Got the news today (oh boy) that a roundtable proposal I put together for January’s Modern Language Association meeting has been accepted by the Program Committee. It will be one of the MLA’s new “Just-in-Time” panels covering late-breaking events that broke too late for sessions about them to make the usual submission deadline, and is called “Just in Time: The University Press and the University.”
The roundtable’s topic will be the relationship between university presses and their parent institutions, in light of recent events and focusing in particular on what happens when funding arrangements become unstable. Participants will include press directors Nicole Mitchell of U of Washington P, Gianna Mosser of Vanderbilt UP, and Stephanie Williams of Ohio UP; editorial directors Greg Britton of the Johns Hopkins UP and Alan Thomas of U of Chicago P; and professor and series editor Loren Glass of U of Iowa. I imagine the talk will range far and wide, from current events to the impacts on the health of individual presses to the fate of areas of intellectual inquiry and the tenure and promotion system itself.
One thing that may come up if this presider has anything to say about it, and he may not, is what’s at the bottom of the scarcity of funding for worthwhile ventures such as university presses. I’ll let David Leonhardt say it for me: