Open Access Week 2016: Why Publish OA? An author’s view

by Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor, authors of Equity Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas

Last year, UC Press launched Luminos, our open access publishing program for monographs. In celebration of International Open Access Week, we’ve asked Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor, co-authors of the newly published Luminos title, Equity Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas, to talk about their experiences publishing an open access book. From initial trepidation to OA advocacy, Benner and Pastor offer an authorial view of the benefits of open access publishing.

Probably like many academic authors, we were initially concerned that open access might be viewed by others as meaning low quality—after all, if it was really good, why would it be “free”?  Of course, we knew the standards that we had applied to ensure rigor, as well the reviews from which our manuscript benefited, and the exacting process that UC Press and Luminos have put in place to ensure a high quality series. But would others glean all that background?

It was the thinking about others that actually made it clear. We realized that we have long valued our role as public intellectuals who are willing and indeed, eager, to bring ideas into the messy real world and participate in the debates that change lives—and this open access model is perfectly suited to that sort of effort.

More specifically, the open access model UC Press and Luminos are helping to pioneer totally fit the central messages of our book—that equity and opportunity are key for sustainable growth, that cross-sector conversations can bring new common ground, and that data deliberations in knowledge communities can forge productive solutions. We quickly became committed to this effort to democratize access to scholarship of consequence.

And here is what we’ve learned since publishing. First, that free access doesn’t seem to shrink the market for hard copies but rather it helps to build it. People still want the “feel” of a book but they get more convinced that a volume should be on their shelf when they get a downloaded taste.

Second, you can’t assume the market is there for your work. We have gotten out and spoken about the book in multiple settings, particularly to non-academic audiences, and we also created a website with some of the key messages and data, helping to drive interested readers to the Luminos download.

Finally, this really is the wave of the future. Your work can get out more quickly and touch infinitely more people. It is easier for others to assign significant portions of a book in a class without worrying about running afoul of copyright laws. Open access is where publishing is headed—and we’ve been proud to be working with the first-movers in this new learning space.

Benner_ChrisChris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, Director of the Everett Program for Digital Tools for Social Innovation, and Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and structures of economic opportunity, including regional labor markets and restructuring of work and employment. His most recent book, coauthored with Manuel Pastor, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Region. Other books include This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity Are Transforming Metropolitan America, and Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley.

Prof_Manuel_PastorManuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he also serves as Director of USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and Codirector of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). His most recent book, coauthored with Chris Benner, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Region. He is also the coauthor of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future, and This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity Are Transforming Metropolitan America.

Click here to download Equity, Growth, and Community

Stay tuned all week for more special content from UC Press Open Access initiatives.

National Cookbook Month: Nut and Honey Filled Cookies

by Joyce Goldstein, author of The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home

October is National Cookbook Month! Come back for a new recipe from The New Mediterranean Jewish Table each Wednesday, and click here to save 30% on some of our award-winning cookbooks.

New Mediterranean Jewish Table Joyce Goldstein

Nut and Honey Filled Cookies (Sfratti)

These cookies, which are shaped like sticks, are called sfratti, which means “evicted.” The name comes from Italian landlords of long ago who used sticks to chase away poor tenants who had not paid their rent, some of them probably poor Jews. Jewish cooks have turned the origin of these cookies around, making them into sweet symbols of eviction (much like Passover haroset is the sweet symbol of the mortar used to build the pyramids.) These honey-and-nut-filled cookies are served at Rosh Hashanah. Butter or margarine is used, depending on whether the rest of the meal is dairy or not. My family thinks these are better than rugelach! 

Continue reading “National Cookbook Month: Nut and Honey Filled Cookies”

Breaking Down Barriers: Publishing Open Access Science for Sustainability

As part of International Open Access Week 2016, UC Press offers the following excerpt from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Elementa Editor-in-Chief Anne Kapuscinski. Stay tuned all week for more special content from UC Press Open Access initiatives.

Anne Kapuscinski and Michael Pollan talk on Food Day.

In my new role of Chair of the Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), I had the great honor of joining UCS’ delegation at the Paris COP21 climate meeting last December. A clear message from Paris was that we must rapidly transition to a net-zero and climate-resilient society. Scientists at the recent 1.5 Degrees Conference at Oxford University, co-sponsored by UCS, underscored the magnitude of the challenge. And, on Food Day, my public conversation with Michael Pollan at Dartmouth mentioned that agroecology research shows a clear opportunity to help transition our nation’s food system to sustainability, a goal of Plate of the Union.

If you’re reading this blog, you probably agree that our society needs more active engagement of scientists in solving grand sustainability challenges. And you’re aware that when scientists from different disciplines and ways of seeing the world interact, new perspectives and solutions emerge. Thankfully, the current generation of young scientists is embracing trans-disciplinary approaches to their research, with the skills to match the task. But when trying to publish their work, they face the obstacle that most academic journals are organized along traditional disciplinary silos, with editorial boards ill-equipped or unwilling to review papers reflecting this critically needed cross-fertilization. And they hunger for fully open access publishing instead of paywalls restricting access to their papers… Read more on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ blog, The Equation


About the author: Anne Kapuscinski is Editor-in-Chief of the Sustainability Transitions domain of UC Press’s trans-disciplinary, Open Access journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. Her current research is on integrated food-energy systems and on algae-based feed for a sustainability transition in aquaculture—the world’s fastest growing food sector.


Scribes & Cartographers: The Nonstop Metropolis Team at NACIS 2016

This past weekend saw cartographers from the world over gather in Colorado Springs, CO for the North American Cartographic Information Society’s annual meeting. On Saturday eve, the Corlis Benefideo Award for Imaginative Cartography was presented to Rebecca Solnit. Attending in her stead, Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, co-author of Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, accepted the award on Solnit’s behalf.

In addition, Jelly-Schapiro delivered the keynote address, where he discussed in detail the maps from the city atlas series. His comparison of a scribe being awarded a cartography prize—by the top mappists in the land—being a bit like Bob Dylan winning his Nobel Prize in Literature was met with appreciation (and laughter) from the crowd.

Below is the speech penned by Rebecca and delivered by Josh. And, thanks to the world we live in, we could follow along via live reports from the scene:

Including a shout-out for the work of contributing cartographer, Chris Henrick:

Many years ago, I heard my dear friend and mentor Barry Lopez read his story “The Mappist,” in which the character Corlis Benefideo appears. I loved it, and of everything Barry’s ever written that I know, it seems most like Jorge Luis Borges’s work: a proposition about the possibilities of the world and the objects in it—in this case, maps and atlases, and their capacity to tell stories, transmit wonder, elicit passion, deepen our sense of place, and become compelling works of art. The story proposes other kinds of beauty than the ones we commonly hear about: the beauty of meaning, of devotion manifested through longterm projects, of intimate sense of place, and of maps as aesthetic objects.

To receive an award for maps of real places named after a fictional character is magical realism enough, but I want to exult in the fact that Barry Lopez wrote a small gem of an essay for the final atlas in our trilogy: Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, co-directed and co-edited by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, who’s come to accept the award on behalf of this eight-year three-volume project of mapping the three cultural capitals, the three island republics, that adorn the three coasts of the Lower 48. To receive an award named after a fictional character by a writer who also appears in the work for which the award is given is convoluted in a wonderful way, a moebius strip of friendship and impact, a tribute to how we make the world we inhabit.

I am sorry I can’t be here tonight, not least to try to recruit a few dozen cartographers for any future projects that may arise, but I’m truly grateful and deeply honored. Who better to decide the merits of our adventures in mapping than the people who make maps? I want to thank the cartographers I’ve worked with on these three books, Ben Pease, the main cartographer for the first atlas, Shizue Seigel for the second, and Molly Roy for the third, with extraordinary contributions by Richard Campanella, Chris Henrick, Darin Jensen, Jakob Rosenzweig and Ruth Askevold of the Estuary Institute, all designed into harmonious glory by Lia Tjandra of UC Press.

There are two kinds of books, and the kind that have maps in them have always struck me as slightly better, whether they’re maps of fictional places, as with the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and its beautiful maps hand-drawn by Tolkien’s son, or of places on this earth, as with the endpapers for Bernard DeVoto’s 1846: Year of Decision or so many of the western and urban books that fed my ideas about place and about the possibilities of maps. Maps are invitations to dream, to travel in our heads, to contemplate places and movements and relationships. Like no other kind of art, they invite us to imagine our own movements across the space depicted.

I began making atlases for several reasons, and I learned so much about maps as I went along. I wanted to make a series of propositions about cities that maps could make in ways my lifelong main medium, writing, doesn’t. If the narrative we call a storyline is like a road, a path, a river, then a map allows multiple storylines and times to overlap, collide, converge, and intersect. My first proposition in the maps we made was that cities are places of myriad coexistences between complementary and competing phenomena. The second was that cities are intellectually infinite: you can just map the roads and the parking and maybe the shopping or restaurants and leave it at that, and most utilitarian maps do, but there’s no reason why you can’t map the butterfly species or queer public spaces, the musical history or crime scenes or carbon footprints or spiritual life and sea level rise. Maps are versions of places, and every place exists in innumerable versions. The old Borges story about the map on a 1:1 scale with the territory was a joke, because even that wouldn’t represent anything near the innumerable meanings, histories, presences, contexts a place has, though many maps could at least hint at that complexity. Maybe a third was that though the history of maps is often imperial and colonial, mapping can serve justice, diversity, forgotten histories, erased groups, marginalized communities.

Another concern of mine was the role and value of maps in our lives in an era where many are leaving paper behind not for digital maps, but for digital directions. I’ve been struck by how many younger people are not map-users, but are phone-users, and how those of us who use maps internalize the knowledge so that, in a sense, we become atlases, become oriented, capable of traversing a place knowledgeably (or of getting lost without being helpless because we’ve learned to negotiate the unknown with skill). Thus it is that a paper map can be truly interactive, while a navigational device is something users depend on every time to issue instructions (or asking a local for directions). We learn to command the information on a map but submit to the orders of a device. I wanted to celebrate what maps have been and what they can be, portals to places and spaces through which we travel imaginatively in places we know and places we will never go. One of the things that I discovered along the way is that a great many people passionately love maps and respond to them with a joy that is unlike that elicited by any other art form.

At this point, I feel as if maps are themselves a territory, one I have begun to wander in and get to know a little. This wonderful award feels like an invitation to keep exploring what maps have been, are, and can be. So thank you again, citizens of the territory of maps.

Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas is the final volume in our trilogy of atlases by Rebecca Solnit, Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, Rebecca Snedeker, and a host of notable contributors. Following the publication of the critically lauded Infinite City (San Francisco) and Unfathomable City (New Orleans), we bring you this homage—and challenge—to the way we know New York City, an exquisitely designed and gorgeously illustrated atlas that excavates the many buried layers of all five boroughs of New York City and parts of New Jersey.

This post is part of a series on the atlas trilogy.

Open Access Week 2016: An Interview with Collabra: Psychology Senior Editor, Don Moore

collabra_header_twitter_small (1)This post was originally published on the Collabra: Psychology blog. For more information about Collabra: Psychology, our open access journal publishing in psychology, please visit and follow along at @CollabraOA and the Collabra blog.

This post is also in honor of International Open Access Week, October 24–30, 2016. Stay tuned all week for more special content from UC Press Open Access initiatives.

don moore
Don Moore, PhD, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Collabra: Psychology is fortunate to have an impressive roster of senior editors across its seven psychology sections. Among these is Don Moore, PhD, Professor of Management of Organizations at the Haas of School Business, UC Berkeley, and Senior Editor in Organizational Behavior.

Don Moore got his start as a PhD candidate at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, followed by a position at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. While there, he visited the University of New South Wales in Sydney, the University of Wurzburg in Germany, and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Then, because his family “really likes schlepping back and forth across the country,” he went back to Carnegie Mellon for an additional year before accepting a position in the Management of Organizations group at the Haas School.

Now adding Senior Editorship of Collabra: Psychology to the many hats he wears, we sat down with Don to learn more about his work and research, as well as what inspired him to be part of the open access journal.

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in Organizational Behavior?

After college, where I majored in Psychology, I went to go work for a privately held and neurotically secretive industrial supply company where I was overpaid to do dreadfully dull work. I hated the job the company wanted me to do, but I was fascinated by all the circumstances surrounding my work. How did the company select people for hire or promotion? How did the company make important decisions? Who had the power? How did they communicate with others in the organization? Was the company doing these things optimally or was it possible to identify better approaches? I went back to graduate school, in part to get away from my awful job managing grommet inventories, but mostly to study all the fascinating issues of behavior in organizations.

2. I gather that your research has focused primarily on the study of overconfidence. How did you arrive at this topic?

In graduate school I had the good fortune to be able to work with the wonderful Max Bazerman at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. For my dissertation, I studied the role of time pressure in negotiation. Mostly, it was a narrow and boring dissertation topic, but there was one interesting result that emerged: when negotiators were put under time pressure, everyone (both buyer and seller) thought it was bad for them, and thought the time pressure would help the other side. Trying to understand how it is that people could be more aware of their own constraints than of others’ led me to run studies in which people were competing with each other on tests whose difficulty I manipulated. When the test got harder, all competitors thought they would be less likely to win. Or to pick another example, when the instructor cancels an exam review session or decides to make the exam closed-book, students’ hopes of getting a good grade decline, even if everyone knows the exam is graded on a forced curve. The consequence is underconfidence: everyone believes they had a below-average chance to win. My career since then has focused on identifying when people are overconfident and when they are underconfident.

3. Can you share a particularly memorable experience or breakthrough in your research?

My proudest breakthrough was when I realized I could explain the baffling empirical inconsistency between the hard-easy effect (in which people overestimate performance most on hard tasks) and its apparent reversal in better- and worse-than-average effects (in which people are most likely to believe that they are better than others at easy tasks). I presented that delightfully parsimonious explanation in a 2007 paper with Deborah Smalland a 2008 paper with PJ Healy.

4. What do you think is the greatest concern or challenge in your field today?

The field is going through a wrenching series of changes in the conduct of research and sharing of results. Before long, it will be standard practice for researchers to pre-register their studies before they run them, and afterward to post data, materials, and analysis code. But until then, the rules of the game are changing, and the changes are not being adopted at an equal rate everywhere, creating some divisions among scientists and some uncertainty for young scientists regarding how they should do their work.

5. What drew you to editorship of Collabra: Psychology?

The old system for publishing and disseminating scientific articles is appallingly inefficient, distressingly unfair, and deeply dysfunctional. For-profit publishers exploit the volunteer labor of researchers, reviewers, and editors. They then claim copyright over our work, slow down its dissemination, restrict access to the knowledge we want to share with the world, and charge our own libraries for access to it. It’s an utterly insane system that only exists because once upon a time it was expensive to distribute paper copies of printed journals. But the Internet has changed all that, making it essentially free for scientists to share their research with the world, for example at a pre-print repository. A revolution will overthrow the world of scientific publishing and I am excited about Collabra: Psychology’s potential role in hastening that revolution.

6. What kind of impact do you hope to have as a Senior Editor for Collabra: Psychology?

I am proud that Collabra: Psychology will be open and free to everyone, and that contributors will also be helping advance open science in other ways, including data posting and open reviews. We hope to establish Collabra: Psychology’s distinctive reputation as a journal whose high methodological standards can assure readers that papers published in the journal present results that are true and replicable. Researchers doing this sort of work ought to be especially interested in submitting it to us. But Collabra as a publishing program is also positioned to play a larger role in the future of scientific publishing. The journal’s publisher and OA platform stand ready to host other journals. When editorial teams at closed journals decide to throw off the yoke of exploitation and move en masse to an open-access format, Collabra has the infrastructure in place to make that move easy for the team. Moreover, since Collabra does not attempt to claim exclusive ownership over articles, it could serve as the quality referee for an online archive, such as PsyArXiv or OSF preprints in the case of Collabra: Psychology.

7. Okay, overconfidence aside — do you have a secret talent or hobby you are willing to share?

I’m quite confident I don’t. I have devoted my life to science, and taken vows of poverty and celibacy. Well, I did make an exception for my wife. And truth be told, I’m not sure the poverty thing is really working out either. But I have become a very boring person as most of my hobbies have fallen by the wayside because I love my work so much. If I have a secret talent, it is the ability to spring eagerly from my bed most mornings at 5 a.m. to dash to my desk and get to work.

Collabra: Psychology invites you to submit your work in Organizational Behavior under Senior Editor Don Moore. Click here to see our Call for Papers.

What Mozart and Super Mario Have in Common

This post is part of a blog series leading up to the American Musicological Society annual conference taking place in Vancouver, Canada from November 3–6. Please visit our booth if you are attending, and otherwise stay tuned for more content related to our Music books and journals programs.

This post is also in honor of International Open Access Week, October 24–30, 2016. At publication date, a free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program for monographs. Visit to learn more.

by Roger Moseley, author of Keys to Play: Music as a Ludic Medium from Apollo to Nintendo

Keys to Play cover MoseleyIn languages ranging from French to Turkish and German to Japanese, the verb “to play” is applicable to both games and instrumental music. But what kinds of games might we be playing when we play music? Johan Huizinga, the founder of modern play studies, remarked in 1939 that “it seems probable that the link between play and instrumental skill is to be sought in the nimble and orderly movements of the fingers.” Growing up, I was vaguely aware of parallels between the hours I spent at the piano keyboard and the computer keyboard, or with Nintendo gamepad in hand. Exercises of dexterous timing and the navigation of obstacles in the form of double thirds or Goombas occupied me throughout my childhood. Decades later, when writing Keys to Play, I found myself articulating my sense of what exactly these activities have in common and how they might illuminate one another.

I was particularly intrigued by how Huizinga’s focus on “the nimble and orderly movements of the fingers” hints at a genealogy of digitality that links fingers to numbers and fortepianos to game controllers. Since its earliest musical incarnations, the keyboard has materialized and arrayed bits of information, making them available for processing by both humans and machines. Keys and buttons represent bits as spatially divergent entities that are configured and mapped according to cultural memory, the elements of which are stored and retrieved by recourse to notes, letters, numbers, tunings, and temperaments. Temporally, the keyboard enables these bits to be processed in sequence, configuring strings of events that can be programmed (composed), executed in real time (performed), or both at once (improvised).

At the same time, keyboards afford analogical modes of play. From the clavichord’s infinite sensitivity to the Guitar Hero controller’s cheerful fakery, both the isomorphism and the discrepancy between digital action and sonic outcome activates the logic of mimesis, revealing the senses in which play unfolds in a subjunctive mood. Under the rubric of make-believe or fantasy, we play as if things might be otherwise.

To alight on another point of linguistic contact between music and games, in both cases the “score” is indicative of a need to objectify and quantify the outcome of a playful process. To score, etymologically, is to mark: to tally, in the case of games, and to prescribe, in the case of music. In this sense, a score describes and constitutes the ludic rules according to which the music is to be played. Throughout Keys to Play, I wanted to conceive of figures such as Mozart and Beethoven not as composers in the traditional sense, but as game designers, creators who engineered playful adventures for themselves and others to act out.

These connections help explain why Keys to Play considers the playing of Mozart’s keyboard concertos and Nintendo’s New Super Mario Bros. Wii side by side (and even goes so far as to mash them up). Shuttling between the digital and the analog, between the concrete and the fantastical, between the nimbleness of eighteenth-century fingers and the wanderings of the twenty-first-century imagination, musical play enables us to act as if the world were—or might yet become—a more wondrous place.

Roger Moseley is Assistant Professor of Music at Cornell University. Active as a collaborative pianist on modern and historical instruments, he has published essays on the interface of the keyboard, the performativity of digital games, the practice of eighteenth-century improvisation, and the music of Brahms.

Elizabeth Keating on her new book, Words Matter

by Elizabeth Keating, coauthor of Words Matter: Communicating Effectively in the New Global Office

This post originally appeared on the CaMP Anthropology blog, and has been republished with their permission.

Interview by Ilana Gershon

Since the book is written for a general audience, could you say a little about how you would explain the book to linguistic and media anthropologists who are considering using this in a class, and want to know what it is about.

For teachers of linguistic anthropology concerned with having an impact on students’ understanding of language and culture, especially beyond the classroom, this book links the classroom with the paid work world. Concepts and methods in linguistic anthropology are highly relevant to job skills. For one thing, there is understanding how local one’s own communication habits and expectations of others are. For another, understanding how communication really works builds better skills to repair misunderstandings. This book rather unabashedly makes a connection between learning about linguistic anthropology and becoming a more flexible, interested cross cultural communicator. One of the main points in the book is that because of technology, many people are working in virtual teams, or virtually with colleagues in other places. This results in little face-to-face time, or time to hang out and learn about others’ habits, preferences, and life stories. There’s little environmental context. Without the ability orWords Matter Keating Jarvenpaatime to learn from each other, there is a role for linguistic anthropology principles to play in generating understandings. I’m thinking of general principles like how people do things with words, that meaning is negotiated, social roles, socialization, the workings of convention in meaning, common ground and context, etc. In the book there are examples taken from engineers’ workdays, engineers trying to design things together in virtual teams, while living and working in four different continents.

The value in the classroom is the application of linguistic anthropology concepts to the engineers’ struggles with their inadequate communication model.  The book proposes a better communication model based on linguistic anthropology. We discuss how culture affects language use, with examples from the engineers and from other researchers’ work. To take a simple example, if the students have never thought about differences in question asking behavior—that it might not be felt to be appropriate in a certain group to ask a question (or only appropriate for the boss to be asking questions)– they could have unpleasant surprises at work if they assume that an absence of questions means everything is understood.

In most linguistic anthropology and media classes, students are preparing for many different types of careers, some in similar settings to the engineers. It’s useful to have a way to link linguistic anthropology to students’ desire to prepare themselves for work after university. When my co-author asked one of her graduate business research assistants to read the draft book manuscript, he said afterwards that he didn’t think he should be paid, since he learned so much. Another reader from the business world said he finally understood the reason behind his colleague’s “exasperating” behavior of not asking questions.

Continue reading “Elizabeth Keating on her new book, Words Matter”

Editor’s Spotlight: Meet Edward Watts, associate editor of Studies in Late Antiquity

This post is part of a blog series introducing the editors of Studies in Late Antiquity (SLA), our new online quarterly journal scheduled to launch in February 2017. Stay tuned for more Editor’s Spotlights with other SLA editors leading up to the journal launch.

Watts photo 2-3
Edward Watts, UC San Diego

We are pleased to introduce Edward Watts, Professor of History at UC San Diego and one of the associate editors of Studies in Late Antiquity. Since receiving his PhD in History from Yale University, Watts has published four books and more than 40 articles on topics ranging from the Old Academy in the fourth century BC, to the relationship between orality and textuality in the early Byzantine period.

With his research focused primarily on the intellectual and religious history of the Roman Empire and the early Byzantine Empire, Watts’ expertise aligns perfectly with the journal’s editorial vision to connect the Mediterranean with other parts of the late ancient world.

We sat down with Watts to talk about his research interests, his involvement in the journal, and what makes Studies in Late Antiquity different from other journals in the field.

Can you tell us more about your research interests and areas of expertise?

unnamedMy research spans most of Roman, late antique, and early medieval history. The areas of Christianization, Roman intellectual and cultural life, ancient philosophy (especially Platonism), and Roman numismatics particularly appeal to me.

What inspired you to get involved with Studies in Late Antiquity?

The journal offers a unique platform to explore the chronological and geographic limits of late antiquity. As the field grows and matures, it needs venues that can accommodate new visions of what late antiquity research could encompass, while offering space for intellectual experimentation. Studies in Late Antiquity offers that space, and this is an an exciting opportunity to participate in the continued evolution of scholarship focused on late antiquity.

What sets Studies in Late Antiquity apart from other journals in the field?

Studies in Late Antiquity will enable scholars working on late antiquity to expand the geographical reach of their work, develop projects that transcend regional or linguistic boundaries, and publish more of the exciting work done on late antique material culture. By providing a venue for new and cutting edge projects, this journal will help chart future developments in the field.

Want to get more involved with SLA? Here are just a few ways:

  • Submit your papers to SLA. Visit for more information.
  • Recommend SLA to your institution. Give this Library Recommendation Form to your campus librarian to request that your library pre-order a subscription.
  • Sign up for SLA launch updates! For future updates on the inaugural issue, free sample content, and more, sign up for email alerts at

On Bob Dylan Winning the Nobel Prize: An Ancient Greek Perspective

Bob Dylan just received the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, and the Internet exploded. I own pretty much every album Bob Dylan’s ever put out, so you can guess where I stand on the issue. But there is an interesting question that keeps coming up in the online debate over Dylan’s award: Should a musician even win a literature prize? As Salmon Rushdie has pointed out, music and literature have long been closely linked—for much of human history and around the globe.


Take Ancient Greece. The tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides and the epic poems of Homer, for example, have been celebrated for centuries as foundational literary texts. However, we know that performance—public performance—was their primary medium. Greek tragedy was essentially musical theater (closer to, say, Hamilton than Strindberg), and it had all the hallmarks we associate with musical performance: meter, rhythm, melody, and instrumental accompaniment. Even dancing. One of the defining features of Greek tragedy was the chorus, which sang, danced, and led the audience through such intellectual and artistic heavyweights as Antigone and the Bacchae. The Greek word “chorus,” in fact, comes from a family of words signifying dance and movement, and it’s the same word we’ve used in English for five hundred years to refer to a group of people singing. Although it’s controversial whether the Iliad and the Odyssey were recited to instrumental accompaniment, they were both certainly performed, augmented by the power of rhythm, intonation, gesture, and pitch. In our recent edition of the Iliad, translator Peter Green does a wonderful job of capturing the fantastic, varied sounds of Homer’s poetry. Go to our website, where you can download for free the whole of Book IX. Read it out loud, and see for yourself.


Tragedy and epic poetry are just two examples, and Greek is one of countless traditions where the “musical” and “literary” converge. West Africa, the Middle East, and many other regions all had flourishing cultures that combined literary technique and musical expression. For the novel-lover and/or the Dylan-hater, I doubt pointing out this heritage will do much to persuade them that Dylan’s music is as deserving of literary status as, say, Philip Roth’s output. Maybe you think Dylan is crap. Or maybe you think awards should celebrate the many massively talented artists around the world who haven’t already had a lifetime of accolades. Those are entirely defensible positions, of course. But if you’ve only ever thought of literature as words on a page, maybe it’s time you gave it another listen.

Eric A. Schmidt is the Classics and Religion editor at UC Press.

4 Must-Read Journals at the 2016 Western History Association Conference

Get inspired at the 2016 Western History Association Annual Meeting (October 20-23, St. Paul, MN) with important Western History research from four UC Press journals: California History, Pacific Historical Review, Southern California Quarterly, and Boom: A Journal of CaliforniaIn celebration of this conference, each journal is offering free access to a special selection of #WHA2016 content—from WHA award-winning articles to virtual issues.

2016 WHA attendees: Be sure to visit UC Press at booth #29 to see our full list of books and journals in Western History.

California History

Editor: Josh Sides, California State University, Northridge

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 1.21.00 PMUnder the stewardship of the California Historical Society for nearly one hundred years, California History is pleased to offer a special virtual issue on Nature in California History. The virtual issue features historical research on the demise of the Galapagos Turtle during and after the Gold Rush; salt harvesting in Alameda County; the rise of sweet pea cultivation at the turn-of-the-nineteenth-century; irrigation in late nineteenth-century Los Angeles; Bee-keeping in early twentieth-century Los Angeles; the intrigue surrounding the killing of the second-to-last grizzly bear in California in 1916; and the “sprawl” of Yosemite after World War II.



Pacific Historical Review

Editors: Marc Rodriguez and Brenda D. Frink, Portland State University

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 1.30.49 PMThe official publication of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, the Pacific Historical Review has published dozens of award-winning articles. PHR is especially pleased to have been honored multiple times by the Western History Association. To celebrate two Western History Association prizes that will be awarded to PHR this year, we’re offering limited-time complimentary access to these new award-winning articles.

Ray Allen Billington Prize of the Western History Association

A Divide to Heal the Union: The Creation of the Continental Divide
James D. Drake, Vol. 84, No. 4 (November 2015): 409-47.

Jensen-Miller Award of the Western History Association

“A Little Home for Myself and Child”: The Women of the Quapaw Agency and the Policy of Competency
Katherine Ellinghaus, 


Southern California Quarterly

Editor: Merry Ovnick, California State University, Northridge

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The flagship publication of the Historical Society of Southern CaliforniaSouthern California Quarterly is pleased to present a special virtual issue on Home Strategies: Class, Race, Community, and Empowerment in 20th Century Los AngelesSince the journal’s first publication in 1884, Southern California Quarterly has consistently published articles that address housing development, discrimination, and empowerment, a sampling of which is showcased in this virtual issue.




Boom: A Journal of California

Editor: Jason Sexton, California State University, Fullerton

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 3.27.12 PMLed by guest editors Susan Moffat and Jonathan Crisman, and with contributions from UCLA and UC Berkeley’s Urban Humanities initiatives, Boom presents its Fall issue on “Urban Humanity.” The issue explores exciting and innovative ways that history, geography, and literature intersect with urban studies, art, and architecture to help us better engage with the world.

Read the entire issue for free at, and join the editors and contributors for special events in honor of the new publication.


Thursday, October 27, 5-7PM
UCLA, Perloff Hall courtyard, Los Angeles

Thursday, November 10, 5–7PM
UC Berkeley, 110 Wurster Hall, Berkeley