University Press Blog Tour Roundup
Inspired by Twitter’s #FollowFriday meme, the final day of the University Press Week Blog Tour is dedicated to things we follow: sub-fields, scholars, new research, popular discussions, etc.  Please read our submission below and check out today’s other University Press Week contributors Columbia University Press, Island Press, University of Minnesota Press, University of Nebraska Press, and NYU Press.

What we’re following: The Geopolitics of Information
by University of Illinois Press Acquisitions Editor Daniel Nasset

Hackers breach the White House’s computer system, Brazil announces plans to lay a new fiber-optic cable across the Atlantic Ocean, the UN’s International Telecommunication Union debates the future of internet governance in Busan, South Korea. What do recent headlines say about the role of information in today’s international power structure? After a few illuminating conversations with Dan Schiller, a historian of information and communication systems at the University of Illinois, I started following, with heightened interest, scholarship on these topics and the role information and communications technologies were playing in an increasingly conflicted world, a world where the United States’ unipolar moment was, if not over, at least challenged by new economic alignments and blocs.

After following this research, we decided the time was right to explore this turn (or return) to geopolitics in the realm of information networks more rigorously and from a global perspective, so we also got in touch with Yuezhi Zhao at Simon Fraser University and Pradip Thomas at the University of Queensland. Wikileaks had left little doubt regarding the centrality of information control in the geopolitical power structure, and the reception of Evgeny Morozov’s The Network Delusion and Rebecca MacKinnon’s Consent of the Networked demonstrated the broad appeal of issues pertaining to the geopolitics of information. However, a book series from a university press could move the empirical thickness of research in the field forward and create a sustained scholarly focus on the subject. With Professors Schiller, Zhao, and Thomas as coeditors, we started a new series we are calling the Geopolitics of Information.

SchillerF14With the Geopolitics of Information in the works, the Snowden affair erupted and exposed the existential urgency of the topic: given the unprecedented levels of foreign and domestic surveillance, issues of privacy became a global concern for both American citizens and non-citizens whose communications traveled through the United States. Disclosures regarding the United States’ preemptive launch into a new era of cyber conflict and the vast resources committed to offensive capabilities in cyberspace are equally if not more troubling. The secrecy surrounding the weaponizing of the internet prevents understanding, and, ominously, these crucial decisions are being taken without accountability. Looking beyond the United States’ military and information supremacy, what alternatives to U.S. dominated information networks are being developed in South America? What does the continental development agenda of Naspers—South Africa’s media giant—mean for other African states? These are issues that are timely, important, and require careful research; a university press is the ideal place for the global ramifications of these pressing questions to be analyzed and debated in their complexity.

Our series is designed to rethink geopolitical power through the lens of information and networks. It will seek and commission book projects investigating how information has moved to the center of the increasingly conflicted question of who will shape the global political economy, and how. The dispensation of the world’s communication systems and information resources constitutes both a domain of political-economic rivalry conducted by states and corporations, and a field of social contestation involving a wider set of social actors. The series is broadly defined to foreground both interstate rivalries and societal struggles, and to encompass emergent pressure points and environing social-historical dynamics.

At Illinois, we are excited how the series builds off the History of Communication series and our long history of publishing critical communication texts. Our ambition, however, is to broaden the scope beyond the field of communication in particular and the social sciences more broadly, by also establishing an influential presence in policy making and relevance to multiple scales of governance—from non-government and citizen advocacy to the local, regional, national, and supranational polities.

ParksS15As this point, we have established joint publication of the series with the Communication University of China Press. The first book in the series—Schiller’s Digital Depression: Information Technology and Economic Crisispublished this fall. Setting the stage for other volumes in the series, it demonstrates how the technological revolution within information and communications technologies is wrapped up in global economic stagnation leading to deepening exploitation and inequality and giving rise to the militarization and surveillance that mark new geopolitical conflicts. The second title, Lisa Parks and Nicole Starosielski’s Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures, is in production, and we have a pipeline of titles ranging from China’s soft power initiatives to Turkish media institutions’ impact on the state, society, and the broader Middle East, to labor practices at electronics manufacturer, Foxconn, and its place in transnational commodity chains.

upw-logo-2014For University Press Week the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) will be hosting an online discussion to highlight the collaborative work of scholarly presses.

Jen Howard of the Chronicle of Higher Education will moderate online discussion about the future of scholarly publishing. Panelists Peter Dougherty (Princeton UP), Barbara Kline Pope (National Academies Press and AAUP President), and Ron Chrisman (University of North Texas Press) will talk about three innovative and collaborative projects their presses have underway—discussing challenges and successes, and the promise cooperation and collaboration holds for all of us.

  • Princeton University Press and Caltech’s Einstein Papers Project provides the first complete picture of Albert Einstein’s massive written legacy.
  • National Academies Press’s Academy Scope is a visualization of all of the titles that are available on, allowing readers to browse through the reports of the National Academies by topic area and seeing relationships between titles.
  • University of North Texas Press teams up with the University of North Texas Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program and the University of Magallanes in Chile to introduce Magellanic Sub-Antarctic Ornithology.  This project is the result of a decade of research conducted by scientist associated with the Omora Ethnobotanical Park in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve in Chile.

November 12, 2014, 12pm-1pm (CST)
Collaboration in Scholarly Publishing Discussion
Presented on Google+

FaithF14American troops first faced poison gas on February 2, 1918. German artillery units used the cover of a heavy afternoon fog to lob shells filled with phosgene and diphosgene on men serving in the 1st Division of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). The attack proved ineffectual.

A single canister of mustard gas—the “king of all gasses,” according to one U.S. official—harmed a handful of soldiers four days later, but a February 26 night attack proved the real baptism by fire, as unidentified chemical agents injured or killed more than a third of the 225 members of the 1st Division in the vicinity of the action.

The U.S. Army had trained its soldiers in gas warfare. The training no doubt prevented even greater numbers of casualties. The soldiers, unfortunately, faced the usual “seasoning” period hazardous to new front-liners throughout history. Furthermore, as Thomas I. Faith explains in his new book Behind the Gas Mask: The U.S. Chemical Warfare Service in War and Peace, doughboys depended on anti-chemical equipment that, while often effective, did not invite enthusiastic use: Continue reading

11-11-11: World War I Remembered through Words and Melody
Guest lecture featuring William Brooks
11:00 a.m.
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
Admission: Free

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November of 1918 was designated as the official cessation of World War I hostilities between Germany and the Allied forces. Music was essential in shaping America’s willingness to enter the war, and it was equally important in forming America’s memories when the war ended. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson and most of the country were resolutely neutral; but after the sinking of the Lusitania the country’s mood gradually shifted. The change was both mirrored and furthered by the history of an immensely popular song, Archie Gottler’s “America, I Love You.” War was eventually declared on April 6, 1917, and George M. Cohan allegedly wrote “Over There” the next day; Cohan’s song became an unofficial rallying cry on both the battlefield and the home front. By summer of 1918 the country was beginning to confront the magnitude of its losses, and the poem “In Flanders Fields” served first as a reaffirmation of resolve and later as a memorial to those who died.  Musical settings of that poem, by John Philip Sousa and others manifest the country’s passage from war through grief and into remembrance.

Join musician, composer, and music scholar William Brooks (Associate Professor of Composition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) as he traces America’s wartime history through sheet music, recordings, and live performances of the music written by Gottler, Cohan, Sousa, and others. The live performances will feature singer (and UIP editor-in-chief) Laurie C. Matheson (DMA, choral music, UIUC) and accompanist Rachel Jansen (DMA, coaching and accompanying, UIUC) For further information contact the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music 217-333-4577 or (

upw-logo-2014The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) is celebrating the third annual University Press Week from November 9 – 15, 2014. The focus this year is on the vital collaborative projects spearheaded by university and academic presses with research libraries, scholars, and other universities around the world.

UIP is one of many presses that have united for the AAUP’s third annual blog tour during UPWeek.

This tour will highlight the value of university presses and the contributions they make to scholarship and our society. Individual presses will blog on a different theme each day, including features on notable collaborations, emerging fields of study and University Press ties to popular culture.

You can check out the highlights of University Press Week and the blog tour on the AAUP Digital Digest.

Also, check this UI Press blog for other updates including a “Follow Friday” feature on our Geopolitics of Information series.

On November 6, 1814 Adophe Sax was born in Wallonia, Belgium.

HaddixF13Sax invented many musical instruments but the one for which he is best known (and has immortalized his name) is the saxophone.

Somewhere along the line musical enthusiasts declared November 6 to be World Saxophone Day. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the instrument and those who play the horn.

Perhaps the most well-known saxophonist in history is Charlie Parker. In Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker, Chuck Haddix writes about how Parker changed the course of music with his saxophone.

In the book Haddix details how Parker’s and his collaboration with Dizzy Gillespie led to the development of bebop. In the video below Parker and Gillespie demonstrate the groundbreaking style that carried on the legacy of Adophe Sax.

The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) is celebrating the third annual University Press Week from November 9 – 15, 2014. The focus this year is on the vital collaborative projects spearheaded by university and academic presses with research libraries, scholars, and other universities around the world.

At the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, the University of Illinois Press is collaborating with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research to host an informative conversation for faculty about publishing with an academic press on Tuesday, November 11th, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., at 500 Swanlund Administration Building.

Daniel Nasset, acquisitions editor, and Michael Roux, marketing manager, will give brief presentations on their roles at the University of Illinois Press. The discussion will focus on the connection between acquisitions and marketing, and how understanding this relationship can assist authors in establishing and maintaining a good working relationship with an academic press. Craig Koslofsky (History; Germanic Languages & Literatures), External Grants Faculty Advisor – OVCR, and Maria Gillombardo, External Funding Coordinator – OVCR, will facilitate the session.

Faculty members interested in attending should please RSVP to Kelley Frazier: or 217-333-6771.

The Voice in the Drum - Richard K WolfBased on extensive field research in India and Pakistan, Richard K. Wolf’s The Voice in the Drum is a unique examination of  how drumming and voices interconnect over vast areas of South Asia and considers what it means for instruments to be voice-like and carry textual messages in particular contexts.

Written in the form of a novel, the book examines the ways drumming and voices interconnect over vast areas of South Asia and considers what it means for instruments to be voice-like and carry textual messages in particular contexts.

Wolf tells the story of a family led by Ahmed Ali Khan, a North Indian ruler who revels in the glories of 19th century life, when many religious communities joined together harmoniously in grand processions. His journalist son Muharram Ali obsessively scours the subcontinent in pursuit of a music he naively hopes will dissolve religious and political barriers. The story charts the breakdown of this naiveté.

Book Trailer: The Voice in the Drum by Richard K. Wolf from Richard Wolf on Vimeo.

Two UIP titles are available in paperback editions today.

The Creolization of American Culture: William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy

The Creolization of American Culture - Christopher J Smith

Painter William Sidney Mount created some of the most well-known images of African American life in the mid 1800s.

In his book The Creolization of American Culture, Christopher J. Smith, uses Mount’s paintings as a lens through which one can view multiethnic antebellum world that gave birth to blackface minstrelsy.

Smith writes that the meticulous renderings of musicianship in Mount’s painting display performance techniques and class-inflected paths of apprenticeship that connected white and black practitioners.


Beer and Revolution: The German Anarchist Movement in New York City, 1880-1914

Historian Tom Goyens examines an often misunderstood political movement of immigrant radicals in New York City from 1800 to 1914.

With a focus on beer over bombs, these German immigrant anarchists combined defiance with festivity.

In Beer and Revolution Goyens illustrates the alternative social lifestyle of these revolutionaries, from political meetings and public lectures to theatrical presentations.

Beer and Revolution is an extraordinary piece of work, and a rare find. I am astonished at the level of sophistication: it advances recent scholarly developments in charting geopolitical space and resurrects the kind of setting—a mixture of bohemianism and political radicalism—that is of increasing interest to young people today.” —Paul Buhle, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of the American Left

To coincide with multiple music meetings in November 2014, we are offering eBook versions of four University of Illinois Press music titles on sale for $4.99. The sale will run through November 30.

Cover for Warfield: Making the March King: John Philip Sousa's Washington Years, 1854-1893. Click for larger imageMaking the March King: John Philip Sousa’s Washington Years, 1854-1893 by Patrick Warfield
John Philip Sousa’s mature career as the indomitable leader of his own touring band is well known, but the years leading up to his emergence as a celebrity have escaped serious attention. In this revealing biography, Patrick Warfield explains the making of the March King by documenting Sousa’s early life and career. Covering the period 1854 to 1893, this study focuses on the community and training that created Sousa, exploring the musical life of late nineteenth-century Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia as a context for Sousa’s development. Buy the Kindle version here. Buy the Kobo version here. Buy the Google Play version here. Buy the Nook version here.

Cover for welsh: One Woman in a Hundred: Edna Phillips and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Click for larger imageOne Woman in a Hundred: Edna Phillips and the Philadelphia Orchestra by Mary Sue Welsh
Hired from the Curtis Institute of Music at age twenty-three, harpist Edna Phillips (1907–2003) became the Philadelphia Orchestra’s first female member and the first woman to hold a principal position in a major American ensemble. Drawing on archival sources and extensive interviews with Phillips, her family, and colleagues, Welsh chronicles the training, aspirations, setbacks, and successes of this pioneering woman musician. Inside stories and perceptive eyewitness accounts portray controversial conductor Leopold Stokowski melding his musicians into a marvelously flexible ensemble; reveal world-class performers reaching great heights; and show Phillips and the orchestra experiencing the novelty of recording for Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Buy the Kindle version here. Buy the Kobo version here. Buy the Google Play version here. Buy the Nook version here.

Cover for jacobson: Squeeze This!: A Cultural History of the Accordion in America. Click for larger imageSqueeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America by Marion Jacobson
Squeeze This! is the first history of the piano accordion and the first book-length study of the accordion as a uniquely American musical and cultural phenomenon. Ethnomusicologist and accordion enthusiast Marion Jacobson traces the changing idea of the accordion in the United States and its cultural significance over the course of the twentieth century. From the introduction of elaborately decorated European models imported onto the American vaudeville stage and the instrument’s celebration by ethnic musical communities and mainstream audiences alike, to the accordion-infused pop parodies by “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jacobson considers the accordion’s contradictory status as both an “outsider” instrument and as a major force in popular music in the twentieth century. Buy the Kindle version here. Buy the Kobo version here. Buy the Google Play version here. Buy the Nook version here.

Cover for LAMBERT: Alec Wilder. Click for larger imageAlec Wilder by Philip Lambert
The music of Alec Wilder (1907-1980) blends several American musical traditions, such as jazz and the American popular song, with classical European forms and techniques. Stylish and accessible, Wilder’s musical oeuvre ranged from sonatas, suites, concertos, operas, ballets, and art songs to woodwind quintets, brass quintets, jazz suites, and hundreds of popular songs. Wilder enjoyed a close musical kinship with a wide variety of musicians, including classical conductors such as Erich Leinsdorf, Frederick Fennell, and Gunther Schuller; jazz musicians Marian McPartland, Stan Getz, and Zoot Sims; and popular singers including Frank Sinatra, Mabel Mercer, Peggy Lee, and Tony Bennett. Buy the Kindle version here. Buy the Kobo version here. Buy the Google Play version here. Buy the Nook version here.