University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

In case you didn’t know, last week saw the conclusion of the annual Frankfurt Book Fair, where publishers and book industry professionals from around the world convene to promote their products, buy and sell translation rights, discuss new strategies and developing trends, and just generally get a feel for the industry climate as it varies from country to country. This week, the University of Toronto Press writes about their own experiences there, reflecting on both the event itself and some takeaways on the state of publishing in Latin American, Asian, and Arab markets.

The University of Texas Press has a few thoughts on the Frankfurter Buchmesse as well, particularly Latin American markets, which, by most accounts, are currently thriving, and which UT Press considers “some of the most important…not only for ebooks in Spanish and Portuguese, but in English, as well.” The post goes on to discuss the growing profusion of opportunities for English language publishers in other emerging markets and poses important questions for those looking to pursue them.

R.K. Ramazani, University of Virgina Press author and the “dean of Iranian foreign policy,” examines the United States’s relations with Iran over the P5+1 meeting, in which representatives for the program’s six members–the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany–assembled to diplomatically negotiate the future of Iran’s nuclear program.

Over at Island Press Field Notes, Alison Springer from the Worldwatch Institute argues one jarring point: Sustainable consumption is a myth. Environmental problems, Springer says, should not rest on consumers, but on the institutions and policymakers, both private and governmental, that promote a paradigm of unfettered consumption. Be sure to read the whole article here.

Instructors and students alike have argued for years that formal education should be more engaging for students while promoting critical thinking, rather than the historical and often criticized pedagogical model of informational retention and regurgitation. George Greenstein, a Cambridge University Press author of science textbooks, adds his voice to mix of dissenting opinions that challenge the ways in which science is delineated in textbooks.

Beacon Press author Rafia Zakaria discusses the impact of Malala Yousafzai, co-author of recent Nobel-hopeful biography I Am Malala, as well as the efforts of progressive Muslim feminists everywhere toward improving the situations of millions of women in Islamic cultures. Malala was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012 for deciding to continue her education despite threats from the Islamic fundamentalist movement. She continues to push for women’s rights today.

“No author’s use of autobiography has been more powerful than that of the early slave narrators.” African American history and literature scholar Mitch Kachun is pleased to relate his excitement and concerns over the upcoming film 12 Years a Slave, a slave narrative based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup. One of many individuals whose life story was collected and disseminated to promote the abolitionist movement, Northup was a free black man from New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery at 31 years old. And while some critics have already begun criticizing the historical accuracy of both the film and memoir, Kachun states that questions over the authenticity of slave narratives are nothing new, and, more importantly, do not detract from the fact that such stories “represent one of the earliest and most profound genres of African American literary expression.”

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Leave a Reply