Welcome to UIP’s 2020 AEJMC virtual exhibit! Now more than ever, we rely on journalism and mass communication to learn about what’s happening in the world on both a regional and international scale. Take a look at some of our new and upcoming books and learn about our featured award winners, essential titles on the Black press, free exam copies, and interviews and articles featuring our authors! Don’t forget to use promo code AEJMC20 to get 40% off all communications and information books on our website. Sale runs August 4-10, so don’t miss out!

Award Winners

We want to congratulate:

Linda Steiner, recipient of the AEJMC 2020 Eleanor Blum Distinguished Service to Research Award and co-editor of Front Pages, Front Lines

Andrea Wenzel, recipient of the AEJMC 2020 Gene Burd Award for Research in Urban Journalism Studies and author of Community Centered Journalism

Essential Titles on the Black Press

Interested in learning about the significance of the Black press in shaping our media consumption? Click here to see our list of essential titles on the history and impact of the Black press in the United States!

Free Ebook Exam Copies

We are offering free ebook examination copies of the following titles:

To get your free copy, be one of the first 10 instructors per title to email Ami Reitmeier at reitmeir@illinois.edu with the following information:

  • Name
  • Book requested
  • University
  • Department/Unit
  • Course the book would be used in
  • Enrollment
  • Email address for ebook link

New Books

Interviews and External Links

Through their unique and often challenging life experiences, the women showcased in this roundup have shaped various musical genres during their time and generations to come. From performance, to music education and beyond, these women’s works present philosophy and calls for cultural change that surpass the notes on the page.

Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton

By Lydia R. Hamessley

Lydia R. Hamessley’s expert analysis and Dolly Parton’s characteristically straightforward input inform this comprehensive look at the process, influences, and themes that have shaped the superstar’s songwriting artistry. Parton’s compositions like “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene” have become American standards with an impact far beyond country music. Check out our Dolly Parton playlist featuring the songs discussed in the book on Spotify!

October 2020

“Marian Anderson’s 1953 Concert Tour of Japan: A Transnational History”

By Katie A. Callam, Makiko Kimoto, Misako Ohta, and Carol J. Oja

On April 27, 1953, one year after Japan regained its sovereignty following the postwar Allied occupation, the famed African American singer Marian Anderson arrived in Tokyo for a concert tour. Exploring this moment of cultural exchange, this article contextualizes Anderson’s presence as an icon of civil rights and a symbol of westernization resulting from Japan’s Allied occupation.

Always The Queen: The Denise LaSalle Story

By Denise LaSalle with David Whiteis

Denise LaSalle’s journey took her from rural Mississippi to an unquestioned reign as the queen of soul-blues. As honest and no-nonsense as the artist herself, Always the Queen is LaSalle’s in-her-own-words story of a lifetime in music. She reinvented herself as a soul-blues artist as tastes changed and became a headliner on the revitalized southern soul circuit and at festivals nationwide and overseas. Check out a playlist of Denise LaSalle’s top songs curated by David Whiteis on Spotify.

“Mary Lou Williams as Apology: Jazz, History, and Institutional Sexism in the Twenty-First Century”

By Kimberly Hannon Teal

Mary Lou Williams was considered a key player in the history of women jazz musicians. Teal examines Williams not as a person and musician grounded in the realities of her own time, but as a “culture hero” in order to dissect the sexism that is still present in jazz culture today.

The Lady Swings: Memoirs of A Jazz Drummer

By Dottie Dodgion and Wayne Enstice

Undeterred by hardships, Dottie Dodgion defied the odds and earned a seat as a woman in the exclusive men’s club of jazz. Her dues-paying path as a musician took her from early work with Charles Mingus to being hired by Benny Goodman at Basin Street East on her first day in New York. Vivid and always entertaining, The Lady Swings tells Dottie Dodgion’s story with the same verve and straight-ahead honesty that powered her playing.

March 2021

“Indivisible: The Nation and Its Anthem in Black Musical Performance”

By Shana L. Redmond

Just before the 2008 Democratic National Convention, jazz artist René Marie was chosen to sing at the Denver, Colorado annual State of the City address. However, as she was singing the “Star Spangled Banner,” Marie borrowed lyrics from the Negro National Anthem
“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” This article explores the performance’s impact and its messages on race and patriotism at the dawning of a “postracial” America.

Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams

By Tammy L. Kernodle

The jazz musician-composer-arranger Mary Lou Williams spent her sixty-year career working in—and stretching beyond—a dizzying range of musical styles. Her integration of classical music into her works helped expand jazz’s compositional language. Tammy L. Kernodle details Williams’s life in music against the backdrop of controversies over women’s place in jazz and bitter arguments over the music’s evolution.

October 2020

“Elma Lewis, Her School of Fine Arts, and Her Vision of Arts Education as Cultural Emancipation”

By Sonya White Hope

Hope discusses music educator Elma Lewis’s philosophy through critical race theory, illuminating key relationships between effective arts education for Black students and contemporary music education practice.

The Heart of A Woman: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price

By Rae Linda Brown and with a forward by Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr.

The Heart of a Woman offers the first-ever biography of Florence B. Price, a composer whose career spanned both the Harlem and Chicago Renaissances, and the first African American woman to gain national recognition for her works. Through interviews and a wealth of material from public and private archives, Rae Linda Brown illuminates Price’s major works while exploring the considerable depth of her achievement.

“Breaking Silence, Breaching Censorship: ‘Ongoing Interculturality’ in Alice Shields’s Electronic Opera Apocalypse

By Danielle Sofer

Enraged by “bigoted puritanism,” Alice Shields wrote Apocalypse, an electronic opera that sought to criticize mainstream 1990’s conservatism. Sofer show how Apocalypse addresses sexual censorship through music, text, and choreography to envision a world for which sex is not stigmatized but instead exists as a productive and inseparable aspect of culture and music.

Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women’s Country Music 1930-1980

By Stephanie Vander Wel

Stephanie Vander Wel looks at the careers of artists like Patsy Montana, Rose Maddox, and Kitty Wells against the backdrop of country music’s golden age. While classic songs and heartfelt performances might ease anxieties, the subject matter underlined women’s ambivalent relationships to industrialism, middle-class security, and established notions of femininity. Check out a playlist of songs curated by the author on Spotify below!

“Street Queens: New Orleans Brass Bands and the Problem of Intersectionality”

By Kyle DeCoste

The members of the all-female Original Pinettes Brass Band contest the male domination of the New Orleans brass band scene. Playing music on male-gendered instruments, they queer the normative relationship between instruments and musicians and carve out a space for female musicianship. This essay deconstructs their songs and performance decisions as agential and subjective sites of black feminist thought put into action to subvert the brass band patriarchy.

Chen Yi

By Leta E. Miller and J. Michele Edwards

Chen Yi is the most prominent woman among the renowned group of new wave composers who came to the US from mainland China in the early 1980s. Yi is known for her creative output and a distinctive merging of Chinese and Western influences. Leta E. Miller and J. Michele Edwards highlight Chen’s compositional strategies, her artistic elaborations, and the voice that links her earliest and most recent music.

December 2020

“This Ain’t a Hate Thing: Jeanne Lee and the Subversion of the Jazz Standard”

By Eric Lewis

Jazz standards with lyrics, written overwhelmingly by men, often reveal male constructions of female identity, even if sometimes seemingly from the narrative position of a woman. As a Black woman, Jeanne Lee sought to subvert these standards.

Peggy Seeger: A Life of Music, Love and Politics

By Jean R. Freedman

Jean R. Freedman draws on a wealth of research and conversations with Peggy Seeger to tell the life story of one of music’s most charismatic performers and tireless advocates. Here is the story of Seeger’s multifaceted career, from her youth to her pivotal role in the American and British folk revivals, from her instrumental virtuosity to her tireless work on behalf of environmental and feminist causes, from wry reflections on the U.K. folk scene to decades as a songwriter.

“Reciting Parsifal: Opera as Spoken-Word Performance in America”

By Marian Wilson Kimber

Spoken-word performances brought previously inaccessible operas from the theater to the parlor rooms of the late 20th century. As a practice largely dominated by women, elocution served to educate audiences about operatic works and promoting opera in general. See also her book The Elocutionists.

Peggy Glanville-Hicks: Composer and Critic

By Suzanne Robinson

As both composer and critic, Peggy Glanville-Hicks contributed to the astonishing cultural ferment of the mid-twentieth century. She forged alliances with power brokers and artists that gained her entrance to core American cultural entities such as the League of Composers, New York Herald Tribune, and the Harkness Ballet. The seventy musical works she composed ranged from celebrated operas like Nausicaa to intimate, jewel-like compositions created for friends.

Libby Larsen: Composing an American Life

by Denise Von Glahn

Libby Larsen has composed award-winning music performed around the world. At the same time, she has advocated for living composers and new music since cofounding the American Composers Forum in 1973.In considering Larsen’s musical impact, Denise Von Glahn delves into how elements of the personal—a 1950s childhood, spiritual seeking, love of nature, and status as an “important woman artist”—inform her work.

Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler: The Life and Times of a Piano Virtuoso

by Beth Abelson Macleod

In this new biography, Beth Abelson Macleod reintroduces a figure long, and unjustly, overlooked by music history. Fannie Bloomfield- Zeisler’s powerful and sensitive performances, both in recital and with major orchestras, won her followers across the United States and Europe and often provided her American audiences with their first exposure to the pieces she played.

From Spirituals to Symphonies: African American Women Composers and Their Music

by Helen Walker-Hill

Helen Walker-Hill’s unique study provides a carefully researched examination of the history and scope of musical composition by eight African-American women composers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. From Spirituals to Symphonies focuses on the effect of race, gender, and class, and notes the important role played by individual personalities and circumstances in shaping this under-appreciated category of American art.

Want to find more music titles? Browse our list here.

free e-book

August’s free e-book is here! To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, we are giving away copies of 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage. Compiled by Dawn Durante, this anthology includes essential scholarship on the women’s suffrage movement and women’s voting previously published by the University of Illinois Press.

With an original introduction by Nancy A. Hewitt, the volume illuminates the lives and work of key figures while uncovering the endeavors of all women—across lines of gender, race, class, religion, and ethnicity—to gain, and use, the vote. Beginning with works that focus on cultural and political suffrage battles, the chapters then look past 1920 at how women won, wielded, and continue to fight for access to the ballot.

Get your free e-book and learn more about this exclusive work here: https://bit.ly/30S0aij

Want to find more titles on women’s suffrage? Check out our essential suffrage backlist post here.

Daniel Nasset with UIP author Cáel M. Keegan

We are delighted to announce that Daniel Nasset is the new editor-in-chief at the University of Illinois Press. Danny came to Illinois as an assistant acquisitions editor in 2009, becoming an acquisitions editor in 2011 and a senior acquisitions editor in 2016. Danny has distinguished himself with his acquisitions in in history, sports, American studies, communication and media studies, and Chicago politics.

Nasset says “I feel truly lucky to have grown at a press like Illinois. I love the long history and commitments of our publishing program; our lists engage with issues of critical importance. My luck also extends to the talented collection of colleagues that served as mentors and teachers; if not retired, almost all of them are now editorial directors or directors making waves in the AUP community. Looking ahead, I am excited by the prospect of sharing what I learned with a new generation of editors as we chart the future of the books program at Illinois.”

Please join us in welcoming him to this new role!

Today on National Intern Day, we share some reflections from University of Illinois Press interns!

“A life-long reader, I am so excited to have the opportunity to market something I am so passionate about. Although I haven’t been here long, I’ve gained so much experience that has helped me grow both on a professional and personal level. I find my work so rewarding and look forward to coming in every weekday because I’m constantly challenged and encouraged to better myself!”

—Ali Wasielewski, Marketing Intern, junior in Communications, public relations, and journalism

“Before working at the Press, I was unaware of the complexities of producing a book and the processes that are put into place in order to do so. Working in production has given me a newfound respect for the publishing field through the hands-on experiences that I have taken part in. Most importantly though, it has been rewarding to see words on a screen become beautiful, physical compositions. Another favorite part of my job is being able to work in the design department where I am able to see the ‘face’ of books come alive using various applications. I hope to eventually delve deeper into this field and create eye-catching covers and designs of my own!”

—Miah Emano, Production Intern, junior in graphic design

“What I love most about working at the Press is the diversity of information I have absorbed about the process of tackling a manuscript and being exposed to the fascinating subjects each book is written about! As a Creative Writing major, writing and editing are very important to me, and my wonderful supervisors have given me so much invaluable guidance and feedback that I can use both professionally and in my personal endeavors in the future.”

—Maddie Udelhofen, Editorial Student Assistant, freshman in creative writing and criminology

“I love being able to explore the variety of topics for book cover design. It allows me to play with Photoshop and expand my creativity by coming up with different concepts for one cover, at the same time designing to fit the author’s intention and marketing needs. It’s almost like an unknown and exciting journey!”

—Cynthia Liu, Design Intern, senior in graphic design

“Working as a marketing intern at the Press has been a fantastic opportunity. I have gained hands-on experience in marketing and data entry and learned about the world of publishing as well as the characteristics of a professional work environment. Every day I continue to learn and take on exciting new projects.

My current coursework in business communication and informatics has directly connected to the work I do. One of my recent projects was helping research new independent bookstores and catering to their needs and interests. It was very interesting to find books that related to my specific audience. I greatly appreciate the welcoming environment and hardworking people in this office. I look forward to what’s to come.”

—Sara Horvath, Marketing Intern, sophomore in communication and informatics

This post is from the The Callout, our press newsletter. Check out the lastest issue here.

While by no means exhaustive, this list covers new and essential titles on historic and contemporary representations of Blackness in the media. From depictions of horror and violence against African Americans, representations of the Black Panthers and Civil Rights movement, hypersexualizaton of Black and mixed Black women, to Black expression on the big and small screens, this list of titles explores how the media has shaped the public’s perception of acceptable blackness and the ways it has depicted black suffering and achievement. Make sure to also check out our recent roundup of new and essential titles on the history of the Black Press for even more books and articles to add to your TBR pile!

Imaging the Mulatta: Blackness in U.S. and Brazilian Media

by Jasmine Mitchell

Highlighting the prevalence of mixed-race women of African and European descent, the U.S. and Brazil claim to have perfected racial representation—all the while ignoring the racialization, hypersexualization, and white supremacy that the mulatta narrative creates. Jasmine Mitchell unveils the ways the media moralizes about the mulatta figure and uses her as an example of an “acceptable” version of blackness that at once dreams of erasing undesirable Blackness while maintaining the qualities that serve as outlets for interracial desire.

That’s Not Me I See on TV . . . : African American Youth Interpret Media Images of Black Females

by Valerie N. Adams-Bass, Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards and Howard C. Stevenson

How do African American youth perceive images of black women in popular media? How do they interpret the meaning of these messages, especially those that maintain persistent negative stereotypes? Adams-Bass, Bentley-Edwards, and Stevenson take a look at focus groups of African American students to answer these questions.

Graphic News: How Sensational Images Transformed Nineteenth Century Journalism

by Amanda Frisken

From 1870 to 1900, newspapers disrupted conventional reporting methods with sensationalized line drawings. Using intersectional analysis, Frisken explores how these newfound visualizations of events during episodes of social and political controversy enabled newspapers and social activists alike to communicate—or challenge—prevailing understandings of racial, class, and gender identities and cultural power.

The Marketability of Black Joy: After “I Do” in Black Romance Film

by Simone Drake

At the end of the 20th century, there was a surge in movies by African American writers and producers that featured endings with happy marriages. While this was created to dispel public rhetoric of the dysfunctional black family, the films rarely continued on to show actual married life, leaving many to ask what happens after “I do.” Simone Drake seeks to answer that question, using contemporary films as case studies.

Framing the Black Panthers: The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon

by Jane Rhodes

A potent symbol of black power and radical inspiration, the Black Panthers still evoke strong emotions. Probing the group’s longtime relationship to the media, Jane Rhodes traces how the Panthers articulated their message through symbols and tactics the mass media could not resist. They also pioneered a sophisticated version of mass media activism that powers contemporary African American protest, from the work of Black Lives Matter to Beyoncé’s 2016 Super Bowl performance.

Black Cultural Production After Civil Rights

Edited by Robert J. Patterson

The post-civil rights era of the 1970s offered African Americans an all-too-familiar paradox of material gains and setbacks. Robert J. Patterson’s collection contains a fascinating spectrum of topics beginning with the literary and cinematic representations of slavery from the 1970s to the present. Throughout, the writers reveal how Seventies black cultural production anchors important contemporary debates in black feminism and other issues while spurring the black imagination to thrive amidst abject social and political conditions.

“Baad Bitches” and Sassy Supermamas: Black Power Action Films

by Stephane Dunn

Starting in 1973, the emergence of “baad bitches” and “sassy supermamas” reversed the trend of black women as trifling “bitches” into self-assured, empowered, and tough black women who took the lead in the films Cleopatra Jones, Coffy, and Foxy Brown. Stephane Dunn analyzes how African American representation in popular cinema emerged from a radical political era influenced by the Black Power movement and feminism. Dunn also engages blaxploitation’s legacy in contemporary hip-hop culture.

Divas on Screen: Black Women in America Film

by Mia Mask

This insightful study places African American women’s stardom in historical and industrial contexts by examining the star personae of five African American women: Dorothy Dandridge, Pam Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Halle Berry. Mia Mask shows how these female stars have deftly negotiated the uneven terrain of racial, gender, and class stereotypes. These women have ultimately complicated the conventional discursive and industrial practices through which Blackness and womanhood have been represented in commercial cinema, independent film, and network television.

Equal Time: Television and the Civil Rights Movement

by Aniko Bodroghkozy

Aniko Bodroghkozy brings to the foreground network news treatment of now-famous civil rights events including the 1965 Selma voting rights campaign, integration riots at the University of Mississippi, and the March on Washington. Due to widespread coverage, the civil rights revolution quickly became the United States’ first televised major domestic news story. Entertainment programmers also sought to represent a rapidly shifting consensus on what “blackness” and “whiteness” meant and how they now fit together.

Humane Insight: Looking At Images of African American Suffering and Death

by Courtney R. Baker

Utilizing the visual studies concept termed the “look,” Courtney Baker interrogates how the notion of humanity was articulated and recognized in oft-referenced moments within the African American experience. She examines the graphic brutality of the 1834 Lalaurie affair; the photographic exhibition of lynching, Without Sanctuary; Emmett Till’s murder and funeral; and the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

We are pleased to announce that “Where You Are Accepted, You Blossom: Toward Care Ethics in Jazz Historiography” by Vanessa Blais-Tremblay from Jazz and Culture Vol. 2 has won the 2020 International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) Canada Article/Chapter Prize. With this award, Vanessa’s article is recognized as the best pop music article by a Canadian scholar in the past year.

From the committee:

“Blais-Tremblay exposes exclusionary discourses in jazz history and criticism that have understood motherhood and care-giving as incompatible with excellence in jazz performance and creation. She carefully theorizes an aesthetic grounded in care-ethics that makes visible the vital contributions of jazz history’s “badass mothers,” women whose commitment to care-giving opened paths to influencing and sustaining vital jazz traditions, contributions that have been largely unseen in jazz scholarship.

“Employing feminist scholarship and critical race theory, Blais-Tremblay interprets oral histories to deconstruct the binary of “invisibility or exceptionalism” that has heretofore excluded or contained women in jazz historiography.

“Her use of the concept of motherwork as a way for understanding personal and musical mentorship in African-American and African-Canadian communities is both original and illuminating, as is her application of the idea of blood-mother and other-mothers in those communities. The prize committee appreciated in particular Blais-Tremblay’s perceptive handling of an “awkward” archival interview with Daisy Peterson Sweeney, using this “failed” interaction with a journalist to tease out important and revealing tensions around race, class and gender. Her sensitive and insightful treatments of the life histories studied here challenge contemporary norms in feminist discourse and underscore how this work contributes productively to feminist scholarship and jazz history, with ramifications that resound well beyond both.”

Congrats, Vanessa!

Welcome to the University of Illinois Press Society for American Music 2020 virtual exhibit! Step inside and take a look at some of our featured titles on music in America, as well as interviews with UIP authors and specially curated playlists inspired by our books. Don’t forget to use promo code SAM20 to get 50% off all music books on our website! Plus, buy 3 books and get a free copy of the Spring 2020 issue of American Music. The sale runs July 16-18, 2020, so don’t miss out!

Tammy Kernodle is the president of the Society of American Music and author of Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams

Please welcome Todd Decker, the new editor of American Music. Read more about him here.

A toast to UIP winners of 2019 SAM awards

Naomi André, winner of the Irving Lowens Book Award

Katherine K. Preston, winner of the Distinguished Service Citation 

Marian Wilson Kimber, winner of a Sight and Sound Subvention

New Books

Let’s Talk!

Make an appointment to talk about your book project with music editor Laurie Matheson or about your journal article with Todd Decker, editor of American Music.

To schedule an appointment with Laurie Matheson, please email lmatheso@illinois.edu

Click here to view the Music in American Life Series

To schedule an appointment with Todd Decker, please email  tdecker@wustl.edu 

Click here for American Music, currently available on JSTOR for free access

UIP on Spotify

Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton

Always the Queen: The Denise LaSalle Story

Rocking the Closet: How Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis Queered Pop Music

Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women’s Country Music, 1930-1960

Hear from our Authors and Editors

Todd Decker is serving as the editor of American Music, the oldest scholarly journal devoted to the subject, from 2020 to 2022. 

Todd Decker is Professor of Musicology at Washington University, St. Louis, MO where he teaches courses on twentieth-century American popular music, film music, and eighteenth-century European art music. 

Professor Decker has published four books on commercial popular music in the United States from the 1920s to the present. Professor Decker has given numerous scholarly presentations nationally and internationally, including at the Library of Congress, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the University of Texas at Austin, the College of William and Mary, and Northwestern University. He is an international partner with the Labex Arts-H2H project Musical MC2, based in Paris. 

Decker regularly serves as an expert witness in music copyright disputes, including the 2019 “Dark Horse” case. 

Professor Decker received his Ph.D. in historical musicology at the University of Michigan in 2007 and was selected for an Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Fellowship by the American Musicological Society in 2006-07. He joined the faculty of Washington University in fall 2007—after a one-year visiting position at UCLA—and teaches courses on twentieth-century American popular music, film music, and eighteenth-century European art music. 

Outside his work on American music, Prof. Decker has published articles on eighteenth-century keyboard composer Domenico Scarlatti and holds a Master of Music in harpsichord performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has many years of experience performing on harpsichord, piano, and organ, as well as conducting, directing, choreographing, and performing musical theatre. 

sight and sound subvention

Marian Wilson Kimber’s book The Elocutionists reclaimed a forgotten performance genre. From the mid-1800s to the 1940s, elocutionists recited poetry or drama with music to entertain audiences, in particular women’s groups. Women, in fact, dominated the art, and their purveyance of wholesome entertainment allowed them to cross boundaries while quietly commenting on—and even satirizing—the gender norms of their day.

Wilson Kimber continues to bring the elocutionists to new audiences. The Society for American Music has awarded her a Sight and Sound subvention for creating “In a Woman’s Voice: Musical Readings by American Women Composers,” a video of performances with Wilson Kimber as reciter and longtime collaborator Natalie Landowski on piano. The video captures elocution works the pair perform in academic settings and for contemporary women’s groups as the duo Red Vespa.

Sight and Sound Subvention

In addition, Wilson Kimber is one of several Press authors to make a recent impact in our scholarly journals. The spring 2020 issue of American Music features her article “Reciting Parsifal: Opera as Spoken-Word Performance in America.” It can be read free of charge as part of JSTOR’s effort to provide open access to essential scholarship during the Covid-19 pandemic. The same issue offers a book review by Thomas L. Riis, coeditor of the UIP book Rethinking American Music.

For more information about elocutionary arts and Wilson Kimber, visit her Tumblr here: https://elocutionaryarts.tumblr.com/

Congratulations, Marian Wilson Kimber!