Category Archives: AAUP

Announcing the 2017-2018 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows

SEATTLE, WA — The University of Washington Press, the MIT Press, Duke University Press, the University of Georgia Press, and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) today announce the recipients of the 2017-2018 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowships and future plans of the 2016-2017 Fellows.

The Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship was established in 2016 by the four university presses and the AAUP as the first cross-press initiative of its kind in the United States to address the marked lack of diversity in the academic publishing industry. The initiative seeks to create a pipeline program of academic publishing professionals with significant personal experience and engagement with diverse communities and a demonstrated ability to bring the understanding gleaned from such engagement to bear on their daily work.

The program provides professional and financial support to cohorts of four fellows per year for three years. The yearlong appointments offer each fellow immersive, on-the-job training along with one-on-one mentoring and opportunities for networking and professional development. Fellows are given the opportunity to connect with one another and meet industry colleagues at two AAUP annual meetings. Please join us in welcoming the 2017-2018 fellows and in congratulating the 2016-2017 fellows on their accomplishments, including securing full-time positions within scholarly publishing.

The 2017-2018 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows:

Michael Baccam joins the University of Washington Press. He received an MFA in creative writing from Eastern Washington University’s Inland Northwest Center for Writers and a BA in English from the University of Iowa. His recent professional experience includes roles as an associate editor, copy editor, and production editor for leading science and medical publishers in Philadelphia. His scholarly interests encompass Asian American studies, Southeast Asian culture and history, and the art and literature of immigrant and refugee communities.

Kyle Gipson joins the MIT Press. He has worked as an editorial intern and an editorial assistant at Beacon Press, an independent publisher devoted to social justice. Kyle received a BA from Bard College, an MA in English from Harvard University, and a graduate secondary field in studies of women, gender, and sexuality from Harvard. He is ABD in Harvard’s Program in American Studies under the direction of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his scholarly interests include African American history and literature, gender and sexuality studies, and performance studies.

Ana M. Jimenez-Moreno comes to the University of Georgia Press from the University of Notre Dame Press, where she was awarded the 5+1 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the College of Arts and Letters after completing her PhD in English at the University of Notre Dame. She received her BA from Rutgers University, where she was an English major and a history minor.  Ana was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and grew up in Edison, New Jersey. In her future career as an editor, Ana hopes to “incorporate voices that have been silenced, but also to include scholarship by those who work with problematic or ideologically compromised authors, groups, and schools of thought. To do so is to affirm and not simply value difference.“

Stephanie Gomez Menzies joins Duke University Press from the University of California–San Diego where she is currently completing her PhD in literature. Her scholarly work focuses on the global connections between performance, activism, and citizenship, particularly in the Caribbean. She has been an active member of the UCSD community, helping to create inclusive social and professional programming for graduate students and serving as a graduate representative to the LGBT, Cross-Cultural, and Women’s Centers. She has also worked on textbooks for secondary education and served as an expert on the Chinese Cultural Revolution for a textbook series.

The 2016-2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow updates:

Maryam Arain (Duke University Press) started in April as assistant editor at NYU Press.

Niccole Leilanionapae’aina Coggins (University of Washington Press) will continue at the University of Washington Press as assistant editor, transitioning into her new position on June 1.

Jesús J. Hernández (The MIT Press) is cultivating opportunities in and out of publishing.

Christian Pizarro Winting (University of Georgia Press) started in March as editorial assistant at Columbia University Press.

The fellowship program is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a four-year, $682,000 grant.

Media Contact: Casey LaVela / Publicity and Communications Manager / University of Washington Press / 206.221.4994

March 2017 News, Reviews, and Events


Our job posting for the 2017-2018 Mellon Diversity Fellow is now live and we are accepting applications through March 15. If you know of excellent candidates, please send them our way!

Reviews and Interviews

The New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog features No-No Boy by John Okada: “Reading No-No Boy, this week, it no longer seemed bound to its past; it felt like a prophecy, a cosmic tragedy, a message in a bottle that arrives a half century later.”—Hua Hsu

A collaborative piece with PRI’s Global Nation Education and Densho mentions Miné Okubo’s Citizen 13660 in an article about activists working to keep the story of Executive Order 9066 alive today. Bustle also features the book in a round-up of “10 Graphic Novels Written by Activists That You Need to Read Now More Than Ever”: “Heartbreaking, candid. . . . Okubo recounts her experience with poignancy and a surprising amount of humor.”—Charlotte Ahlin

Continue reading

February 2017 News, Reviews, and Events


We are pleased to announce that Catherine Cocks is joining our acquisitions team as Senior Acquisition Editor, starting February 15. She started her career in academic publishing at SAR Press, the publishing arm of the School for Advanced Research, where she established the cutting-edge series in Global Indigenous Politics, among other accomplishments. She worked most recently at the University of Iowa Press, where she is currently Editorial Director. Please join us in welcoming Catherine to the press!

The University of Washington Press has five selected entries in the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) 2017 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show. Congratulations to the designers, our Editorial, Design, and Production department, and all involved!

Nine University of Washington Press authors will be participating in the 12th Annual Literary Voices event on May 3, 2017. Annie Proulx is this year’s keynote speaker.

Reviews and Interviews

The Times Literary Supplement reviews Ice Bear by Michael Engelhard: “Engelhard has an apt and unusual background for a book such as this. . . . Among the strengths of Ice Bear is its grasp of the rituals by which humans have always aspired to draw the strength of the polar bear into themselves.”—Mark Abley

The Spectator also reviews the book: “[A] beautifully illustrated, hugely engaging book. . . . For all its nightmare-haunting power, however, the aspect of the polar bear that really makes it an icon of the age is its vulnerability . . . . Another merit of the book is the author’s willingness to track these themes to their origins.”—Mark Cocker

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From the Desk of Tom Helleberg: The Charleston Conference

2016_charleston-conferenceThe first week of November, I was fortunate enough to travel across the southeast visiting with printers in Tennessee and representing the University of Washington Press at the 36th annual Charleston Conference in South Carolina.

The Charleston Conference is billed as an “informal gathering of librarians, publishers, consultants, and vendors to discuss issues of importance to them all.” While the conference may have humble origins, with a scant twenty participants in early meetings, 2016 featured over 1,600 attendees spread across a dozen hotels and venues with a program as thick as a phone book and as many as twenty concurrent sessions at any given time. This was a big to-do, even in comparison to the annual meeting of the Association of American University Presses.

Since 2014, there has been an increasing publisher presence at Charleston, with many attendees from the AAUP as well as academic publishers. This has been driven by publisher-focused pre-sessions; by an increase in publisher panels and presentations (such as the “What’s the Big Idea” talk by the directors of Michigan, Mississippi, and National Academies); and by the growing realization that university presses and libraries not only share a mission, but are often approaching the same challenges from different directions. Continue reading

UP Staff Spotlight: Niccole Leilanionapae‘āina Coggins on community and food sovereignty

Today is UP Staff Spotlight day on the 2016 University Press Week blog tour. The fifth annual University Press Week of the American Association of University Presses (AAUP) continues all week (November 14 – 19, 2016) with the theme Community. Today’s blog tour posts feature staffers making good and doing interesting things in their local communities. Please share this and today’s other posts on social media with the #ReadUP and #UPWeek hashtags:

upweek2016_logosmallUniversity of Chicago Press

Johns Hopkins University Press

University Press of Mississippi

Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Wayne State University Press

University of Wisconsin Press

Our UP Staff Spotlight contribution to the #UPWeek blog tour offers a guest post from 2016-2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow and assistant editor, Niccole Leilanionapae’aina Coggins.

Niccole Coggins staff news photoOn October 26, I attended a talk entitled, “hishuk’ish tsawalk—Everything Is One:  Revitalizing Nuu-chah-nulth Foodways and Ecological Knowledge,” by Dr. Charlotte Coté, Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. Professor Coté’s lecture was about her community, the Nuu-chah-nulth-aht, and their history of colonialism and imperialism, as well as their resistance and revival. One way that communities, and indigenous communities in particular, resist colonialism and imperialism is through food sovereignty. The Nyéléni Declaration (2007) defines food sovereignty as, “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustained methods, and their right to define their own food and agricultural systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”

Coté spoke of her mother teaching her to explore and try various wild plants—minus mushrooms—like qaalh qawi (wild blackberry), may’ii (salmonberry shoots), and quilhtsuup (wild celery), even t’uts’up (sea urchin) from the ocean. Coté shared stories of her aunt going blackberry picking; the family women fishing, in the traditional way, with a net for the first time, and the buckets of salmon they caught, and the hours it took to smoke (and how good salmon jerky is). Coté also talked about her community reclaiming traditional ways of fishing and preparing salmon, kuch’as (salmon cooked over an open pit fire); and reviving the tradition of a whale hunt and the environmentalists that protested.

As Coté talked I started thinking about other communities, especially those in “food deserts,” where it’s hard to access affordable, healthy, quality food, in particular fruits and vegetables. My cousin worked at the Kaiser Permanente Center in Watts where, with the leadership of the community, a weekly farmer’s market occurs. Other KP centers adopted similar programs to access locally grown produce.

I thought about my family and the blackberry bush behind gramma’s house. My aunts and uncles gathering to eat from the bounty of the ocean:  fish, ‘opihi (Hawaiian limpet), limu (seaweed), and wana (sea urchin).

I thought about the colonialism that changed Native Hawaiians’ relationship with food and language. Food was sacred before the missionaries arrived and made food secular. Since then words associated with food do not carry the same weight of sacredness as before. The literal translation of the word hānai (foster child) is “to feed.” When food is sacred, the relationship you have with that person is sacred and carries weight. It circles back to Coté’s talk about food sovereignty, and responsibility and relationships.



Announcing the 2016–2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows

SEATTLE, WA—The University of Washington Press, the MIT Press, Duke University Press, the University of Georgia Press, and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) today announce the recipients of the 2016–2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowships. The program is the first cross-press initiative of its kind in the United States to address the marked lack of diversity in the academic publishing industry.

The Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship was established in 2016 by the four university presses and the AAUP as a pipeline program to diversify academic publishing by offering apprenticeships in acquisitions departments. The program will create cohorts of four fellows per year for three years.

Fellowships are awarded to outstanding candidates who have significant personal experience and engagement with diverse communities and a demonstrated ability to bring the understandings gleaned from such engagement to the daily work of academic publishing.

The yearlong appointments offer each fellow opportunities for one-on-one mentoring as well as monthly cross-press video conferences led by staff at the partner presses covering a range of topics to supplement the hands-on training. Fellows are given the opportunity to connect with one another and engage with industry colleagues at two AAUP annual meetings.

The fellowship program aims to develop best practices for fostering diversity at all levels of the profession. Further, this collaboration will focus attention on the centrality of diversity to the future of global academic discourse and, it is hoped, will inspire related efforts to prioritize diversity more broadly in the publishing industry.

Although university presses have long fostered and supported diversity-related fields such as Native and Indigenous studies; African American studies; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; and Asian American studies, the fellowship program represents a significant investment in creating career development opportunities and a supportive environment for diversity in publishing.

The 2016–2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows:

Maryam Arain comes to Duke University Press from Chicago, where she has been working as a freelance editor and volunteering at the Crescent Learning Center, a day care that serves refugee populations from Somalia and Burma. She previously worked as a junior commissioning editor at Oxford University Press in Karachi, Pakistan, and as a communications coordinator at the Council on American Islamic Relations in Chicago. Maryam received her BA from Dartmouth and her MA in postcolonial studies from SOAS, University of London.

Niccole Leilanionapae‘āina Coggins comes to the University of Washington Press from the department of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is currently a PhD candidate working under the direction of Paul Spickard. Her research interests focus on Hawaiian history as well as on identity and mixed-race youth. Niccole’s work with underrepresented communities includes participation in a local hula hālau (school) and various student life programs. Niccole received her BA from Carleton College and her MA in religion and society from the Graduate Theological Union.

Jesús J. Hernández joins the MIT Press. He held two visiting assistant professorships at Williams College and Mount Holyoke College, where his scholarly interests were in the areas of American/ethnic studies, Latina/o studies, literary studies, diaspora studies, and queer theory. He received his BA in ethnic studies from Brown University and his PhD in American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

Christian Pizarro Winting comes to the University of Georgia Press from Chicago, where he has been freelance copyediting and working as a research associate for a corporate recruiting company. Christian has also worked as a graduate intern on the Hemingway Letters Project at Pennsylvania State University and tutored underperforming high school students in the Chicago public school system. Christian has a BA in liberal arts from St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and an MA in humanities (American literature emphasis) from the University of Chicago.

The fellowship program is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a four-year, $682,000 grant.

Media Contact: Casey LaVela / Publicity and Communications Manager / University of Washington Press / 206.221.4994

From the Desk of Katherine Tacke: An Ode to Independent Bookstores

In this guest post, University of Washington Press exhibits, advertising, and direct mail manager Katherine Tacke writes about moderating a panel with independent booksellers at the recent 2016 AAUP Financial Officers Meeting, held from April 13-15 in Seattle.

Before coming to the press to work in marketing, I sold books and coordinated events at a small indie bookstore. I sometimes miss the thrill of the new Tuesday releases, carrying teetering piles of used books, searching for a book for a customer that had “a blue cover with a person in water,” and holding events with people stretched out the door. Now that I’m on the other side of the book biz, I realize the extent to which our press relies on our local booksellers. They are devoted readers. They have curatorial prowess. They are ambassadors for university press books.


From left to right: Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company; Karen Maeda Allman, Elliott Bay Book Company; Pam Cady, University Book Store; Robert Gruen, Village Books

This year the annual AAUP Financial Officers Meeting was held in our lovely book city and I was happy to have the chance to lead a panel of local booksellers in a discussion of all of the things independent bookshops do on behalf of publishers.

We were lucky to have four brilliant and experienced booksellers on our panel who have been working with books in Seattle (and Bellingham!) for years. Each one brought a unique contribution, and we discussed everything from selling university press books on commission (which is a good way to work with short discounts and return windows), to how to use the resources of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, to tips for collaborating with bookstores to hold events at museums or cultural venues. Booksellers hold positions on our advisory board, and in many instances we seek the advice from the shops because they have their finger on the pulse of the book world and our specific community.

panel 2

The spellbound AAUP finance officers.


A University of Nebraska Press and University of Chicago Press book are displayed side by side.

Most heartening of all was the unanimous praise from the panel: “We LOVE university press books!”

A lot of this information is commonplace in marketing circles, but was new material for an audience of business managers who are often more focused on rolled-up sales figures and organizational budgets than they are on the details from the shops. But there were many relevant crossover points: short discounts make special orders difficult, return windows could be longer, and some price points are hard to sell. But more than that, the booksellers illustrated not only all the consideration and hard work that goes into choosing and selling press books, but all of the extra steps they take to offer excellent customer service, going above and beyond to provide their readers with the easiest way to purchase press books. Combined, the area bookstores have hundreds upon hundreds of events each year and regularly work with sales reps and publicists to highlight press books.

At the end of the session, it was clear presses and independent retailers share the same goals: to disseminate knowledge, to champion underrepresented voices, and to encourage creative and critical thinking through reading. And that’s why we LOVE independent bookstores!