With University Press Week coming to a close, we’d like to applaud our fellow UPs on a range of amazing blog posts this week, all celebrating the value of the university press. Bloggers have included authors, editors, university press staff (from directors to interns!), librarians, and the superheroes of the academic publishing world: Bruce Miller and Ned Stuckey-French, who led a successful social media campaign to save the University of Missouri Press. (See the full schedule here, and for more on #UPWeek, visit http://universitypressweek.org.)
Today, we are thrilled to be kicking off the final run of the University Press Week blog tour with a post from author and NYT writer, Constance Rosenblum!
After reading piece, head uptown “from the square” to the Columbia University Press blog, where today’s tour continues.
Celebrating the regional pride of University Presses
For academics, one of the great benefits of university presses is that they have the ability and the desire to bring cutting-edge research to broad audiences. For a journalist like me, who has written and edited books about New York City, one of the wonderful things about NYU Press and many other university presses is that they have an appetite for books about their home turf. I suspect that’s one reason they published my most recent book, Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak, and Hope Along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. At first glance, the subject might have seemed intensely local. But to my mind, the story of one of the most iconic, and most battered, urban areas in the nation was of profound importance, and I’m immensely grateful that NYU Press made it possible for that story to reach a broad audience.
The Press also published two collections of essays about the texture of urban life that had previously appeared in the City section of The New York Times, of which I was the long-time editor. And in April the Press will publish a collection of columns about the lives and homes of New Yorkers that I wrote for the paper’s Real Estate section. All three collections provide windows onto moving, evocative and resilient urban lives. In a city that was traumatized just over a decade ago by the attacks of September 11 and was battered anew just weeks ago by one of the worst storms in the nation’s history, it’s important to be reminded of what it means to be a New Yorker and to make a life in this city. Thanks to NYU Press, these three collections allowed some of those stories to be told.
Constance Rosenblum, most recently the author of the Habitats column published in the Real Estate section of The New York Times, is the longtime editor of the paper’s City section and a former editor of the Times’ Arts and Leisure section.