Monthly Archives: March 2022

Sustaining and Reimagining the Monograph

By Lisa Bayer

Lisa Bayer is AUPresses President (2021-2022) and the director of the University of Georgia Press. This article is based on her remarks to the National Information Standards Organization’s 2021 Humanities Roundtable, “The Monograph in an Evolving Humanities Ecosystem.”

During a podcast interview last year Rich Barton, the founder of Expedia and Zillow, was asked how he’d pitched the idea of Expedia to Bill Gates back in 1996. He replied, “We were encouraged to swing big.” It’s an apt metaphor for university press publishing in general too, particularly for this community’s collaborative work, with each other and with the entire scholarly ecosystem, to sustain and reimagine monographs.

University presses individually and as a team—in the form of the Association of University Presses (AUPresses)—are in league with humanities scholars and a variety of other individual and institutional partners around the world. Long-form scholarship, otherwise known as the monograph, is the game ball or the diamond, depending on your perspective. A 2019 survey of some 5,000 scholars by Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press found that “the monograph remains a vital part of the scholarly ecosystem . . .  especially in the Humanities.” But monograph publishing has not ever been about the final product alone. Respondents said that the process of writing, of conducting research, of thinking it through, of creativity and intellectual freedom, allowed them to develop “interconnected, complex arguments” that became new knowledge through delivery in long-form texts. Survey respondents did feel, however, that “experimentation and evolution,” especially regarding access and discoverability, were necessary for monographs to remain relevant and useful—which is why this conversation continues, and continues to matter.

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On Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

As we watch in horror while Russia inflicts ongoing violence and suffering on the people of Ukraine, it can be hard not to feel helpless. Faced with a state actor known for sophisticated disinformation and propaganda campaigns, the need for knowledge and reliable understanding of events is also felt widely.

Association of University Presses members have long published scholarly works that contribute to understanding even the most horrifying and complex events—and, specifically, that can support a better understanding of what is happening now in Europe. Here are selected books, journal articles, booklists, and commentary from our member presses and their expert authors, offering essential reading to all who seek to understand the current crisis in Ukraine:

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