Month: November 2015

University of Wisconsin Press launches three African Studies journals

At last week’s annual convention of the African Studies Association in San Diego, the University of Wisconsin Press announced that it is the new publisher of three journals in the field: African Economic History, Ghana Studies, and Mande Studies. The journals had previously been published by the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, in affiliation with the Ghana Studies Association and Mande Studies Association.

“The University of Wisconsin Press has been an active and award-winning book publisher in African studies for more than fifty years, often partnering with the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s prestigious African Studies Program on book series and conference exhibits,” noted press director Dennis Lloyd. “Publishing these journals is a natural extension of that collaboration and of our commitment to the field of African Studies.”

The African Studies Program at UW–Madison will continue to be involved as a collaborator and liaison. Neil Kodesh, ASP director, said the transition to UWP “will result in much higher quality production and customer service, while maintaining affordability at a nonprofit university press. And the new designs look great!”

“It was exciting to reintroduce these journals at the ASA conference,” said Toni Gunnison, Journals Manager at UWP. “It is our priority to make the journal content more dynamic and available online. We will be able to improve each journal’s international visibility through online services, marketing, customer service and fulfillment, and advertising. UWP publishes fifteen journals covering in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields, so we have the staff and expertise to enhance these journals in a cost-efficient way.”

FergusonUWP’s production manager for journals, John Ferguson, has given each journal a fresh new cover and interior text design.

“In approaching the redesign of these journals, I asked the faculty and staff at the UW–Madison African Studies program for ideas. We really wanted covers that represent the research content of the journals. Catherine Reiland, interim associate director at ASP, connected me with Mary Hark in UW-Madison’s School of Human Ecology. The patterns that appear on the journals are photographic representations of indigo-dyed handmade papers that Mary created with botanical fiber collected in Kumasi, Ghana.”

African Economic History was founded in 1974 by the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin and subsequently has also been affiliated York University’s Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas. The annual journal publishes multidisciplinary work in English and French on the economic history of African societies from precolonial times to the present. The journal is edited by Mariana Candido (University of Kansas), Jennifer Lofkrantz (State University of New York–Geneseo), and Paul E. Lovejoy (York University).

Ghana Studies is the journal of the Ghana Studies Association, an international affiliate of the African Studies Association. Published annually, Ghana Studies provides a forum for peer-reviewed, cutting-edge research about Ghana’s society, culture, environment and history. In addition, it features occasional material, source reports, book reviews, and notices of fellowships and prizes awarded by the Ghana Studies Association. Since its first issue in 1998, Ghana Studies has published significant work by leading scholars based in Ghana, the US, Canada, and Europe. The journal is edited by Akousua Adomako Ampofo (University of Ghana) and Sean Hanretta (Northwestern University).

Mande Studies was founded in 1999 by MANSA, the Mande Studies Association. It is an international, interdisciplinary annual journal publishing scholarly essays in English and French on the history, arts, anthropology, sociology, development, and contemporary issues relating to the diverse peoples and cultures of the Mande diaspora of West Africa. The Mande world includes parts of the Cape Verde Islands, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana. The journal is edited by Peter Mark (Wesleyan University) and Ismaela Samba Traoré (Institut des sciences humaines, Mali).

For more information, contact:
Sheila Leary, Communications Director, The University of Wisconsin Press
publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu   608-263-0734   uwpress.wisc.edu

 

 

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Surprising? Mysterious!

Today kicks off the fourth annual University Press Week organized by the American Association of University Presses. The University of Wisconsin Press and more than fUPW-Logo-2015orty other presses are participating in the AAUP’s annual blog tour during the week. This tour highlights the value of university presses and the contributions they make to scholarship and our society. This year’s theme is Surprising! so the blogs will highlight some of the surprising things university presses publish. Check the tour every day for new posts!


 

Mystery fiction from the University of Wisconsin Press is both a hit and a fit

DeVita Collage

James DeVita

James DeVita is Wisconsin’s preeminent stage actor, acclaimed this year by the Wall Street Journal as “the best classical actor in the United States today.” But DeVita jokes that he’s really a writer with an acting habit. A successful playwright and author of much-praised YA novels, DeVita published his first novel for adults this year, a gritty crime thriller set in Chicago and Wisconsin. The twist? A WINSOME MURDER stars a hard-bitten detective who finds insights in Shakespeare’s bloodiest plays.

“An engaging mystery that’s a feast of literary allusions. . . . [Detective James] Mangan’s ‘verbal quirks,’ snatches of prose or poetry that pop into his head and help him solve cases, make him an unusually distinctive sleuth.” —Publishers Weekly

This combination of regional settings and brainy themes epitomizes the successful range of mystery fiction that UWP has been publishing in recent years. DeVita hopes to spin his debut mystery into a series (in between acting stints at the Milwaukee Rep, American Players Theatre, and touring performances). Several other UWP authors are already on a roll with their own mystery series.

Combo Draine-Hinden

Michael Hinden and Betsy Draine

Summers spent in the Dordogne region of France inspired Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, professors emeriti of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to start their Nora Barnes and Toby Sandler Series. Like their sleuths, Draine and Hinden are a married couple who enjoy travel, art, and fine food and wine. After writing two nonfiction books about Dordogne, they collaborated on MURDER IN LASCAUX, sending their detective duo into the famous cave filled with Cro-Magnon paintings as well as into French castles, chateaus, and restaurants.

“A whodunit that nicely balances a breezily light travelogue with urgency and suspense. Readers will hope this is the first of a series,” wrote Publishers Weekly.

Readers’ hopes were answered with a second book in the series, THE BODY IN BODEGA BAY, in which art historian Nora and antiques dealer Toby are at home in California, sorting out a criminal tangle of Russian art and Alfred Hitchcock memorabilia. And in Spring 2016, Nora and Toby will be back in the south of France with DEATH ON A STARRY NIGHT. French art, fine wine, romance, and murder mingle as academics squabble over how Vincent Van Gogh died.

Wisconsin’s most popular vacation destination is the setting for Patricia Skalka’s Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries. Door County is the “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” a scenic peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan. Skalka, a former writer for Reader’s Digest and a native of Chicago, has mapped out plots for seven Dave Cubiak mysteries, inspired by time spent at her Door cottage over the years. Skalka_Death Stalks and Gills Rock

In DEATH STALKS DOOR COUNTY, Skalka introduced Dave Cubiak, a morose homicide detective hoping to find solace in a new job as a park ranger. But there is no peace for Cubiak, as six deaths mar the holiday mood of summer vacationers. She followed up quickly with DEATH AT GILLS ROCK, in which newly elected Sheriff Cubiak follows an old trail of lies and betrayal.

“In her atmospheric, tightly written sequel, Skalka vividly captures the beauty of a remote Wisconsin peninsula that will attract readers of regional mysteries. Also recommended for fans of William Kent Krueger, Nevada Barr, and Mary Logue.”—Library Journal, *starred review

5306-165w

ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY LIE is the eighth installment in Lev Raphael’s series featuring English professor (and part-time sleuth) Nick Hoffman, set in a Michigan college town. Raphael draws on his experience as an Edith Wharton scholar, a prominent gay writer, and the son of Holocaust survivors to fashion a stunning and suspenseful tale of slander, prejudice, harassment, moral courage and cowardice, and the militarization of local police.

Lev Raphael

Lev Raphael

“It’s a terrifying thought: the idea that someone can accuse you of a crime, and a SWAT team shows up at your door and drags you away. . . . Raphael makes it quite clear that no one is immune.”—Mystery Scene

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps

Popular Wisconsin writer Jerry Apps has produced six novels set in fictional Ames County, Wisconsin, some with mystery themes. His bestseller has been IN A PICKLE, in which the heavy-handed tactics of the H. H. Harlow Pickle Company are wreaking havoc with small farmers’ way of life.

“Apps utterly wins us over.  . . . [He} invests the novel with the kind of realism, precise detail, and local color that only someone who had lived the story could do.”Booklist 

In a Pickle