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11th Annual University Press Week Looks to the Future

Considers What’s “NEXT UP” In Mission-Driven Publishing

Monday, November 14, 2022 (New York, NY)Looking to the future of university presses and the many ways they are evolving, the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) has chosen “Next UP” as the theme for this year’s annual University Press Week (UP Week). The event runs from Monday, November 14, through Friday, November 18.

“Next UP” is a timely choice to mark the eleventh year that the global community of university presses has come together to celebrate its work in the broader publishing ecosystem. Readers and consumers have the ability to expand their reading choices more than ever before. At the same time, the challenges facing publishers are great, whether they are presented by technological advances, supply chain issues and materials shortages, or politically motivated objections to certain ideas or books.

“University presses remain devoted to the core mission of introducing new ideas and authors to readers everywhere,’” said AUPresses Executive Director Peter Berkery. “Next UP expresses our excitement at what the future may hold, and how our member presses will evolve and improve the ways we are able to deliver books, journals, and more to readers in the years to come.”

Excitingly, a return to in-person programming is evident in live events scheduled for Wednesday, November 16, at The Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas, and Thursday, November 17 at Book Culture in New York City. A virtual UP Week panel will be hosted on Wednesday, November 16, by Seminary Coop in Chicago, which will also host a week of UP-focused in-person events at the store and off-site. 

AUPresses President and University of Michigan Press Director Charles Watkinson echoed the feelings of many in the university press community. “Part of the joy of University Press Week is celebrating the ‘bibliodiversity’ of university press publishing, it is exciting to be able to highlight independent bookstores that share our community-centered values.” he said. “As commercial publishers continue to consolidate, non-profit university presses celebrate the diversity of thought and identity that is so core to democracy and debate.”

This year AUPresses members have suggested a “Next UP” Gallery and Reading List showcasing the top books, series, journals, open-access works, and other efforts that look toward new horizons of scholarship and publishing.

Common themes emerged across participating presses’ choices for the gallery and reading list, such as:

  • Pressing social conversations that are shaping our shared future, such as Viral Justice: How to Grow the World We Want by Ruha Benjamin (Princeton University Press); When Freedom Speaks: The Boundaries and the Boundlessness of Our First Amendment Right by Lynn Greenky (Brandeis University Press); An Inconvenient Apocalypse: Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity by Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen (University of Notre Dame Press); and On Target: Gun Culture, Storytelling, and the NRA by Noah S. Schwartz (University of Toronto Press);  
  • Emerging areas of vital scholarship like critical disaster studies (University of Pennsylvania Press) and Bosnian studies (University of Missouri Press);
  • Biographical and autobiographical stories that illuminate our shared humanity, such as I Spoke to You with Silence: Essays from Queer Mormons of Marginalized Genders edited by Kerry Spencer Pray and Jenn Lee Smith (University of Utah Press); the Black Lives series (Yale University Press); Indigenous Women and Street Gangs: Survivance Narratives by Amber, Bev, Chantel, Jazmyne, Faith, Jorgina and Robert Henry (University of Alberta Press);  and the Biographix series about comics artists (University Press of Mississippi);
  • The ways that myriad experiences enrich culture and the arts, such as Black Matrilineage, Photography, and Representation edited by Lesly Deschler Canossi and Zoraida Lopez-Diago (Leuven University Press); War and Homecoming: Veteran Identity and the Post 9/11 Generation by Travis L. Martin (University Press of Kentucky); Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry edited by Ruben Quesada (University of New Mexico Press); A Drum in One Hand, A Sockeye in the Other: Stories of Indigenous Food Sovereignty from the Northwest Coast by Charlotte Coté (University of Washington Press); and Queer Voices in Hip Hop by Lauron J. Kehrer (University of Michigan Press).

Other partner promotions during the week will include online celebrations of this year’s theme via a blog tour on member presses’ websites. Industry supporters such as Ingram, NetGalley, and Baker & Taylor also will mark the week online through special messages and marketing.

University presses publish nearly 12,000 books each year, as well as more than 1,500 journals and numerous innovative digital works. One hundred and fifty-eight presses belong to AUPresses, and 20% of those are based outside the U.S.

About the Association of University Presses

AUPresses is an organization of more than 150 international nonprofit scholarly publishers. Since 1937, the Association of University Presses advances the essential role of a global community of publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. The Association holds intellectual freedom, integrity, stewardship, and diversity and inclusion as core values. AUPresses members are active across many scholarly disciplines, including the humanities, arts, and sciences, publish significant regional and literary work, and are innovators in the world of digital publishing.

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אנחנו מקדמים את התפקיד החיוני של קהילת המוציאים לאור העולמית, שהשליחות שלה היא לוודא מצויינות אקדמית וטיפוח ידע

— AUPresses Mission Statement in Hebrew