Subjects: History; sociology; sexuality studies; rhetoric
Series: Morality and Society, Chicago Series on Sexuality, History, and Society, Worlds of Desire, Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries
My road to the University of Chicago Press passed through the Scott, Foresman College Division, where I had worked for six years, becoming directing editor (acquiring textbooks in American and European history), then to the Press in 1977. My education had been at the University of Chicago, undergrad and grad, in Ideas & Methods, an interdisciplinary program charged with locating the ways in which philosophic problems arise in fields other than philosophy—a good preparation for scholarly publishing. My focus, thus, is on themes, such as love, justice, community, and culture, and these inform my lists in sociology, history, sexuality studies, rhetoric, and jazz studies. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality was an early acquisition, and led to the formation of a strong list in sexuality studies, which now numbers well over 100 titles. Our list in intellectual history is highlighted by Annalistes in translation and by formal historiography, as well as urban/community histories both American and European. Books in rhetoric range from the works of Richard McKeon to No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy. In Sociology, ethnography is the key to the kingdom of qualitative studies of culture, with many prizewinning titles which others have described as influencing the direction of late 20th-century sociology. Jazz studies books also win prizes, most abundantly the recent A Power Stronger than Itself, a history of the AACM.
My compatriot in making the books happen is editorial associate Tim McGovern, the point man in our endeavors.
In the video below Doug Mitchell talks about his vocation of publishing and his avocation of jazz drumming. [Video created by Berkman Frank.]