Mellon Foundation Supports Four More University Press Collaborations

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded grants in support of four proposed collaborative projects in the underserved scholarly fields of Slavic Studies, American Literatures, South Asian Studies, and Ethnomusicology. The grants, which follow on the earlier announcements of funding for University of North Carolina Press and UNC Chapel Hill's "Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement" and University of Minnesota Press and the Institute for Advanced Study at UMN's "Quadrant" program, represent the Mellon Foundation's increasing efforts toward supporting collaborations to facilitate wider dissemination of scholarly research.

The AAUP member presses working together on the Slavic Studies project are University of Wisconsin Press, Northwestern University Press, and the University of Pittsburgh Press. The Mellon initiative will allow the three presses to publish and promote first monographs in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies by junior scholars, helping those scholars in developing their careers by supporting their development as authors and arranging for book tours. The project web site can be found at www.mellonslavicstudies.org.

New York University Press leads the American Studies Initiative collaboration with Fordham University Press, Rutgers University Press, Temple University Press, and the University of Virginia Press to publish emerging scholars' first books in the English-language literatures of Central and North America and the Caribbean. For this project, a shared, centralized, external editorial service will be created to handle all editorial and production aspects of books published by the initiative. The American Literatures Initiative web site is www.americanliteratures.org.

"South Asian Studies across the Disciplines" will focus on giving scholars increased access to archival materials, exploring new methods and theories, and foster cross-discipline scholarship that is both broad and deep. The initiative, led by Columbia University Press in collaboration with University of California Press and University of Chicago Press, will build upon the strength of each university's faculty, appointing Dipesh Chakrabarty (Chicago, history), Sheldon Pollock (Columbia, literature), and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (UCLA, history) as series editors. The aim is to publish six monographs per year, with each press responsible for two series editions.

Indiana University Press, Kent State University Press, and Temple University Press form the ethnomusicology collaboration, and the Mellon Foundation has awarded them a one-year planning grant to establish the best methods for publishing related scholarship online. The planning phase will also explore potential partnerships with information technology vendors to aid in presenting and distributing this scholarship.

In a related effort, the Mellon Foundation is also funding programs that seek to further advance the efforts of humanities scholars by tightening the relationships between universities and their presses. University of North Carolina Press has joined with UNC Chapel Hill for the print and digital publication project, "Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement," for which the team has been awarded a three-year Mellon grant.

University of Minnesota Press and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota will also receive funding for their interdisciplinary research and publication project, "Quadrant," which will create research residencies for scholars and endeavor to publish the fruits of such research. Quadrant will itself be composed of four collaborative groups, Design and Architecture, Environmental Sustainability, Global Cultures, and Health and Society.

Together these Mellon grants are helping university presses discover new and innovative ways to promote and disseminate scholarship, by creating an environment in which a greater variety of projects can see the light of day. By pooling resources, it is hoped that presses will be able to accept monographs by emerging scholars that would not have been viable before, and in turn the universities will benefit by these scholars' increased profiles in the academic community.

Shaun Manning
Communications Coordinator, AAUP