Press Notes: Author Events Bring in the Spring at Ohio University Press

May 10, 2012

Asylum on the Hill On March 30th, Ohio University Press sponsored a reception for Katherine Ziff and her recently published book, Asylum on the Hill. Held at the Kennedy Museum of Art on a beautiful spring day, the event drew hundreds of people from across Southeast Ohio, many of whom came to purchase a signed copy of the book. Earlier in the day, Ohio University Press coordinated an open house on The Ridges, inviting visitors to experience the buildings and grounds while using a free guide-map that was created in conjunction with the book.

Literary Cincinnati Earlier in the month, another successful author event took place at the Mercantile Library in downtown Cincinnati with Dale Patrick Brown and her book, Literary Cincinnati. A standing-room-only crowd filled the handsome membership library as Brown summarized and highlighted her book, followed by a book-signing.

Ohio University Press is the largest university press in Ohio, publishing 40–50 books annually on a variety of topics. These books carry the Ohio University name into the world, receiving national and international attention from leading scholarly journals, prominent review media, and prestigious award competitions.

Ohio University Press Titles Published and Promoted since December:

Literary Cincinnati, by Dale Patrick Brown. This book presents a kaleidoscopic portrait of the Queen City’s literary heritage, with chapters on Mark Twain, Fanny Trollope, Lafcadio Hearn, Sinclair Lewis, and many others. A book launch was held on March 6th at The Mercantile Library in Cincinnati.

Mariemont: A Pictorial History of a Model Town, by Millard F. Rogers Jr. A rare look at the development, from vision to fulfillment, of an entire community located near Cincinnati, Ohio. With archival photographs spanning more than 100 years, Mariemont shows in both word and image the fascinating and influential history of one of the most important planned communities in the United States.

Our New Husbands Are Here: Households, Gender, and Politics in a West African State from the Slave Trade to Colonial Rule, by Emily Lynn Osborn. In this study spanning three centuries of the West African state of Kankan-Baté, Osborn shows that the household, and the women within it, played a critical role in governance prior to French colonization.

Mountains of Injustice: Social and Environmental Justice in Appalachia, edited by Michele Morrone and Geoffrey L. Buckley. Eight essays, edited by two Ohio University geography professors, show that environmental justice issues are as present in rural Appalachia as they are in poor urban settings, where the focus of environmental justice has previously been aimed. Includes chapters by other Ohio University professors, Steven Scanlan and two former OU students, Laura Allen and Wren Kruse.

Modernism and the Women’s Popular Romance in Britain, 1885–1925, by Martin Hipsky. Today’s mass-market romances have their precursors in late Victorian popular novels written by and for women. Hipsky’s study offers a nuanced portrait of these popular romances, putting them into direct relationship with the fiction of Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, and other modernists.

Environmental Imaginaries of the Middle East and North Africa, edited by Diana K. Davis and Edmund Burke III. Various essays reconsider the environmental history of a region where unfounded narratives, “imaginaries,” about land degradation have been tainted by colonial biases.

The Memory of Place: A Phenomenology of the Uncanny, by Dylan Trigg. A lively and original intervention into contemporary debates within “place studies,” an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of philosophy, geography, architecture, urban design, and environmental studies.

The Americans Are Coming! Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa, by Robert Trent Vinson. In the early decades of the 20th century, black South Africans saw African Americans as free people who had risen from slavery to success and were role models and potential liberators. While the notion of “free” was compromised in actuality, and though liberation prophesies went unfulfilled, the role of African Americans as models in the global antiapartheid struggle is what Vinson emphasizes.

Gravel & Hawk: Poems, by Nick Norwood. The people and places of rural, northeast Texas are the primary material of Norwood’s collection, which was selected—by Ohio University’s Mark Halliday—to be the winner of the annual Hollis Summers Poetry Prize.

Barn Quilts and the American Barn Quilt Trail Movement, by Suzi Parron with Donna Sue Groves. This illustrated and personal narrative tells the story behind one of America’s largest grassroots art movements.

In the Shade of the Shady Tree: Stories of Wheatbelt Australia, by John Kinsella. Kinsella, a well-known poet, also writes short fiction and in this collection he focuses on an area he knows well, the western Australia wheatbelt. Filled with an array of rural and small town characters who live in a sometimes harsh environment.

Child Slaves in the Modern World, edited by Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph Miller. This book is a companion to an earlier volume, Children in Slavery Through the Ages, and brings the topic up to the modern era with the same global approach.

The Jury in Lincoln’s America, by Stacy Pratt McDermott. An exploration of a formative period in American law, this study investigates the ways in which juries served as the most visible connector between law and society. A publication of the OU Press Series on Law, Society, and Politics in the Midwest.

Ministers of Fire: A Novel, by Mark Harril Saunders. This ambitious, globe-trotting spy thriller is a debut work of fiction that received a pre-publication starred review in Publishers Weekly. The author is also slated to be interviewed on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday” in late May.


Megan Norcia’s book, X Marks the Spot: Women Writers Map the Empire for British Children, 1790–1895, was named an “Honor Book” by the Children’s Literature Association.

Silvana Siddali, the editor of Missouri’s War: The Civil War in Documents, received a “Distinguished Achievement in Literature” award from the Missouri Humanities Council during a ceremony in April.

Cracks in the Invisible, by Stephen Kampa, won the gold medal for poetry in the Florida Book Awards competition. The book was published in 2011 after winning the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize.

Kwame Dawes, winner of the fourth annual Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, was named a recipient of the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, established by Poets & Writers magazine to honor authors whose generosity to other writers or the larger literary community was commendable.

  • Cover of ‘X Marks the Spot: Women Writers Map the Empire for British Children, 1790–1895’

  • Cover of ‘Missouri’s War: The Civil War in Documents’

  • Cover of ‘Cracks in the Invisible’

  • Cover of ‘Midland’

Since December, Ohio University Press has learned of books and authors having received press from the following places:

Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Midwest Living, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Enterprise & Society, Irish America magazine, Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Repository (Canton, OH), Choice, The Athens News, Country Living, Wing Tips: A Publication of the Lake/Cook Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society, American Gardener blog, International Review of Social History, Akhbar al-Yawm Journal (Morocco), Texarkana Gazette, WVXU-“Around Cincinnati,”, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, South East Asia Research, Payvand Iran News, The Midwest Book Review, WILL-NPR (Urbana-Champaign), Irish Culture & Customs, Cincinnati Enquirer, Eastern Hills Journal, Journal of Appalachian Studies, Chicagoland Gardening, Book News, Notre Dame Philosophical Review, New York Journal of Books, H-Buddhism, Milwaukee Public Television (“International Focus”), H-SHGAPE (Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era),, What Reenie Reads blog, Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, Ohio Civil War Genealogy Journal, Journal of Church and State, Journal of American Ethnic History, Los Angeles Review of Books, New Routes: A Journal of Peace Research & Action, The Defender Online: A Civil Rights Blog, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, The Messenger, Telepolis, Blazing Star: Newsletter of the North American Native Plant Society, The Post (OU), Compass (OU Communications), Figure/Ground Communications, Politique Africaine, WOUB-TV, “Newswatch,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Columbus Dispatch, H-Soz-u-Kult, Wilmette Life, African Studies Quarterly, Winnetka-Glencoe Patch, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, The English Historical Review, Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies, E-Extreme

By Jeff Kallet