UCP News

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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A Message from University of Chicago Press Director Garrett Kiely

March 31, 2020
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As of April 13, the Chicago Distribution Center (CDC) has reopened and is processing and fulfilling orders normally. The decision to reopen the CDC was made after close consultation with Press and University leadership to find a solution that puts concerns for the health and safety of CDC staff at the center. The CDC will be operating for as long as necessary with a reduced staff and in adherence to strict safety guidelines. We are glad to be able to return to the work of supporting our community of readers and our partners, including students, booksellers, libraries, and scholarly institutions. We appreciate your patience and support during this challenging time.  The coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to our lives. But what has not changed during this challenging time is our belief in the power of books and scholarship to both inform and comfort, and our dedication to the many constituencies—authors, students, professors, client publishers, libraries, society partners, and bookstores—who share this publishing landscape with us.   While our distribution center is temporarily closed out of concern for the health of our staff and community, we are working closely with libraries and universities to expand student access to vital digital course books and journal articles (an updated list of resources is available here). We are also making as many of our books as . . .

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Five Questions with Chad Zimmerman, Executive Editor for Economics

March 26, 2020
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Chad Zimmerman recently joined the Press as executive editor in the Books Division, acquiring new titles in economics, business, and public policy. Chad came to us from Oxford University Press, where he worked most recently as a senior editor building a robust list in public health, including books in health economics and policy. 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? Voice. That is a terribly nonspecific answer, but hear me out: Most people who write books are experts in what they’re writing about. Whether their book is any good depends on how they express (and in many cases, limit) their knowledge for the good of the reader. That expression takes the form of their writing voice. And writing voice comprises not just narration, but also how the work is structured.    Reading is a “what’s in it for me?” activity. It is the author’s job to respect their reader and meet them on their level, whether that’s expert or non-expert. Very few authors have the . . .

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The soundtrack of Stefano Bloch’s life in 1990’s L.A.

November 26, 2019
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To celebrate the release of Going All City, semi-retired graffiti writer Stefano Bloch's debut memoir, we put together a playlist that captures its fierce, poignant essence. . . .

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Lewis Raven Wallace: How to Speak Up and Speak Out

November 5, 2019
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It’s University Press Week! Today’s blog tour theme is ‘Speaking Up & Speaking Out’. Who better to reflect on the subject than activist and journalist Lewis Wallace, who was fired from his job in public radio for refusing to stay silent about the harmful and marginalizing myth of ‘objectivity’ perpetuated in the media world? Read on for his thoughts about today’s theme, and scroll for event info and a teaser trailer of Wallace’s new podcast, companion to his debut book, The View from Somewehere. “I was raised to believe that speaking out mattered, that we all had some responsibility to justice and fairness in the world. I remember lodging protests that only a child of privilege would: against the overly authoritarian school lunch supervisor; against a teacher who I believed insulted the sixth grade students’ intelligence. I circulated petitions and self-published newspapers about youth liberation and adult domination. But speaking out comes with consequences that are uneven and unfair, based on your position of power in the world. In my case, speaking out was easy until I came of age and came out as queer, and transgender in the late 1990s. Using my voice then became a necessity, rather than . . .

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Doug Mitchell, 1943-2019

September 19, 2019
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Alan Thomas, Editorial Director of the Press, offers a tribute to Doug Mitchell. During forty-one years as an acquisitions editor at the University of Chicago Press, Doug Mitchell’s influence in sexuality studies and sociology rivaled that of the disciplines’ greatest scholars. A gifted jazz drummer, he compared the editor’s intuitive work of connecting authors and ideas to “playing a really good drum solo.” Doug died on 1 September 2019 in Chicago after a long illness, aged 76, only eight months after his retirement from the Press. He was educated at the University of Chicago in Ideas and Methods, an interdisciplinary program conceived by the philosopher Richard McKeon, whose work Doug later championed as an editor. It was a program, Doug said, “charged with locating the ways in which philosophic problems arise in fields other than philosophy—a good preparation for scholarly publishing.” He earned his A.B. degree from Chicago in 1965, continued for a time as a graduate student while also playing jazz, and took a job as an editor at the college division of Scott, Foresman, where he acquired textbooks in American and European history. Moving to the University of Chicago Press in 1977, Doug took charge of our history . . .

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Remembering David Bevington

August 9, 2019
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On August 2, the Press lost a dear friend and author, David Bevington (1931–2019). David was not only a preeminent Shakespeare scholar at the University of Chicago and the author of such books as This Wide and Universal Theater: Shakespeare in Performance, Then and Now, but he, along with his wife Peggy, was a generous supporter of the Press and its authors through the Bevington Fund. In memory of David, Press Editorial Director Alan Thomas offered this tribute. David Bevington’s influence as an editor and interpreter of medieval and Renaissance literature is plain to see: his Bantam paperback editions of Shakespeare’s plays are classroom favorites, and several of his scholarly books have become critical classics. But the fond reminiscences that filled social media after David’s death highlighted a different theme: his extraordinary generosity toward younger scholars. He continued to attend conferences and campus talks well past his retirement, following the work of the latest generation and dispensing encouragement. In 2006, David and his wife Peggy, who for three decades had been a teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, offered the University of Chicago Press a $100,000 gift to support the publication of authors’ first books. David recalled that . . .

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