Roger R. Tamte is a patent attorney and scholar of early American football who has studied Camp for many years. He recently answered some questions with us about his new book, Walter Camp and the Creation of Football.

Q. Who was Walter Camp and how did you first become interested in his story?

Camp was involved in American football from its start, watching the first Harvard-Yale rugby game in 1875 as a prep-school senior in New Haven, Connecticut, then continuing involvement as a Yale player and captain, and after college as a rule maker, coach, and author.  For many years he was widely recognized as the central figure in American football, “father” of the game and the person who was looked to when there were questions or issues about it.

In addition to his sports-related work, Camp was employed by a world-wide clock company headquartered in New Haven and served as its chief executive for 20 years.  

About twenty years ago I began to research the history of football as a hobby, and soon became aware of the absence of any book that described the origins of American football in a full and satisfying way.  The research led me to Camp, who had been only a name to me, and I learned of the major and interesting role he had played in football, including his critical role in formation of the game.

Q. What are some of the key ways Camp contributed to the transformation of rugby into American football?

Camp was central to the game’s development from his college days through the rest of his life.  Although essentially all student rule makers during the game’s first ten or fifteen years exited rule making upon graduation, Camp continued, and his expertise made him welcome.  Camp studied the game deeply and kept records analyzing play and the effect of rules on play, which impacted his rule making and management of the game. He was the game’s first serious coach, asked to take charge of the Yale team from 1888-1891 and coaching Yale in some degree for most of the following years until 1916.  He also was the game’s publicist, editing and writing an annual guide and rulebook, writing books and magazine articles that taught the game, and originating and annually naming All American teams.

Q. What rule change was in Camp’s words “more important than all the rest of the legislation combined”?

The system of downs and distance – four downs to gain ten yards (which for many years was three downs to gain five yards) — was an absolute unknown when Camp created it.  As natural as the idea may seem today, it was quite unobvious when Camp suggested it. His fellow rule makers thought it was crazy and unworkable and tried to prevent its enactment.  But with assistance from the rules committee chairman, the rule was enacted on a trial basis, whereupon it quickly proved itself and re-made the game. The rule introduced new specific goals for each play in the form of specific yardage gains needed to maintain ball possession. The offense’s compelling need for yardage gains (or the defense’s need to prevent yardage gains) is central to the game and stimulate the extraordinary study, planning and practice that distinguish and are essential to American football.  Also, the yardage goals and the contest that will be fought over them create tension and interest that help make the game compelling for viewers: knowing the yardage needed, viewers watch with awareness and suspense.

Q. Many of the proposed rule changes became the topic of hot public debate. What proposed rule change became so public that President Theodore Roosevelt took sides?

A style of play developed in the late 1800s in which blockers massed together by moving linemen into the backfield, stacked one behind the other, to smash forward for short yardage gains. Many viewers disliked mass play, saying it hid the ball and the action and caused injuries.  A need for rule change was recognized but disagreements within the rule-making committee, which required unanimity on new rules, stood in the way. Camp wanted to encourage more open play by doubling to ten yards the distance to be gained in three downs, while others argued for weakening the defense by requiring defensive ends to play back five yards or by introducing forward passing, which was barred under a held-over rugby rule.  The failure of the rules committee to act over several years angered the public and provoked calls in the early 1900s for a new rules committee.

President Roosevelt didn’t take sides on particular rules, but in this particular crisis he supported those who wanted more change than Camp was advocating.  Eventually, with Roosevelt’s involvement making a difference, the rules committee was enlarged and committee procedures changed to allow decisions by majority vote.  Camp’s ten-yard rule was approved, but a start on forward passing also was approved.

Q. What do you think Camp would think of the sport as it’s played today?

It’s hard to say, given today’s hugely changed world of sports.  Camp would certainly appreciate today’s increased player skills and sophistication of play.  He quickly became enthusiastic about forward passing and was unhappy when new Yale coaches did not make Yale’s play more modern.  On the other hand, he publicly excoriated colleges of his day for the emphasis and large resources put into intercollegiate football.  Instead, he wanted increased athletic opportunities for the whole student body. Although today’s colleges have broadened student opportunities for athletic competition and exercise, there is vastly greater emphasis on competitive intercollegiate football, and Camp would probably be upset about that emphasis.


The University of Illinois Press is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. In order to celebrate, we decided to do something special for our readers. In honor of 100 years, we have already given away two iPads pre-loaded with 100 UIP ebooks, and now we are doing our 3rd and final iPad giveaway of the year! This final giveaway ends on Dec 1, 2018. For a chance to win, click here!

Here’s a quick look at a few of the books that will be featured in the iPad giveaway. The full list of books included can be found here.


























We would like to thank the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities for sponsoring this iPad giveaway, it wouldn’t have been possible without their generosity.




Beginning Monday, August 6, 2018, visit Senior Acquisitions Editor Daniel Nasset in the exhibit hall at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication 2018 Conference. Get University of Illinois Press books at the conference discount of up to 40% off with free shipping! Start your shopping list now and check out some of our new media and communication studies titles below!

Becoming the Story: War Correspondents since 9/112

Lindsay Palmer

Becoming the Story examines the transformation of war reporting in the decade after 9/11. Lindsay Palmer delves into times when print or television correspondents themselves received intense public scrutiny because of an incident associated with the work of war reporting. Palmer shows what these events say about how post-9/11 conflicts transformed the day-to-day labor of reporting. But they also illuminate how journalists’ work became entangled with issues ranging from digitization processes to unprecedented hostility from all sides to the political logic of the War on Terror.


Media, Geopolitics, and Power: A View from the Global South

Herman Wasserman

Herman Wasserman analyzes the debates surrounding South Africa’s new media presence against the backdrop of rapidly changing geopolitics. His exploration reveals how South African disputes regarding access to, and representation in, the media reflect the domination and inequality in the global communication sphere. Wasserman delves into the ways these simplistic narratives obscure the country’s internal tensions, conflicts, and paradoxes.



In Search of Belonging: Latinas, Media, and Citizenship

Jillian M. Báez

In Search of Belonging explores the ways Latina/o audiences in general, and women in particular, make sense of and engage both mainstream and Spanish-language media. Jillian M. Báez’s eye-opening ethnographic analysis draws on the experiences of a diverse group of Latinas in Chicago. In-depth interviews reveal Latinas viewing media images through a lens of citizenship. Báez’s personal interactions and research merge to create a fascinating portrait.




Mascot Nation: The Controversy over Native American Representations in Sports

Andrew C. Billings

Andrew C. Billings and Jason Edward Black go beyond the media bluster to reassess the mascot controversy. Their multidimensional study delves into the textual, visual, and ritualistic and performative aspects of sports mascots. Their original research, meanwhile, surveys sports fans themselves on their thoughts when a specific mascot faces censure. The result is a book that merges critical-cultural analysis with qualitative data to offer an innovative approach to understanding the camps and fault lines on each side of the issue.

Available October 2018–See the advance proof at our table and place your order to get the discount!


Across the Waves: How the United States and France Shaped the International Age of Radio

Derek W. Vaillant

Drawing on a broad range of American and French archives, Derek Vaillant joins textual and aural materials with original data analytics and maps to illuminate U.S.-French broadcasting’s political and cultural development. Vaillant focuses on the period from 1931 until France dismantled its state media system in 1974. His analysis examines mobile actors, circulating programs, and shifting institutions that shaped international radio’s use in times of war and peace.



Wired into Nature: The Telegraph and the North American Frontier

James Schwoch

Merging new research with bold interpretation, James Schwoch details the unexplored dimensions of the frontier telegraph and its impact. The westward spread of telegraphy entailed encounters with environments that challenged Americans to acquire knowledge of natural history, climate, and a host of other fields. Telegraph codes and ciphers, meanwhile, became important political, military, and economic secrets. Schwoch shows how the government’s use of commercial networks drove a relationship between the two sectors that served increasingly expansionist aims.



Ahhh . . . summer. Picnics, gardens, fireflies—and of course, summer reading!

In this issue of The Callout, our summer harvest includes the first comprehensive history of the Ozarks region; a pair of magnificent volumes on the influential Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi; and a provocative exploration of ugliness as central to queer female sexuality. New titles in science fiction studies offer the familiar (Arthur C. Clarke) and the little known (international science fiction writers); while our “Behind the Book” feature illuminates a sweeping new book on black opera. We also highlight a roundup of new and recent biographies in the Music in American Life series, ranging from Harry Burleigh to Libby Larson to Uncle Dave Macon. New additions to our journals program in Mormon studies and a new Common Threads title round out the offerings.

Meanwhile, our centennial celebrations continue apace. To mark the June 2 anniversary of the Board of Trustees’ approval of the founding of the University of Illinois Press, we cohosted a birthday party at the Illini Union with Document Services—formerly Printing Services, which was twinned with the Press from its 1918 founding into the early 1970s.

At UI Press, we strive to foster ground-breaking scholarship, innovate in the scholarly publishing community, and empower local and global readers to understand and engage with the changing world. If you’d like to support our mission, consider becoming a founding member of our Friends of the Press program by joining before the end of 2018.

Come in to our garden and enjoy the bounty! And look for us at the Urbana Market in the
Square, where we’ll be staffing a table every Saturday in July.

–Laurie Matheson, Director

Check out the rest of the issue here!

Do you believe books have the power to change the world? We do. For the past century, the University of Illinois Press has established itself as a leading publisher in U.S. history and culture. And now, by becoming a Friend of the Press, you can help ensure our work continues into another century.

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A perfect recent example is Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant, the memoir of an anonymous Chicago resident and a story of the triumph of education over adversity. The book has received high-profile media coverage, has been adopted by several college read programs, and will soon be offered by UI Press in a Spanish translation.

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Walter Aaron Clark is Distinguished Professor of Musicology and the founder/director of the Center for Iberian and Latin American Music at the University of California, Riverside. His books include Isaac Albéniz: Portrait of a Romanticand Enrique Granados: Poet of the Piano. In 2016, King Felipe VI of Spain made him a Knight Commander of the Order of Isabel the Catholic. He recently answered some questions about his newest book Los Romeros: Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar.

Q: Your biography, Los Romeros, is the first major study in English of Celedonio Romero and his family, often called the “Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar.” Why did you think it was important for you to tell their story?

It’s important because that story is both fascinating and instructive.  When we see highly accomplished performers on stage, in formal attire, impressing the audience with their virtuosity, and receiving standing ovations, it all seems very glamorous and charmed.  What we don’t see is the superhuman amount of hard work that went into making that sonata look so easy to play—and the nerves one had to overcome to perform it in front of an audience.  We also don’t see the long and perilous road that a family like the Romeros had to travel just to survive, much less thrive.  We can derive a lot of inspiration from reading about fellow human beings who have overcome daunting obstacles to achieve something truly great and lasting.  The beauty they bring into our world makes it a more bearable place to pass a few decades!

Q: How did you come to know the Romeros personally?

I fell in love with Spanish guitar when I was 14 and growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  After many academic detours, I wound up getting a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Performing Arts in 1975.  A fellow student there was from Los Angeles, and he kept telling me about the Romeros, how phenomenal they were and what a great teacher Pepe Romero was in particular.  So, in 1976, I made the pilgrimage to Southern California to take some lessons with Pepe.  Yep, he was everything my friend said he was.  Eventually I was able to study with Pepe and his brother Celin at UC San Diego, where I completed a Master of Arts degree in 1984.  We have remained close friends since that time, and the rest is, as they say, history!

Q: What difficulties did the family have to overcome in bringing the classical Spanish guitar to the United States?

Before the Romeros arrived in 1957, Americans were already somewhat familiar with the classical guitar as a result of Andrés Segovia’s tours here.  But the Romeros had their own unique style, and it quickly caught on, especially in the novel format of a guitar quartet.  In order to make their great leap across the Atlantic, though, they had to clear many hurdles, diplomatic, political, logistical, and financial.  Frankly, they could never have done it without the assistance of an American couple from Santa Barbara who befriended them while vacationing in Málaga during the early 1950s.  Farrington and Evelyn Stoddard provided the connections and sponsorship the Romeros needed in order to leave Spain, where Celedonio’s career had hit a glass ceiling.  The U.S. beckoned as a land of limitless opportunity and as a refreshing change from Franco’s dictatorship.  For over sixty years now, they have flourished here beyond their wildest dreams!

Q: One of the family’s most significant accomplishments is their systematic method of teaching guitar, which you compare to the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism. How did Pepe Romero teach you about “Right Mindfulness” when playing a piece by Bach?

I tend to intellectualize things.  That’s not necessarily bad, but there comes a point in performance where you have to let go.  You study the music in depth and practice hard to get the notes right, but unless there is room for expressive spontaneity, the effort will seem forced.  Pepe encouraged me to use visualizations in facilitating the release of my creative imagination, beyond mere calculated digitation.  These visualizations had nothing to do with the music per se.  In the Bach piece (my arrangement of the Prelude from Suite for Unaccompanied Cello No. 1 in G Major), he would have me imagine that my fingers were drops of rain falling on the “pane of glass” formed by the strings.  The “rainfall” would vary in intensity according to how I felt about the music.   I later learned that this was also how the great Spanish pianist and composer Enrique Granados (1867-1916) taught his students.  That’s how the mind of a genius works.  Alas, I’m not a genius!

Q: The epigraph at the beginning of the book is a line from Ramón del Valle-Inclán: “Be like the nightingale, which looks not at the ground from the green branch where it sings.” Why did you feel it was fitting to compare the Romero family to nightingales?

Granados was the subject of my second Oxford biography (Isaac Albéniz was the first), and he loved the song of the nightingale.  He mimicked it in several works, most famously in “La maja y el ruiseñor” (The Maiden and the Nightingale) from the Goyescas suite for piano.  Granados associated the nightingale’s distinctive arias with the deep insight and inspiration of a true artist.  If the Romeros were birds, they would be nightingales.  However, I found that particular quote in the family archive, handwritten by Celedonio on a napkin.  I chose to begin the book with it because it basically summed up his philosophy of life.  Despite all the cruelty and tribulations he had witnessed and endured, his career was dedicated to looking up, not down, as he sang his songs of reverence for the divine presence in nature.

Q: What’s your favorite piece of music from the Romero repertoire? 

This is a very difficult question, because they have interpreted and recorded such a wealth of gorgeous music.  If compelled to choose, however, I would have to select a number from their quartet repertoire, which they basically created, either by transcribing pre-existing pieces or commissioning new works from contemporary composers.  [The envelope, please.]  And the winner is:  “Amanecer” (Dawn) from Estampas by Federico Moreno Torroba (the subject of my third and final Oxford biography, co-authored with my friend Bill Krause).  Torroba (1891-1982) composed this set of “prints” for the Romeros, and they are among his most evocative vignettes.  It is a short piece, in ABA form, and as simple and unassuming as can be.  But like a great artist, Torroba was able to capture the essence of his subject with a few deft strokes of his musical brush.  Its rapturous lyricism basically encapsulates everything I experience about life, all its exhilaration, sadness, and sublime beauty.

It’s the season of reading and to celebrate, we’ve made all our e-books $4.99! Yup. You read that correctly. You can get your favorite UIP e-books for less than five dollars! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to pack your e-reader with UIP books for your summer vacation!

Use Promo Code ESUN on our website to get the discount. Sale ends July 21, 2018!

*Note: To get the discount, click the “Buy this book” button to add it to your cart and select your preferred format. Enter the promo code in the box when prompted. If you click the e-book icon on our site, it will take you to third party vendors and you will not be able to get the discount through them.

Happy Reading!

Brooks Blevins is the Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University. He is the author or editor of eight books, including Ghost of the Ozarks: Murder and Memory in the Upland South; Arkansas, Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol’ Boys Defined a State; and Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers and Their Image. He recently answered a few questions for us about his new book, A History of the Ozarks Volume 1: The Old Ozarks.

Q. In A History of the Ozarks Vol 1: The Old Ozarks, you begin the first volume of a three-part history of the Ozarks region and the culture of its inhabitants. Why did you conclude that such a comprehensive project was necessary?

Even though the last two decades have seen a growing number of scholarly works on Ozarks history, the challenge of teaching regional history and the public’s misunderstanding of Ozarks history and culture largely stem from the lack of a comprehensive history of the region. And I think this lack of a history was in large part due to the hold that folklorists and romanticizers have had on the Ozarks for generations. As more scholars have turned their attention to regional history in this age of hyper-specialization, we’ve been moving away from the old exotic backwater model toward a model that looks at regions as microcosms of the American experience. It’s a great way to combine sweeping temporality with a more narrowly-defined geographic focus. That said, my original intention was certainly not to write such a sweeping and in-depth history of the Ozarks, but rather a one-volume history of the region. By the time I got to the Civil War, however, I already had a book-length manuscript. There was just so much in the early history of the Ozarks that tied the region to the broader story of America and westward migration. It seemed a shame to give that story short shrift.

Q. What did you unearth while writing this book that most surprised you?

The layers of the region’s story in the years before the arrival of the Anglo-American settlers who would come to dominate and define the Ozarks were even richer than I expected. Though vast expanses of the region were uninhabited by Native Americans in the decades preceding European contact and even in the years leading up to the Louisiana Purchase, the Ozarks played a central role in the interplay of natives, European colonials, and U.S. expansion. The region’s role as an unofficial first “Indian territory” for displaced natives from east of the Mississippi – and its location in the path of the Trail of Tears – made the Ozarks crucial to evolving U.S. Indian policy during the first four decades of the nineteenth century. And for a fleeting moment a number of Native Americans even envisioned the heart of the Ozarks as a new autonomous homeland for displaced eastern nations.

Q. What major stereotypes still distort our views of the Ozarks and its people today?

It seems like an almost daily occurrence as I work with students, scholars, and the public that I encounter ingrained notions of a place and people that time has passed by – whether in a positive or negative sense. Those old hillbilly images that have so long colored our perceptions of the Ozarks and Appalachia are not easy to shake. There’s just enough believability in the truth of the stereotypes of uneducated, moonshining, gun-toting backwoodsmen that the imagery sticks to the highland South like beggar’s lice. My goal is to introduce the reader to a fuller, more nuanced picture of the region, its history, and its inhabitants, one that reintroduces a forgotten diversity and injects a useful complexity to the story.

Q. You write that throughout much of the twentieth century, Ozark historians highlighted the region’s peculiarities and ethnic distinctiveness. How has the discipline changed since then so that you can tell the story of the region with the subtext, “They’re really not that different from you and me”?

In the last thirty years or so there has been a movement away from the “exceptionalist”
interpretation of regional history that reigned for so many years. Some of this stems from an effort to write regional history in a national context; some comes from a new willingness on the part of scholars to approach regional studies with an open mind, not with the expectation that each region necessarily constitutes its own unique story. In the study of the highland South, this movement toward a more unexceptional, more holistic approach began with scholars of Appalachian history. It’s just one of many things that scholars of the Ozarks can learn from studies of her sister region back

Q. What do you have planned for the next two volumes?

The next volume covers the long era of Civil War and Reconstruction, with in-depth discussions of slavery in the Ozarks, the secession crisis, Civil War on the battlefields, the home front, and in the bushes, and the Reconstruction of the Ozarks politically, socially, and economically. The third volume carries the region’s story from the late nineteenth- into the early twenty-first century, concentrating especially on the evolution of regional social construct and the increasing centrality of stereotype in the history and culture of the Ozarks. As in volume one, I try to avoid writing regional history in a vacuum, looking instead at the ways in which the story of the Ozarks illuminates broader national developments. The trick is to do this without losing sight of the people and events that give the Ozarks its own flavor.

Roger Biles is Professor Emeritus of History at Illinois State University. His books include Richard J. Daley: Politics, Race, and the Governing of Chicago and The Fate of Cities: Urban America and the Federal Government, 1945-2000. He recently answered some questions about his new book, Mayor Harold Washington: Champion of Race and Reform in Chicago.




Q. Your book chronicles the rise of Chicago’s first African American mayor, Harold Washington, and his victory over the Chicago political machine in the 1980s. What inspired you to tell Washington’s story?

My wife and I left Chicago in 1981, two years before Harold Washington’s remarkable victory.  We closely followed the election from afar, stunned by the racial animosity that surfaced that year.  We were aghast at the shocking news footage shown on WGN-TV and the disturbing images shown in national newsmagazines.  We watched in amazement as the Council Wars unfolded and cringed when a cabal of white politicians sought to obstruct Mayor Washington at every turn.  Decades later, I remained fascinated by the turmoil of 1983-87 and wanted to understand how such events could be explained.   Most of all, I wanted to know more about the man who stood at the center of the controversy.

Q. In the book, you say his administration “represented a triumph of progressive politics no less than an unprecedented victory for African American voters.” Why do you think it is important to emphasize both race and reform in his story?

The traditional explanation of Harold Washington’s victories in 1983 and 1987, as well as the brutal infighting of the Council Wars, emphasized the bitter race relations in Chicago at that time.  The election returns clearly showed that race played an important role in the voting.  Nevertheless, Washington consistently campaigned on the idea that much more than racial equality was at stake in his anti-machine crusade.  “This political battle is not about race,” he said often.  “It is about money and power and morality.”  He firmly believed that his brand of reform, designed to improve the lives of African Americans, Latinos, poor whites, gays, lesbians, and other disadvantaged groups, would benefit all Chicagoans.

Q. What role did racism play in skeptics’ criticisms of Washington during his campaign and mayoralty?

Without question, racism played a significant role in the opposition to Washington in Chicago.  Somewhat submerged in the beginning, the racial bigotry became open and widespread in 1983 and lingered throughout Washington’s mayoralty.  At the same time, as the mayor and several of his key aides pointed out, the white politicians who skillfully incited their constituents with dire warnings of open housing and affirmative action were fighting for their political lives.  The surviving members of the imposing Democratic machine were defending patronage, contracts, and other perquisites that came with political control of city hall.  Washington’s opposition operated on a toxic mix of race, political power, and self-interest.

Q. Despite his critics’ caricature of him as ineffectual, you outline a number of practical, meaningful reforms he made. For example, how did he improve distribution of city services to underserved neighborhoods?

Chicago had long been known as “the city that works,” but Washington pointed out that the city worked well only for the downtown and for the residents of certain affluent and middle-class neighborhoods.  The inhabitants of less desirable areas of the city, especially people of color, routinely suffered from a shortage of day-to-day services.  Indeed, African American residents of the poorest precincts noted that they had never seen city snowplows or road graders until Washington became mayor.   Washington ran on a platform of greater attention to neighborhood concerns and, after his election, redistributed municipal resources to address the gross inequities in municipal housekeeping commonplace in Chicago for generations.

Q. How did the black community respond to his sudden death in office? What were the political consequences of his death at the beginning of his second term?

Washington’s death shortly after his reelection triggered a massive outpouring of grief in the African American community, where the mayor had enjoyed a special bond with the citizenry.  The depth of sadness among black Chicagoans reflected his unique status as the city’s first non-white mayor and the hero who had delivered his people from decades of political servitude to the powerful Democratic machine.  After a caretaker (Eugene Sawyer) completed the remainder of Washington’s term, Richard M. Daley won the mayoralty in 1989 and secured reelection five times before declining to seek a seventh term in 2011.  Daley’s record twenty-two years as Chicago’s mayor surpassed the previous record for longevity held by his father, Richard J. Daley.

Q. In what ways did Washington’s legacy endure, despite his brief tenure, and impact Chicago politics today?

Chicago’s electoral politics in the twenty-first century include more voters and legitimize more issues than in the machine era.  Decisions on the appointment of commissions, boards, and task forces by the mayor and other city officials, once made peremptorily without regard to diversity, have become subject to new guidelines designed to include representatives of different backgrounds and interests.  Once veiled in secrecy, city hall no longer routinely keeps information from the people or dispenses jobs and contracts to favored wards or groups of people without explanation.  Most important, the Washington interlude left Chicagoans in the twenty-first century with compelling memories of an earlier time and a sense of how local government could be retooled to produce a more just polity for all of the city’s inhabitants.


Just in time for the Latina/o Studies Conference in D.C. this week, the University of Illinois Press is excited to announce that Omar Valerio-Jiménez, and Sujey Vega will be joining Frances R. Aparicio as series editors of the Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest series. Senior Acquisitions Editor, Dawn Durante is the acquiring editor.

The Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest series documents the histories, challenges, and contributions of Latinos to Chicago and the Midwest. It promotes an understanding of regional and historical differences in Latino communities and of the ways in which Latinos in Chicago and throughout the Midwest construct their own sense of Latinidad and cultural difference. It offers new conceptual frameworks for the study of interlatino dynamics in this understudied region as well as comparative studies with other regions in the United States and in transnational relations with Latin America.

Omar Valerio-Jiménez is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the author of River of Hope: Forging Identity and Nation in the Rio Grande Borderlands and coeditor of The Latina/o Midwest Reader (University of Illinois Press, 2017).

Sujey Vega is an associate professor of women and gender studies and affiliate faculty member in the School of Transborder and religious studies at Arizona State University. She is the author of Latino Heartland: Of Borders and Belonging in the Midwest.

We’re thrilled that they’re joining the team and look forward to the ways they will continue to build the series.

If you’re attending LSA this week, stop by the University of Illinois Press Booth on July 13 at 5pm and help us celebrate this remarkable series!