Rebecca Colesworthy talks about the university press and how its workings should be demystified, what authors should keep in mind when they pitch their books, and what university presses do for the state of academic labor.
Rebecca Colesworthy (she/her) is senior acquisitions editor at SUNY Press. Her areas of
acquisition include literary studies, women’s and gender studies, queer studies, Latin American
and Iberian studies, Latinx studies, African American studies, Indigenous studies, and education.
She is the author of Returning the Gift: Modernism and the Thought of Exchange (Oxford UP,
2018) and co-editor with Peter Nicholls of How Abstract Is It? Thinking Capital
Now (Routledge, 2016). She is on the editorial board of MAUSS International; has taught at New
York University, University at Albany, SUNY, and Skidmore College; worked for a handful of
years in the nonprofit sector; and holds a PhD in English from Cornell.
Image: © 2022 Saronik Bosu
Music used in promotional material: ‘Nerys & Leo’ by Bloom K Trio
Roanne Kantor tells us about World Literature, in the ideas and practices of readers, writers, and scholars. Spatial metaphors like libraries, closets, and airport bookshops, help her imagine the “world” in world literature.
In the episode Roanne references work by many scholars in the field, including David Damrosch’s What is World Literature (Princeton UP, 2003); Debjani Ganguly’s This Thing Called the World (Duke UP, 2016), and Gloria Fisk’s Orhan Pamuk and the Good of World Literature (Columbia UP, 2018). In the longer version of our conversation, we talked about how little magazines from the 1970s New York literary scene, like Ed Sanders’ Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts, circulated in South Asia, inspiring avant-garde magazines like Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s damn you/a magazine of the arts.
Roanne is an assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. She has a brand new book, South Asian Writers, Latin American Literature, and the Rise of Global English, (Cambridge UP, 2022). If you want to learn more about the world of world lit, check it out.
This week’s image of an airport bookshop at the Incheon International Airport in South Korea, was photographed by Adli Wahid and made publicly available on Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons License.
Music used in promotional material: ‘Six More Weeks’ by Evening Fires
Mark McGurl talks about disintermediation, a key term for internet commerce, and his new book about fiction in the age of digital self-publication. The fantasy of disintermediation lies at the heart of utopian dreams of the internet, but it turns out that not only is the internet actually a medium, and a vast economic engine, but self-publishing is a lot of work!
Mark McGurl is a professor of English at Stanford University. If you want to learn more about the effects of Amazon’s self-publishing mechanism on literature, check out his new book, Everything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon (Verso, 2021). His earlier book The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing (Harvard UP, 2011) takes a similarly materialist perspective on literary production, and it was sort of a thing. His first book The Novel Art: Elevations of American Fiction after Henry James (Princeton UP, 2001), blames Henry James for making American novels into art. In a good way of course.
This week’s image is a photograph of a printing press held in the collections of the Fort Nonquai Eshowe museum in South Africa, posted on Wikimedia commons.
Music used in promotional material: ‘Internet, the day when all humans will disappear’ by Monplaisir
Laura Portwood-Stacer talks with Kim about book proposals.
Laura is a consultant for academic authors. Her book, titled, appropriately, The Book Proposal Book (Princeton UP, 2021), is a how-to-guide for writing an outstanding book proposal.
Through her business, Manuscript Works, Laura runs courses, workshops, and provides editorial assistance, to help academics navigate the world of publishing. Enrollment for her next “Book Proposal Accelerator Course” opens on Jan. 3, at 9am PST. Here’s the link: courses.manuscriptworks.com
Image of several books from Wikimedia Commons.
Music used in promotional material: Mozart Piano Concerto K.467 2mvt. by Cheong Lin