Blog Archives

Talking political science with Assistant Editorial Director Charles Myers

August 28, 2020
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Acquiring Editor Chuck Myers

Alas, as in so many other ways, these are not normal times. The APSA will be virtual, as will our booth. But we didn’t want you all to miss getting to hobnob with Chuck, so our Marketing Director, Levi Stahl, conducted the following brief interview with him. Enjoy the interview, and then click through to our Virtual APSA to get the latest, best books in the field for 40% off with free shipping. And we’ll look forward to seeing you in person at next year’s APSA! You’ve been acquiring books in political science for . . . let’s just say that a goodly number of presidential administrations have come and gone and you’ve still had your shoulder to the wheel. But that doesn’t mean that everybody knows your background. Can you give us a rundown of your publishing career and how you ended up here at Chicago? I’ve had a couple of different careers including time in Washington working in the Senate and in the Justice Department in what now seems like a different country. I’ve been interested in politics since I was a child and used to go with my mother, who was our local judge of elections, to . . .

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Talking sociology with Executive Editor Elizabeth Branch Dyson

July 30, 2020
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Talking sociology with Executive Editor Elizabeth Branch Dyson

The pandemic-driven shift of the American Sociological Association’s annual conference from in-person to online means we’re going to miss out on a lot of things we associate with conferences. Drinking weak coffee from paper cups, sitting on the floor at the back of a too-crowded panel, wandering the book exhibit (and awkwardly bumping into the same person at three or four booths in a row). Most of all, though, we’ll miss the chance to simply meet up and talk–to catch up on what everyone has been doing, been reading, been excited about. To fill that gap, our marketing director, Levi Stahl, sat down for a virtual conversation with Elizabeth Branch Dyson, Executive Editor for sociology. 1. We both started at the University of Chicago Press in 1999-2000–I think I have maybe six months on you? And, like me, you’ve worked in a number of areas at the Press. Can you tell us quickly about your path to being Executive Editor acquiring in sociology? That’s right! After a few years teaching middle school—a job with a guaranteed belly laugh a day—I started at the Press August 31, 2000, the day before my COBRA insurance was due to run out. My foot-in-the-door . . .

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Five Questions with Eve L. Ewing

June 15, 2020
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Five Questions with Eve L. Ewing

As a book marketer at a university press, one of the things you’re always looking for is a work of strong scholarship that also can connect with ordinary readers and issues that matter in their lives. In the past few years, one of the best examples we’ve had of that is sociologist Eve L. Ewing’s Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side. Published in 2018 to broad acclaim—Ta-Nehisi Coates called it “an important addition to any conversation about the future of public schools,” Publishers Weekly called it “essential,” NPR named it one of the best books of the year, and Diane Ravitch called it “the best book about education this year”—the book struck a chord with scholars and activists alike. Earlier this spring, it was published in paperback, and Chicago also released another project that Ewing had a hand in: a new edition of Ida B. Wells’s classic memoir, Crusade for Justice, with a foreword by Ewing. Those of you who know Ewing from her Twitter feed know, however, that no matter how many projects you name, she’s always up to something more—and that could be anything from publishing poetry to writing comic books. We . . .

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The University of Chicago Press to participate in Andrew W. Mellon Foundation–supported diversity program

January 24, 2019
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The University of Chicago Press to participate in Andrew W. Mellon Foundation–supported diversity program

The University of Chicago Press is proud to announce that it will participate in a program supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation designed to diversify academic publishing by offering apprenticeships in acquisitions departments. A four-year, $1,205,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will provide for three annual cycles of editorial fellows at six university presses: the University of Chicago Press, the MIT Press, Cornell University Press, the Ohio State University Press, University of Washington Press, and Northwestern University Press. This new grant builds on the success of the initial 2016 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which funded the first cross-press initiative of its kind in the United States to address the marked lack of diversity in the academic publishing industry. Graduates of the first fellowship program hold professional positions at university presses across the country, including at Columbia University Press, the MIT Press, University of Virginia Press, the Ohio State University Press, and the University of Washington Press. Additionally, for the four participating presses, the initial grant expanded applicant pools, improved outreach to underrepresented communities, created more equitable preliminary screening practices in hiring, and enabled dedicated attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion overall. The 2016 grant . . .

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Is this really higher education’s golden age—or is it just a gold-plated age?

January 18, 2019
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Is this really higher education’s golden age—or is it just a gold-plated age?

Last week, the Chronicle of Higher Education featured a piece by Steven Brint arguing that we are in a golden age for higher education. Herb Childress, the author of our forthcoming book The Adjunct Underclass: How America’s Colleges Betrayed Their Faculty, Their Students, and Their Mission, respectfully disagrees. We invited him to lay out his differences with Brint in the essay below.    A particularly vexing form of disagreement arises when multiple observers see the same phenomena, but their vantage points lead them to describe them differently from each other.  This is the position I find myself in after reading Steven Brint’s nicely researched, factually accurate article “Is This Higher Education’s Golden Age?” (Chronicle Review, January 11, 2019). I take no issue at all with what he says, but the things he sees aren’t the same thing I see, because we’re standing in different places. In overview, Brint’s article makes three basic claims. First, the enterprise of higher education is larger than it has ever been, when measured across a broad array of financial and participatory indices. Second, the rapidly increasing cost of the product hasn’t kept an increasing proportion of Americans from buying it (and in the case of graduate degrees, . . .

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We’re doing it all wrong. (When it comes to teaching history, that is.)

January 10, 2019
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We’re doing it all wrong. (When it comes to teaching history, that is.)

“Back in my day, teenagers and college students knew stuff. Now they just look things up on their phones.” Well . . . maybe? As Sam Wineburg has learned through extensive study of how we teach history and whether it works, we’ve always been bad at teaching history. And there really wasn’t ever a “golden age of fact retention.” So maybe we should just give up on drilling facts into kids and let their surfing fingers lead them to the knowledge they need, when they need it? Well, that’s a problem, too, Wineburg shows in his book Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone). The solution to our historically ineffective methods of teaching history (rote memorization among them) isn’t to stop teaching history: it’s to teach it better, using the knowledge we’ve gained through studies of what actually works. And a big part of that is figuring out how to give students the knowledge and critical thinking skills they’ll need to navigate a world of often suspect online information. Only by combining the two–giving students a sense of what history is and why it matters while also showing them how to use online news and sources with an effective amount . . .

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Thinking Literature: A new series

December 17, 2018
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Thinking Literature: A new series

The University of Chicago Press announces a new series devoted to books in literary criticism. Entitled Thinking Literature and co-edited by Nan Z. Da (University of Notre Dame) and Anahid Nersessian (University of California, Los Angeles), the series will be devoted to “the refinement of literary criticism as a way of thinking unavailable by other means.” “This series is a contrarian move,” says Alan Thomas, the Press’s editorial director and acquisitions editor for the series. “At a time when interdisciplinary projects carry the greatest prestige in the humanities, it’s time for literary criticism to make a stronger case for its disciplinary integrity and a bolder claim for what it offers as a practice.” “Thinking Literature will be a gift to our discipline,” says Deidre Shauna Lynch (Harvard University), author of Loving Literature: A Cultural History. “I admire the editors’ commitment to scholarship centered on the big questions, ones that can’t be posed often enough and which need, now more than ever, to be posed anew: what defines literature’s distinctiveness, why does it matter, and what modes of criticism can best honor that significance?” Jeff Dolven (Princeton University), author of Senses of Style: Poetry before Interpretation, adds, “Thinking Literature promises to . . .

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Holiday gift book sale! 40% off–one week only!

December 3, 2018
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Holiday gift book sale! 40% off–one week only!

              You know that what folks on your holiday gift giving list want is books, right? Fortunately, that’s what we’ve got: book after book after book, including art, biography, science, literature, poetry, and much more, all 40% off this week only–December 3 through 9–if you order directly from our site. Get The Writer’s Map, which the Weekly Standard called the book of the year. Or Philip Ball’s Beyond Weird, which the Washington Post said was the easily best book for general readers on quantum physics they’d ever seen. Or the David Ferry’s brilliant new translation of The Aeneid; pair it with a different sort of epic, the Bodleian Library’s stunning catalog Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth. Or Alligator Records founder Bruce Iglauer’s rollicking memoir of his life in the music business. There’s something here for everyone on your list, and it’s all 40% off this week. Time to get shopping!     . . .

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A notable retirement, a reorganization of responsibilities, and two promotions—a new era at the University of Chicago Press

November 29, 2018
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A notable retirement, a reorganization of responsibilities, and two promotions—a new era at the University of Chicago Press

  An era will pass on December 31st with the retirement of executive editor Doug Mitchell after forty-one years at the University of Chicago Press. During his tenure at Chicago, Doug has made an incalculable impact on several scholarly fields, including sexuality studies, sociology, history, and rhetoric. Doug began his publishing career in the college division of Scott, Foresman, then came to the Press in 1977. Some of Doug’s distinctive early acquisitions were books by the Annales historians, works in social and cultural theory, studies in the production of knowledge, and, most famously, the National Book Award–winning Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, by John Boswell. Boswell’s book became the spearhead for Doug’s field-defining list in sexuality studies. For his role in shaping and amplifying that field, Doug was honored in 1998 with a Lambda Literary Award. Doug also published important books in rhetoric and communication and drew on his musical gifts to bring Chicago a line of important books in jazz studies. Perhaps the greatest of Doug’s achievements was to build a community of sociologists linked by a love of culture, narrative, and first principles, for which the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction awarded him its coveted George . . .

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The University of Chicago Press and the Chicago Distribution Center welcome former UPNE publishers

November 14, 2018
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The University of Chicago Press and the Chicago Distribution Center welcome former UPNE publishers

We’re please to be able to share some good news that’s perfectly timed for University Press Week—#TurnItUP! The University of Chicago Press and the Chicago Distribution Center are pleased to announce that Autumn House Press, Brandeis University Press, Carnegie Mellon University Press, Dartmouth College Press, New Issues Poetry & Prose, Oberlin College Press, Omnidawn Publishing, and 2Leaf Press, all formerly distributed by UPNE,  as well as books published under UPNE’s own imprint, are joining the CDC and will be marketed and sold by the University of Chicago Press. All orders for books from these publishers can now be directed to the CDC. Joseph D’Onofrio, the director of the CDC, said “The University of Chicago Press and the Chicago Distribution Center are pleased to welcome our new publishers from UPNE to the family. We look forward to helping them flourish, as they continue to publish great and compelling books.” Founded in 1998, Autumn House Press publishes full-length collections of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The press concentrates on publishing the work of excellent contemporary writers who have a following among readers, but whose work has been overlooked by commercial publishers. Autumn House Press believes art and literature are essential to the growth of a . . .

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