Happy Quasquicentennial to Us!

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:

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.

Heading to OAH? Save 40% on These U.S. History Titles

If you’re headed to the annual Organization of American Historians conference next month in New Orleans (April 6-9), be sure to visit UC Press at booth #219 for a 40% discount on our U.S. history titles. During the conference, follow @ucpress and  on Twitter as we share guest posts from our authors, exploring the ways in which the historical events of our past continue to shape our current day policies, politics, and culture.

Want to get a headstart on the conference? Take 30% off today on these new and bestselling titles, a selection of just some of the books you’ll find at the conference. Enter discount code 16W6596 at checkout.*

Continue reading “Heading to OAH? Save 40% on These U.S. History Titles”

What’s in a Name? W. E. B. Du Bois vs. W.E.B. DeBois

By Aldon Morris, author of The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology

Today marks the 149th anniversary of the birth of W. E. B. Du Bois. Just over a week ago, The United States Department of Education, headed by its newly appointed Secretary Betsy DeVos, set out to honor Du Bois during Black History Month. On the Department’s official website Du Bois’ famous quote “Education must not simply teach work – it must teach life” was emblazoned. It was wonderful that this great controversial scholar and activist was being honored by the Department of Education. However, all hell broke loose once the quotation made its rounds through social and print media, and radio and television. The reason for the explosion is that the Department of Education attributed Du Bois’ quote to “W.E.B. DeBois!”

Du Bois was precise when it came to the written word. He would have been unamused by the misspelling of his name and by all people, the Department of Education. Responding to a speaking invitation by the Chicago Sunday Evening Club in 1939, Du Bois made it clear that: “My name is pronounced in the clear English fashion: Du, with u as in Sue; Bois, as in oi in voice. The accent is on the second syllable.” Given Du Bois’ exactness regarding the spelling and pronunciation of his name, the Department of Education was derelict in its duty to educate. Like the school children it represents, the least DeVos and her Department should do is their homework before going public.

We should not merely obsess with this terrible spelling error. The significance of Du Bois’ work for the nation and the world should be the focus always. Du Bois excelled as a social scientist, man of letters, journalist, philosopher, poet and novelist and prodigious activist. He is the scholar of the twentieth century that taught us most about race and its future place in America and the world. His penetrating work on the global color line unraveling the souls of black and white people remains highly relevant in these troubling times. No person today should be labeled “learned” without having read Du Bois’ timeless classics, The Souls of Black Folk, and Black Reconstruction as well as his unsettling article, The Souls of White Folk.

Du Bois’ activism influenced social change throughout the twentieth century. Du Bois’ radical ideas and activism helped overthrow colonialism and race oppression in Africa, Asia, and South America. Du Bois was crucial in changing America. By being a founder of the Niagara Movement, the NAACP and the Crisis Magazine, Du Bois created the blueprint by which Martin Luther king, Jr. and the civil rights movement overthrew Jim Crow. In honoring Du Bois’ pioneering activism, Dr. King wrote, “One idea he insistently taught was that black people have been kept in oppression and deprivation by a poisonous fog of lies… The twisted logic ran if the black man was inferior he was not oppressed-his place in society was appropriate to his meager talent and intellect. Dr. Du Bois recognized that the keystone in the arch of oppression was the myth of inferiority and he dedicated his brilliant talents to demolish it.”

Du Bois supported young black student protesters reminiscent of activists in Black Lives Matter today. Responding to Black student protests in the 1920s, Du Bois exclaimed, “And here again we are always actually or potentially saying hush to children and students, we are putting on the soft peddle, we are teaching them subterfuge and compromise, we are leading them around to back doors for fear that they shall express themselves. And yet whenever and wherever we do this we are wrong, absolutely and eternally wrong. Unless we are willing to train our children to be cowards, to run like dogs when they are kicked, to whine and lick the hand that slaps them, we have got to teach them self-realization and self-expression.”

The Department of Education should not have misspelled Du Bois’ name. However, on Du Bois’ 149th birthday, we should not mistake the trees (misspelled name) for the forest (prodigious body of scholarship and activism) when considering the meaning of Du Bois. Indeed, the mythical “DeBois” withers from sight when confronted with the real W. E. B. Du Bois.

Aldon D. Morris is Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University and the author of The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change, among other books. And read more about Aldon’s thoughts From Du Bois to Black Lives Matter.


Living Out Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963

MLK Jr.As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., one cannot help but wonder what he would think of the world as it is today. Many believe his legacy and dream for racial equality and civil rights comes under fire with the upcoming presidency of Donald Trump. From the government’s previous racial bias case against Trump and his father, to Trump’s current treatment of civil rights activist John Lewis, and to his nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general—a man that Coretta Scott King says could “irreparably damage the work of my husband”—, many believe Trump has shown a willingness to both circumvent and prevent justice.

How do we learn from lessons of the past to avoid an unjust future? And how do we continue to step forward instead of taking steps back?

In an effort to support civil rights and maintain King’s legacy, UC Press continues it’s ongoing partnership to publish the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, currently in it’s seventh volume.

Martin Berger’s Freedom Now! presents a collection of photographs that illustrate the action, heroism, and strength of African American activists in driving social and legislative change.

Aldon Morris, author of The Scholar Denied, will be this year’s keynote speaker at Colby College, discussing “Du Bois at the Center: From Science to Martin Luther King to Black Lives Matter.”

And for those who plan to attend rallies, marches, or protests, Randy Shaw’s The Activist’s Handbook proves to be an indispensable guide not only for activists, but for anyone interested in the future of progressive politics in America.

“The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963

ASA Conference: Author Sessions – Updates


If you’ve enjoyed some of our UC Press author sessions at the ASA conference, attend some other sessions listed below.

Below are the sessions for Monday, August 22nd and Tuesday, August 23rdSessions are located at both the Washington State Convention Center and the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.

And visit Exhibit Booth #101 to see some of their work on display! #ASA16, #ASA2016

Monday, August 22nd

10:30am – 12:10pm

  • Marianne Cooper: What do Workers Need to Live a Good Life? Rethinking Work/Family Conflict in a Neoliberal Age
    • Convention Center, Level 2, Room 211
  • Paul A. Attewell: Who Suffers and Who Benefits from Student Loans?
    • Convention Center, Level 2, Room 201
  • Manuel Pastor: Progressive Cities
    • Convention Center, Level 3, Room 310

2:30pm – 3:30pm

  • Kathryn J. Edin: How Investors Become Slumlords
    • Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Metropolitan Ballroom A-B

2:30pm – 4:10pm

  • Aldon D. Morris: Author Meets Critics Session. The Scholar Denied: W.E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology
    • Convention Center, Level 2, Room 201
  • Sarah Halpern-Meekin: Family Inequality
    • Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Willow Room B
  • Laura M. Tach: For Love or Money? How the EITC Affects the Living Arrangements of Single Mothers
    • Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Willow Room B
  • Nancy Rodriguez: Punitive Policing, Mass Incarceration, and Community Responses
    • Convention Center, Level 2, Room 203
  • Katherine Irwin: Fighting for Theories of Race and Gender: Pacific Islander Teens, Youth Violence, and Multiple Inequalities
    • Convention Center, Level 6, Room 617

Tuesday, August 23rd 

8:30am – 10:10am

  • Kathryn J. Edin: The Price of Parenthood and the Costs of Contraception
    • Convention Center, Level 2, Room 213
  • Juliet A. Williams: What is Gender Neutrality: The Career of a Concept
    • Convention Center, Level 3, Room 308
  • Keith W. Guzik: Welcome to the Perhapsicon: Qualification, Contingency, and Fluidity in Surveillance Outcomes
    • Convention Center, Level 6, room 612

10:30am – 11:30am: 

  • Mary Patrice Erdmans: Graduates and Dropouts: Explaining School Outcomes for Teen Mothers
    • Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Metropolitan Ballroom A-B
  • John P. Hoffmann: How Durable is Social Capital?: Family and School Social Bonds and College Enrollment and Completion
    • Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Metropolitan Ballroom A-B

10:30am – 12:10pm 

  • Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo: Men’s Search for Home in Black and Latino Community Gardens in South Los Angeles
    • Convention Center, Level 3, Room 310

12:30pm – 1:30pm 

  • Jacqueline M. Hagan: Immigrants and Labor Markets
    • Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Metropolitan Ballroom A-B

2:30pm – 4:10pm 

  • Shannon Marie Gleeson: Organized Labor and Immigrant Organizing: Finding Common Ground
    • Convention Center, Level 6, Room 611

The Legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois

“White scholars of the second half of the twentieth century did not purposely ignore Du Bois; rather, thanks to the marginalization of Du Bois by the white founders of sociology, they were ignorant of his work.” – Aldon Morris, The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology

Scholar Denied

Today, 148 years ago, scholar and activist William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He earned a B.A. at Fisk University and in 1895 he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Known as a sociologist, scholar, educator, civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, historian, writer, editor, and poet, he co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. In 1961, he became a naturalized citizen of Ghana. Du Bois died in Ghana at the age of 95.

Du Bois’ accomplishments were many—and sadly some were overlooked, specifically his contributions to the birth of modern sociology. Aldon Morris, author of The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology writes about his commitment to “setting the record straight” about Du Bois’ mastery of sociological thought.

In a graduate department of sociology I expected to study power and inequality, sociological theory, social movements, and Du Bois. Portions of that curriculum were fulfilled, but studying Du Bois proved elusive—even with Lewis Coser, who became an adviser and mentor that I met with every two weeks to discuss readings and “talk” sociology. Professor Coser interested me deeply because he was an important conflict analyst and an expert sociological theorist. Indeed, on the walls of Coser’s office were arrayed pictures of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Mannheim that seemed to beckon the uninitiated to the paths of sociological wisdom. Yet as I studied the images I was disappointed to see no picture of Du Bois gracing Coser’s wall.

In one session, I steeled my nerve and asked Professor Coser, “Why don’t you have a picture of Du Bois on your wall?” From behind a gigantic puff of cigarette smoke, he responded in his cultured European accent, “Masters of sociological thought are those rare scholars who build theoretical systems, and Du Bois did not build such a system.” I straightened up and responded, “But Professor Coser, what about Du Bois’s pioneering work on race where he accurately predicted that the problem of the twentieth century would be the color line?” Coser was not persuaded. In a barrage of words, I inquired, “What about The Philadelphia Negro and The Souls of Black Folk? Don’t they show a master at work?” Coser, always graceful and gentle when it came to students, softly replied, “Du Bois was not a master of sociological thought.” In that conclusion, Coser mirrored his generation, which also excluded Du Bois from mainstream sociological canons. White scholars of the second half of the twentieth century did not purposely ignore Du Bois; rather, thanks to the marginalization of Du Bois by the white founders of sociology, they were ignorant of his work. After that exchange with Coser, I took cues familiar to first-year graduate students that it was time to move to the next topic. However, I silently made a pledge in that office as the masters gazed from the wall: insofar as Du Bois was concerned, I would, one day, set the record straight. This book is my attempt to honor that promise by demonstrating that Du Bois was, indeed, a master of sociological thought.

Du Bois’ legacy is still felt today and exemplified in many of today’s African American intellectuals and activist sociologists as they continue to “produce pointed and critical scholarship, even when it’s discomfiting to the powers-that-be.”

Congratulations to 2016 PROSE Awards Winners Aldon D. Morris, David R. Schiel, and Michael S. Foster

University of California Press offers hearty congratulations to three of our authors that were the recipients of 2016 PROSE Awards from the Association of American Publishers last week in Washington D.C.

Scholar Denied

Aldon D. Morris was given the R.R. Hawkins Award, the ‘grand prize’ for all publications which are considered for an award, for The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology. Dr. Morris’s book also won the Award for Excellence in Social Sciences and the Sociology & Social Work subject category. View his eloquent acceptance speech from the awards luncheon on the AAP’s website.

Biology and Ecology of Giant Kelp Forests

In the Single Volume Reference/Science subject category, David R. Schiel and Michael S. Foster won the award for The Biology and Ecology of Giant Kelp Forests.

The entire UC Press team is honored to have published these two important works in their respective disciplinary fields, and offers hearty congratulations to Aldon D. Morris, David R. Schiel, and Michael S. Foster. Additionally, profuse thanks to the AAP for recognizing excellence in university press publishing over the past 40 years.


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 54 categories.

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

The R. R. Hawkins Award has been presented to the most outstanding work among each year’s entries its inception in 1976. Hawkins winners have included Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) (John Wiley & Sons), Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (Yale University Press), The Diffusion Handbook(McGraw-Hill) and Alan Turing: His Work and Impact (Elsevier). The 2016 R.R. Hawkins Award was presented to University of California Press for The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology by Aldon D. Morris.

The Birth of Modern Sociology

We were taught that American sociology originated with the Chicago School.  What if we were wrong?

In honor of Black History Month, let’s consider a counterview posed by author Aldon Morris—that W. E. B. Du Bois developed the first scientific school of sociology at Atlanta University, a historically black institution of higher learning located in the heart of Atlanta’s black community. Read below from The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology.  And please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

The Du Bois–Atlanta school profoundly influenced sociology and the social sciences. While at times these influences have been acknowledged, in most instances they have been overlooked. It was relatively easy for mainstream sociologists to ignore Du Bois’s contributions because these were effectively marginalized by early generations of white sociologists and by succeeding generations who followed the established pattern. As generations of scholars passed, the school no longer required marginalization because the success of earlier efforts had caused it to drop from sight. Yet its intellectual impact could not be erased completely given the merits of its ideas and given that some scholars, especially blacks, documented the significance of Du Bois’s work for the historical record and elaborated its scientific paradigm. In a previous essay I assessed the lasting intellectual influence of Du Bois on generations of black scholars who came to maturity after Du Bois’s groundbreaking scholarship and journeyed in his footsteps. They, too, conducted research showing that black people had developed their own communities, race consciousness, institutions, and discontent with racial oppression and that they did not wish to be fully assimilated into white culture.

Black sociologists often appear to have been exclusively the students of white sociologists who served as formal advisers at prestigious white universities. Yet I have shown that the first generation of black sociologists was also mentored by Du Bois and his Atlanta school. It may appear that Du Bois and his school operated as an “invisible college” that quietly produced scholarship along subterranean channels. However, for Work, Wright, Haynes, Ovington, and numerous other members of the school, the scholarly work produced at Atlanta was highly visible and influential. These scholars did not view their work as insignificant labor performed on the academic periphery. Nevertheless, racism obscured the vision of white academics, causing them to overlook original sociological work produced early in the twentieth century.

From Du Bois to Black Lives Matter

By Aldon Morris, author of The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology

This guest post is published in advance of the American Sociological Association conference in Chicago.Check back every day for new posts through the end of the conference on Tuesday, August 25th. 

Today black blood flows in streets throughout the nation. A century ago, the great sociologist, W. E. B. Du Bois, witnessed white mobs murder and maim African Americans to keep them in their place. Little did I know when I started my research over a decade ago for my just-published book on Du Bois entitled The Scholar Denied that his role as scholar/activist would provide a lens for me to think and act in 2015.  But I find myself seeking counsel anew from his work.

We all know that racial violence and oppression is hardly new. And it was not new a century ago when Du Bois wrote, “We bow our heads and hearken soft to the sobbing of women and little children.” The Black community sobs today. Racial oppression has not lifted. Black poverty still stalks the land and as Du Bois observed in 1903, “To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”

9780520276352Over a century ago, Du Bois founded a field of sociology that demands that we hold up for examination hard truths about racism and that forces one to separate myth from reality. He uncovered the ways in which the “white” West dominated people of color globally.  His scholarship set out to prove all races were equal and that race was “socially constructed.” Gleaning how racial oppression operated, Du Bois set out to do nothing less that produce an academic and public sociology that sought to further social justice. As he observed: “I do not laugh. I am quite straight-faced as I ask soberly: ‘But what on earth is whiteness that one should so desire it?’ Then always, somehow, some way, silently but clearly, I am given to understand that whiteness is the ownership of the earth forever and ever, Amen!” The disproportionate rates of poverty, murder, and incarceration of Black people today demonstrate that white skin color continues to be privileged while Black lives are denigrated.

While activists have used a new social movement moniker Black Lives Matter to give voice to a sense that racial injustice continues to dominate the lives of people of color, I find myself wondering about what responsibilities I have as a black intellectual to speak out.  It’s risky to be an activist sociologist: as often as not it derails careers, limits social networks and curtails upward mobility in the profession and in the public media.  But, again, Du Bois illuminates my own path, declaring: “I am one who tells the truth and exposes evil and seeks with Beauty for Beauty to set the world right.”  I’ve concluded that one of the primary tasks of black sociologists—actually all sociologists– is to produce pointed and critical scholarship, even when it’s discomfiting to the powers-that-be.

As black intellectuals we need to follow Du Bois’s lead in speaking truth to power. White sociologists should also follow Du Bois’ lead and execute research enabling them to speak racial truth to power. But, ah, white privilege is a stubborn beast, standing in the way of truths. Countee Cullen, in a poetic conversation with God concedes, “Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: To make a poet black, and bid him sing!” Our calling is to sing sociological truths. Black scholars should heed Frederick Douglass’ insight: “He who would be free must himself strike the first blow!” As I try to show in The Scholar Denied, our work needs to be political, engaged, rigorous—Du Bois has paved the way for us in his path breaking, brilliant body of scholarship and activism.

morris 2Aldon D. Morris is Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University and the author of Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change, among other books.