Position Description
Press University of Chicago Press
Acquisitions Editorial
Editor, Anthropology and History


Description: The University of Chicago Press seeks an editor to acquire books in anthropology and history. The editor will sponsor the Press’s distinguished anthropology list, which is known for books ranging from cutting-edge theory and ethnography to classroom classics. In history, the editor will acquire books that build on the Press’s areas of strength—including world history, history of sexuality, Asian, European, environmental, and intellectual history—and complement the work of the Press’s American history and history of science editors. Within this broad portfolio, the emphases of the position may be tailored to the expertise and passions of the successful candidate. The editor will shape a coherent and dynamic program of trade, scholarly, and course books, with a focus on books that gain significant review attention and awards, and that strengthen the Press's publishing reputation. This position is best served by an individual who actively embraces the intellectual enterprise, understands changes in publishing and higher education and has the entrepreneurial and editorial skills to seek out and develop books of enduring importance.


  • Cultivates a wide network of authors, advisors, and agents. Engages with scholars around the world as sources of potential collaboration.
  • Invites and commissions projects in assigned subject areas and evaluates unsolicited submissions. Acquires 20-25 titles a year, focusing on ambitious scholarly books and high-quality trade books that bring ideas to a wide public.
  • Seeks advice on proposals and manuscripts from qualified referees and arranges formal review.  Guides authors on revisions, providing developmental and line-editing support as needed.
  • Presents projects at biweekly Editorial Committee meeting and seeks approval from the Press faculty board at monthly board meetings. Prepares book budgets and sales projections, and proposes contract terms to Press management. Negotiates contracts with authors and agents.
  • Collaborates with other Press departments to ensure that books are given appropriate levels of editing, design, production, and marketing. Presents projects at launch meetings and biannual sales meetings.
  • Travels to academic conferences and campuses.
  • Supervises and mentors an editorial associate and student assistant.   


  • Bachelor's degree.  
  • Four or more years of work in book publishing, with at least two years of full-time experience in acquiring scholarly or serious trade books.  We welcome applications from acquisitions editors at any level of seniority who meet this experience requirement. A Ph.D. in relevant field may substitute for some publishing experience.
  • Proven knowledge of book publishing and a record engaging and cultivating the ideas of scholar-authors.
  • Excellent verbal, analytical, critical-thinking, and negotiation skills.
  • Intellectual and entrepreneurial skills to develop book projects that contribute significantly to the Press’s editorial profile and financial health.
  • Strong time-management skills, including ability to meet deadlines, set priorities among projects, and manage correspondence efficiently and decisively.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to build close working relationships with colleagues and larger academic and publishing communities. 
  • Understanding of industry standards for book acquisitions, including familiarity with peer review, rights, and digital publishing environment.
  • Proficiency with computers, including ability to adapt quickly to new electronic systems and tools.
  • Capacity to fundraise for books projects.

Questions about this position may be directed to Alan Thomas, Editorial Director, athomas2@uchicago.edu

 Interested applicants should apply online at: https://uchicago.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/External/job/Hyde-Park-Campus/Acquisitions-Editor_JR08431

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

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