For more than 120 years, UC Press has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. It was with considerable excitement that we have decided to add psychology to our catalog—complementing our already strong presence in sociology, anthropology, history and other disciplines.

In this Q&A with Executive Editor Christopher Johnson, we learn about what brought him to publishing and his plans for the new psychology list.

Why did you become an acquisitions editor?

I spent the early years of my publishing career in sales and marketing. But like the kid with his nose pressed against the candy store window, I spent most of that time eagerly waiting for the moment when I could be the person to work directly with authors, helping shape ideas, and solving problems. Over twenty years later (and no longer a kid), it’s still a thrill to sit across a desk from a prospective author and ask the question: “How can I help you tell this story and reach your audience?”

What projects are you working on now to develop the Psychology list at UC Press?

Building a program from scratch is an exciting but somewhat daunting challenge. Fortunately, the response from psychologist around the country has been overwhelmingly positive. Though we are new to psychology, the UC Press brand is widely known and much respected.

I’ve been at the Press for one year and I’m happy that I have projects at all stages of development. For example:

  • My first book at UC Press is Seeing by noted cognitive psychologist Tom Cornsweet (Emeritus Professor at UC Irvine). The manuscript is undergoing final reviewing now and we hope to publish in late 2017.
  • My most recent signings include two innovative textbooks. The first is intended for the psychology of adjustment course by Robert Innes at Vanderbilt University and the second a highly applied book for the testing and measurement course by Lisa Hollis-Sawyer at Northeastern Illinois University.
  • I’m currently reviewing a number of proposals for new titles. It’s a wonderfully eclectic mix. From a companion reader to a behavioral statistics course, to a first person account of pregnancy and the first nine months of life by a developmental psychologist, to a much needed new text for the psychology of the self course, these projects under consideration reflect the broad scope of our new program.

You’re developing new textbooks and course books. Why is new content intended for use in courses important to you?

I’m very interested in acquiring a broad range of psychology books including works of popular science (a.k.a trade books), as well as more specialized works intended primarily for researchers. However, I am especially excited to hear from prospective authors interested in reaching audiences in undergraduate and graduate courses. The industry is undergoing dramatic changes and the big commercial publishers are de-emphasizing (or eliminating altogether) textbook offerings for upper division courses. I’m really proud that UC Press is committed to serving this increasingly under-served community of teachers and students.

Join Us 

Interested in publishing your work with Christopher and UC Press? Contact Christopher at

And learn more about the Higher Education Program.

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