The University Press of Florida has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to expand the Press’s publications in African American Studies (AAS) and Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS).
The grant will support the Press’s project “Exploring Diverse Stories of America through Humanities Publishing,” enabling the Press to increase its capacity for publishing new titles in these two subject areas through the retention of staff and the rehiring of positions lost during the pandemic. Through the project, the Press will also convert backlist titles in these disciplines into digital and paperback formats; create an event series to discuss topics at the intersection of AAS, LACS, and publishing in the humanities; and establish paid internships for students interested in publishing.
The project was selected for funding as part of the NEH Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (#SHARP) awards program, made possible by $135 million in supplemental funding allocated to NEH by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The SHARP grants provide emergency relief to help humanities organizations adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic continue to advance their missions. Publishing in the fields of AAS and LACS are central to the Press’s scholarly mission and to its charge to offer the citizens of Florida high-quality, relevant publications about the state and the broader American South, a region that is rich with the contributions of diasporas from Africa, Cuba and the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Sian Hunter, senior acquisitions editor, said, “The Press has long been committed to publishing diverse voices and histories across the African diaspora, and this grant allows us to expand and deepen our books in these essential areas.” Recent AAS titles published by the Press include the award-winning Pauulu’s Diaspora: Black Internationalism and Environmental Justice by Quito J. Swan and Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida by Tameka Bradley Hobbs.
Stephanye Hunter, interim editor-in-chief, added, “I am deeply grateful to the NEH for this investment in the Press’s publications on Latin America and the Caribbean, which have a longstanding history of making significant contributions to the scholarship of the region.” Through the grant, the Press will build on a list of LACS titles that includes Detain and Punish: Haitian Refugees and the Rise of the World’s Largest Immigration Detention System by Carl Lindskoog and Home in Florida: Latinx Writers and the Literature of Uprootedness edited by Anjanette Delgado.
Supported by the grant, the project’s conversion of backlist titles in these fields into alternative formats will increase the accessibility, discoverability, and distribution of this research. The planned event series will engage scholars and communities of the state’s HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions in conversations about race and diasporic heritage in the Americas. The project’s paid internships, created for students affiliated with partner units at the University of Florida, will help expand inclusivity in publishing by providing opportunities for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to gain professional experience in the industry.
Press director Romi Gutierrez said, “AAS and LACS scholarship is traditionally marginalized and often suffers from shrinking budgets. By broadly disseminating and promoting this scholarship and helping to train a new generation of publishers in these critical areas, this project sustains more than just the Press. It benefits future scholarship in these fields.”
About the University Press of Florida
Founded in 1945, the University Press of Florida is the official publisher of the State University System of Florida. The Press has published over 2,500 books since its inception and currently releases approximately 80 new titles each year. The Press engages educators, students, and discerning readers by producing works of global significance, regional importance, and lasting value. To learn more, visit http://upress.ufl.edu.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer‐reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.
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