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Elizabeth Branch Dyson

Assistant Editorial Director, Executive Editor

I acquire Chicago’s books—for both scholarly and general audiences—in sociology, education, and music, especially jazz and blues studies. I am particularly looking for books in the social sciences that challenge our thinking and point us in the right direction.

I welcome books on education broadly—from early childhood education to higher ed and beyond. Recent titles include Cancel Wars: How Universities Can Foster Free Speech, Promote Inclusion, and Renew Democracy by Sigal Ben-Porath, Other People’s Colleges: The Origins of American Higher Education Reform by Ethan Ris, Touchy Subject: The History and Philosophy of Sex Education by Lauren Bialystok and Lisa Andersen, and Race at the Top: Asian Americans and Whites in Pursuit of the American Dream in Suburban Schools by Natasha Warikoo.

Our wide-ranging sociology list features books of theory, history, mixed methods, longitudinal studies, and more, but its heart belongs to ethnography. Two new titles underscore the enduring impact of color in everyday life: Elijah Anderson’s Black in White Space and George B. Nesbitt’s Being Somebody and Black Besides: An Untold Memoir of Midcentury Black Life, featuring forewords by Imani Perry and St. Clair Drake. Campus life is explored in very different ways with Misconceiving Merit: Paradoxes of Excellence and Devotion in Academic Science and Engineering by Mary Blair-Loy and Erin Cech and The Channels of Student Activism: How the Left and Right Are Winning (and Losing) in Campus Politics Today by Amy Binder and Jeff Kidder. And two new books are here to help expertly guide qualitative researchers: Listening to People: A Practical Guide to Interviewing, Participant Observation, Data Analysis, and Writing It All Up by Annette Lareau and Data Analysis in Qualitative Research: Theorizing with Abductive Analysis by Stefan Timmermans and Iddo Tavory.

In music, we are proud to have recently published Sound Experiments: The Music of the AACM by Paul Steinbeck and Experimenting the Human: Art, Music, and the Contemporary Posthuman by G Douglas Barrett. My colleague Marta Tonegutti acquires the larger part of the music list, including the critical editions of Verdi, New Material Histories of Music series, and the Opera Lab series.

I studied English literature and music at Yale, then taught middle school for a few years before joining Chicago in 2000. Until 2019, I acquired our books in philosophy; that list is now being sponsored by Kyle Wagner. And until 2021, I acquired the Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology series, which is now being sponsored by Mollie McFee.

Assistant Editor Mollie McFee ably assists me and is a close collaborator in all of these endeavors.

Prospective authors are encouraged to consult our submission guidelines. We also provide an overview about publishing with Chicago here.


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