Introducing Nadine Little, our new art history editor


We are very pleased to announce that Nadine Little has joined UC Press as our new art history editor.

Until recently, Nadine was the acquisitions editor at the University of Hawaii Press, where she acquired scholarly and trade books in the areas of science, nature, and the environment and regional general interest. Prior to publishing, she worked at a variety of cultural and educational institutions, including the Hawaii Opera Theater, the University of Hawaii Foundation, the University of Hawaii, Hamilton Library, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She holds an MA in art history and museum studies from Case Western, where she focused in particular on Asian art, as well as a BA in art history from Cornell.

In addition to her passion for art, Nadine brings wide-ranging professional experience with art history, cultural institutions, and the acquisition of heavily-illustrated books. Learn more or contact her here. And, if you will be at the 2016 College Art Association annual meeting in DC, you can look forward to meeting her there!

Find us at Booth #225, and save 40% on all Art titles.

Meet Raina Polivka, our new Acquisitions Editor for Music, Cinema and Media Studies

rainaWe are very pleased to announce that Raina Polivka will be joining the University of California Press as our new acquisitions editor in Music and Cinema & Media Studies.

Raina is currently an acquisitions editor at Indiana University Press, where she acquires books in music and cinema, in addition to several other humanities areas. She holds masters degrees in both library science and comparative literature from Indiana.

We are delighted that Raina will bring not only her knowledge and experience in both music and cinema to the press, but her passion for scholarly communication and her genuine warmth.

In her words:

“University of California Press has long been a leader in publishing and scholarly communication, pushing the industry into new directions. I am delighted to join such an innovative and creative organization, to uphold a high standard of scholarship, and to further contribute to the fields of music, film, and media studies in major and lasting ways.”

Raina’s first official day at the press will be December 7th, but she will be joining UC Press staff on Saturday, November 14th, at our booth in Louisville for the American Musicological Society (AMS) meeting.

Along with other staff, our editorial director, Kim Robinson, will also be at AMS this year. Please go by booth 202 in the Galt House Hotel’s Grand Ballroom A and say hello.

Why is Elementa important for Ocean Scientists? Jody Deming explains…

Jody Deming, Editor-in-Chief of Ocean Science, shares her thoughts on joining Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.

What specific research are you currently involved with?

I am currently at the start of a 5-year international collaboration, involving Canadian, Greenlandic, and Danish scientists, that focuses on carbon cycling and transport between ocean, sea ice, snow and atmosphere in the Arctic as linked to climate change. My specific research contributions target the microbial use and respiration of various compounds produced in response to the seasonal extremes in temperature and salinity that characterize the ice and environs, using observational, experimental, and genomic approaches. We are also working on problems related to carbon flux to depth in the Arctic Ocean and on the ability of microbial inhabitants of cold waters to facilitate in situ bioremediation of organic pollutants.


Why do you believe research surrounding human/nature interactions within the epoch of the Anthropocene to be of significance?

We are integral components of the natural planetary ecosystem, with an ability to change this system in unprecedented ways.  As we alter the very habitat on which we depend, our ability to adapt to new conditions will determine the continued success of our species.  Research yields the knowledge essential to our ability to make effective decisions and our ability to adapt.


Which research within oceanography were you particularly impressed by in 2012?

Observational research demonstrating the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice that continues to outpace model predictions; and the continued discovery of new species and biological processes in the ocean.


What are the main research themes you see as rapidly gaining in popularity within oceanography?

Most of these are continuing themes, but research efforts will accelerate:

  • Occurrence and impacts of extreme events emanating from the ocean, including glacial calving/melting into it, associated sea level rise, intense storms, harmful algal blooms, and oil spills
  • Impacts of sea-ice loss on marine ecosystems and human societies not only of the north but also at lower latitudes and globally
  • Passage of thresholds in temperature, pH, oxygen, and other environmental factors in the ocean, leading to shifts or losses in biodiversity and to new understanding at the genetic and mechanistic levels of biological adaptation to change
  • Alterations in the circulation of water masses and the nutrients and biota they carry, leading to ecosystem shifts
  • Discovery of new species, processes, and phenomena in the ocean that fuel imagination and innovation
  • Development and application of approaches for prioritizing and valuing services provided by the ocean and the inextricable links we have to it
  • Further probing of the history of Earth’s ocean that instructs the present and future
  • Discovery related to other oceans in the solar system, that both humble and excite the human spirit

Why do you believe Elementa to be an important new journal that researchers should be interested to publish in?

We are past the hour to bring rigorously obtained knowledge of the environment and our interactions with it as directly into the mainstream of local and global thinking as possible.  Publish in Elementa to play your part in this urgent societal goal and fully value your role as a researcher in generating new knowledge.  Make the results of your labor and insight available to the global community, freely and immediately.  Help to educate and, in turn, to advance effective decision-making and problem-solving.  Retain intellectual ownership (copyright) throughout the process.  Publish in Elementa with confidence that your work will be handled objectively and expeditiously by editors committed to the highest of academic standards, editors who will not claim the ability to pre-judge the value of the work or require that it to be reduced to a “soundbite.”


Why do you believe that open access is important?

In addition to my previous comments, I feel strongly about listening to the next generation of scientists who, in my experience as a professor, already find open access to be an essential aspect of the scientific endeavor.  They do not find it sufficient for scientists to reach each other through established journals and scientific societies, or for scientific knowledge to concentrate within wealthier societies.  Open access should not be some expensive option available only to those who can afford it.  High quality science needs trusted venues to distribute knowledge freely and globally.  Elementa’s Ocean Science domain will provide this venue for the ocean domain of environmental science.


What does your role as Editor-in-Chief involve?

My role involves engaging editors who share the overall vision of Elementa and are excited to join the open-access approach to publication of high-quality work in ocean science.  I will be working to develop a domain-specific vision based on the belief that fundamental research leads not only to new understanding but also to more effective decision-making and problem-solving, as human impacts on the ocean and the planet continue to increase.  I will actively welcome submissions that break new ground in ocean science, especially at the interface between the oceanographic subdisciplines and with other domains of Elementa, including social sciences and policy-making, for we need a merging of all of these approaches to help meet the urgent needs of human society.  Believing in the written word, I will work to ensure high quality communication of the submissions accepted for publication.

How can open access help Sustainable Engineering research? Michael E. Chang shares his views…


Michael E. Chang, Editor-in-Chief of Elementa’s Sustainable Engineering domain, shares thoughts on recent developments within the field, on joining Elementa, and on open access.

What specific research are you currently involved with?

My research has focused on urban and regional air quality. As air is a dynamic medium that crosses geographical, political, and physical boundaries, and as air quality affects and is affected by nearly every activity, process, and living organism, my past work has provided me a good platform for witnessing firsthand the challenges of sustainability and the need for multi-disciplinary collaborations. This work directly led to my current position as the Deputy Director of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems at Georgia Tech. In this role, I help develop and support teams of engineers, natural scientists, social scientists, and others to address the most intransigent and “wicked” problems of our time such as climate change, urbanization, and resource management.


Why do you believe research surrounding human/nature interactions within the epoch of the Anthropocene to be of significance?

There are so many reasons, and everyone has their own. I recently read one from the perspective of the United States’ national security.

“The strategic landscape of the 21st Century has finally come into focus. The great global project is no longer to stop communism, to counter terrorists, nor to promote a superficial notion of freedom. Rather, the world must accommodate three billion additional middle class aspirants in 20 short years without tipping the system into a spiral of resource wars, traditionalist insurgencies, and devastation of the planet’s ecosystems.”

(Doherty, Patrick; “Working Paper: Grand Strategy of the United States of America;” New America Foundation, National Security Studies Program; November 2012.)

While the first half of this statement might certainly vary from one nation’s perspective to the next, the second half is universal. As all of our economic and ecological futures are now irreversibly and globally connected, it is vital that we understand how this massively complex, hybrid natural-human system works, and how we, as the newly ordained greatest agents of change, are changing it, intentionally and otherwise.


Which research within Sustainable Engineering were you particularly impressed by in 2012?

The most notable recent advance in engineering research has not necessarily been a significant finding or innovation, but instead concerns the process of research itself. Within the last year the power of partnerships has become most evident. At the National Science Foundation for example, the SEES program (Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability), and the nearly $1B in FY12 NSF-wide investments that have accompanied it, is challenging teams of investigators to work more closely with businesses, industries, governments, and communities to address issues of the environment-energy-society nexus. On a more local level, the City of New York, New York University and NYU-Poly formed the Center for Urban Science and Progress to address “the grand technical, intellectual, engineering, academic, and human challenges posed by a rapidly urbanizing world.” They have enlisted a consortium of other universities and international technology companies to form a “new kind of academic center that functions in collaboration with the city itself.” These and many other partnerships that are springing up both big and small, stand to transform not just the solutions that are provided, but the way that the problems themselves are formulated. These initiatives are also diversifying the research practice so that not only is the face of engineering changing, but so are the faces in engineering. With these kinds of new partnerships coming to fruition, 2012 very well may be seen as a tipping point in sustainable engineering research.


What are the main research themes you see as rapidly gaining in popularity within Sustainable Engineering?
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Sustainable Transportation
  • Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Sustainable Water Resources and Treatment
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Urban Ecology
  • Infrastructure for the Developing World
  • Design for the Environment and Bio-inspired Design
  • Sustainable Materials and their Management
  • Sustainable Systems


Why do you believe Elementa to be an important new journal that researchers should be interested to publish in?

What first attracted me to Elementa was the vision of the founders to rethink and redesign the very fundamental nature of academic publishing. As the longstanding traditional media is currently undergoing seismic transformations in the way it gathers information, processes and edits it, and disseminates it to its readers, it would be naïve to continue believing that science publishing could remain untouched. Rather than the superficial changes that traditional analog publishers are pursuing to try to meet the new demands of a digital and hyperconnected market, Elementa is a whole new re-engineering of the publishing system. From open access to dissemination via social media (that is also becoming increasingly mobile) to the business model of publishing to the metrics we use to measure impact, Elementa is a ground-up reinvention of the way the research community communicates even as it holds onto the requirement of rigor in peer review. And given these changes, it is wholly appropriate then that Elementa is about the Science of the Anthropocene. The speed and magnitude of change occurring in the publishing paradigm is an excellent metaphor for the speed and magnitude of change occurring on the planet. New challenges call for new solutions. Elementa is the right publishing platform moving forward. I’m not convinced that the old platforms will survive the transition.


Why do you believe that open access is important?

First and foremost, open access is good for science in society. In an age of growing skepticism and cynicism, open access throws open the doors of the scientific enterprise and allows anyone and everyone a firsthand view of the primary products of research – much of it funded with public resources. In removing the barriers to access, trust and confidence is restored and maintained. Second, open access is good for the advancement of science. More eyes mean more critical reviews which can lead to faster and more profound confirmations of nascent theories and ideas and their further development, or the swift and decisive refutations of false truths and the extinction of their lines. Third, open access is good for the corporeal ventures of research. Universities, national laboratories, and the private sector’s R&D labs are all struggling to keep up with the escalating costs of maintaining libraries for their constituencies at a time when scientific publications are proliferating. Open access creates a new and sustainable economic model for libraries. Finally, open access is good for individual and team investigators. In its most open and accessible form, copyright is retained by the authors allowing them to freely use, share, and adapt their own work for purposes of their choosing. It further and freely disseminates their work, which may lead to broader recognition than would be possible within the old pay-per-view system.


What does your role as Editor-in-Chief involve?

My first role is to serve the authors that entrust Elementa with their manuscripts by ensuring that the review process is fair, robust, and rapid. My second commitment is to the science and engineering community to help advance and raise awareness about the topics and issues emerging in the new trans-disciplinary field of sustainable engineering, and to further identify and spotlight significantly important research that arises therein. My third responsibility is to the success of Elementa itself as a stable and enduring open access journal for the publication and dissemination of the most important research in the epoch of the Anthropocene.


What is the overall scope of Sustainable Engineering within Elementa?

Technology certainly shapes society, but so too is it shaped by it. Likewise, technology derives from the material and energy resources of the natural world, but in the Anthropocene, it is also nature’s most forceful agent of change. Sustainable engineering is all about engineering in its traditional sense – mechanical, electrical, chemical, industrial, and so on – but it is also about understanding the coupling that exists between the material products and services of human invention (the domain of the engineer) and these other human and natural systems.


Are you looking for peer reviewers and Associate Editors?

Yes, absolutely! We need “cross-disciplinarians”—i.e., those who can speak the languages of the social sciences, the natural sciences, and the applied sciences.  They’re out there now, but they may have been forced into narrowly defined disciplines and give their service to profession specific societies and publications. Elementa is a chance to explore issues across their full relationship spectrum, and it is a chance for researchers to join the network of investigators that are discovering the secrets of the Anthropocene and innovators that are shaping it.

Stan Holwitz, Beloved UC Press Editor, Retires

Stan Holwitz at a retirement party in his honor
Stan Holwitz at a retirement party in his honor

If you notice a bittersweet tinge to the ambience of the book division these days, it might be due to the fact that one of UC Press’s most beloved editors, Stan Holwitz, is about to retire. In his 31 years at the Press, Stan has not only served in leadership capacities, but also has acquired some of the seminal works on our social science list. Hailing from the Bronx, Stan did his apprenticeship in publishing in New York, leading divisions of MacMillan, DC Health and Academic Press, before being recruited by former Press Director, James Clark, to spearhead the Los Angeles office of the Press. For almost 25 years Stan worked on the UCLA campus, developing and broadening our programs in anthropology, archaeology, sociology and political science before he came up to Berkeley in 2002. Some of Stan’s impressive acquisitions include Why Vietnam?, by Al Patti, an insiders’ account by a soldier of the US’s early maneuvering in Vietnam after World War II; Europe and The People Without History, by Eric Wolf, which has sold more than 100,000 copies; Aids and Accusation, by Paul Farmer, winner of the MacArthur ‘genius’ award; and Barry Moser’s beautifully illustrated editions of the Divine Comedy, the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

One of Stan's gifts, a portrait by Barry Moser
One of Stan's gifts, a portrait by Barry Moser

What makes Stan Holwitz such a key member of the Press editorial team is his unerring editorial instinct, consisting of equal parts intellectual initiative, emotional intelligence, a keen gut response, and a well-honed sense of empathy.  Stan is a people person, unafraid, for example, to propose that the renowned Oliver Sacks, who became another of Stan’s star authors, expand his articles about deafness into a short book; the resulting UC Press publication, Seeing Voices, has sold over 50,000 copies in hardcover. But Stan is valued here for more than his formidable achievements as an editor; for his colleagues, Stan’s affectionate, menschy persona has won a place in our hearts. Many of us value our daily squeeze on the elbow from Stan as he makes his ebullient morning peregrinations around the Press to welcome us each day. For his immense kindness as well as for his towering contributions to the success of the Press over the last decades, we salute you, Stan Holwitz.