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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5 Questions for Alexander L. Fattal, author of ‘Guerrilla Marketing’

January 15, 2019
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5 Questions for Alexander L. Fattal, author of ‘Guerrilla Marketing’

In his new book—Guerrilla Marketing: Counterinsurgency and Capitalism in Colombia—Alexander L. Fattal takes a detailed look at the Colombian government’s efforts to transform Marxist guerrilla fighters in the FARC into consumer citizens. In doing so, he illuminates a larger phenomenon: the convergence of marketing and militarism in the twenty-first century. A recent New Yorker review called Guerrilla Marketing “A sobering book on how armies burnish their brands. . . a detailed, eye-opening investigation.” We sent Fattal a few questions to learn more about his research for the book, his recent reads, and his motivations to delve into this topic. What’s the best book you’ve read lately? The best, hmm, I’ll pick two Chicago titles. Not because this is the UCP blog, really. W. J. T. Mitchell’s Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9/11 to the Present and Susie Linfield’s The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence. Clearly I have a thing for smart, reasonably polemical books about the representation of political conflict. How did you wind up in this academic field, and what do you love about it? I became an anthropologist because I loved fieldwork. It’s trite but true. What I love about academia is the relative autonomy. Right now I’m finishing . . .

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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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“How did we get into this mess?” Two new books offering a deeper look into the state of democracy in America

December 12, 2018
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“How did we get into this mess?” Two new books offering a deeper look into the state of democracy in America

“How did we get into this mess? Every morning, many Americans ask this as, with a cringe, they pick up their phones and look to see what terrible thing President Trump has just said or done.” Those lines are stolen directly from the opening of the jacket copy for Boston College political scientist Alan Wolfe’s new book The Politics of Petulance, which just published this October. And they now seem more appropriate than ever. With the Mueller inquiry rapidly decreasing the degrees of separation between individuals who have already been indicted, and members of Trump’s inner circle, including the President himself, institutional corruption and the unraveling of the electorate’s faith in the modern democratic system are topics now making front page news on an almost daily basis. But while the headlines might seem to implicate the Trump administration in particular in the current state of affairs, in the New York Times Book Review, Norman J. Ornstein offers a review of two new books from the University of Chicago Press that take a deeper look at the issue, teasing out the historical, cultural, and institutional trends that the authors argue are the real culprits responsible for “what ails America.”  Ornstein’s review offers a nice summary of both . . .

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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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In the wake of the midterms, time to #TurnItUP!

November 13, 2018
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In the wake of the midterms, time to #TurnItUP!

                                The University Press week blog tour continues, today with a focus on politics. Georgetown University Press  provides readers with some resources. A post from Teachers College Press features a list of books on politics and education.  A Q&A with Michael Lazzarra, author of Civil Obedience (Critical Human Rights series) about how dictatorships are supported by civilian complicity is posted by the University of Wisconsin Press.  Rutgers University Press highlights three recent politics books: The Politics of Fame by Eric Burns and the reissues of classics Democracy Ancient and Modern by M.I. Finley and Echoes of the Marseillaise by Eric Hobsbawn. UBC Press describes their new Women’s Suffrage and the Struggle for Democracy series.  Over at LSU Press, there’s a post about their new list dealing with contemporary social justice issues, pegged to Jim Crow’s Last Stand and the recent state vote to ban non-unanimous criminal jury verdicts.  An interview with Dick Simpson and Betty O’Shaughnessy, authors of Winning Elections in the 21st Century can be found courtesy of the University of Kansas Press.  Harriet Kim provides a selection of interesting politics titles that she recently brought back . . .

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