Excited to get news about MLA 2019: in addition to the standing panel I organized for the MLA Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities (CAFPRR), a roundtable I organized with Fordham’s Leonard Cassuto, “The Present & Future of Scholarly Publishing: The Faculty Editor’s View,” has been accepted for Chicago. It will be presided over by Jennifer Crewe, Director of Columbia University Press, and will include (in addition to Cassuto, Bonnie Wheeler from Southern Methodist, and me), Kim Nielsen, a historian from the University of Toledo. The annual meeting of the AHA will be in Chicago at the same time, and this roundtable will take advantage of the two conferences honoring each other’s badges, as will the CAFPRR roundtable, “The Uses and Misuses of Academic Freedom,” which I’ll be chairing and will include David Tse-chien Pan (UC-Irvine), Aaron R. Hanlon (Colby), Patricia Matthew (Montclair State University), and historian Lora Burnett (UT Dallas). Looking forward to talking about academic publishing and academic freedom with English and history people in the City of the Broad Shoulders.
In old but not too old news, I gave a talk at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association in LA in March that turned into a bunch of tweets and an essay in The Chronicle Review. The tweets and the piece in the Chronicle got a bigger-than-expected response, prompting “University Presses Are Not in Crisis” in Publisher’s Weekly and an interview in the ACLS Humanities E-Book Newsletter. We’ll see what’s next for this discussion, which was prompted by a number of recent events concerning university presses at public universities, which either are or are not under pressure, depending on who you talk to. I’ve been talking to a bunch of people on the subject since I started working on the talk, and the experience has shown me that 1) people can be incredibly generous, 2) people sometimes get mad, and that’s okay, and 3) there’s more to be written on university presses.