In 2018, the University of Illinois Press will celebrate its 100th anniversary with numerous events across Illinois. A founding member (1937) of the Association of American University Presses, University of Illinois Press has published over 4,500 books in its first century. The Press has established itself as a leading publisher in American history and culture, with pioneering lists in African American studies; women, gender, and sexuality studies; women’s history; film and media; music history; labor history; American ethnic studies; disability history; sports history; and foodways.
The Press currently publishes 38 journals and more than 90 books per year with worldwide distribution. Its programs demonstrate a deep commitment to supporting diverse and marginalized voices and topics in the academy. The Press also serves a regional readership by providing engaging books on Illinois and the Midwest.
“Initially serving the University of Illinois as a printer and publisher of faculty work, the Press has become the publisher of choice in a number of key fields,” notes Press director Laurie Matheson. “Our second century offers new opportunities to cultivate and disseminate the kind of deeply informed, critically historicized scholarship that our troubled times require. This commitment to rigorous, informative, accessible work underpins all of our publications as well as our partnerships and outreach activities.”
Highlights from the first 100 years include:
- Acquired the paperback rights in 1978 to Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, and sold 356,000 over the next ten years before a commercial publisher reclaimed the rights.
- Published multi-volume sets of the papers of several notable historical figures including Jane Addams, Booker T. Washington, and Margaret Sanger.
- Published the landmark books Mathematical Theory of Communication by Claude E. Shannon and Warren Weaver and Four Theories of the Press by Fred S. Sieber, Theodore Peterson, and Wilbur Schramm.
Throughout the 2018 calendar year, the University of Illinois Press will host and participate in a variety of events affiliated with the three University of Illinois campuses, including:
- Little Free Library—Launched in October 2017, the UIP-sponsored Little Free Library at the Illini Union will be stocked regularly with UIP books and Journals.
- University of Illinois Library Exhibit—During February 2018, UIP will have a public history display in the north-south corridor at the UIUC Main Library that features highlights from the Press’s first 100 years. The exhibit will move tothe Spurlock Museum in the summer and the Daley Library at UIC in the fall.
- 100 ebooks iPad Giveaway—UIP will sponsor an online giveaway contest for three iPads preloaded with 100 UIP books.
- Director’s Panel—On February 14, 2018, current director Laurie Matheson will participate in a panel discussion with previous directors Willis Regier and Richard Wentworth about UIP’s commitment to supporting scholarship on social justice. Dean James D. Anderson will serve as the moderator.
- The Chicago Food Encyclopedia Event—In March 2018, an event celebrating The Chicago Food Encyclopedia and diversity through food will be hosted at the UIC Richard Daley Library.
- 100 Years of Publishing Lincoln—During the 2018 Conference on Illinois History in Springfield, UIP will have a panel at the Abraham Lincoln Library.
“We are very excited at the roster of events we’re developing with our partners on the three campuses of the U of I, as well as with community contacts,” Matheson says. “We hope many will join us in these informative and celebratory events over the course of our centennial year!”
About the University of Illinois Press:
The University of Illinois Press publishes timely and transformative scholarship in the humanities that empowers local and global readers to understand and engage with the changing world. Founded in 1937, the Press publishes 90 books annually as well as 38 journals, with particular strengths in in African American studies; women, gender, and sexuality studies; women’s history; film and media; music history; labor history; American ethnic studies; disability history; sports history; and foodways.