Three university presses have received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support Early American Places, a new scholarly book series devoted to early North American history. The University of Georgia Press, New York University Press, and Northern Illinois University Press will receive $648,000 over five years to publish twelve series titles annually.
The goal of the series is to publish books written by first-time authors that root developments in early North America to the specific places where they occurred. Each press will focus on the region where they have particular expertise: UGA Press on the southeastern colonies, the Gulf South, and the Caribbean; NYU Press on the northeastern and middle Atlantic colonies; and NIU Press on the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Valley.
"All three presses collaborating on the series are sensitive to the transnational turn in the study of early North America," commented Derek Krissoff, senior acquisitions editor at UGA Press and a coauthor of the grant. "But we're also sensitive to the things that are particular to where we live and work. The idea behind Early American Places is to combine the two—to look at how specific cities and counties and colonies and regions experienced, and contributed to, global phenomena like migration, trade, and war. Scholarship undertaken at this scale can capture a level of texture that often gets lost in 'bigger' books."
The grant, which is being administered by UGA Press, will fund a shared, centralized, external editorial service dedicated to the editing and production of books. The three presses will also combine marketing efforts. An editorial board of leading scholars of early American history who will help recruit outstanding manuscripts is currently being assembled.
"We are honored that Mellon has chosen to lend us their support," said Nicole Mitchell, director of UGA Press. "It's gratifying to work collaboratively with our colleagues at other university presses, and this grant will be invaluable help to us all."
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