Press Notes: Summer Yields New Director for Ohio University Press

September 02, 2013

As Ohio University Press settled into a new office space over the summer months, the naming of a new director in July was another big event. The director, Gillian Berchowitz, is a familiar face. She has been with Ohio University Press since 1988, most recently in the capacity of editorial director. Her experience and passion for book publishing and scholarly research make her a perfect leader for Ohio University Press, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014.

“Gillian has been instrumental in the Press’s continued success in publishing superb books that have earned a national and international reputation for excellence among university presses,” said David Descutner, University College dean and associate provost for undergraduate studies. “She will be an exemplary leader for the Press.”

— Jeff Kallet

Other Summer News

The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants, an Illustrated Guide, by Charlotte Adelman and Bernard Schwartz, is the winner of the 2012 National Garden Club's Helen Hull Award. This award recognizes literary horticultural achievement. It was presented at an awards banquet during the National Garden Club's 84th annual convention.

Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement was a silver medalist in the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards competition, in the Crafts and Hobbies category. The award was announced at Book Expo America in New York City.

The Jury in Lincoln's America, by Stacy Pratt McDermott, received a 2013 Award of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society.

Susan Taffe Reed, the author of the forthcoming book, Gathering in the Mountains: Powwows in Appalachian Pennsylvania, is the winner of an American Folklife Center Blanton Owen Award, which supports ethnographic field work.

Gillian Berchowitz

Ohio University Press is the largest university press in Ohio, publishing 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.

Since April, Ohio University Press books and authors have appeared in the following media:

Publishers Weekly (an “emotional whiplash of a debut novel”), Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Kansas City Star, Victorian Poetry (“provides teachers and students with everything needed for classroom use”), International Affairs (“topical and relevant”), Victorian Periodicals Review, Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 (“a model of lucid analysis“), WVXU-Cincinnati NPR, The Writer’s Almanac, Philadelphia Jewish Voice, Choice (“Highly recommended”), Wisconsin Public Radio, ForeWord Reviews (“[no other books] match the scope or contents of this one”), Southeast Ohio magazine, Indiana Magazine of History, Emporia Gazette, The Jordan Rich Show (WBZ, Boston), The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA), Critique Internationale (France), International Journal of African Historical Studies (“a rethinking of scholarly assumptions about the relationships between gender, power, and the state”), NewsHour/ArtsBeat, Ohio History, German Studies Review (“a formidable piece of comparative history”), The Midwest Book Review, Africa: Journal of the IAI, Evelyn Waugh Studies, English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 (“shining examples of the strategic comparativist work needed to assess the full array of literary voices in/on India during the long nineteenth century.”), The Federal Lawyer, Cahiers d’Etudes africaines, Erickson Tribune, OU Compass, Home Greenhouse, Journal of American Studies, The Midwest Book Review (“an excellent and finely detailed history”),, Panhandler: A Journal of Literature and Art, Civil War News (“a wealth of information…strongly recommended”), Indiana Public Media (“a wonderfully enlightening book”), WOSU-NPR, The Annals of Iowa (“a thought-provoking page-turner”), Lafayette Journal and Courier, Cincinnati CityBeat, Garden Design Online (“an engaging story that will delight almost any avid gardener”), Sarmatian Review, Review 19,, Research & Reference Book News, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (“a provocative and important work”), Winterthur Portfolio (“a welcome, personal view of Ireland and linen production”), Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley (“a perfect guide for creating a successful oral history project”), Over the Front: Journal of the League of World War I Aviation Historians (“The Ohio University Press has made an excellent choice for its first offering in a new series devoted to ‘War and Society in North America…’. (H)ighly recommended.”), Journal of African History (“a significant breakthrough in understanding slavery as a system in different institutionalized contexts” “a marvelous book), H-Net (H-Diplo), Prasanta Das blog.

Recently published titles from Ohio University Press:

Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste: Heirloom Seed Savers in Appalachia, by Bill Best. Combining saving seeds with telling stories, and emphasizing the values of genetic diversity and more developed taste, Bill Best — known as the "Dean of Beans" — walks readers through a range of seed varieties and shares stories from seed saving colleagues.

Epidemics: The Story of South Africa's Five Most Lethal Human Diseases, by Howard Phillips. This is the first history of epidemics in South Africa, lethal episodes that significantly shaped this society of three centuries.

The Engraving Trade in Early Cincinnati, by Donald C. Brien. The Engraving Trade in Early Cincinnati examines the vibrant engraving industry that helped fuel the growth of the “Queen City” in the nineteenth century. A number of archival images support the text throughout the book.

Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development: Cahora Bassa and Its Legacies in Mozambique, 2007, by Allen F. Isaacman and Barbara S. Isaacman. This in-depth study of Mozambique's Cahora Bassa Dam project examines the dominant developmentalist narrative that has surrounded the dam, chronicles the continual violence that has accompanied its existence, and gives voice to previously unheard narratives of forced labor, displacement, and historical and contemporary life in the dam's shadow.

The Madness of Vision: On Baroque Aesthetics, by Christine Buci-Glucksmann. The Madness of Vision is one of the most influential studies in phenomenological aesthetics of the baroque. Integrating the work of Merleau-Ponty with Lacanian psychoanalysis, Renaissance studies in optics, and twentieth-century mathematics, the author asserts the materiality of the body and world in her aesthetic theory.

Ingrid Jonker: Poet under Apartheid, by Louise Viljoen. Viljoen tells the story of South African poet Ingrid Jonker in the political and cultural context of her time, provides sensitive insights into her poetry, and considers the reasons for the enduring fascination with her life and death.

Govan Mbeki, by Colin Bundy. This biography by noted historian Colin Bundy goes beyond the narrative details of Mbeki's long life: it analyzes his thinking, expressed in his writings over fifty years. Bundy helps establish what is distinctive about Mbeki: as African nationalist and and more than any other leader of he sought to link theory and practice, ideas and action.

The ANC Youth League, by Clive Glaser. This brilliant little book tells the story of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League from its origins in the 1940s to the present and the controversies over Julius Malema and his influence in contemporary youth politics.

The Collected Letters of Henry Northrup Castle, by Henry Northrup Castle. Close friends with George Herbert Mead, John Dewey, Jane Addams, and other leading Chicago Progressives, the author of these often intimate letters from the late 1800s comments frankly on pivotal events affecting higher education, progressivism, and other intellectual, economic, and cultural forces that shaped American thought in a complex era.

Reading Victorian Deafness: Signs and Sounds in Victorian Literature and Culture, by Jennifer Esmail. Reading Victorian Deafness is the first book to address the crucial role that deaf people, and their unique language of signs, played in Victorian culture.

Marikana: Voices from South Africa’s Mining Massacre, by Peter Alexander, Thapelo Lekgowa, Botsang Mmope, Luke Sinwell, and Bongani Xezwi. One year after a mining massacre that killed 34 workers, this valuable report provides eyewitness accounts of what happened last year at the world's third largest platinum mine.

Appalachia in the Classroom: Teaching the Region, edited by Theresa Burriss and Patricia Gantt. Appalachia in the Classroom contributes to the twenty-first century dialogue about Appalachia by offering topics and teaching strategies that represent the diversity found within the region. Leading scholars and teachers offer practical chapters on teaching Appalachian poetry and fiction as well as discussions of nonfiction, films, and folklore.

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