Donor Dollars in Action

We can’t thank our donors enough for making it possible to achieve our mission of spreading new scholarship. The last year has been exceptional, and our donors enabled the publication of several notable titles. As a token of our appreciation, we’d like to put the spotlight on a few specific funds that made this phenomenal year possible.

The Howard D. and Marjorie I. Brooks Endowment for Progressive Thought
William Brooks founded the Howard D. and Marjorie I. Brooks Endowment for Progressive Thought in honor of his parents, who both advocated for environmentalism, education, inclusivity, and social equality. The fund sponsors books about educational innovation, the environment, intellectual history, music, and labor.

In the past year, this fund has supported two titles. The first, Peter Cole’s Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area, outlines the surprising parallels between the dockworker activism in Durban, South Africa, and San Francisco Bay Area, California. The work reveals how dockworker unions inspired lasting changes in their workplaces. The second, Jessica Wilkerson’s To Live Here, You Have to Fight: How Women Led Appalachian Movements for Social Justice, explores working class white women in southern Appalachia enacting a grassroots war on poverty and their efforts to employ social change in the 1960s and 1970s.

The University of Illinois Fund for Anthropology
Norm Whitten—a leading innovator in anthropological research in South America—helped jumpstart the University of Illinois Press Fund for Anthropology. In the past year, this fund provided a subvention to support Ira E. Harrison, Deborah Johnson-Simon, and Erica Lorraine Williams’s The Second Generation of African American Pioneers in Anthropology, a volume of biographies about 15 largely unknown African American anthropologists in the late 1950s and 1960s. The book delves into their backgrounds, theories, and hardships in their respective eras.

The Judith McCulloh Endowment for American Music
Judith McCulloh was a long-time editor for the Press, and her development of the Music in American Life series helped the Press gain readership. The Judith McCulloh Endowment for American Music was created in memory of her contributions. This year, the fund helped publish Michael D. Doubler’s Dixie Dewdrop: The Uncle Dave Macon Story, which follows the life of David Harrison Macon, a banjo-playing Grand Ole Opry star. Doubler details Macon’s struggles finding fame and his exciting life as an American music hero.

The Henry and Edna Binkele Classical Music Fund
In 1995, two sisters established the Henry and Edna Binkele Classical Music Fund to honor their parents and support classical music titles. This past year, the fund supported Katherine Baber’s Leonard Bernstein and the Language of Jazz and Suzanne Robinson’s Peggy Glanville-Hicks: Composer and Critic. Baber explores Bernstein’s unique interpretation of jazz and his ability to mold the style to encompass the diversity of the American identity. Robinson investigates Glanville-Hicks’s influence as an American composer, her rise to stardom, and her hidden personal life. Both works provide insight into two influential composers in the twentieth-century American music scene.