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Elizabeth Branch Dyson

Assistant Editorial Director, Executive Editor

I acquire Chicago’s books—for both scholarly and general audiences—in education, sociology, 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 Redefining Geek: Bias and the Five Hidden Habits of Tech-Savvy Teens by Cassidy Puckett, Bankers in the Ivory Tower: The Troubling Rise of Financiers in US Higher Education by Charlie Eaton, and Educating the Enemy: Teaching Nazis and Mexicans in the Cold War Borderlands by Jonna Perrillo.

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. Life in the digital age is explored in very different ways with Gen Z, Explained: The Art of Living in a Digital Age and The Digital Factory: The Human Labor of Automation. And Annette Lareau expertly guides our qualitative research with Listening to People: A Practical Guide to Interviewing, Participant Observation, Data Analysis, and Writing It All Up.

In music, we are proud to have recently published The Guitar: Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree by Chris Gibson and Andrew Warren, and Tear Down The Walls: White Radicalism and Black Power in 1960s Rock by Patrick Burke. 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.

After majoring in English literature and music at Yale, I taught middle school for three 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 Mary Al-Sayed.

Senior Editorial Associate Mollie McFee ably assists me and is a close collaborator in all of these endeavors.

Elizabeth Branch Dyson


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