UMass Press Showcases Outstanding Humanities Research
For nearly 60 years, the University of Massachusetts Press has served faculty, students, and the general public alike by publishing written works that “reflect the quality and diversity of intellectual life on our campuses, in our region, and around the world,” according to its mission. In 2021, despite a universally challenging environment due to the ongoing pandemic, the Press continued to thrive.
This year, UMass Press added new works to its acclaimed Public History in Historical Perspective series, edited by Distinguished Professor of History Marla Miller. It also published a new title, “Still They Remember Me”: Penobscot Transformer Tales, Volume 1, in its long-running series, Native Americans of the Northeast. The book received attention in a range of prominent venues, including a profile of the author team in The New Yorker, and coverage in Publishers Weekly, The Portland Press Herald, and Bangor Daily News.
“UMass Press showcases the research strengths of the university and forges strong connections to a national and international community of scholars in the humanities,” said Mike Malone, vice chancellor for research and engagement. “We’re proud of the Press’s excellent reputation—particularly in public history, environmental history, and Native American studies—and the outstanding publicity and national awards it receives.”
New Titles Published
Print Books Sold
Increase in e-book sales over previous FY
Looking to the year ahead, the Press plans to launch several exciting new scholarly series, including Activist Studies of Science & Technology, edited by Professor of History Sigrid Schmalzer, and Journalism and Democracy, edited by Professor of Journalism Kathy Roberts Forde and Sid Beddingfield, associate professor at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.
On September 23, 2021, Jules Chametzky, professor emeritus and one of the founders of UMass Press, died at age 93. A scholar of American Jewish and ethnic literatures, Chametzky was the author of many books. His most recent title published with the Press, in 2013, was Out of Brownsville: Encounters with Nobel Laureates and Other Jewish Writers: A Cultural Memoir.
In addition to his involvement with UMass Press, Chametzky was founder and long-time editor of The Massachusetts Review, an independent literary quarterly located on the UMass Amherst campus that receives support from the university and the Five College Consortium. In 2010, The Massachusetts Review established the annual Jules Chametzky Translation Prize, awarded to a translation published in the magazine, to honor Chametzky’s work at the magazine and his contributions in advancing cross-cultural understanding.
In 2021, UMass Press titles received several prestigious accolades, including:
Josephine Donovan’s The Lexington Six: Lesbian and Gay Resistance in 1970s America was a finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Awards in the category of LGBTQ Nonfiction. The book was selected out of a pool of more than 1,000 submissions from over 300 publishers.
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles
Four UMass Press books were named CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles for 2020. The titles recognized were Mike Conway’s Contested Ground: The Tunnel and the Struggle over Television News in Cold War America; Aimee Edmondson’s In Sullivan’s Shadow: The Use and Abuse of Libel Law during the Long Civil Rights Struggle; Adam Gordon’s Prophets, Publicists, and Parasites: Antebellum Print Culture and the Rise of the Critic; and Keith Morton’s Getting Out: Youth Gangs, Violence, and Positive Change.
Brick City Vanguard: Amiri Baraka, Black Music, Black Modernity by James Smethurst, professor and interim chair of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, was selected for the 2021 MAAH Stone Book Awards short list.
Chinua Thelwell’s Exporting Jim Crow: Blackface Minstrelsy in South Africa and Beyond was a finalist for the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) Outstanding First Book Prize.
This story was originally published in December 2021.