UCP News

A parting

August 27, 2010
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On the Chicago blog, we usually stick to news of our books and authors—that, after all, is what a publisher’s blog is for. Today, however, we’d like to break from that for a moment to offer thanks and good wishes to the colleague who has been an eloquent voice on this blog for the past few years, Stephanie Hlywak. Stephanie is leaving us today after seven years, and she’ll be missed, perhaps nowhere more than in this very space, where her inventiveness, eye for a story, and ready wit have been responsible for giving the Chicago blog much of its panache. We wish her the best of luck as she takes up a job at the Poetry Foundation, where she’ll continue the good work of promoting books and literature to the world at large. At times like these, people have turned for centuries to the Ancients, and we would be remiss if we did any less. So as we wave goodbye, we’ll let Seneca have the floor, in an excerpt from a letter of advice to young Nero Caesar, as translated by Robert A. Kaster in our new volume, Anger, Mercy, Revenge: You can boldly make this declaration, Caesar: all . . .

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Stuart Brent, 1912-2010

June 26, 2010
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Stuart Brent, who for fifty years personified independent bookselling in Chicago, died Thursday at the age of 98. He attended the University of Chicago where he earned a degree in education before service in the Army in World War II. After the war he opened a small bookshop on Rush Street that he called the Seven Stairs, for the number of steps it took to descend to its door. A few years later he moved to a larger space at 670 North Michigan Avenue which became the Chicago readers’ destination Stuart Brent Books. The ground floor was stocked with a well-crafted selection of literary fiction, art books, and essential non-fiction, with a tilt toward titles in psychology and psychoanalysis. The lower level was devoted to children’s books. He was a bookseller of the most independent sort: well-read, opinionated, and willing (or more) to shape his customers’ reading habits. Over the course of his fifty years in the business, bookselling became ever more concentrated in the mall stores, superstores, and virtual stores of billion dollar corporations. The books stocked in Stuart Brent Books were chosen by a personality, not an algorithm. Brent was also an author: of Seven Stairs, a memoir . . .

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The Press Congratulates the Guggenheim Fellows

April 16, 2010
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The Press Congratulates the Guggenheim Fellows

Yesterday, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced its eighty-sixth class of fellows. Among those honored with the prestigious award were a number of familiar faces at the Press. We recognize and congratulate each below. Andrew Apter, professor of history and anthropology at University of California, Los Angeles, studies ritual, memory, and indigenous knowledge. He has published three books with the University of Chicago Press—including Black Critics and Kings: The Hermeneutics of Power in Yoruba Society and The Pan-African Nation: Oil and the Spectacle of Culture in Nigeria; in his most recent book, Beyond Words: Discourse and Critical Agency in Africa, Apter confronts colonialist depictions of Africa in the discipline of anthropology and develops an ethnographic practice that transcends the politics of the continent’s imperial past. A professor of sociology at Northwestern University, Gary Alan Fine has published six book with the University of Chicago Press, covering topics from little league baseball to outsider art. His most recent book, Authors of the Storm: Meteorologists and the Culture of Prediction, takes us inside Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma and the National Weather Service in Washington, D.C, to see first hand how meteorologists and forecasters predict the weather. Though perhaps best known . . .

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Free e-book of the month

November 5, 2009
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Free e-book of the month

Beginning this month we will offer a free e-book each month. If you’d like to give our Chicago Digital Editions a try, or if you just want to score some good reads, check in regularly for the free e-book of the month. And for all our currently available e-books, see our list of e-books by subject. This month’s selection is The Birthday Book by the Roman writer Censorinus. Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Roman scholar Censorinus bestowed upon his best friend a charming birthday present: The Birthday Book, which appears here in its long-awaited first English translation. Laying out everything he knew about birthdays, the book starts simply, but by the conclusion of this brief yet brilliant gem, Censorinus has sketched a glorious vision of a universe ruled by harmony and order, where the microcosm of the child in the womb corresponds to the macrocosm of the planets. Alternately serious and playful, Censorinus touches on music, history, astronomy, astrology, and every aspect of time as it was understood in third-century Rome. He also provides ancient answers to perennial questions: Why does the day begin at midnight? Where did Leap Year come from? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? . . .

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“South Asia Across the Disciplines” on the web

October 27, 2009
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“South Asia Across the Disciplines” on the web

In January we announced the birth of the new series “South Asia Across the Disciplines”—a unique collaborative publication effort between Columbia University Press, the University of California Press, and the University of Chicago Press designed to increase publication opportunities for emerging scholars in the field. We recently unveiled a new website for the project offering more details, including a formal call for submissions and a list of forthcoming publications at www.saacrossdisciplines.org. According to the SAAD website: “South Asia Across the Disciplines” publishes work that aims to raise innovative questions in the field. These include the relationship between South Asian studies and the disciplines; the conversation between past and present in South Asia; the history and nature of modernity, especially in relation to cultural change, political transformation, secularism and religion, and globalization. Above all, the series showcases monographs that strive to open up new archives, especially in South Asian languages, and suggest new methods and approaches, while demonstrating that South Asian scholarship can be at once deep in expertise and broad in appeal. We invite manuscripts from art history, history, literary studies, philology or textual studies, philosophy, religion, and the interpretive social sciences, especially those that show an openness to disciplines . . .

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Bernard Harcourt wins the Laing Prize

April 16, 2009
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Bernard Harcourt wins the Laing Prize

Since 1963, the Press has awarded the annual Gordon J. Laing Prize to the Chicago faculty author, editor, or translator whose book has brought the greatest distinction to the Press’s list. This year, at a ceremony held earlier this month, the prize honored Bernard Harcourt, the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Professor in Political Science, for his book Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing and Punishing in the Actuarial Age. Harcourt’s book challenges the growing use of actuarial methods—from random security checks at airports to the use of risk assessment in sentencing—to determine whom law enforcement officials target and punish. The widely perceived success of these methods, he argues, has begun to distort our very conception of just punishment and to obscure alternate visions of social order. You can listen to Harcourt discuss his arguments in greater detail during this podcast of a talk he gave for the Chicago’s Best Ideas series at the University of Chicago Law School. As the new Chicago Chronicle notes today, Harcourt said of the prize itself that it was “extremely rewarding—and also very humbling—to receive this recognition from the community of scholars who I admire the most. A community that values ideas so intensely and . . .

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Happy Birthday Kate Turabian!

February 26, 2009
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Happy Birthday Kate Turabian!

. . .

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What does a publicist do? An interview with Levi Stahl

February 11, 2009
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What does a publicist do? An interview with Levi Stahl

Nigel Beale, author of the Nota Bene Books blog, recently posted the audio from an interesting interview he conducted with the press’s publicity manager, Levi Stahl. The interview offers a rare insider’s perspective on book marketing and publicity, touching on everything from coordinating book tours and dealing with the media, to writing promotional copy, to the industry’s shift towards online marketing strategies. The pair top off the interview with a discussion of Stahl’s recent efforts in getting the UCP to re-issue the Parker novels, Richard Stark’s famous hardboiled noir mystery series. Listen in on the discussion at Nigel Beale’s Nota Bene Books blog. . . .

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UCP wins big at AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show

February 4, 2009
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UCP wins big at AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show

Judging for the 2009 American Association of University Press’s Book, Jacket and Journal Show—a competition that recognizes meritorious achievement in the design, production, and manufacture of books, jackets, and journals by members of the university press community—took place last month at the AAUP Office in New York City. Approximately 289 books, 292 jacket and covers, and 7 journals competed, and 53 books, 36 jackets/covers, and one journal were chosen by the jurors as the very best examples from this pool of excellent design. The University of Chicago Press is proud to announce that it had eleven winning entries in the show. Congratulations to the winners! Design Category: Scholarly TypographicImages in Spite of All: Four Photographs from Auschwitz by Georges Didi-HubermanDesigner: Maia Wright Design Category: Scholarly IllustratedCutting a Figure:Fashioning Black Portraiture by Richard J. PowellDesigner: Matt Avery Design Category: Scholarly IllustratedThe Terezín Album of Mariánka Zadikow Annotated by Debórah DworkDesigner: Jill Simabukuro Design Category: Trade TypographicCollections of Nothing by William Davies KingDesigner: Jill Shimabukuro Design Category: Trade IllustratedThe Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age by Neil HarrisDesigner: Maia Wright Design Category: Trade IllustratedSleeping Beauty: A One-Artist Dictionary by John Sparagana and Mieke BalDesigner: Jill Shimabukuro Design Category: Poetry and . . .

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The Great Chicago Book Sale a Great Success!

October 15, 2008
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The Great Chicago Book Sale a Great Success!

The University of Chicago Press held its first public book sale in 26 years on October 7 and 8 at International House in Hyde Park. Thousands of book lovers took this rare opportunity to buy Chicago books at deep discounts. With more than 20,000 books available—all at less than $5 each, the selection included everything from anthropology through zoology. The next sale will be held in 2034. (Just kidding.) . . .

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