That’s All Folk

In this blog entry, Rachel Clare Donaldson, author of  “I Hear America Singing,” writes about the folk music that inspired her.

In 1997 Smithsonian Folkways released Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music on CD. I was in high school, working at a local record store and my boss proclaimed it to be the best release that year. At the time, folk music was going through something of a resurgence in popularity—Billy Bragg and Wilco had just released Mermaid Avenue, a collection of Woody Guthrie songs that he had never recorded, set to original music by the musicians. “California Stars” became a staple of my local radio station out of Woodstock, New York. (While this was popular with a host of people, try as I did, I could not convince the prom committee of my high school to use it as the theme song.) After learning to appreciate popular renditions of folk songs, I was ready for the “real” thing. I think I received the Anthology for my 18th birthday, and the music was like nothing I had ever heard before.

I Hear America Sing_smThe interesting part about this is that just as the Anthology introduced me to the world of folk music—or, more specifically, commercial recordings by both amateur and professional regional musicians during the late 1920s—it had done the same for a cohort of folk enthusiasts that were at least three generations older than I. The Anthology consists of selections from the massive personal collection of 78s that Harry Smith, a record collector and artist, compiled into six LPs released as a set through Folkways Records in 1952. When this hit the record shelves, or more likely the shelves of public and school libraries, it introduced young listeners to something completely different. Although these recordings were only twenty or so years old at that time, they sounded worlds away from the popular music of era. It was as if they came from an entirely different place—a place that music theorist and critic Greil Marcus referred to as the “old, weird America.” And the places that they did come from—small recording studios in the Mississippi Delta; Louisiana Cajun country; and towns like Bristol, Tennessee, among others—were entirely different from the urban neighborhoods and suburban communities where these young listeners lived. The music had an air of authenticity and oddity that contrasted sharply from the pop music of early Cold War America. The fact that Smith selected these recordings precisely because they were odd, and wrote cryptic liner notes to accompany the collection, only enhanced the Anthology’s aura of mystique.

Indeed, it was the very same scenario for me, growing up during a time when boy bands and Brittany Spears dominated the pop charts. I continued listening to the Anthology (it provides an excellent background for writing papers) throughout college and graduate school, but never with the intention of turning it into a focal point of my first book, “I Hear America Singing.” As my interests turned from Medieval Studies to American Studies to southern labor history and then to the history of the folk music revival, I had the good fortune to study something that I loved. A fellowship at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the home for Smithsonian Folkways Records, brought me back to where it all began. But, even though the Anthology has turned into a key component of my research, it still remains a fixture of my personal music taste. At the end of my wedding, when it took a few moments for our friend who did the music to load up the recessional song, Henry Thomas’s “Fishing Blues” (the last song on Volume Three), I explained to everyone that it was worth the wait, for this was perhaps the happiest sounding song of all time. I still believe that.

University Press Week Blog Tour concludes

It’s University Press Week! All week long university presses will be participating in the UP Week Blog Tour, where presses will be blogging each day about a different theme that relates to scholarly publishing.

 up-week

November 14 – Subject Area Spotlight: Follow Friday

University of Illinois Press A post discussing the emerging topics and authors in our Geopolitics of Information series.

University of Minnesota Press John Hartigan, participant in our new Forerunners (short-form publishing) series, is writing a post about the ways in which he uses social media to enhance scholarly connections and establish social-media conversations with regard to his research.

University of Nebraska Press How should UPs be adding to the conversation on social media and who is doing it right? UNP marketing takes a look at the potential social media has for scholarly publishing.

NYU Press A post on our forthcoming website for our book, Keywords for American Cultural Studies (Second Edition).

Island Press A post about what our editors are paying attention to and why those scholars/fields are important.

Columbia University Press Every Friday, the Columbia University Press blog runs a post called the University Press Roundup in which we highlight posts from around the academic publishing blogosphere. Our Blog Tour post will explain how and why we have made this commitment to a blog series that rarely features our own titles. We will discuss how university press blogs generate publicity for individual titles, but also provide a much-needed environment where scholarship can be presented for a general readership.

 

Celebrating University Press Week with a look at Temple University Press’ influential Asian American History & Culture Series

It’s University Press Week! All week long university presses will be participating in the UP Week Blog Tour, where presses will be blogging each day about a different theme that relates to scholarly publishing.

 up-week

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 12 – Subject Area Spotlight: Throwback Thursday: A look back at an influential project or series.

Ask the Temple University Press staff for examples of influential scholarship and they respond unanimously with the books in the Asian American History and Culture series (AAHC). The series was founded in 1991 by Sucheng Chan and represented the Press’s commitment to an emerging academic field that has from the start been rooted in communities and unique experiences of race and ethnicity.

ToSaveChinaAcrossPacificChineseAmTrans

Under the guidance of Temple University Press Editor-in-Chief, Janet Francendese and series editor Chan, AAHC books immediately began to shape the discipline. Pioneering AAHC titles such as Gary Okihiro’s Cane Fires (1992), Renqiu Yu’s To Save China, To Save Ourselves (1995), Evelyn Hu-DeHart’s Across the Pacific (1999), and Sucheng Chan’s Chinese American Transnationalism (2005), had a profound impact on scholars, many of whom went on to become Temple University Press authors.

TianFicAs the series evolved, it attracted young scholars who learned from their forerunners. Many authors appreciated the fact that the AAHC provided an outlet for Asian American scholarship at a time when it was not always easy to find one. AAHC books often addressed the relationship between ethnic studies and globalization when this kind of work wasn’t de rigueur. One young scholar, Belinda Kong, author of Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square (2012), saw the series as a beacon for academic publishing. She became interested in work that had a transnational focus and linked Asian America to Asia, and saw in the series a home for her work.

 

 

SumPartsOther trends emerged as the series developed, and the AAHC positioned books in a field that had been shifting and changing—not unlike the demographics in Asian American populations. The Sum of Our Parts, edited by Teresa Williams-León and Cynthia Nakashima (2001), became a key text on mixed-race scholarship and continues to be frequently referenced. At a point when mixed-race studies primarily addressed black and white examples, The Sum of Our Parts put Asian Americans at the forefront.

WorldNextDoorDesis

The AAHC series promotes rigorous scholarship on Asian America, but the series editors encourage scholars to push their work in new directions. As such, authors came to address a myriad of issues about identity and region within Asian America. Transnational scholarship became a significant focus around 2000, as scholars foundational to Asian American studies developed frameworks of analysis beyond the nation. Titles such as The World Next Door, by Rajini Srikanth (2005), about South Asian American literature, and Sunaina Maira’s Desis in the House (2002), about Indian American youth culture in New York City, reflected Indian culture at home and abroad.

thisisallLikewise, This Is All I Choose to Tell, by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud (2010), and Transnationalizing Viet Nam by Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde (2012), focused on Vietnamese American literature and culture in the diaspora, respectively. These and other books were integral to developing this academic exploration.

CaneFiresThe approach to the discipline exemplified in the AAHC series has been widely embraced; 9 of the 18 Association of Asian American Studies Presidents—Sucheng Chan, Gary Okihiro, Franklin Odo, Elaine Kim, Yen Le Espiritu, Rajini Srikanth, Rick Bonus, Josephine Lee, and, Linda Trinh Võ—have been Temple University Press authors. All but one of those scholars (Kim) have published in the AAHC series; her book was published before the series was established. Such influence is an accomplishment the press is particularly proud of.

In addition to reporting on and influencing changes in the discipline, books in the AAHC series have won numerous prizes. Cane Fires received the Outstanding Book in History and Social Sciences from the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) in 1992, and since then, nine other titles in the series have won AAAS prizes.

TVNAAHC books have won various other awards as well. Six have been named “Outstanding Academic Titles” by Choice, the American Library Association publication. Other titles have won prestigious awards from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America, as well as from history, sociology, political science and LGBT associations.

To date there are 65 books in the Asian American History and Culture series, more than any other press with a similar Asian American studies list. The authors cross disciplines, trained in a variety of fields in humanities and social science, which is unique for such a series. It will continue to grow as one of the key components of Temple University Press’ list. In time, the students of the current scholars influenced by AAHC titles will be publishing their books in the series, taking it into other new, exciting directions.

University Press Week continues!

It’s University Press Week! All week long university presses will be participating in the UP Week Blog Tour, where presses will be blogging each day about a different theme that relates to scholarly publishing.

 up-week

November 12 – Subject Area Spotlight: University Presses in Popular Culture

University of Pennsylvania Press University Presses often publish works that cater to very specific niches. But they also publish books that reach a broader, general audiences.

Princeton University Press An entry on The Imitation Game and our experience on the movie-tie-in edition of Alan Turing: The Enigma.

University of Kentucky Press Highlighting our forthcoming biography on Dalton Trumbo, a Blacklisted Hollywood screen writer of films such as Spartacus and Roman Holiday and a member of the Hollywood Ten. He opposed the House Un-American Activities Committee. Bryan Cranston recently debuted the “Cranstache” at the Emmy’s, grown in preparation to portray Trumbo in an upcoming biopic directed by Jay Roach.

Georgetown University Press A look at recent TV shows on spying (Turn, Sleepy Hollow, The Assets) and how our books give the historical background to the storyline.

University of Mississippi Press We will be highlighting our book Walt Before Mickey which has been adapted into a movie set to open Thanksgiving Weekend.

University of Wisconsin Press  RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES. We will highlight books that we’ve published just as an issue became important news, whether the issue was gays in the military, militarized police, torture, or immigration, and hopefully some lighter topics too!

Follow Temple University Press on twitter @templeunivpress and #upweek

Celebrating University Press Week with UP Images

It’s University Press Week! All week long university presses will be participating in the UP Week Blog Tour, where presses will be blogging each day about a different theme that relates to scholarly publishing.

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November 11 – Subject Area Spotlight: University Presses in Pictures

Indiana University Press A fun look at the history of our press as we celebrate our 65th anniversary next year.

Stanford University Press Old black and white photos of the press and its printing facilities as they existed in the 1950s and 1960s that really highlight the artistry and crafstmanship that goes into print publishing.

Fordham University Press A photo collage featuring FUP events and memorable moments over the years.

John Hopkins University Press  A Q& A with JHUP Art Director Martha Sewell and a short film of author and marine illustrator Val Kells in her studio.

University Press of Florida A look at UPF in pictures through the years.

 

And speaking of pictures, here’s a “shelfie” from Temple University Press AMAShelfie2

Celebrating University Press Week

It’s University Press Week! All week long university presses will be participating in the UP Week Blog Tour, where presses will be blogging each day about a different theme that relates to scholarly publishing.

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November 10 – Subject Area Spotlight: Collaboration
University Press of Colorado will expand on our collaboration with the Veterinary Information Network on a recent textbook, Basic Veterinary Immunology.
University of Georgia Press will expand on the New Georgia Encyclopedia (NGE) partnership, which includes the Georgia Humanities Council, UGA libraries, GALILEO, and the Press. The NGE is the state’s award-winning, on-line only, multi-media reference work on the people, places, events, and institutions of Georgia.
Duke University Press Author Eben Kirksey on collaboration at the intersection of anthropology and biology, including his own recent collection, “The Multispecies Salon.”
University of California Press Authors Dr. Paul Farmer and Dr. Jim Yong Kim discuss the collaborative work they are doing to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
University of Virginia Press An account of a collaboration between the Press and the Presidential Recordings Project at the Miller Center to create ‘Chasing Shadows,’ a book on the origins of Watergate, with a special ebook and web site allowing readers to listen to the actual Oval Office conversations.
McGill-Queen’s University Press Elaborates on the title submitted for the online gallery: Landscape Architecture in Canada – a major national project with support from scholars across the country and published simultaneously in French and English by two University Presses. Followed by cross-Canada book tour, “CONVERSATIONS”, in partnership with the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.
Texas A&M University Press Focusing on a new consumer advocacy series launched earlier this year with the Texas A&M School of Public Health, whose mission is to improve the health of communities through education, research, service, outreach, and creative partnerships. Prepare to Defend Yourself . . . How to Navigate the Healthcare System and Escape with Your Life falls in line with the School of Public Health’s mission, as well as with its involvement in the Texas A&M One Health Initiative, a collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain sustainable optimal health for the ecosystem.
Project MUSE/John Hopkins University Press Project MUSE is the poster child for collaboration in the university press world, resulting from collaboration between a university press and university library. We’ll ruminate on collaboration in the university press world in general, drawing on specific instances of collaboration among university presses from MUSE’s history. MUSE Commons is a separate blog from that of our parent institution, JHUP.
Yale University Press Mark Polizzotti, director of the publications program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, will contribute a guest post to our ‘Museum Quality Books’ series. The series consists of guest posts from the knowledgeable, erudite, witty, insightful, and altogether delightful directors of publishing at the museums and galleries with whom we collaborate on books.
University Press of Chicago A post on the first year of the Turabian Teacher Collaborative, featuring guest content from one of the University of Iowa professors helming the endeavor; see this Q & A for additional info/general sensibility.

Elect these books for your reading list

On election day, we highlight ten Temple University Press titles with a focus on elections and campaigns.

Dollars and Votes: How Business Campaign Contributions Subvert Democracy, by Dan Clawson, Alan Neustadtl and Mark Weller

DollarsVotesScandals, including questionable fund-raising tactics by the current administration, have brought campaign finance reform into the forefront of the news and the public consciousness. Dollars and Votes goes beyond the partial, often misleading, news stories and official records to explain how our campaign system operates. The authors conducted thorough interviews with corporate “government relations” officials about what they do and why they do it. The results provide some of the most damning evidence imaginable.

The striking truth revealed by these authors is that half the soft money comes from fewer than five hundred big donors, and that most contributions come, directly or indirectly, from business. Reform is possible, they argue, by turning away from the temptation of looking at specific scandals and developing a new system that removes the influence of big money campaign contributors.

Mandates, Parties, and Voters: How Elections Shape the Future, by James H. Fowler and Oleg Smirnov

MandatesMost research on two-party elections has considered the outcome as a single, dichotomous event: either one or the other party wins. In this groundbreaking book, James Fowler and Oleg Smirnov investigate not just who wins, but by how much, and they marshal compelling evidence that mandates—in the form of margin of victory—matter. Using theoretical models, computer simulation, carefully designed experiments, and empirical data, the authors show that after an election the policy positions of both parties move in the direction preferred by the winning party-and they move even more if the victory is large. In addition, Fowler and Smirnov not only show that the divergence between the policy positions of the parties is greatest when the previous election was close, but also that policy positions are further influenced by electoral volatility and ideological polarization. This pioneering book will be of particular interest to political scientists, game theoreticians, and other scholars who study voting behavior and its short-term and long-range effects on public policy.

Campaign Advertising and American Democracy, by Michael M. Franz, Paul B. Freedman, Kenneth M. Goldstein and Travis N. Ridout

Campaign AdvIt has been estimated that more than three million political ads were televised leading up to the elections of 2004. More than $800,000,000 was spent on TV ads in the race for the White House alone and Presidential candidates, along with their party and interest group allies, broadcast over a million ads-more than twice the number aired before the 2000 elections. What were the consequences of this barrage of advertising? Were viewers turned off by political advertising to the extent that it dissuaded them from voting, as some critics suggest? Did they feel more connected to political issues and the political system or were they alienated? These are the questions this book answers, based on a unique, robust, and extensive database dedicated to political advertising.

Confronting prevailing opinion, the authors of this carefully researched work find that political ads may actually educate, engage, and mobilize American voters. Only in the rarest of circumstances do they have negative impacts.

Choices and Changes:  Interest Groups in the Electoral Process, by Michael M. Franz

ChoicesChangesChoices and Changes is the most comprehensive examination to date of the impact of interest groups on recent American electoral politics. Richly informed, theoretically and empirically, it is the first book to explain the emergence of aggressive interest group electioneering tactics in the mid-1990s—including “soft money” contributions, issue ads, and “527s” (IRS-classified political organizations).

Michael Franz argues that changing political and legal contexts have clearly influenced the behavior of interest groups. To support his argument, he tracks in detail the evolution of campaign finance laws since the 1970s, examines all soft money contributions—nearly $1 billion in total—to parties by interest groups from 1991-2002, and analyzes political action committee (PAC) contributions to candidates and parties from 1983-2002. He also draws on his own interviews with campaign finance leaders.

Civic Talk: Peers, Politics, and the Future of Democracy, by Casey Klofstad

Civic TalkDoes talking about civic issues encourage civic participation? In his innovative book, Civic Talk, Casey Klofstad shows that our discussions about politics and current events with our friends, colleagues, and relatives—”civic talk”—has the ability to turn thought into action—from voting to volunteering in civic organizations.

Klofstad’s path breaking research is the first to find evidence of a causal relationship between the casual chatting and civic participation. He employs survey information and focus groups consisting of randomly assigned college freshman roommates to show this behavior in action. Klofstad also illustrates how civic talk varies under different circumstances and how the effects can last years into the future. Based on these findings, Klofstad contends that social context plays a central role in maintaining the strength of democracy. This conclusion cuts against the grain of previous research, which primarily focuses on individual-level determinants of civic participation, and negates social-level explanations.

The Making of Asian America through Political Participation, by Pei-te Lien

MakingAsian Americans are widely believed to be passive and compliant participants in the U.S. political process—if they participate at all. In this ground-breaking book, Pei-te Lien maps the actions and strategies of Asian Americans as they negotiate a space in the American political arena.

Professor Lien looks at political participation by Asian Americans prior to 1965 and then examines, at both organizational and mass politics levels, how race, ethnicity, and transnationalism help to construct a complex American electorate. She looks not only at rates of participation among Asian Americans as compared with blacks, Latinos, American Indians, and non-Hispanic whites, but also among specific groups of Asian Americans—Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, Asian Indians, and Vietnamese. She also discusses how gender, socioeconomic class, and place of birth affect political participation.

The Change Election: Money, Mobilization and Persuasion in the 2008 Federal Elections, edited by David Magleby

ChangeElectionThe 2008 election was an extraordinary event that represented change at many levels. The candidates’ innovative campaigns changed how funds were raised, how voters were mobilized, and how messages were communicated through advertising and the Internet. Parties and interest groups played their own important role in this historic election. In The Change Election, David Magleby assembles a team of accomplished political scientists to provide an in-depth analysis of this groundbreaking presidential election. Through a set of compelling case studies, these scholars examine the competition for votes in a dozen competitive House and Senate contests and in the race for the White House in five states: Ohio, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Backed by a wealth of data and extensive interviews, the contributors provide an up-close look at the interactions of candidates’ individual skills and personalities with the larger political forces at work in the election year. This book offers insights into the rapidly evolving organizational and technical aspects of campaigning.

Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns, by Charlton D. McIlwain and Stephen M. Caliendo

RaceappealIn our evolving American political culture, whites and blacks continue to respond very differently to race-based messages and the candidates who use them. Race Appeal examines the use and influence such appeals have on voters in elections for federal office in which one candidate is a member of a minority group.

Charlton McIlwain and Stephen Caliendo use various analysis methods to examine candidates who play the race card in political advertisements. They offer a compelling analysis of the construction of verbal and visual racial appeals and how the news media covers campaigns involving candidates of color.

Combining rigorous analyses with in-depth case studies-including an examination of race-based appeals in the historic 2008 presidential election—Race Appeal is a groundbreaking work that represents the most extensive and thorough treatment of race-based appeals in American political campaigns to date.

The Persuasive Power of Campaign Advertising, by Travis N. Ridout and Michael M. Franz

Persuative PowerThe Persuasive Power of Campaign Advertising offers a comprehensive overview of political advertisements and their changing role in the Internet age. Travis Ridout and Michael Franz examine how these ads function in various kinds of campaigns and how voters are influenced by them.

The authors particularly study where ads are placed, asserting that television advertising will still be relevant despite the growth of advertising on the Internet. The authors also explore the recent phenomenon of outrageous ads that “go viral” on the web-which often leads to their replaying as television news stories, generating additional attention.

The Persuasive Power of Campaign Advertising features the first analysis of the impact on voters of media coverage of political advertising and shows that televised political advertising continues to have widespread influence on the choices that voters make at the ballot box.

Public Financing in American Elections, edited by Costas Panagopoulos

Public financingReformers argue that public financing of campaigns will help rescue American democracy from the corruptive influence of money in elections. Public Financing in American Elections evaluates this claim in an effort to remove the guesswork from the discussion about public finance.

Featuring some of the most senior scholars in political science and electoral studies, this book provides an up-to-date treatment of research and thinking about public campaign finance reforms. Exploring proposals at the local, state, and federal levels, the contributors provide a comprehensive overview of public financing initiatives in the United States and an examination of their impact. Also included are focused analyses of various existing public programs.

 

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