UCP News

Announcing the Recipients of the 2021-2022 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowships

June 9, 2021
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The University of Chicago Press along with the University of Washington Press, the MIT Press, Cornell University Press, the Ohio State University Press, Northwestern University Press, and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) are excited to announce the recipients of the 2021-2022 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowships. These fellowships are generously funded by a four-year, $1,205,000 grant awarded to the University of Washington Press from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the continued development and expansion of the pipeline program designed to diversify academic publishing by offering apprenticeships in acquisitions departments. This second grant builds on the success of the initial 2016 grant from the 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. Please join us in welcoming the 2021-2022 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows: Chad M. Attenborough joins the University of Washington Press from Vanderbilt University, where he is a PhD candidate studying black responses to the British abolition of the slave trade in the Caribbean. While completing his research, Chad worked for Vanderbilt University Press as a graduate assistant where his passion for publishing developed in earnest and . . .

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The University of Chicago Press Welcomes the American Library Association as a New Distribution Client

May 12, 2021
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The University of Chicago Press and the Chicago Distribution Center are excited to announce a new distribution partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) throughout North America starting July 1, 2021. This includes books published by ALA Editions/ALA Neal-Schuman, ACRL Publications, and other ALA units; posters, bookmarks, READ-branded and other items that promote literacy and libraries, published by ALA Graphics; and ALA’s physical award seals such as the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Carnegie Medals seals. The ALA is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org. “The opportunity to partner with a company whose values so closely align with where ALA is right now and where ALA is headed in the next few years is exciting,” said Mary Mackay, ALA Associate Director of Publishing. “We have been delighted by CDC’s responsiveness, their willingness to learn about our business, and their commitment to pivoting with . . .

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Remembering Marshall Sahlins (1930-2021)

April 9, 2021
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Remembering Marshall Sahlins (1930-2021)

Marshall Sahlins, a giant in the field of anthropology and a celebrated Press author, died earlier this week at his home in Hyde Park. Best known for his ethnographic work in the Pacific and for his contributions to anthropological theory, he was the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and the author of many books. Retired anthropology editor T. David Brent had the honor of working closely with Sahlins throughout his career, and he offered these words of remembrance for a significant author and friend. Marshall Sahlins was a distinguished scholar, a great anthropologist, a treasured author of the University of Chicago Press, and my dear friend. I had the privilege of being the editor for several of his books including Islands of History (1985), Anahulu: The Anthropology of History in the Kingdom of Hawaii volumes 1 & 2, co-authored with Patrick V. Kirch (1992), How “Natives” Think: About Captain Cook, For Example (1995), Apologies to Thucydides: Understanding History as Culture and Vice-Versa (2004) and What Kinship Is . . . And Is Not (2013). I also helped shepherd his Culture and Practical Reason (1976) into publication just after I joined the Press . . .

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Meet Mary Al-Sayed, Our New Editor for Anthropology & History

October 30, 2020
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We’re excited to welcome Mary Al-Sayed, who recently joined the Press as editor in the Books Division, acquiring new titles in anthropology and history. Mary comes to us from Palgrave Macmillan, where she was senior editor for anthropology, sociology, and migration studies. Ordinarily, we would look forward to introducing Mary in person at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), where you’d have the opportunity to chat with her directly about her interests. Alas, here we are. AAA will be virtual, as will our booth. But we didn’t want you all to miss the chance to get to know Mary, so we’ve put together this little Q & A. Enjoy the interview, and then click through to our Virtual AAA booth to browse the latest, best books in the field, which are available for 40% off with free shipping. We’ll look forward to seeing you in person at next year’s AAA! What are you looking for in a book, and what kind of project gets you excited? I approach most proposals with a really rude question in mind, one that my mother forbade me from asking around second grade: “So what?” (Yes, I was an obnoxious child.) Most proposals an . . .

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Remembering Cosmas Magaya (1953–2020)

July 15, 2020
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The Press was sad to learn of the passing of Chicago author and master musician Cosmas Magaya this week of COVID-19. Below, ethnomusicologist Paul F. Berliner offers a remembrance of his coauthor, longtime collaborator, and friend. On July 10th, 2020, coronavirus took the life of one of the world’s great musicians, mentors, and cultural ambassadors, Zimbabwean mbira master Cosmas Magaya. In North America, Europe, and Africa where he performed, he was universally loved by his following not only for his inspired virtuosity and expressivity, but for his generosity of spirit. A virtuoso from an early age, Cosmas was a key player in the renowned mbira ensemble, Mhuri yekwaRwizi, led by singer Hakurotwi Mude. He performed both for Shona religious ceremonies and for the concert stage. Initially sponsored to the USA by the Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center (Eugene, OR) in the 1990s, Cosmas subsequently traveled widely and regularly to perform and teach. Countless students and musicians had the privilege of learning from him in university classrooms, at mbira camps and workshops, and in private lessons. His talents were first showcased internationally in the 1970s on the recordings The Soul of Mbira and Shona Mbira Music, and subsequently, on the independently produced . . .

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Carol Kasper Offers Remembrances of Two Former Colleagues

July 13, 2020
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The extended University of Chicago Press family has recently mourned the passing of two former colleagues, Duke Hill and Bob Wallenius. In memoriam, retired Marketing Director Carol Kasper offers her remembrances. One thing I had always appreciated about working at the University of Chicago Press was that my colleagues were like family. I saw them almost every day. We worked and played together. I watched them grow and mature, and I was a little sad but glad for them when they went on to promising new opportunities. Lately, I’ve found myself saying final farewells to more than a few of these folks. Just last week I learned that two of marketing’s extended family members passed on. One was Duke Hill.  Duke was a sales rep when I started as a student worker at UCP back in 1981. He always had a smile and a store of supportive words for a newbie like me. He later became Chicago’s sales manager.  Duke was old school. He hung out at Jimmie’s. Cigarette in hand, he sat at sales meetings, nodded briskly, and said “piece of cake” when asked if one of our scholarly books could sell 2000 copies. And they did, back in . . .

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Announcing the 2020-2021 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows

June 15, 2020
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The University of Chicago Press, the University of Washington Press, the MIT Press, Cornell University Press, the Ohio State University Press, Northwestern University Press, and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) today announce the recipients of the 2020-2021 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowships. These fellowships are generously funded by a four-year, $1,205,000 grant awarded to the University of Washington Press from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the continued development and expansion of the pipeline program designed to diversify academic publishing by offering apprenticeships in acquisitions departments. This second grant builds on the success of the initial 2016 grant from the 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. Please join us in welcoming the 2020-2021 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows: Rebecca Brutus graduated in May from Ithaca College, where she majored in Writing and minored in Theater Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. At Ithaca College she served as Senior Nonfiction Editor at the literary magazine Stillwater and as a tutor in the Writing Center. She was also involved with ZAP, a student-run volunteer program that organized panels to . . .

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The University of Chicago Press Stands in Solidarity with Protests Against Racial Injustice

June 11, 2020
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While the University of Chicago Press’s authors and partnerships span the globe, we are based on the South Side of Chicago, in a community that has experienced decades of state-sanctioned violence—the violence of poverty, of unequal access to health care and education, of police brutality. This community includes our neighbors, our co-workers, our family, our fellow citizens. We stand together in love and solidarity, as we do with the millions of people who have marched to remind us that Black lives matter. But this is not enough. As a university press, our mission is to publish ideas that make a positive difference in the world and this includes giving voice to those who have been silenced. Throughout our history, we have had an important role in supporting authors whose work sheds light on racial and social injustice. Our recent anti-racism and social justice resource lists of books and journal articles speak to this long-held commitment to publish works that foster public understanding and engage the vital issues of our time. We pledge to find new ways to amplify work by Black and other historically underrepresented scholars and encourage research that offers critical insight into the racial disparities and other injustices . . .

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Poet Rachel DeWoskin Reads from Her New Collection

May 18, 2020
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UChicago Press is now on Youtube! . . .

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Five Questions with Joseph Calamia, Senior Editor for Science

May 5, 2020
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Joseph Calamia recently joined the Press as senior editor in the Books Division, acquiring new titles in the physical sciences, mathematics, oceanography, and digital studies. Joe came to us from Yale University Press, where he spent ten years, most recently, as senior editor for science and technology. We’ve been excited to welcome him not only to the Press but to Chicago, and by way of introduction, we put together some questions about his interests. What are you looking for in a book, and what kind of project gets you excited? Editors are excitable—I want to get excited. But, when pursuing a book for publication, I must answer two questions. First, what’s new? Second, who will read this? The first question considers originality; the second, audience. I should say that my answer to this question is not original. When reading a proposal, I hear these questions in my head. At commissioning meetings, I hear them from colleagues. I should also say that the two questions are connected. One of the many great things about working at a university press is the encouragement to create a program that includes books for different audiences, including popular, course, and academic readers. For public-facing or . . .

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