February 16th, 2018 marks the quasquicentennial of University of California Press, celebrating 125 years of scholarly publishing since its founding on this day in 1893. Throughout this time, UC Press remained one of the most forward-thinking publishers in the world, collaborating with scholars, librarians, and authors, to publish high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship.
With $1000 appropriated by the University of California’s Board of Regents, UC Press was established “to publish papers prepared by members of the Faculty,” 25 years after University of California was founded in 1868. The first UC Press publication was Outlines of the Temporal and Modal Principles of Attic Prose, a pamphlet by Greek Isaac Flagg, which went on sale at the student store in Berkeley in 1893.
From its inception, UC Press disseminated scholarship that has undergone rigorous peer review, and championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. Today, UC Press continues to serve as the nonprofit publisher of the University of California system, publishing 200 books and 30 multi-issue journals each year, and maintaining 4,000 book titles in print. Its mission to drive progressive change by seeking out and cultivating the brightest minds and giving them voice, reach, and impact is evident by its award-winning editorial program. A selection of awards UC Press titles has received in recent years includes: American Book Award, CHOICE Award, Municipal Art Society of New York Brendan Gill Prize, American Musicological Society Award, Daedelus Foundation Award, Smithsonian Eldredge Prize, National Jewish Book Award, ASCAP Foundation Virgil Thompson Award, and PROSE Award.
UC Press has also been recognized as an innovative, global leader in digital publishing, critical to its goal of making its content widely accessible. Its Open Access products, which include Collabra: Psychology, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, and Luminos, benefit from the same high standards for selection, peer review, and production as its traditional publishing programs.
Editorial Director Kim Robinson states, “Books make a difference, and I’m enormously proud to be associated with the long publishing history of University of California Press and its progressive publishing mission. Our authors consistently provide vital context and background to the most pressing issues facing us today, and we strive every day to ensure that their critical voices are heard.”
UC Press currently publishes in American studies, anthropology, ancient world/classical studies, art history, Asian studies, California and the West, communications, criminology, economics, environmental studies, film & media studies, food, geography, history, Latin American studies, Middle Eastern studies, music, psychology, public health, religion, and sociology.
Notable UC Press publications from decades past include:
- Manual of the Flowering Plants of California by Willis L. Jepson (original edition 1925)
- The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy by Sir Isaac Newton (original edition 1934)
- Film and Its Techniques by Raymond Spottiswoode (1951; currently out of print)
- Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America by Theodora Kroeber (first edition 1961; over 1 million copies sold)
- Language As Symbolic Action by Kenneth Burke (1968)
- The Making of a Counter Culture by Theodore Roszak (1970)
- Bay Area Figurative Art: 1950-1965 by Caroline A. Jones (1989)
- Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle (first edition 2002)
- Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life by Annette Lareau (first edition 2003)
- Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas by Rebecca Solnit (2010)
- Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vols. 1-3 (2010/2013/2015; over 600,000 copies sold)
- Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. (original edition 2013)
- The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling by Arlie Russell Hochschild (2012)
- Laughter in Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up by Mary Beard (2015)
- Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America by Roberto Gonzalez (2015)
- The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail by Jason De Leon (2015)
- The Scholar Denied: E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology by Aldon Morris (2015)
- American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear by Khaled Beydoun (coming April 2018)
- Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century by Barbara Ransby (coming Fall 2018)
To celebrate this milestone, UC Press will launch Voices Revived, a new cross-disciplinary series that brings field-defining, out-of-print books back into print.