The Temple University Press has opened new doors, and perhaps paved the way for new possibilities from its recent collaborations with other university presses.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation proposed that universities form a collaborative partnership to publish monographs in areas of humanities. TUP is a part of the American Literatures Initiative, a collaboration which includes New York University Press, Fordham University Press, Rutgers University Press and University of Virginia Press.
“We just looked for presses that published in related areas,” said Alex Holzman, editor of TUP.
Temple was the only university press that was a part of two different collaborations that were awarded grants.
The second collaboration TUP is a part of is a series on ethnomusicology, which includes Indiana University Press and Kent State University Press.
“The collaboration by its very nature opens up, for the cooperating presses, the chance to experiment with different ways of making the publication of monographs in the subject areas more affordable,” Holzman said.
TUP has been the academic publishing arm of Temple since 1969, publishing books in social sciences and humanities. The press also publishes regional books about the Delaware Valley.
TUP differs from that of a publishing house in that it is a non-profit organization. It mostly publishes books with narrow fields that may not necessarily gain profit. Many of the books published have great scholarly value, but do not have as broad a market as those from commercial publishing houses, Holzman said. The grants from the collaborations will help to continue to push these kinds of books, he said.
“These particular books are more likely to be used directly by graduate students researching dissertations than undergraduate students as something assigned to a class,” Holzman said. “Yet, one of the functions of any university press is to publish books that can be used in undergraduate courses as assigned readings. Given that university press books are generally cheaper than textbooks, this is a good thing for students in both an intellectual and financial sense.”
TUP can publish more works to add to the scholarship available to scholars and students.
The grant for the ethnomusicology partnership, in particular, is a feasibility grant. This allows the presses to study what an ethnomusicologist would like in terms of internet materials. Also, it allows them to talk to potential partners and host the materials on the Internet.
“It opens more of an electronic area that may not have been available to all three universities,” Holzman said. “Marketing together for the series makes us think that maybe we can market together with some other things.”
These collaborations may make room for advancement in the future.
“We’ll see from working together over the next few years whether it opens up other doors,” Holzman said.
Jonathan Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.