Studies in Late Antiquity Launches First Issue

University of California Press is excited to announce that the first issue of Studies in Late Antiquity (SLA) is now available at sla.ucpress.edu. To celebrate the journal launch, SLA 1.1 will be freely accessible online for the rest of 2017. To access future issues, become an individual subscriber or ask your institution’s library to subscribe on your behalf.

Edited by Elizabeth DePalma Digeser (UC Santa Barbara), SLA will publish original scholarship, book reviews, and exhibit reviews on a wide range of topics pertaining to the world of Late Antiquity (150 – 750 CE). A defining focus of the journal is fostering multi- and interdisciplinary research that emphasizes the interconnectedness of the Mediterranean with other parts of the late ancient world.

Scholars interested in submitting to the journal can learn more about SLA‘s Call for Papers and Author Guidelines here.

 

“We enjoy the methodological diversity of our field, which has long embraced scholars from Archaeology, History, Classics, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Art History. But because of that very diversity we never find ourselves all assembled in one place. Studies in Late Antiquity is a unique effort to put in conversation scholarship engaged with global late antiquity.”

—Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, Editor, UC Santa Barbara

Table of Contents

Why Does the World Need a New Journal on Late Antiquity?
The Editor and Associate Editors

Community Matters
Elizabeth DePalma Digeser

Late Antiquity and World History: Challenging Conventional Narratives and Analyses
Mark Humphries

How Perilous was it to Write Political History in Late Antiquity?
Anthony Kaldellis

From a Classical to a Christian City: Civic Evergetism and Charity in Fifth Century Rome
Michele Salzman

Book Reviews

Review: Digital_Humanities, by Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp
Sarah E. Bond, Tom Keegan

Review: Décadence: “Decline and Fall” or “Other Antiquity”?, edited by Marco Formisano, Therese Fuhrer, and Anna-Lena Stock
Lorenzo DiTommaso

Review: A State of Mixture. Christians, Zoroastrians, and Iranian Political Culture in Late Antiquity, by Richard E. Payne
Greg Fisher

Review: From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity, by Kyle Harper
Wendy Mayer

Review: The Arid Lands. History, Power, Knowledge, by Diana K. Davis
Steven E. Sidebotham


UC Press Wins AAP PROSE Awards + Design Recognition from the AAUP

UC Press is proud to announce and congratulate recipients of this week’s Association of American Publishers‘ 2017 PROSE Awards, as well as the honorees of the Association of American University Press‘ 2017 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show.

About the PROSE Awards:

“The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in 53 categories.

Judged by peer publishers, librarians, and medical professionals since 1976, the PROSE Awards are extraordinary for their breadth and depth.”

ecosystems-of-california

2017 PROSE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PHYSICAL SCIENCES & MATHEMATICS

Ecosystems of California

Edited by Harold Mooney and Erika Zaveleta

 

 

 

 

mf6t14uh2017 PROSE AWARD JOURNAL/AWARD FOR INNOVATION – HONORABLE MENTION

Collabra: Psychology

Editors Simine Vazire, Rolf Zwaan and Don Moore

 

 

About the AAUP 2017 Book, Jacket, & Journal Show:

“Judging for the 2017 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show took place January 26-27 at the AAUP Central Office in New York City.  This year, 241 books, 2 Journals and 320 jacket and cover designs were submitted for a total of 563 entries.  The jurors carefully selected 50 books and 50 jackets and covers as the very best examples from this pool of excellent design.

The 2017 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show will premiere at the AAUP Annual Meeting in Austin, June 11-13, 2017. Afterward, the show will be exhibited at member presses around the country from September 2017 through May 2018. Forms to request the show for exhibit at your campus or institution will be available in the summer.”

9780520285958TRADE ILLUSTRATED

Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Designer: Lia Tjandra

Production Coordinator: Angela Chen

Acquiring Editor: Niels Hooper

Project Editor: Dore Brown

 

principiaJACKETS/COVERS

The Principia by Isaac Newton, translated by Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman

Designer: Lia Tjandra

Production Coordinator: Angela Chen

Art Director: Lia Tjandra

 

 


University of California Press launches Open Access journals program and seeks journal partners

open_access_logoUniversity of California Press’ Open Access journals program—a.k.a. “Collabra”—is reaching out to you, the academic community, with a “call for journals.”

  • Are you a scholarly society, or other community or collective, with an OA journal idea that you would like to develop with UC Press?
  • Are you involved with an OA journal that you are in a position to consider publishing with UC Press?
  • Are you an editor, or on an editorial board, considering starting a new OA journal?

Then please consider reaching out to us. Our aim is to facilitate, and not control, and we acknowledge the primary importance of the scholarly community in the value of a journal. Contact: Dan Morgan, Publisher, UC Press, at dmorgan@ucpress.edu.

Background to the program

As of January 2017, University of California Press is the publisher of two Open Access journals—Collabra: Psychology (which we launched) and Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (which transferred to us from BioOne).

The origin of Collabra: Psychology was a megajournal called Collabra, which was intended to cover multiple disciplines. It created a new, fair, efficient business model that allows editors and reviewers to have a say in how the value created by a journal is shared. Elementa now adopts this business model too.

Collabra’s transition to Collabra: Psychology, a journal devoted to psychology, was not an exit from other fields but a focus on a specific community in which it gained great traction. When the opportunity to publish Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene came along, we realized the best way forward for our OA efforts would be to work with specific communities on specific journals.

And now our intention is to have “Collabra” be an overarching brand for more Open Access journals—which will all feature the core values of:

  • Fairness in pricing and business practice, with revenue sharing models if appropriate
  • Scientific and scholarly rigor
  • Transparency and openness, in data, methods, interests—defined by each community
  • Putting the academic community first—which community primarily creates and maintains a journal’s profile and identify

We look forward to working with you! Please reach out to Dan Morgan, Publisher, UC Press, at dmorgan@ucpress.edu.


UC Press’s Open Access Luminos Monographs Now Discoverable on Books at JSTOR

In October, JSTOR announced the inclusion of sixty-three open access monographs, including those from UC Press’s OA program Luminos, on their aggregated content platform, Books at JSTOR. In the following Q&A, Books at JSTOR Director Frank Smith talks about why this is an important development for disseminating the long-form research of faculty in the humanities and social sciences.

Sandy Brian Hager’s Public Debt, Inequality, and Power is now available for free download at Books at JSTOR

What is the role of JSTOR in the discovery process for students and researchers?

JSTOR is one of the most heavily used online resources at universities and colleges. Students and researchers know—or at least we think they know—that the journals and books presented on JSTOR have been carefully chosen by JSTOR staff for their high academic quality. A very high percentage of the searches for content on JSTOR are from students, faculty, and other researchers who actually start on JSTOR, as opposed to coming in from the library catalog or Google.

Further, librarians have told us that they’re unlikely to catalog OA books because they’re worried about the quality of some OA titles “in the wild,” and it is too much work for them to “opt-in” even OA books from respected publishers if they are not able to do so at scale. Books at JSTOR seems to be one good solution to those problems: JSTOR is a trusted source for content, and having OA titles delivered at greater scale gives librarians incentive to opt-in to cataloging those titles via MARC records and their web-scale discovery partners, so that OA book metadata is available to their patrons not just via search, but also through libraries’ own discovery systems.

Why did you decide to host open access books on JSTOR?

The open access books we are hosting come from publishers who we know employ high standards, including peer review, in their publishing decisions. So in one sense the open access books we are hosting are the same as books for which we sell licenses, which is to say we think they will be valuable for anyone doing academic research. A second reason to host open access books is to try to make JSTOR a more valuable resource for researchers who may not have university affiliations or may be in developing countries. (Through the generosity of many publishers, we also offer “read only” access to many journals for researchers without affiliations.) Third, OA books increase the amount of high quality content on JSTOR and we think thereby will make it a more valuable research platform.

What do you hope the future will hold for open access books on Books at JSTOR?

We hope of course that the books will be valuable to researchers. We also hope that by collecting data on the use of the books we can contribute in a meaningful way to discussions about the growth of open access publishing.

Also, the systems for books that are sold—publishing systems, library cataloging systems, and discovery systems—are ill suited to maximize the distribution of OA content. We’re facing a new version of trying to fit the square peg into the round hole. Books at JSTOR plays an important role then in being one of the first for-purchase content aggregators to incorporate OA books into our workflows and collections, which will ultimately help OA book publishing and readership as a whole.

 


Editor’s Spotlight: An interview with Luminos Executive Editor Reed Malcolm

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Luminos Executive Editor Reed Malcolm

In this Q&A with Luminos Executive Editor Reed Malcolm, we learn about author receptiveness to OA monograph publishing, where authors find publication subsidies, and what barriers to OA publishing Reed has encountered. We also take a glimpse into what the future holds for Luminos, UC Press’s open access publishing program.

How did you first get involved in Luminos?

I’ve been an acquisitions editor for over 20 years now. In that time, I’ve seen it become more and more difficult for university presses to publish specialized works of scholarship. This is due to a variety of reasons: diminishing library budgets, the advent of the course reader, the disappearance of brick-and-mortar bookstores, and not least of all the rise of Amazon and the internet. Consequently, sales potential has become a more critical component in the decision-making process for university presses. No longer is a book’s intellectual impact or its quality the sole criteria. And that’s a shame, since I don’t think any of us got into academic publishing for the money.

Luminos had been operating for about a year before I got involved.  As an editor, what primarily attracted me was the fact that I could return to publishing good books without being hamstrung by financial concerns.

The open access model is much more equitable in terms of the financing for a book’s publication. Instead of the publisher investing the entire cost, then losing that investment on four out of five titles, the Luminos model works on the idea that everyone who has a stake in a book’s publication contributes in some way to the cost of publication —the publisher, the author, the author’s institution, libraries, and readers. Like crowd-sourcing.

What’s also wonderful about open access books is that anyone who has internet access anywhere around the world can download a book for free. No longer is pricing a barrier to readership. Luminos books are made available simultaneously as e-books (for free) and paperbacks (for sale, for those who still prefer print on paper), so it really is the best of all worlds.

What has been the response to the program thus far? Any surprises?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the level of enthusiasm for the program. While other publishers have been dabbling with the concept of open access book publishing, UC Press has been one of the first to come out with guns blazing. In my conversations with department chairs and university deans, I’m often pleasantly surprised to learn how many have heard of Luminos, and I have similarly been pleased by how many senior scholars have requested to publish their books in the program.

If you had asked me two years ago what I thought would be the biggest hurdle in creating an open access publishing program, I would have said the subvention requirement (i.e. that authors need to contribute funding—a title publication fee—in order to publish in the Luminos program). But now that the program is sufficiently underway, I can say it’s proving much less of a deterrent than I would’ve expected. True, not everyone teaches at a well-endowed university with easy access to publication funds, but I’m finding that many authors are having an easier time securing funding than I would have thought. Many more deans and chairs are aware of the current publishing crisis today than was the case five years ago, and so are by and large receptive to supporting faculty with their open access books. At the University of California, for example, financing has been made available at both the campus and system-wide level for authors who wish to publish their books as open access titles. In addition, a benefit of Luminos’s financial model is its waiver fund, which allows authors from under-funded institutions or disciplines to apply for fee waivers in order to support publication of their research.

We’ve also been pleased by the initial response from libraries to our membership program. The Luminos model is predicated on costs being shared among all who benefit from a monograph’s publication—author/institution, publisher, and academic libraries. We’re now entering the second year of our library membership program and trust that current library members, who are already seeing the benefit to their institutions’ authors, will be eager to renew and that new libraries will want to come on board as members, allowing their institutions’ authors to benefit from the funds the library contributes to the Luminos program via reduced publication fees available to faculty at library member institutions.

Have you run into any obstacles?

While the reception to OA has been for the most part quite positive, there are still some who have a problem with the new model. Like Winnicott’s “transitional object,” books are often intimately bound to a scholar’s sense of professional identity. They are like sacred totems, instilled with power, purpose and meaning. Their spines face out from our bookshelves like hunting trophies.

But it’s important that we ask ourselves what we mean when we refer to “the book”? Is it just paper, ink, glue, and cardboard? Or is it a vehicle for sharing thoughts and ideas?  The problem is that too many people fail to draw any distinction. In their minds, message and messenger are one and the same.

And so in this context, I find there are some who still mistakenly see open access publishing as a battle between traditional print (the past) vs. digital (the future). But that dichotomy is misguided. The reality is that books in the Luminos program are made available in both digital and print formats. Digital editions are available for free download and print editions are available from UC Press and other book retailers for a low cost for those who prefer a print edition.

I like to explain to people that open access is not a different way of publishing so much as it is a different way of financing.

What does the future hold?

We have been signing approximately 20 titles a year within the Luminos program. Starting next year we hope to increase that number to 50. In addition to having our editors sign more open access titles, we’ve embarked on some very exciting publishing partnerships with institutes and centers whose work aligns with our core publishing strengths.

We also hope to take advantage of the digital capabilities of e-books by publishing more works that incorporate multimedia components, such as audio, video, and interactive maps. In this regard, we’ve had some productive discussions with digital humanities centers across the country, and I am looking forward to rolling out some exciting new book series in the near future.

What I have loved most about working on the Luminos program is that, for what seems like the first time in my publishing career, everyone is happy: authors, because their books aren’t facing pricing or distribution barriers; students, because they can obtain books for free; traditional book-lovers, who still are able to get print editions; librarians, since they no longer need to forgo acquiring faculty research due to budget constraints; and publishers, because they can go back to their core mission, which is to publish high quality research.

 


Peer Review in the Humanities and Social Sciences: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It?

Thanks to The Scholarly Kitchen for allowing us to re-blog the following Peer Review Week 2016 (#PeerRevWk16) -focused post.

About Peer Review Week: Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality. The event brings together individuals, institutions, and organizations committed to sharing the central message that good peer review, whatever shape or form it might take, is critical to scholarly communications.

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While much of the contemporary debate around peer review focuses on both journal articles and STEM fields, here we are going to focus on humanities and social science (HSS) fields where both longer articles and book-length projects are more common. Does HSS peer review have the same functions, goals, and challenges as STEM peer review? My conversation below with fellow Scholarly Kitchen Chef Karin Wulf and Mary Francis, Editorial Director at the University of Michigan Press, addresses these questions and looks forward to the ways in which HSS peer review might evolve.

PRW 2016

Alison Mudditt: Karin, as both a working scholar and someone who oversees a substantial publication program, what are the key ways in which HSS peer review differs from STEM journals models?

Karin Wulf: A key point to make right off the bat is that many more, if not most, HSS fields are “book fields”, disciplines in which scholars typically publish their most significant work in book form rather than in journal articles. Journals still play an important role for HSS; HSS articles tend to be longer, and HSS journals tend to publish a small percentage of submissions. Peer reviewers for HSS journals are thus doing pretty extensive work on lengthy submissions, and mostly for authors whose work won’t be published (at least not in the first journal to which it’s submitted). Generally, though, peer review is valued on both sides of the experience. It’s simply part of the culture for authors and reviewers to participate in the intellectual exchange that takes place in the context of peer reviewing. It is also the case that a lot of articles are developed in the context of a book in progress and that peer reviewers for journals thus have always played an important role in moving a book to eventual publication.

 Alison: Beyond the common gatekeeping role, does peer review play a different role in these fields?

Karin: Another important point is one we make in Scholarly Kitchen posts a lot — there is tremendous diversity in the culture and practice among and within disciplines, not only between HSS and STEM. It would be hard to generalize about the differential role of peer review within the cultures of each. In many fields different versions or pieces of a project are often shared to solicit feedback from experts. The difference with formal peer reviewing is that the expertise is solicited (by the journal editor) and usually that it is anonymous to each party (double-blind). The value of double-blind review has been debated quite a bit, but I still come down on the side of anonymity as the best hedge against bias.

 Alison: Are there distinctions between HSS book and journal peer review?

Karin: Again, there is significant diversity among and within HSS fields that’s important. But in the aggregate, peer review in journals versus books can be quite distinct. Journal editors tend to commission more reviews for each article than do book editors; reader reports for journal articles also tend to be proportionally longer. Journal editors mostly deal with submissions that come in over the transom and are fully responsible for the substantive responses to reader reports, often writing lengthy letters to authors to interpret the readers’ reports and deliver their decision.

But acquisition editors for university presses are both doing more active recruitment and generally less substantive editorial work with their authors. The role of the review itself is therefore different. Books tend to get fewer reader reports (usually two), though often at two different stages, the original and final manuscript submissions.

What peer reviews of journal article and book manuscripts share is basic assessment: how fresh is the research? How persuasive is the argument? What does this work contribute to the field and/or fields? Peer reviewers are asking these same questions of the two different genres.

Alison: Mary, as a seasoned university press editor, what do you think is distinctive about university press peer review?

 Mary Francis: As Karin notes, different peer review practices tend to attach to disciplinary norms and product type, more than type of publisher. University presses, even relatively small ones, produce a wide range of publications: scholarly monographs, journals, textbooks, critical editions of primary sources, guidebooks, regional titles, poetry, and more. While all of these are peer reviewed, one of the distinctive features of university press peer review is how it accommodates such a range of publications. When I was working with the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) acquisitions committee to create their new guidelines, there were many discussions of how to zero in on the most rigorous practices that all book peer review ought to share, and the most salient variations had to do with disciplines being considered.

 Alison: Peer review has always been at the heart of university press publishing: why did AAUP decide to create a “best practices” document at this point in time?

 Mary: The biggest reason is to call attention to the value that peer review provides. The bulk of the document is a detailed ‘how-to,’ which should make clear how many carefully considered steps and decisions are involved as well as how much expertise is required. Editors play an essential role in framing peer review for their constituents within their overarching project of cultivating intellectual endeavors in a given field, matching the needs of a project to the expertise of peer reviewers, and making sure the final product has the greatest possible reach and influence. At a time when higher education and the core values of scholarly research are under intense public scrutiny, the document was designed to advocate for the value of peer review to those whose support is essential: deans and provosts, foundations and funders, regents, elected representatives.

 Alison: What processes shaped its development?

Mary: The creation of the document was an immensely rewarding two-year odyssey of discussion and debate, informed, naturally, by rigorous peer review. The AAUP Acquisitions Committee wrote – and debated — the document jointly. The first draft was reviewed by the AAUP board, then revised and submitted to twenty-five peer reviewers, including fellow university press editors, colleagues from museum publishing, commercial scholarly publishing, and university press publishers in the UK. The revised version was the focus of a very lively AAUP Collaboration Lab at the 2015 AAUP annual conference, and generated more refinements leading up to the release of the complete document this past spring.

Alison: The voices demanding alternatives to blind and double-blind review have risen alongside greater experimentation with new models of long-form content, especially those in digital form. I’m interested as to why AAUP chose not to discuss those new models here – was there a reason for this?

Mary: Alternative forms of peer review, and peer review of multi-modal scholarly outputs were very much part of the committee’s discussions: we talked about how multi-modal scholarly outputs challenge publishers to think carefully about parameters that are easier to take for granted in a world based on print books: version control, preservation, citability, discoverability, etc. In the end, the committee felt that there isn’t enough consensus around peer review of alternative forms (or alternative forms of peer review) for there to be a clear set of best practices that AAUP could endorse at this point in time.

Alison: What about reviewer selection? The guidelines highlight the reviewer’s potential to judge the scholarship and argument presented, but I wonder how both of you think about diversity – race, gender, geographies, and other identities – as you select reviewers? Given the challenges the academy faces in increasing diversity, how do we ensure that peer review doesn’t contribute to privileging certain established voices over others?

Karin: A lot comes down to the press director and their expectations of editors. We don’t want conferences to have “Hasslehoff panels”; similarly, we want review panels to reflect diversity of perspectives. Diversity includes race and gender as well as junior and senior scholars, and scholars from different types of institutions; reviewers shouldn’t all come from R1 universities, for example. But here’s another thing — at least in HSS, editors should want as reviewers not only the scholars whose work is exactly spot on the topic, but what our journal editor might describe as a 360 degree view from different field specialties that have a bearing on the work in question.

Mary: We did talk about how “established voices” manifest themselves in different disciplines. Editors’ desire to diversify beyond “established voices” is about exciting, innovative work that goes beyond familiar methodologies and paradigms, and for this editors are often seeking younger scholars who are thought leaders in their field — a pool more likely to manifest a greater degree of diversity. But as more academics around the world hold contingent positions that make it difficult for them to establish credentials as peer reviewers, the already formidable problem of finding peer reviewers who represent diverse backgrounds and diverse scholarly expertise will only become more challenging.

Alison: Within HSS, there are growing questions about the shortfalls of the (double) blind process and more experimentation with changing the ways in which anonymity functions and trying to remove subjective judgments from the review process, mirroring STM developments (the Open Library of the Humanities [OLH] is but one example*). Listening to the critics of peer review, it would be easy to assume that this is a system of need of fundamental change. Yet from our experience at University of California Press, there seems to be little demand for change. No one seems ready to give up the deep level of review monographs receive, both in terms of overall assessment and deeper commentary, and I don’t see any appetite for expanding that to include post-publication commentary, for example. How do you see the system evolving and do you think more substantial change is likely any time soon?

Karin: Alison, my experience echoes yours. Not much appetite for post-publication review and mostly looking at improvements to double-blind which seems to be working. I sometimes hear about issues with a specific review/er, but usually our editors are pretty good at intervening and interpreting for authors if there is a particularly harsh review. They also let a good intellectual exchange take place — that’s the point of review, to raise the level of argument and scholarly knowledge. The AAUP guidelines address this in the sections on reviewer expectations and how to handle a problematic report; both are important for journal editors, too.

An important thing to keep in mind is that double-blind review for publication usually takes place at the end of a long train of fairly public critical exchange about a piece of work, at conferences and seminars, so there has often been opportunity for “open” review. I don’t really see “a road to reform” in that while double-blind review may not be perfect I hear often that reviewing isn’t seen as a broken system. The challenges of mutual anonymity, namely a lack of diversity among reviewers and biased reviewing, might be just as challenging in open review forums. I almost always sign my reviews, but I’m glad to have the option. I also wonder whether calls for open review are more appealing to some disciplines than others. The OLH for example, and the approach to open reviewing advocated by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, originate in literature and may best reflect movements in that field.

Mary: Like many of Alison’s fellow Scholarly Kitchen Chefs, I believe that the current system of peer review for long-form scholarly work (in whatever format it is published) is so essential to our systems of research and scholarly communication that it will only change incrementally. I suppose my work with the AAUP on this document manifests what I would most like to change: I want more participants in higher education and research to have a nuanced the understanding and appreciation of the virtues of peer review, the hard work that goes into it, the immense value it adds to scholarly communication.

*Editor’s Note: As a point of clarification, OLH has engaged in the debate around preferred peer review methodologies and questioned the status quo, in practice they offer a rigorous policy of double-blind peer-review and a clear signaling the mode of review that has been conducted on the work.

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alisonmudditt1

Alison Mudditt has been Director of University of California Press since January 2011, where she has focused on reshaping the Press’s strategy and structure to meet the needs of its diverse audiences in the digital age. Alison more than twenty-five years experience in academic publishing which began at Blackwell in Oxford, and then at Taylor & Francis Inc. in Philadelphia as Publishing Director of the Behavioral Sciences Division. Alison joined SAGE in 2001 as Vice President and Editorial Director, and was appointed Executive Vice President in 2004 where she led the SAGE’s publishing programs across books, journals and digital during a period of tremendous growth. Alison is a regular speaker at industry meetings and is currently Vice Chair of the Scientific Publications Committee and member of the Open Science Committee of the American Heart Association, and member of the Board of Directors of K|N Consultants. She has also served on the Executive Council of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the American Association of Publishers, and was Co-Chair of the Dean’s Leadership Council at California State University, Channel Islands.


UC Press Partners with Kudos for its Open Access Programs

University of California Press is pleased to announce a new partnership with Kudos, a web-based service that helps researchers maximize the visibility and impact of their work. “Giving voice, reach, and impact to our authors is at the core of our mission,” notes UC Press Director Alison Mudditt. “Leveraging Kudos’ author and publisher tools helps advance this mission by making the important work of our authors more discoverable and impactful.”

Kudos provides a platform for authors to broaden the readership of their research by enabling authors to explain their work in plain language, enrich their content with links to related resources, and share their article through email, web, and social media, while directly mapping these efforts against views, downloads, altmetrics, and citations. A recent study by Nanyang Technological University shows that when people use the Kudos toolkit, they increase the full text downloads of their work by 23%.

UC Press will use Kudos to enhance the discoverability and reach of its open access programs and publications, including Collabra, Luminos and, after the journal transfers to UC Press in January 2017, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. Any author that publishes in these publications will receive a personal email inviting them to register and “claim” their work on Kudos. However, Kudos is a free service available to all researchers to explain and share publications from any publisher that provides CrossRef DOIs (researchers can register at www.growkudos.com).

For more information on how UC Press authors can use Kudos, see the video below or visit www.growkudos.com.


Academic Freedom and the Middle East Studies Association

When Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate was published in the fall of 2015, the author, Abdel Bari Atwan, was planning on coming to the United States for a book and lecture tour. We ultimately had to cancel those plans because Atwan’s visa was never issued. On August 2 of this year, the Middle East Studies Association wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry with their concern that this delay was a de facto denial of his visa, a move that has troubling implications for academic and journalistic freedom in the United States.

The letter is posted in its entirety below:

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
via fax 202-647-1811

Dear Mr. Secretary,

We write to you on behalf of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and its Committee on Academic Freedom to express our concern regarding the visa application of the journalist and political analyst Abdel Bari Atwan, who had been scheduled to make a speaking appearance at New York University as well as at a number of policy fora and book fairs in the fall of 2015. Despite having received visas to enter the United States on previous occasions, Mr. Atwan was not granted a visa for this trip and was therefore compelled to cancel it.

MESA was founded in 1966 to promote scholarship and teaching on the Middle East and North Africa. The preeminent organization in the field, the Association publishes the International Journal of Middle East Studies and has nearly 3,000 members worldwide. MESA is committed to ensuring academic freedom and freedom of expression, both within the region and in connection with the study of the region in North America and elsewhere.

Abdel Bari Atwan is a highly respected journalist; he was the founding editor of the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi and is currently editor of Rai al-Youm. In order to publicize his new book, Islamic State: the Digital Caliphate, its publisher, the University of California Press, organized a promotional tour for Mr. Atwan to the United States from 16-21 November 2015. His planned appearances included the World Affairs Council (San Francisco), the Cambridge Forum (Cambridge, MA), a lecture at New York University’s Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, and the Miami International Book Fair. As noted above, this would not have been Mr. Atwan’s first trip to the US. His last visit was in 2009, but he had made a number of trips before that, often speaking at universities, including Harvard and Columbia. He applied for a visa and went for his visa interview in London on 26 August 2015. Despite numerous inquiries, by both email and phone, he received no response to his visa application and was therefore forced to cancel his trip. Indeed, as of this writing, nearly a year later, Mr. Atwan still has received no response.

Preventing a recognized author, journalist, and intellectual from traveling to speak on his area of expertise at the invitation of an American institution of higher education is contrary to the principles of academic freedom, freedom of speech, and the free exchange of ideas. To do so with no explanation is even more disturbing and outrages the sensibilities of a democratic society.

We therefore urge you in the strongest possible terms to immediately investigate the prolonged and unusual delay in responding to Mr. Abdel Bari Atwan’s visa request and to make public the reasons for such a delay, a delay that amounts to a de facto denial of his application. We further urge you to do all that is within your power to make it possible for him to come to the United States in the near future so that scholars, journalists, and other Americans may engage with him and his perspectives in a vigorous exchange of ideas on foreign policy issues of broad public concern.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Beth Baron
MESA President
Professor, City University of New York

Amy W. Newhall
MESA Executive Director
Associate Professor, University of Arizona


Abdel Bari Atwan is a Palestinian writer and journalist. He was the editor in chief at the London-based daily al-Quds al-Arabi for twenty-five years and now edits the Rai al-Youm news website—the Arab world’s first Huffington Post–style outlet. He is a regular contributor to a number of publications, including the Guardian and the Scottish Herald, and he is a frequent guest on radio and television, often appearing on the BBC’s Dateline London.

Atwan interviewed Osama bin Laden twice in the late 1990s and has cultivated uniquely well-placed sources within the various branches of al Qaeda and other jihadi groups, including IS, over the last twenty years. His books includeThe Secret History of al Qaeda and After bin Laden: Al Qaeda, the Next Generation, as well as a memoir, A Country of Words: A Palestinian Journey from the Refugee Camp to the Front Page.


Atelier: Ethnographic Inquiry in the Twenty-First Century

by Kevin Lewis O’Neill, series editor

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Art Studio” by Elmira College is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Atelier is a new book series in anthropology designed to take a ground-up approach to the acquisition and publication of new ethnographic works. The aim is to set the conditions for collaboration at each stage of a book’s development, from the earliest draft through publication, providing not just meaningful feedback but also constructive engagement from peers and publishers. Rather than considering only those manuscripts in their finished state, this series sets out to curate a cohort of scholars committed to the idea that ethnographic writing is itself a form of intellectual work.

An Atelier book will set itself apart in at least two ways. The first is by addressing the problems and possibilities of ethnographic inquiry in the twenty-first century. These will include the matter of evidence, conceptual reach, and thematic urgency, as well as narrative voice and analytical innovation. The second is by self-consciously constructing a sociality of sustained, critical reflection. The aim of this series is to generate a group of scholars from all career stages working together towards the completion of each author’s respective book project. To this end, following a call for proposals, three to five authors will be selected to attend a one-day workshop held at the annual conference for the American Anthropological Association. There authors will have an opportunity to develop their book manuscripts in conversation with fellow participants, series editors, press editors and past series authors. A combination of early and advanced drafts will be exchanged, considered, and discussed. Rigorous engagement shall be paramount.

Atelier is proud to announce it’s 2016 finalists. These four authors were selected from over 50 submissions,  and will have the opportunity to workshop their manuscripts at the AAA in  Minneapolis this coming November:

  • Jacob Doherty (Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Wesleyan University) “Waste Worlds” is based on fieldwork in and around Kampala, Uganda’s diverse waste streams. It details how disposability is produced in the name of a clean city and asks how lives that are cast as disposable are, nonetheless, lived.
  • Jatin Dua (Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) “A Sea of Protection” examines maritime piracy in the Western Indian Ocean within frameworks of protection, risk and regulation by moving between the worlds of coastal communities in northern Somalia, maritime insurance adjustors in London, and the global shipping industry.
  • Anthony W. Fontes (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison) “Mortal Doubt” crisscrosses the blurred boundary between world and underworld to trace the maras’ (transnational gangs) evolution in Central America and the tangled skein weaving them into collective nightmares about urban violence and suffering across the region.
  • Kathryn Mariner (Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of
    Rochester) “Contingent Kinship,” based on ethnographic fieldwork at a Chicago adoption agency, charts entrenched yet precarious institutional structures and entangled ideologies of kinship, race, and class to suggest that adoption has powerful implications for the question of who can have a future in the twenty-first century United States, and who cannot.

Celebrating National Book Lover’s Day

Celebrated every year on August 9th (today!), National Book Lovers Day is the perfect time to curl up with an old favorite or pick up a new read. In case you’re having some trouble choosing, scroll down to read more about 10 recent bestsellers. From parrots to big history, there’s sure to be something that will pique your interest. Happy reading!

 

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 3

9780520279940The surprising final chapter of a great American life. Created from March 1907 to December 1909, these dictations present Mark Twain at the end of his life. Also included in this final volume of the Autobiography is the previously unpublished “Ashcroft-Lyon Manuscript.”

 

 

 

Parrots of the Wild

9780520239258A synthetic account of the diversity and ecology of wild parrots, Parrots of the Wild distills knowledge from the authors’ own research and from their review of more than 2,400 published scientific studies. The book is enhanced by an array of illustrations, including nearly ninety color photos of wild parrots represented in their natural habitats.

 

 

The Land of Open Graves

9780520282759In his gripping and provocative debut, anthropologist Jason De León sheds light on one of the most pressing political issues of our time—the human consequences of US immigration policy.  The Land of Open Graves reveals the suffering and deaths that occur daily in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona as thousands of undocumented migrants attempt to cross the border from Mexico into the United States.

 

 

A Sea of Glass

9780520285682“An engaging travel adventure that blends art, science, and natural history. A Sea of Glass documents Drew Harvell’s quest to document the conservation status of some of the ocean’s most charismatic marine invertebrates, from sea slugs to octopuses. Inspired by her discovery of a lost collection of handblown glass animals, Harvell dives the world’s oceans to determine how their living counterparts are faring in today’s beleaguered marine ecosystems. Beautifully illustrated, A Sea of Glass is both a call to action and a loving ode to our oceans.”—Ted Danson, actor, activist, and founding member of Oceana

 

The Islamic State

9780520289284Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) stunned the world when it overran an area the size of Great Britain on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border in a matter of weeks and proclaimed the birth of a new Caliphate. In this timely and important book, Abdel Bari Atwan draws on his unrivaled knowledge of the global jihadi movement and Middle Eastern geopolitics to reveal the origins and modus operandi of Islamic State.

 

 

The Scholar Denied

9780520276352“Tests, and convincingly proves, the belief, too long repressed, that W. E. B. Du Bois played not only a pivotal role in the birth of modern scientific sociology in America—he was its founding father, on either side of the color line….a fresh and crisply researched reinterpretation of Du Bois’s path-breaking Atlanta School of Sociology and is sure to be a major book.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

 

Hiding in Plain Sight

9780520278059Hiding in Plain Sight tells the story of the global effort to apprehend the world’s most wanted fugitives. Beginning with the flight of tens of thousands of Nazi war criminals and their collaborators after World War II, then moving on to the question of justice following the recent Balkan wars and the Rwandan genocide, and ending with the establishment of the International Criminal Court and America’s pursuit of suspected terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11, the book explores the range of diplomatic and military strategies—both successful and unsuccessful—that states and international courts have adopted to pursue and capture war crimes suspects.

 

The Birth of the Anthropocene

9780520289970“The world that all humans in all history knew has ended, and something new has started. This book can help you start thinking about what that event—the biggest event in our lifetimes—really means.”—Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

 

 

Sidewalking

9780520273726In Sidewalking, David L. Ulin offers a compelling inquiry into the evolving landscape of Los Angeles. Part personal narrative, part investigation of the city as both idea and environment, Sidewalking is many things: a discussion of Los Angeles as urban space, a history of the city’s built environment, a meditation on the author’s relationship to the city, and a rumination on the art of urban walking.

 

 

Listening to Killers

9780520282872An inside look at twenty years’ worth of murder files from a leading expert psychological witness. The author offers detailed accounts of how killers travel a path that leads from childhood innocence to lethal violence in adolescence or adulthood and the role of empathy in breaking the cycle of violence.