Reading list

10 Ways the University of Chicago Press Has Been a Force to #KeepUP with This Decade

In the summer of 1978, US President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a University Press Week “in recognition of the impact, both here and abroad, of American university presses on culture and scholarship.” In 2012, the Association of University Presses revived the idea of this celebration to recognize the impact that a global community of university presses has on every one of us. This year, from November 8 through 12, we are marking the tenth anniversary of UP Week by celebrating how university presses have evolved over the past decade. The inaugural theme in 2012 was “Contributing to an Informed Society”—in the ten years since, the university press community has stayed true to this goal, keeping up the highest standards of scholarship and championing the power of ideas. As the world changes, so do university presses, adapting subject areas, author lists, and publishing know-how to grow into an ever more diverse, ever more global community. An informed society is as important as ever, and we’ve put together a list of the 10 publications and partnerships from the University of Chicago Press over the last decade that have contributed to the forward-thinking work that has made university presses leaders in their fields and a force to #KeepUP with.

The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker by Katherine J. Cramer

Published in March of 2016, Katherine J. Cramer’s book proved to be prescient, identifying how rural resentment—no less than partisanship, race, or class—plays a major role in dividing America against itself. Cramer illuminates the contours of rural consciousness, showing how place-based identities profoundly influence how people understand politics, regardless of whether urban politicians and their supporters really do shortchange or look down on those living in the country.

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh

A call to action that has changed the conversation around climate change. Ghosh challenges writers and artists to confront our climate crisis, arguing that this is not only an environmental crisis but a crisis of imagination.

“Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity” from the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research

The 2017 Journal of the Association for Consumer Research article “Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity” was ranked #1 in a 2020 Financial Times analysis of “Business School Research with Social Impact.” The JACR article has received more than one hundred citations and global attention across multiple media, exemplifying the meteoric rise of a journal that, unique in offering quarterly themed issues, first launched in 2016 and is already ranked by Scopus in the top quartile in applied psychology, marketing, and economics and econometrics.

Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side by Eve Ewing

Ghosts in the Schoolyard draws on Ewing’s insider experience in the Chicago Public School system—as a student, a teacher, and a researcher—to situate the City’s wave of school closings in 2013 within a larger context. The book was praised by Ta-Nehisi Coates and was widely discussed from coverage on NPR to “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and The Nation.

The American Journal of Sociology

The American Journal of Sociology, the oldest journal devoted to the discipline, has influenced recent public discussions on topics such as housing, parenthood and child care, and racial identity, among other important and timely issues. In publication for nearly 130 years, AJS currently ranks among the top ten sociology journals, demonstrating that the influence of its scholarship continues to reverberate within and beyond academia.

The Limits of Critique by Rita Felski

The Times Literary Supplement declared The Limits of Critique “the most ambitious reappraisal of the discipline to appear since theory’s heyday.” By bringing critique down to earth and exploring new modes of interpretation, Rita Felski offers a fresh approach to the relationship between artistic works and the social world while showing the power of a scholarly book to transcend and impact many academic fields of thought.

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society continues to serve as a pioneering voice in feminist scholarship. Three articles from the past decade—“‘I Get Paid to Have Orgasms’: Adult Webcam Models’ Negotiation of Pleasure and Danger,” “Misogynistic Men Online: How the Red Pill Helped Elect Trump,” and “Making Black Women Scientists under White Empiricism: The Racialization of Epistemology in Physics”—have been viewed more than 10,000 times each, and these articles have been cited by a range of media outlets, including the New York Times, Vice, and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut

A book as smart and intriguing as its cover is cute, How To Tame a Fox tells the story of the most astonishing experiment in breeding ever undertaken, speeding up thousands of years of evolution into a few decades. It tells how biologists started with a few dozen silver foxes and set out to recreate the evolution of wolves into dogs in real-time in order to witness the process of domestication.

The Oldest Living Things in the World by Rachel Sussman

The Oldest Living Things in the World is an epic journey through time and space. Over a decade, artist Rachel Sussman researched, worked with biologists, and traveled the corners of the world to photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. The result is a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future.

The Chicago Manual of Style Partnership with PerfectIt

In 2021, the essential writing style guide The Chicago Manual of Style entered the proofreading software market through a partnership with PerfectIt. Combining the Manual with PerfectIt’s style checker helps writers and editors of everything from bids to books to align their copy with best practices.

This list is just a fraction of the remarkable books, journals, and initiatives that have made a mark in the last 10 years. And, we can’t wait to show you what the next decade has in store. Happy reading!