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University Presses “Raise UP” Vital Authors and Subjects during University Press Week

Contact: Angela Baggetta

November 9, 2020 (New York, NY)—Emphasizing the role that university presses play in elevating authors, subjects, and whole disciplines that bring new perspectives, ideas, and voices to readers around the globe, the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) has chosen “Raise UP” as the theme for this year’s University Press Week. University Press Week (UP Week) runs from Monday, November 9, through Sunday, November 15.

“Raise UP” is a particularly apt theme in a time when information moves at faster speeds than ever before across all platforms. It’s critical that scholarship about the most important ideas of the day is nurtured, championed, and made widely available. To that end, AUPresses members have suggested a “Raise UP Reading List” and “Raise UP Gallery” that can serve as a starting place for any reader who wants to learn more.

“University presses are unparalleled in the publishing world when it comes to the use of peer review and rigorous editorial processes to ensure that the books we ‘raise up’ are among the best in their subject areas,” said AUPresses President Niko Pfund, president of Oxford University Press USA. “We are proud of our work, and revel in the opportunity to ensure that authors who may be overlooked elsewhere have a platform to share their unique ideas and discoveries.”

Presses chose projects for this year’s Raise UP Reading List and Gallery for a variety of reasons. The University of British Columbia Press submitted Our Hearts Are as One Fire: An Ojibway-Anishinabe Vision for the Future by Jerry Fontaine. “By recounting the stories of three leaders who challenged aggressive colonial expansion, this book offers a shared vision of how Anishinabe spiritual, cultural, legal, and political principles will support the leaders of today and tomorrow,” said Darcy Cullen, assistant director—acquisitions. “Its publication rests on reciprocity: as the book was ushered into the press, the editors were invited into the Indigenous ceremonial space, to meet the descendants of these historical leaders and enjoin the protocols that guide how family stories are customarily told and shared.” Syracuse University Press submitted its Veterans Writing Award, represented by its inaugural winner, Dewaine Farria’s novel Revolutions of All Colors. “In keeping with Syracuse University’s longstanding commitment to serving the interests of veterans and their families, we established this award and seek original voices and fresh perspectives that will expand and challenge readers’ understanding of the lives of veterans and their families,” said press director Alice Pfeiffer. 

Other selected titles and initiatives include We Are Not Dreamers: Undocumented Scholars Theorize Undocumented Life in the United States, edited by Leisy J. Abrego and Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales (Duke University Press); The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure by Carolyn McCaskill, Ceil Lucas, Robert Bayley, and Joseph Hill (Gallaudet University Press); COVID-19 and World Order: The Future of Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation, edited by Hal Brands and Francis J. Gavin (Johns Hopkins University Press); Ko Aotearoa Tātou / We Are New Zealand, edited by Michelle Elvy, Paula Morris, James Norcliffe (Otago University Press); Black Woman in Green: Gloria Brown and the Unmarked Trail to Forest Service Leadership by Gloria D. Brown and Donna L. Sinclair (Oregon State University Press); Disabled Futures: A Framework for Radical Inclusion by Milo W. Obourn (Temple University Press); Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, edited by Simmons Buntin, Elizabeth Dodd, and Derek Sheffield (Trinity University Press); Why Trust Science? by Naomi Oreskes (Princeton University Press); and a racial justice reading list compiled by Fordham University Press.

The Raise UP Reading List and Gallery also call attention to open access books and journals, podcasts, and virtual event series. Among these are Food in the Time of Covid-19, a special issue of the University of California Press’s Gastronomica e-journal; Athabasca University Press’ new online reading platform for books; Manchester University Press’ “Armchair Talks” series, and Penn State University Press’ virtual author interview series “Pennsylvania Stories: Community & Activism in the Keystone State.”  

In keeping with the theme of “Raise UP,” events and promotions during the week will emphasize the strong and long-term partnerships university presses have developed with booksellers, librarians, trade groups, and other cultural outlets and venues. The UP community will host online celebrations of this year’s theme via a blog tour, and industry supporters such as Ingram, NetGalley, and Baker & Taylor also will mark the week online through special messages and marketing. A panel focused on the theme was part of this year’s virtual Brooklyn Book Festival; the video of this event can be found at .

University presses publish more than 12,000 books each year, as well as nearly 1,500 journals and numerous innovative digital works. 154 presses belong to AUPresses, and 20% of that number are presses based outside the U.S.           

“University presses undertake the work of raising up our authors, colleagues, and publishing partners every day, making it only appropriate that University Press Week celebrates this dimension of our community,” said AUPresses Executive Director Peter Berkery. “We look forward to spending this week highlighting the vital research and ideas that university presses, through these relationships, are able to introduce to eager reading audiences around the world.”  

About the Association of University Presses

AUPresses is an organization of 160 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 equity 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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Cuirimid le hobair bhunriachtanach phobal domhanda foilsitheoirí a bhfuil sé mar chuspóir acu barr feabhais acadúil a chinntiú agus saineolas a chothú.   

— AUPresses Mission Statement in Irish