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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: Standard Work On Early English Book Publishing
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0536  Wednesday, 19 March 2003

[1]     From:   Kristine Batey <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003 10:45:56 -0600
        Subj:   Re: Standard Work On Early English Book Publishing

[2]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003 15:09:11 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: Standard Work On Early English Book Publishing

[3]     From:   Al Magary <
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 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003 15:51:34 -0800
        Subj:   Re: Standard Work On Early English Book Publishing


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kristine Batey <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003 10:45:56 -0600
Subject: 14.0527 Re: Standard Work On Early English Book
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0527 Re: Standard Work On Early English Book
Publishing

Michael Shurgot wrote:

>Professor Magary asks a pertinent and frightening question: What
>is happening to academic publishing? In looking for a publisher of a
>book of interviews of American Shakespearean actors, I have discovered
>that Univ. of California Press no longer publishes scholarly books on
>drama or literary topics. I guess such books don't sell well enough to
>be worthwhile for that erstwhile prestigious academic press.

What's happening to academic publishing is a combination of what's
happening to publishing in general, and what's happening in academe.
Publishing does badly in a bad economy, and the industry in general has
never recovered from the recession of the early '90s. As for academe,
universities are finding it difficult to justify maintaining programs
that don't pay their own way. I'm involved enough in development (i.e.,
fund-raising) to understand that at the moment we're all competing for
limited funds in an uncertain market (very uncertain this morning), but
I also know that there is a corporate, for-profit philosophy being
applied that isn't the only approach to running a university. Our press
was recently reorganized--meaning pretty much the whole staff was "laid
off" and then replaced. They've had to rethink their catalogue
(translation: start publishing books that will make enough money to let
them be self supporting). Of course, there's plenty of money being
pulled in by our hard-science and research institutes, but supposedly no
way of redirecting it to the units that do nothing but the work that a
university is designed to do. Our biggest windfall in recent years came
five years ago when our football team accidentally became the hottest
thing in sports. So much money was donated to upgrade athletic
facilities that there was enough left over to carpet and paint some of
the other buildings. And I don't know what undesignated funds came in
last year, but we suddenly got grounded outlets installed in our
building, and it's only the beginning of the century.

Kristine Batey

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003 15:09:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.0527 Re: Standard Work On Early English Book
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0527 Re: Standard Work On Early English Book
Publishing

>Professor Magary asks a pertinent and frightening
>question: What is
>happening to academic publishing? In looking for a
>publisher of a book
>of interviews of American Shakespearean actors, I
>have discovered that
>Univ. of California Press no longer publishes
>scholarly books on drama
>or literary topics. I guess such books don't sell
>well enough to be
>worthwhile for that erstwhile prestigious academic
>press. The UCP's web
>site no longer lists such topics, not is there a
>contact person listed
>for them.  Such developments bode ill, I fear, for
>our and related
>professions.
>
>Regards,
>Michael Shurgot

I'm sorry Michael. It appears that Charles Weinstein is now a consultant
for the University of California Press. A sad day indeed.

Brian Willis

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003 15:51:34 -0800
Subject: 14.0527 Re: Standard Work On Early English Book
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0527 Re: Standard Work On Early English Book
Publishing

>Professor Magary asks a pertinent and frightening question:
>What is
>happening to academic publishing?...

I do appreciate the sudden promotion but as I have confessed, I am a
mere civilian in academic precincts.  Maybe "Perfesser" would fit...

Merely,
Al Magary

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