classical, Early Christian, and modern literature. A graduate of Concordia Seminary and the University of Chicago, Danker (along with his older brother William) was among 45 faculty members fired from Concordia in 1974, for the “liberal” bent of their teachings. Following this, Danker cofounded Seminex, the Concordia Seminary in Exile, before later closing his academic career at the Luthern School of Theology, and committing to work (“12 years working 14-hour days”) on the Lexicon, and its later abbreviated version, the Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2009). Danker’s contributions included incorporating new archeological findings that shed new light . . .

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Remembering Morris

November 14, 2011
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Remembering Morris

Morris Philipson, former director of the University of Chicago Press (from 1967 to 2000), passed away on November 3, 2011, at the age of 85. We asked some of Philipson’s friends and colleagues how they would remember Morris, and their thoughts follow below: I worked at Chicago for ten years, from 1973 to 1983, half that time directly for Morris. He was brilliant, exacting, mercurial, funny, and loyal to the authors and people at the Press who held up his high standards. Like many others who went on to run other publishing companies, he taught me through example (mostly good) how to be a publisher. More than that, he shaped the Press’s publishing program in ways that few directors attempt or manage. Those were glory years: The Lisle Letters, which more timid publishers would have abandoned; Derrida, whom he apparently understood; Mythologies; the Verdi Edition, which he supported even if his taste didn’t run to high opera. The Chicago Manual of Style, Kate Turabian, the list goes on. He was willing to support his editors even when he was skeptical, a philosophy that led to the grand and enduring success of A River Runs Through It. The letter that Norman . . .

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Morris Philipson (1926-2011)

November 7, 2011
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Morris Philipson (1926-2011)

The publishing world has lost a lion in the death, at the age of eighty-five, of Morris Philipson, who served as Director of the Press from 1967 to 2000. During his tenure—the longest of any director in the Press’s 119-year history—he raised the bar in academic publishing to unprecedented heights, promoting the intellectual revolutions in culture, scholarship, and the arts that characterized this dramatic period. His remarkable judgment and taste earned him a reputation for making bold choices that resulted in pioneering works that defined their fields. This vision was exemplified by such monumental projects as The Works of Giuseppe Verdi, The Lisle Letters, and Yves Bonnefoy’s Mythologies. Other outstanding publications included John Boswell’s Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, a 1980 American Book Award winner that broke new ground in gender studies; the pioneering Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society; several editions of the Chicago Manual of Style, the definitive reference for any writer; and Norman Maclean’s best-selling A River Runs Through It. Philipson was also an innovator in paperback publishing, expanding the Press’s commitment to reissuing classic works by provocative writers including André Malraux, Isak Dinesen, Anthony Powell, and Paul Scott. Philipson took great pride in establishing . . .

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Got Parker’s free ebook?

September 8, 2011
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Got Parker’s free ebook?

We’ve got Parker. But do you? In the month of September, our free ebook takes you to the darker side of crime fiction: things get a bit remorseless quickly, as relentless thief Parker takes hard-boiled to the next level. It’s time to settle The Score. Cult classics, these Starkly noirish riffs. We’ve set up a website devoted to the series, which began nearly fifty years ago and ran until 2008–and has been reprinted by volume by volume by the Press this past half decade. You’ll find the entire canon there at 30 percent off, but who am I to criminally undermine our own endeavor (besides, truly: the kind of Parker I hang with knew that men seldom made passes at girls who wore glasses, and she ain’t about to anti-hero herself mid-caper or two)? I’ll leave things to Levi Stahl, promotions director, paperback sleuth, lit-blogger extraordinaire, and serious Parkerfile: For nearly fifty years now, crime novel fans have been thrilling to the exploits of Parker, the ruthless, violent, and taciturn anti-hero of a series written by Donald E. Westlake under the pseudonym Richard Stark. In 2008, the University of Chicago Press began to bring the Parker novels back into print, . . .

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The Midwest’s largest literary event?

May 31, 2011
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The Midwest’s largest literary event?

Dispatch just in from our Department of All Things Reference and Regional about annual Chicago favorite, the Printers Row List Fest: Come out and join us this weekend at the 2011 Printers Row Lit Fest, one of the most anticipated events of the year for authors, publishers, booksellers, and book lovers in Chicago. Among the bookstalls and reading stages occupying five city blocks in the South Loop, you’ll find the University of Chicago Press booth on Dearborn just south of Harrison. We’ll be selling some of our most popular regional and general interest titles at great prices, including The Thinking Student’s Guide to College by Andrew Roberts for $10 and a table full of books such as the The Rules of Golf in Plain English and The University of Chicago Spanish Dictionary for just $5. While you’re there, catch our distinguished authors speaking at the following events: 10:00 AM on Saturday at University Center/River Room Hillary Chute, author of Graphic Women and Melissa Ann Pinney, author of Girl Ascending, in conversation with Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune 10:30 AM on Saturday at University Center/Loop Room Adoption Nation with Jane Katch, author of Far Away from the Tigers: . . .

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Remembering Leo Steinberg (1920-2011)

March 15, 2011
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Remembering Leo Steinberg (1920-2011)

Sad news from New York about the passing of Leo Steinberg, one of the twentieth century’s most acclaimed art historians, whose critical insights, eloquent writings, and articulate ideas about art from Renaissance to modern, sharpened the minds of several generations of scholars, critics, and artists. Born in Moscow, educated in Berlin and London, Steinberg earned his doctorate from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts in 1960. Steinberg later taught at the City University of New York, Hunter College, and Harvard University, and was the Benjamin Franklin Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held for sixteen years (1975-91). Steinberg pioneered a now much more common approach to art and letters: as his own body of work moved from criticism into art history, he continued to write articles for the most influential journals and magazines of his day, from Partisan Review and Harper’s to ArtNews and Art, many of which are collected in Other Criteria: Confrontations with Twentieth-Century Art. A maverick scholar of Rauschenberg (Encounters with Rauschenberg: A Lavishly Illustrated Lecture) and the Renaissance noted for his thoughtful integration of works, both internally and externally, Steinberg formed an infamously imagined triad with Clement . . .

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Remembering Miriam Bratu Hansen (1949-2011)

February 8, 2011
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Remembering Miriam Bratu Hansen (1949-2011)

This past Friday, the University of Chicago community mourned the loss of one of its brightest stars, when Miriam Bratu Hansen lost her decade-long battle with cancer. The Ferdinand Schevill Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities; professor in the Departments of Cinema & Media Studies and English, and at the College; founder of the Film Studies Center; and a faculty board member of the University of Chicago Press (1991-96), Hansen shifted the confines of cinema studies to account for modernism’s more vernacular forms in line with the writings of Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and others from the Frankfurt school, as Hansen’s colleague Tom Gunning describes in his moving tribute: Coming to the United States, she worked at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale and taught at Rutgers University before coming to Chicago in 1990. Her research moved to the history of early American cinema and to the work of the Frankfurt school and its satellites on cinema. Both of these areas were evident in her book Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Cinema published in 1991, a work which gave shape to the research that had been emerging in the eighties on early American cinema, seeing it through the . . .

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Who Wrote the (free) (E)Book of Love?

February 1, 2011
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Who Wrote the (free) (E)Book of Love?

February: lovesick and lambs-wooled. We call you fair of face, fleet of foot (only 28 days, after all), foxy, Phlox Lombardi’d, and inclined to repeatedly listen to Jonathan Richman and the airing of grievances. Black History Month ushers you in, while Gilbert Gottfried’s birthday Bears you Down. Amid all this, the bell tolls for thee: februum, after all, means “purification.” Chinese New Year goes ka-ka-ka-kat and our presidents are remembered for birth or pluck. What luck, February, grand dame of winter. We’ll take your lead and . . . turn to Southern California. With all that in mind, let us proclaim February the month of a free ebook: Who Wrote the Book of Love?, Lee Siegel’s fictional ode to an erotic coming of age. “Part of my plan,” Mark Twain wrote in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, “has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked.” With the same motive, Lee Siegel has written what Twain might have composed had he been Jewish, raised in Beverly Hills in the 1950s, and joyously obsessed with sex and love. ** “Hilarious. . . . A delicious, page-turning memoir . . .

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The Weekly Reader

January 27, 2011
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The Weekly Reader

It’s that time again: we accidentally left a printout near the copier on the 3rd of May 2010 (Goya reference not lost upon us!), only to find it still there this afternoon. With that melding of the Born-Oppenheimer Approximation in mind (“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday born I was/Thursday’s child”), let’s again revisit the week that was: ** The Times Higher Ed profiled Kenneth J. McNamara’s The Star-Crossed Stone: The Secret Life, Myths, and History of a Fascinating Fossil. Their verdict? “A scholarly but highly accessible book, peppered with stories of the archaeologists responsible for excavating sites containing fossils” which “skillfully mingles anecdote with hard evidence.” ** Just days before the book was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, Susie Linfield’s The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence was the subject of Jed Perl’s thoughtful and challenging piece in the New Republic, where Perl commended Linfield’s “natural appetite for photographic images” and her refusal “to be boxed in by any particular discipline or literary genre.” What’s all the fuss about? Excerpt here. ** In the Guardian, Ann Fabian’s The Skull Collectors: Race, Science, and America’s Unburied Dead was featured in the Birdbooker Report as “an interesting story” that . . .

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