University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles 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. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

So many university presses took the opportunity to share stellar historic, modern, and contemporary poetry in the past few weeks while marking National Poetry Month. We encourage all our readers to browse our peer blogs and enjoy some wonderful writing! In the meantime, we leave you with a bumper post from the Cambridge University Press which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the publication of John Keats’ first collection.

Absence, and attempts to ameliorate it, was a theme of a few fascinating posts across university presses this week. At the Beacon Broadside Press, acclaimed actress and essayist Marianne Leone (The Sopranos) talked about the process of reconnecting with her immigrant mother during the writing of her recent memoir, Ma Speaks Up and a First-Generation Daughter Talks Back. The University of California Press blog highlighted recent efforts by historians and film crews to recover the story of people living on California’s ‘Channel Islands,’ and particularly that of a native Nicoleño woman who was left to live completely alone on one of the islands for eighteen years in the nineteenth century. And the University of Georgia Press has begun a new series of sharing Civil War courtship letters which were exchanged between Nathaniel Dawson while he was at war and Elodie Todd, the sister of Mary Todd Lincoln.

Important posts on history, public policy, and environmentalism also featured heavily this week. At the University of Texas Press blog, scholars Euan Hague and Edward H. Sebesta took a fresh and urgent look at the influence of American ‘neo-confederacy’ in the age of Donald Trump. Sharon McConnell-Sidorick wrote a guest post about the radicalizing influence of flappers on 1920s labor movements and the New Deal for the University of North Carolina Press. At the Stanford University Press blog Johan Christensen, author of The Power of Economists within the State (2017), examined how it is that economists have come to wield so much power in public policy making. The Yale University Press blog featured a post by Benjamin Heber Johnson, associate professor of history at Loyola University, Chicago, on the possible futures of the environmentalism movement.

From the grab-bag of the eye-catching and the odd: the Oxford University Press compiled a list of the best librarian characters in fantasy fiction. The Cornell University Press highlighted a local initiative in Tompkins County, New York, to declare May 8th to be “Grateful Dead Day.” And the University of Sydney Press is starting a new effort to cook recipes out of the classic 1893 text The Art of Living in Australia, which is part cookbook and part guide detailing “everything the new colonist ought to understand about the rigours and habits of living in the great southern land.”

We end with some mortar-and-bricks press news this week. Following up on our recent posts, the University of Hawai’i Press has also received a Mellon/NEH Open Book Grant to digitize a hundred of their out-of-print titles for open access. The University of Illinois Press this week continued a series of posts on off-beat ways of increasing and discovering revenue streams for small presses by talking about the valuable ‘old junk’ held in its archives, featuring, among other things, “a bathroom wall covered with dirty limericks by songwriter/poet Shel Silverstein.” Finally, the University of Nebraska Press put up a new monthly post of what their staff are reading in a list which includes Lincoln in the Bardo, Harry Potter, and Things Fall Apart.

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