Talking political science with Assistant Editorial Director Charles Myers

August 28, 2020
By
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 . . .

Read more »

Book Trailer: Hearing Happiness

August 21, 2020
By

We're excited to share the book trailer for historian Jaipreet Virdi's new book, 'Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History'! . . .

Read more »

Read an Excerpt from “Blood Ties: A Story of Falconry and Fatherhood” by Ben Crane

August 20, 2020
By

Spring and Summer of 2020 have been unlike any in our collective memory. But as we’ve spent these months in relative isolation, socially distanced from our loved ones, many of us have awakened to details of the changing seasons that we seemed somehow to have forgot in our normal daily lives. We’ve noticed the feel of cool, green moss; the hum of bees in city parks; the smell of blooming lindens. In the news, we’ve read about the return of wild boars, goats, fish, and dolphins to city streets, rivers, and ports. Something in this is comforting. Copublished with UK publisher Head of Zeus, Ben Crane’s Blood Ties is a potent reminder that if we open our senses to nature, we are never truly alone. It is also so much more. Both an uncannily brilliant evocation of the falconer’s art and a moving story of a man’s discovery of how to be a father, Blood Ties is a memoir as compelling and feathered with insights into the natural world and human heart as the beloved H Is for Hawk—and yet, it is a story wholly its own. At once deeply personal and soaring across the globe, bringing us eye to . . .

Read more »

5 Questions with Matthew H. Rafalow, author of “Digital Divisions”

August 18, 2020
By

It seems that the effects of COVID-19 persist in each and every arena of our lives. With its emergence, the unjust systemic stratifications of resources, distribution, and access became more apparent than ever. One such area is education. With back to school season upon us again, we must think critically about the divides driving education and schools. In his new book, Digital Divisions: How Schools Create Inequality in the Tech Era, Matthew H. Rafalow explores how different student body demographics receive starkly contrasting responses to their interests and implementations of technology. What lead to you this subject? Were there any particular elements that you were drawn to learning more about? I have always been fascinated by how schools work. Since my parents worked in education, dinner table conversations centered on stories about students. But they were also big supporters of my interests in computers, even though a lot of my peers saw it as rather geeky. As an adult, I watched as the world adopted all sorts of new digital technologies. I wondered if kids’ experiences with technology today were similar or different from my own. I also was curious about what school would be like if everyone liked using . . .

Read more »

Scott L. Montgomery on the Importance of Communicating Science Today

August 14, 2020
By

Scott L. Montgomery, author of The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science, is widely known for his writings on energy matters, intellectual history, language and translation, and history of science. In light of the disparate messaging surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we invited him to share his thoughts with us. Communicating science is more essential today than it has ever been. This means not only among scientists themselves but a range of non-scientific audiences. Such may sound like an opinion donning the mask of fact (forgive the simile). But I wager almost every scientist and a great many others agree with it.   There are several reasons for me to say this. One, of course, is the Covid-19 pandemic. In this case, communicating the science and doing so accurately counts as both an ethical and moral act, as well as a political necessity, due to the near-bacterial spread of misinformation, conspiracy ideas, and outright denials of the disease. Internet technology provides pathways for anti-science to mobilize and proliferate, and it is this same technology (social media) that needs to be employed as a counter such intellectual toxins. Thankfully, a good bit of this is happening. It needs to continue and expand in both relentless and eloquent fashion to counter and contain the appeals it . . .

Read more »

Talking sociology with Executive Editor Elizabeth Branch Dyson

July 30, 2020
By
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 . . .

Read more »

Read an Excerpt from “Crusade for Justice” by Ida B. Wells, Born on This Day in 1862

July 16, 2020
By
Read an Excerpt from “Crusade for Justice” by Ida B. Wells, Born on This Day in 1862

Today marks the 158th birthday of journalist, activist, and civil rights icon Ida B. Wells-Barnett, born into slavery in Missouri on July 16, 1862. Wells, posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year for her “outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching,” left a legacy that endures today alongside the continued fight for racial justice. Nearly a century after her death, her work, rather than echoing the past, holds a mirror to contemporary society. She continues to teach us about the hard work of social change and the long road that still lies ahead. As Eve L. Ewing writes in the foreword: “Generations after the passing of Ida B. Wells, her battle continues. We still fight in defense of Black people’s basic humanity, our right to a fair application of the laws of the land, and our right to not be brutally murdered in public. In light of this continued struggle, maybe we don’t need more moving oratory or another inspirational fable about mythological people. Maybe we just need the whole truth.” Today, in celebration of her birthday, we offer “The Tide of Hatred,” an excerpt from Crusade for . . .

Read more »

Remembering Cosmas Magaya (1953–2020)

July 15, 2020
By

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 . . .

Read more »

Carol Kasper Offers Remembrances of Two Former Colleagues

July 13, 2020
By

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 . . .

Read more »

Can We Fill Our Empty Streets?: Brian Ladd on the Role of Streets in City Life

July 9, 2020
By
Can We Fill Our Empty Streets?: Brian Ladd on the Role of Streets in City Life

With social distancing protocols in place and many businesses temporarily closed, the current pandemic has drastically changed the public lives of our cities. Eerie videos of cities like New York show a world with fewer cars, cyclists, and pedestrians, while many of us wonder how and when public interactions might resume. Brian Ladd, author of The Streets of Europe, considers not only our current state of lockdown, but also the history and future of city streets, looking at the ways they have changed from pedestrian hubs to high-speed thoroughfares and how we might reconsider their role in city life. In our coronavirus quarantines, many of us miss not only particular people, but also people in general. Pictures of empty streets remind us that we cannot, like the French poet Charles Baudelaire, “melt into the crowd” to “take a bath of multitude” with its “feverish ecstasies.” Will our current feelings of deprivation renew an enthusiasm for the daily throng? Only if we don’t succumb to fear of city life. This pandemic does make it easy to believe that the proximity of other people is primarily a threat. When will it be safe to gather in public again? Never, say pundits who . . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors