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
Matt Seybold talks about the development of economics as a discourse inside and outside the academy, its success in making itself felt to be the only discourse that can talk about resource management and distribution, and its many complicities with capitalism. The conversation ranges from the origins of economics in the concept of household management, to the possibilities of a utopian economics in the novels of Kim Stanley Robinson.
Matt Seybold is Associate Professor of American Literature & Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, where he is also resident scholar at the Center For Mark Twain Studies, editor of MarkTwainStudies.org, and host of The American Vandal Podcast. He is co-editor, with Michelle Chihara, of The Routledge Companion to Literature & Economics (2018) and, with Gordon Hutner, of a 2019 special issue of American Literary History on “Economics & American Literary Studies in the New Gilded Age.” Other recent publications can be found in Aeon, American Studies, Henry James Review, Leviathan, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Mark Twain Annual.
Image: “New York Harbor from Brooklyn Bridge” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 – 1945.
Music used in promotional material: ‘Technical Difficulty Lullaby (Pigeon Song)’ by Monplaisir
Kim talks with Chad Hegelmeyer about the institutional turn in literary studies.
Chad references Jeremy Rosen’s article “The Institutional Turn” from the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature.
We also talk about: Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar (Harper Collins, 1963), D.A. Miller’s The Novel and the Police (U California Press, 1989), Nancy Armstrong’s How Novels Think (Columbia UP, 2006), Mark McGurl’s The Program Era (Harvard UP, 2011), and Janice Radway’s books, Reading the Romance (UNC Press, 1984) and A Feeling for Books (UNC Press, 1997).
Chad quotes several texts referenced by Rosen:
Franco Moretti’s Signs Taken for Wonders: On the Sociology of Literary Forms (Verso, 2005)
Frederic Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (Cornell UP, 1982)
Mark McGurl. “Ordinary Doom: Literary Studies in the Waste Land of the Present.” New Literary History 41, no. 2 (Spring 2010): 329–349.
In the longer version of our conversation, Chad gave several other examples of the “institutional turn” including: James F. English, The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value (Harvard UP, 2005); Claire Squires, Marketing Literature: The Making of Contemporary Writing in Britain (Palgrave, 2007); John B. Thompson, Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century (Polity, 2010); Laura J. Miller, Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption (U Chicago Press, 2008); Jim Collins Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture (Duke UP, 2010).
Chad is a friend of the pod! He writes about fact checking and literature, and he’s a postdoc in the English Department at NYU.
Today’s image is a photograph of the “Staircase of the National Museum of Slovenia” taken by Petar Milošević, posted under a creative commons attribution share-alike license on Wikimedia Commons.