All posts by Jennifer Howard

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Mapping the Influence of University Presses

Association of American University Presses

The Association of American University Presses is marking its 75th anniversary this year. To celebrate, the association declared November 11-17 University Press Week 2012, seeking to publicize “the extraordinary work of university presses and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and society.”

The AAUP’s current president, Peter J. Dougherty of Princeton University Press, has promoted the idea of “the global university press.” So it’s fittin…

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Utah State U. Press Is Acquired by U. Press of Colorado

In an unusual deal, Utah State University Press, which had been threatened with closure because of state budget cuts, will become a subsidiary of the University Press of Colorado consortium, the Utah Statesman reported. “If we hadn’t found this arrangement, the press would have closed,” Richard Clement, USU’s dean of libraries, told the newspaper. “It’s an extraordinarily unusual kind of arrangement and it’s a forward-looking arrangement.” Clement said that the Utah State press would continue…

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Authors’ Groups Seek Fair-Use Motion in HathiTrust Lawsuit

The Authors Guild and other plaintiffs in a lawsuit over mass digitization of books have asked the judge in the case to rule on the other side’s fair-use claim. The authors’ groups brought suit last year against the HathiTrust digital repository and the universities of Michigan, California, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Cornell. At issue is the fate of millions of scanned works, many of them under copyright. The defendants have said their activities are protected by the First Amendment and by relevant…

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Southern Methodist U. Says It Will Revive Its Press in Some Form

More than a year after it announced it was suspending operations at its well-regarded press, Southern Methodist University has decided it will give the press a second chance at life. In a statement sent to The Chronicle, Provost Paul Ludden confirmed the decision but left the specifics and timetable vague.

“After years of struggling to stay financially viable, SMU Press is evolving in a manner that we believe gives it the best chance to survive as a relevant, sustainable publisher in an evolving…

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Building a Better University Press (or UnPress)

The Association of American University Presses convenes its annual meeting next week in Baltimore. “Toward a Culture of Collaboration” is the theme this year, with an emphasis on what presses need to do to adapt and survive. This has, understandably, been a driving theme for the association’s members in recent years. In March, an AAUP task force released a report on “Sustaining Scholarly Publishing: New Business Models for University Presses,” then invited people to comment on an interactive ver…

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2 Notable Moves in University-Press Publishing

Gregory M. Britton, the new editorial director of Johns Hopkins University Press.

The last few days have produced news of some important job shifts at university presses. Last Friday, Johns Hopkins University Press announced that it has hired Gregory M. Britton, head of the Getty Trust’s publishing programs, as its new editorial director. And today Yale University Press made public the news that Steve Wasserman, the former editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review, would be coming on board as …

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‘The Program Era’ Wins Major Award for Literary Criticism

Mark McGurl’s The Program Era (Harvard University Press) has won the $30,000 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. The award was announced yesterday by the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, which administers the prize.

McGurl, a professor of English at the University of California at Los Angeles, argues in his book that “the rise of the creative-writing program stands as the most important event in postwar American literature.” In the Iowa announcement, McGurl said he was “delighted…

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In Search of ‘A Modern Sense of Place’

On April 1, the new, Amherst-based journal The Common will make its official debut. For its editor, the writer Jennifer Acker, the venture is no joke but a serious attempt to establish a print-centric literary magazine that will, as its tag line says, deliver “a modern sense of place.” The editor points out the magazine’s broad geographical range, saying that they’ve already taken work from writers “in or from” Israel, Russia, the Netherlands, Britain, the Philippines, South Africa, Brazil, and…

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Cambridge U. Press to Join the E-Book Distribution Race

The rush to market scholarly e-books keeps picking up speed. JSTOR, Project MUSE, Oxford U. Press and a consortium of mid-size university presses have all unveiled plans for e-book distribution platforms, hoping to provide scholarly publishers with better access to the library market. Now a fifth contender, Cambridge University Press, will soon announce that it too has struck agreements to distribute e-books for scholarly presses in the United States, Europe, and Asia, according to Frank Smith, …

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JSTOR to Offer E-Books

JSTOR is getting into the e-book business. The nonprofit group known for subscription-based access to scholarly-journal articles has struck agreements with four publishers—Princeton University Press, the University of Chicago Press, the University of Minnesota Press, and the University of North Carolina Press—to make their books available online next year. The e-books program, “Books at JSTOR,” was announced today at the American Library Association’s Midwinter meeting in San Diego, according to…