Flammulina velutipes (Curtis) Singer

Edible, but tough. Despite appearances, the commercially produced “enoki” mushroom found in many grocery stores is a cultivated form of this mushroom.

One of the best-known and most-produced mushrooms in the world, Flammulina velutipes has a far-spanning career that includes appearances in forests, countless Japanese restaurants, and the labs of the space shuttle. F. veluptipes, nicknamed the winter mushroom (and also the velvet foot), makes the scene in late fall and under the right circumstances may grow throughout the cold months, even in such life-hostile January climates as Wisconsin.

In the wild, the velvet foot’s color and texture ranges from resembling a kitschy orange vinyl souvenir to a rubbery shroom of reddish or yellow-brown. Boldly bald, F. veluptipes prefers hardwoods and may grow fairly high up on a tree trunk.

As mentioned above, the cultivated version of F. veluptipes is the enoki or enokitake mushroom familiar to lovers of Japanese cuisine. Farmed since at least 800 A.D., the enoki does not resemble its feral cousin in the least, thanks to being grown in the dark in a carbon dioxide-rich environment that encourages the growth of its telltale long stems. Asian folk belief attributes anti-tumor and other properties to the enoki, and a small body of scientific research does suggest the presence of anti-cancer and anti-oxidant compounds.

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The Chicago Black Renaissance was a time of growth and innovation for Chicago’s Black artistic community. During the early to mid 20th century, Chicago was the place where poets and musicians like Gwendolyn Brooks and Nat King Cole flourished. Here are 6 books that explore the art, literature, and people that helped shape Chicago’s Black Renaissance.


Hine1. The Black Chicago Renaissance Edited By Darlene Clark Hine and John McCluskey Jr. 

“The book offers highly readable essays from scholars who tell stories about the artists—including some Harlem Renaissance ex-pats who came to Chicago—and the conditions that contributed to a major arts movement in the city that lasted for more than two decades.”–Chicago Tribune 






2. Along the Streets of Bronzeville By Elizabeth Schroeder Schlabach 


“Schlabach strikes a fine balance between acknowledging and illuminating the provocative artistic and political endeavors characteristic of the Chicago Black Renaissance. . . . A rich, artistically oriented micro-history.”–Chicago Book Review 






tracy3. Writers of the Black Chicago Renaissance Edited By Steven C. Tracy 

“If Tracy’s intention in pulling together the contributions to this thorough book is to enlighten readers about this outstanding group of artists and this period in our country’s cultural history, he has succeeded remarkably. . . . A superb introduction to the Black Chicago Renaissance.”–Library Journal 






knupfer4. The Chicago Black Renaissance and Women’s Activism By Anne Meis Knupfer 

“Anne Meis Knupfer’s The Chicago Black Renaissance and Women’s Activism demonstrates the complexity of black women’s many vital contributions to this unique cultural flowering.”








WolfskillF175. Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention By Phoebe Wolfskill 

“A satisfyingly inquisitive foray into the complications of an African American artist grappling with his own uneasy relationship to matters of race, gender, class, culture, and modernism. Wolfskill provides a welcomed critical probing and less romanticized account of the Harlem Renaissance.”–James Smalls, author of Homosexuality in Art






MullenA6. Popular Fronts By Bill V. Mullen 

“Mullen marries investigation and a well-executed idea of story in this well-researched piece of scholarship on black art, black literature and literary publications, and the cultural politics of Chicago’s African American community.”–Choice 

Headed to NWSA this week? So are we! Here are five things you need know: 

Transformations_flyer-page-001UIP is having a reception to celebrate our new series: Transformations: Womanist, Feminist, and Indigenous Studies edited by AnaLouise Keating.

Join us in the exhibit hall on Friday, November 17 at 3pm.

Becky Thompson, the author of the inaugural book in the series, Teaching with Tenderness: Towards an Embodied Practice, will sign books. We hope to see you there!




NWSA/University of Illinois Press First Book Prize Panel

Nov 17, 2017   4:15 – 5:30 pm Hilton Baltimore, Key Ballroom 3 (LCD)

Learn everything you need to know to submit your book to be considered for the 2018 prize!

UIP Senior Acquisitions Editor Dawn Durante, NWSA Director Allison Kimmich, NWSA/UIP prizewinner Erin Durban Albrecht, and prize winner and former award chair Erica Lorraine Williams will discuss the prize and how to successfully apply. Awardees receive a book contract and a $1000 cash advance. More information about the prize can be found here

Signing_flyer-page-001Book signing with Brittney C. Cooper and Treva B. Lindsey on 11/18 at 2pm at the Illinois Press Booth.

Do you love Beyond Respectability and Colored No More? Come and get your copies signed!







Dissident Friendships and Transnational Feminist Formations Roundtable

ChowdhuryF16_144Elora Halim Chowdhury, editor of the Dissident Feminisms series and coeditor of Dissident Friendships: Feminism, Imperialism, and Transnational Solidarity, will present in the panel Dissident Friendships and Transnational Feminist Transformation at NWSA.








Free issues of Feminist Teacher 

Pick up your free copies of this essential journal of the practices, theories, and scholarship of feminist teaching. 

And last but not least….


Were you wondering where everyone got those cool Feminist badge ribbons from last year? It was at our booth! This year we’ve added Killjoy ribbons as well for all your conference badge swag needs.

Make sure to also check out these new titles:


CaseF17_144 DavidF17_144RobbF17_144







Have a great conference!

We are proud to announce the launch of Transformations, a new series at UIP dedicated to innovative visions of scholarship in womanism, feminism, and indigeneity. Series editor AnaLouise Keating, a professor of women’s studies at Texas Woman’s University, envisioned a series that would showcase the transformative contributions women-of-color scholarship caThompsonF17n make in dialogue with mainstream academic disciplines and theories. She writes that her goal for Transformations was to provide “opportunities for authors to take risks in their work: to build on but move beyond disciplinary- or interdisciplinary-specific rules and, through these risks, to invent new (transdisciplinary) perspectives and methods.” Scholarship published in the series will be highly readable and practical while remaining intellectually sophisticated and in conversation with recent developments in the field. Senior acquisitions editor Dawn Durante reflects, “When AnaLouise and I began developing the Transformations series, we were dedicated to creating a publishing home for work that was radically committed to postoppositional, transdisciplinary, and transformative approaches to knowledge production and social justice.”

“I could not have dreamed of a more fitting first book for Transformations. Teaching with Tenderness beautifully exemplifies so many of the core commitments of the series.”—Dawn Durante, senior acquisitions editor

Becky Thompson’s Teaching with Tenderness explores the twinned ideas of embodied teaching and a pedagogy of tenderness. Thompson boldly examines contemporary challenges to teaching about race, gender, class, nationality, sexuality, religion, and other hierarchies. It examines the ethical, emotional, political, and spiritual challenges of teaching power-laden, charged issues and the consequences of shifting power relations in the classroom and in the community. Attention to current contributions in the areas of contemplative practices, trauma theory, multiracial feminist pedagogy, and activism enable us to envision steps toward a pedagogy of liberation. The book encourages active engagement and makes room for self-reflective learning, teaching, and scholarship.




This post is from our new newsletter. Read more in The Callout and sign up to stay up-to-date on UIP news. 




A reception to celebrate the new series will be held at the Illinois Press booth at NWSA on Friday, November 17 at 3pm. We hope you can join us and help us celebrate this exciting new series!







Back before the Internet or Oprah, people relied on comic books and pulp magazines for self-improvement. Charles Atlas challenged generations of boys and girls to get buff and deal with that bully who kicked sand in his/her face. Ads in tawdry detective magazines promised to provide crime-fighting skills while more mainstream publications pushed everything from speed reading to making friends to learning a foreign language in just 15 minutes a day.

whiskey flavored toothpasteUniversity presses won’t try to con you. We sell books. The kind without shortcuts. It’s just the way our evolution worked out. Had universities followed missions that involved happiness via whisky flavored toothpaste, we might today be telling you about how our aged tartar-fighting rye with the mint stripe could provide tasty dental health.

We’re in the midst of what we who love shorthand call #ReadUP, a University Press Book extravaganza that promises enlightenment, intelligence, new worldviews, and a lot of stuff to talk about at cocktail parties.

Look, we live in a B.S.-dominant age. The best way to inoculate against it is to search out some measure of truth, the more uncomfortable the better. We provide that. We can’t even publish a book without getting the approval of a bunch of scholars first. And it’s not just egghead stuff we’re publishing. The University of Nebraska Press wants you to read the definitive history of an obscure hockey team that wore white skates. Need a photo-heavy book on the history of bourbon? A #ReadUP press is all over that.

Our books are just like the other books you love. Available at stores. Check-outable at libraries. Beautifully produced and written by actual experts in their fields.

You’re smart enough to know you’re not smart enough. Same here. Every time you open a UP book you step into the light. Every time you open a UP book you make a fool angry. Every time you open a UP book you fill a sandbag against the rising tide of B.S.


November 9-12, UIP will be attending the annual American Studies Association conference in Chicago. Make sure to stop by our booth in the exhibit hall and check out these great books and journals!


1. I Fight for a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915 by Louis Moore

Louis Moore draws on the life stories of African American fighters active from 1880 to 1915 to explore working-class black manhood.


2. Black Post-Blackness: The Black Arts Movement andTwenty First Century Aesthetics by Margo Natalie Crawford

 Black Post-Blackness compares the black avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s Black Arts Movement with the most innovative spins of twenty-first century black aesthetics.


3. The Work of Mothering: Globalization and the Filipino Diasporaby Harrod J. Suarez

Harrod J. Suarez’s examines the ways literature and cinema play critical roles in encountering, addressing, and problematizing what we think we know about oversears Filipina workers.


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


5. The Latina/o Midwest Reader edited by Omar Valerio-Jiménez, Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, and Claire F. Fox 

The Latina/o Midwest Reader rewrites the conventional wisdom on today’s Latina/o community and how it faces challenges—and thrives—in the heartland.

Please also join us on November 9, from 7-8:30 at our booth in the exhibit hall to celebrate the authors of our new books!

Make sure to also grab free issues of the Journal of Civil and Human RightsWomen, Gender, and Families of Color, Journal of American Ethnic History, and Visual Arts Research!

Question: Is it possible to be taken seriously as a scholarly writer if you use exclamation points?

Less snooty than the semicolon, less trendy than the hashmark, the exclamation point labors in the disreputable quarters of the written word: romance novels, tabloid headlines, and marketing and advertising. A journalism school would throw you out the day you turned in an assignment with an exclamation point, even if your avowed career goal was to write for Us magazine or the many sub-Us, frontal lobe damaged-only readerships represented in the supermarket checkout line.

An exclamation point should … have a very special point to make,” says William Germano. A good general rule. Alas, inviting the average writer to identify his/her own special points is asking for trouble, and a lot of exclamation points. Look at how some academics abuse italics.

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In 2018, t100th logohe University of Illinois Press will celebrate its centennial. Plans are coming together for events throughout the year in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield. But you don’t have to wait until 2018 to celebrate with us. Stop by the north entrance of the Illini Union on the Urbana-Champaign campus to check out the University of Illinois Press Little Free Library. Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. The organization was founded in Wisconsin in 2010, and today there are over 40,000 registered Little Free Libraries in every U.S. state and seventy countries worldwide, sharing an estimated 16 million books annually.

With nearly 2.5 million visits per year, the Illini Union is the ideal spot for the University of Illinois Press Little Free Little free library 2Library. This home in the heart of the campus offers us a unique opportunity to connect with the campus community and visitors throughout the year. Volunteers from our staff will refresh the library weekly with books and journals, giving users an opportunity to engage with scholarly dialogues about social justice issues and cultural topics. We hope that the Little Library’s “take a book, leave a book” philosophy will foster the free exchange of knowledge on campus and beyond as we look forward to our second century of exemplary publishing. Follow us on social media and use the hashtag #UIP100 to let us know what you think about our publications!


The-Callout-MastheadThis post is from our new newsletter. Read more in The Callout and sign up to stay up-to-date on UIP news. 





upw-logo-2017_FNLIn honor of University Press Week, our fellow university presses have sent us books to stock our little free library. Join us as we celebrate the importance of university presses in disseminating and creating knowledge. #ReadUP #LookitUP

September 22 is an auspicious date in Illinois history. As this post recounts, boxing history took place on the date. Willie Nelson took time out from his 1985 to team with John Mellencamp and Neil Young on the first Farm Aid extravaganza at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. And, in the bitter presidential campaign of 1960, Richard M. Nixon drew worldwide attention to tiny Sullivan, Illinois by showing up for lunch.

Sullivan’s town fathers had invited Nixon and opponent John F. Kennedy to a debate. To everyone’s surprise, Nixon accepted. When JFK failed to show, Nixon settled for lunch and giving a speech at a town park. Nixon’s sandwich was buffalo meat courtesy of a bison herd kept outside of town. Standing guard over Nixon’s picnic table: Boy Scout and local teen Steve Jenne.

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In this latest installment in our Authors on Issues series, Rosemary Feurer and Chad Pearson, co-editors of the edited collection Against Labor: How U.S. Employers Organized to Defeat Union Activism, write about how employers use racism to divide workers. 

What do Employers have to do with Individualism and Racism?

By Rosemary Feurer and Chad Pearson

For labor historians interested in raising awareness about the overall power of employers and class divisions in society, this fall has brought provocative lobs and jabs. First, historian Jefferson Cowie, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, dismissed an entire generation of labor historians for missing the rise of Trump. Borrowing from George Wallace’s handbook about pointy-headed college professors, he suggested that Ivory Tower labor historians were ideologically inclined toward a romantic belief in collectivism, so they missed how easy it was for the working class to be led down Trump’s dark alley. In his view, labor historians have been blind to “the strange and heady brew of anti-statism, anti-elitism, fragile pride, and, often, individualism (a word all but banned from labor history) that are part of class consciousness in America.” Shortly after Cowie’s intervention, the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates argued in The Atlantic that, in his view, too many white leftists fixate on class divisions and habitually fail to realize that white workers, not the nation’s elites, deserve primary blame for expressions of racism. He writes, “The left would much rather have a discussion about class struggles, which might entice the white working masses, instead of about the racist struggles that those same masses have historically been the agents and beneficiaries of.” We disagree with this assessment, insisting that we must consider the role of the exploiters while not holding any romantic view of worker solidarity, which required much hard work. The virtually white, homogeneous employer class did not have to work nearly as hard to establish solidarity with one another.

We invite Cowie, Coates, and their readers to consult our collection, Against Labor:How U.S. Employers Organized to Defeat Union Activism, which contains efeurer and pearsonssays by talented historians interested in the anti-labor activism of organized employers from the late nineteenth century to roughly the present. These essays provide plenty of evidence that the nation’s diversity of employers were always deeply worried that workers would chose collectivism over individualism. Taken together, the collection demonstrates that, for more than a century, employers built powerful anti-union organizations to stop what they saw as looming dangers: the birth of left-wing organizations and workers’ demands that employers hire union members exclusively. The contributors to Against Labor explore numerous questions: how did employers deploy racism to divide workers? Why did they spend huge sums of money to build Astroturf organizations and disseminate thousands of pieces of anti-union propaganda? How close were they to both conservative and liberal politicians? How did they coordinate strikebreaking and union-busting activities, and how did they learn from one another? The collection’s chapters reveal how hard employers worked to promote individualism even as they engaged in their own collective organizing efforts. The point is important, but largely overlooked by Cowie and Coates: deep-pocketed employers throughout the nation networked and lobbied aggressively, recognizing that their hegemonic position required a considerable amount of effort.

Two of the collection’s essays examine the political-economy of racism, highlighting how anti-union employers promoted what authors Dave Roediger and Elizabeth Esch identify as “race management.” “Capital and management,” they write, systematically sought “to divide workers in ways that compromised labor’s efforts to address either race or class inequalities.”  Indeed, in the South, the open-shop movement coincided with the establishment of Jim Crow laws—laws promoted primarily by anti-labor elites, not white workers.

Not all anti-union employers used racism as they fought workers. In the Progressive Era, numerous employers, many of whom were Union Veterans, echoed comments from Lincoln.  They wanted workers to embrace the principle of “free labor,” insisting that union activists were responsible for creating a new form of slavery. Rather than call non-unionists “scabs,” these spokespersons referred to them as “free workers.” Anti-union organizations hired several of the nation’s most influential journalists and writers to spread anti-union messages, including the Los Angeles Times’s Harrison Grey Otis, world famous novelist Owen Wister, and George Creel, best known for leading the nation’s pro-war propaganda campaign during World War I. Together, they published and disseminated an incredible amount of propaganda celebrating the individualism of the “free worker” and denouncing what they considered the tyranny of the union “bosses” and the unfairness of closed shops. The anti-union National Association of Manufacturers and its affiliate employers’ associations, for example, claimed to have disseminated over 150 million pieces of literature between 1903 and 1906.

Employers’ efforts to divide workers continued throughout the twentieth century. They never stopped organizing, even in the face of labor’s victories in the 1930s and 40s. New organizations, including Southern States Industrial Council and the Astroturf Christian Americans, emerged in those decades. Led by Texas’s Vance Muse, the Christian Americans combined a toxic mix of racism and anti-Semitism to its anti-union campaigns. The racially inclusive Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), Muse warned, threatened to further unite workers across racial lines, and “white women and white men will be forced into organizations with black African apes whom they will have to call ‘brother’ or lose their jobs.” Simply put, racism helped employers divide the working class. Indeed, Cowie and Coates should ask themselves: if white workers were hopelessly individualistic and racist, then why did white supremacist anti-unionists like Muse need make these appeals? Racism was an effective tool to divide workers, but we must be mindful that someone was deploying that tool. Employers operated it with the most power.

More generally, why do many of today’s employers pay union-busting lawyers $700 to $1000 an hour to prevent organizing? They do so because many workers want to join unions and improve their conditions. Workers, like anyone else in our society, are not naturally individualistic, racist, religious or anything else. They are products of their environment.  For this reason, we need to take seriously the roles of organized employers, the dominant forces responsible for shaping the nation’s laws, workplace conditions and, in many cases, our views. Those interested in social justice cannot afford to dismiss them.