Thomas A. DuBois and James P. Leary, editors
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Neal Pease, editor
Gayle Murchison, editor
Named 2012's 'Best New Journal' by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals
John J. Bukowczyk, editor
Ellen Koskoff, editor
Susan Brantly, editor
Stephen Tropiano, editor
Mark Hubbard, editor
Some background: More on Emily Abrams Ansariís article, "Vindication, Cleansing, Catharsis, Hope": Interracial Reconciliation and the Dilemmas of Multiculturalism in Kay and Dorrís Jubilee (1976)".
Given the recognition that Professor Ansari received with her article in the Winter 2013 issue of American Music, we reached out to her to find out more about her interest in Ulysses Kay and Jubilee.
Ansari said her primary interest in this opera began during her PhD research after becoming interested in its composer, Ulysses Kay. She stayed with Kayís daughters to read and help organize his papers, which were later donated to Columbia University. While there, she learned much about Jubilee and became fascinated with it.
The opera, written in conjunction with the U.S. Bicentennial (1976), is about slavery and was performed in one of the most violent epicenters of the civil rights movement, Jackson, Mississippi. In Ansariís article, she discusses that some projects focused around the Bicentennial faced opposition. Given their celebratory nature; too many omitted a dialogue about all of our nationís history. The inclusion and promotion of work that included African-American history in our countryís historic dialogue lead to the production of Jubilee.
After reading Ansariís article, I found myself very much impressed by the courage of Kay and his librettist, Donald Dorr. The conversation Kay and Dorr insisted on having was of incredible importance in an environment where racial relations were fragile at best. Ansari "wondered how on earth an audience of Southern opera-goers, who had so recently witnessed race-related murders and shootings in their city, [would respond] to an opera that included an on-stage lynching." Ansari believes that Jubilee is still relevant and important, despite having been performed only twice and, thus, not getting the attention it needed to truly launch a discussion about racial relations in the United States.
Jubilee is needed today, Ansari suggests, given the racial tension in a country that frequently calls itself "post-racial". She says there is much to be done in both the U.S. and Canada to help pick up the pieces of racial relations and believes that "art is an important and useful mechanism through which to do this--something Dorr and Kay astutely recognized. When we hear singers sing about their suffering under slavery, or watch actors portray a white man beating or murdering his black slaves, we are obliged to contemplate the darker parts of our nation's history. In a time when national histories are predominantly celebratory, honesty and realism in examining the past is particularly vital, if we are to better relations between racial and ethnic groups in the future."
About her article, Ansari was particularly honored to receive the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award because it is given not by scholars or peers, but by performers, composers, and publishers. She adds "It is most encouraging to feel that those who create and perform music today find an academic piece sufficiently engaging and significant to warrant a prize, especially when the opera that the article is about is little known today." If you would like to read Ansariís article, which I recommend, you can access it on JSTOR and on Project MUSE.
Emily Abrams Ansari wins ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award
The University of Illinois Press wishes to congratulate Emily Abrams Ansari, a recipient of the 46th annual ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award. Her award winning article, "Vindication, Cleansing, Catharsis, Hope": Interracial Reconciliation and the Dilemmas of Multiculturalism in Kay and Dorr’s Jubilee (1976), was published in the University of Illinois Press’s own American Music, Vol. 31:4 (Winter 2013).
The Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson awards, established by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1967, commemorates the late composer, critic, commentator, and president of ASCAP, Deems Taylor. Virgil Thomas was added this year to the award’s title to honor his service to ASCAP as a member of its board of directors and his contribution to American music as both a composer and critic.
We are proud to publish the work of outstanding scholars like Professor Ansari and look forward to many more significant accomplishments from her.
Professor Ansari was honored at a ceremony for the Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomas award winners at the New York Institute of Technology Auditorium in Manhattan, New York on November 12. Ulysses Kay's daughter, Virginia, accepted the award on Ansari's behalf.
American Music is the first journal that was devoted exclusively to American music and the wide-ranging scope implied by its title. Articles cover a rich array of composers, performers, publishers, institutions, performing traditions, and events. The journal also includes reviews of books, recordings, films, websites, and concerts.
The Press Welcomes the Journal of Sport History
The University of Illinois Press will be welcoming the Journal of Sport History to its roster in 2015! We will be publishing the Journal on behalf of the North American Society for Sport History. From NASSH.org, "The Journal of Sport History seeks to promote the study of all aspects of the history of sport."
The Journal is currently edited by Alison M. Wrynn at California State University, Long Beach.
This Journal is a wonderful complement to the Press's growing book list in sport history and we are thrilled to be welcoming them! Check back with us soon, as we will continue to add new information about this exciting title as it becomes available.
Journals Department adds Marketing Manager
The University of Illinois Presss is pleased to announce that Alexa Colella has joined the press as the visiting marketing manager for scholarly journals. Her responsibilities will include creating marketing strategies, content, advertising, and social media for the journals division of the press. She comes to us from Purdue University's Center for Food and Agricultural Business where she served as their marketing coordinator. She began work with us on November 10, 2014.
"Alexa's experience and knowledge already make her an important addition to our staff," said Clydette Wantland, Journals Manager. "Her appointment will be key in helping the Journals Department take advantage of opportunities for new product development as well as working with our valued Society clients to promote their work. We were fortunate to find someone of Alexa's caliber to fulfill this role."
Colella holds a bachelor's degree from St. Lawrence University and a master's from Purdue University. In her previous role, Colella was responsible for the management and analyzing of data, using it to drive the center's marketing strategy. She also managed the production of course materials and helped to develop and create content. She looks forward to her now role at the University of Illinois Press, Journals Department.
Started in 1918, this founding member of the Association of American University Presses currently publishes more than 100 books and 30+ scholarly journals each year in an array of subjects including American history, labor history, sports history, folklore, food, film, American music, American religion, African American studies, womenís studies, and, of course, Abraham Lincoln.