Thursday, September 13, 2012

In the News: Nancy Grayson Retiring as Executive Editor of the University of Georgia Press

Nancy Grayson will retire this September from the University of Georgia Press. She has spent 26 years in university press publishing: 20 years with the University of Georgia Press (1986-1993 and 2001-2012) and 6 years with the University Press of Kentucky (1993-1999). During her time at UGA Press, Grayson spent 2 years as project coordinator of The New Georgia Encyclopedia (1999-2001).

“Acquisitions editors are the engines of scholarly publishing, and Nancy is one of the best,” said Lisa Bayer, director of the University of Georgia Press. “Her cultivation of the finest scholarship will continue to enrich the Press, the university, the citizens of the state and the region, and scholars the world over for years to come.”

After receiving her Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Grayson launched her publishing career at UGA Press, where her roles included manuscript editor, acquisitions editor, editor-in-chief, and executive editor. Grayson was editor-in-chief during her time at University Press of Kentucky. At both presses, Grayson consistently sought to publish work that reshaped the thinking in a field, as well as work that appealed to general readers in addition to scholars.

“Nancy was the first person I recruited when I assumed the director position at Georgia over a decade ago, and it was one of the best hiring decisions I've ever made. Nancy quickly acquired an impressive number of important books in history, literary studies, women's studies, and ecocriticism, and she gave the list a global focus by founding a competitive international affairs and security studies series. There is no doubt that Nancy's tenure as executive editor dramatically increased the overall reputation of the Press, and her distinguished career can be measured in the many award-winning and critically acclaimed books that she brought to Georgia,” said Nicole Mitchell, director of the University of Washington Press and former director of UGA Press.

Grayson acquired many successful regional and national trade titles, including Jack London, Photographer; Murder at the MLA; The Lost Boys of Sudan; Harlem; Equiano, the African; Phillis Wheatley; Upheaval in Charleston; Creeker; Bloodroot; Katharine and R. J. Reynolds; and Ossabaw. Below is a list of Grayson’s favorite titles and series.

“Having had the pleasure of working with Nancy Grayson on all but the first of the five books I’ve published with a university press, I’ll certainly miss her as my editor, but I look forward to retaining our friendship during her very well deserved retirement,” said Vincent Carretta, author of Equiano, the African and Phillis Wheatley.

Grayson describes her time as project coordinator of The New Georgia Encyclopedia as a “wonderful, challenging, fun experience. John Inscoe and I thought our way through all the intricacies of creating an infrastructure for the The New Georgia Encyclopedia. It really was one of the most creative and exciting jobs I’ve ever undertaken.”

“Nancy has left a significant mark on both the quality and quantity of the Press’s output over the past decade,” said John Inscoe, editor of The New Georgia Encyclopedia. ”She’s been the driving force behind the creation and expansion of several major series, was a key player in the conception and early evolution of The New Georgia Encyclopedia, and brought numerous top-tier scholars into the fold. On all fronts, she’s leaving some mighty big shoes to fill.”

“I feel enormously grateful to have found university press publishing 26 years ago,” Grayson said. “It has been endlessly stimulating and very, very rewarding. What other career could have provided such varied and interesting work—where no two projects are the same and we’re in daily contact with people who are excited about ideas and genuinely want to further the scholarship in their field? I have truly loved this work and will miss it. Most especially I’ll miss the authors who have become some of my closest friends.”

 Founded in 1938, the UGA Press is the largest book publisher in the state. It has been a member of the Association of American University Presses since 1940. With a full-time staff of 24 publishing professionals, the Press currently publishes 80-85 new books a year and has more than 1,500 titles in print. It has well-established lists in Atlantic World and American history, American literature, African-American studies, southern studies and environmental studies, as well as a growing presence in the fields of geography, urban studies, international affairs and security studies.
For more information, see

Notable Books:
Jeanne Campbell Reesman, Sue S. Hodson & Philip Adam, Jack London, Photographer (UGAP)
Mark Bixler, The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience (UGAP)
Vincent Carretta, Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man (UGAP)
Vincent Carretta, Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage (UGAP)
Vincent Carretta, ed., Unchained Voices: An Anthology of Black Authors in the English-Speaking World of the Eighteenth Century (UPK)
Harlem: The Vision of Morgan and Marvin Smith (UPK)
D.J.H. Jones, Murder at the MLA (UGAP)
Linda Scott DeRozier, Creeker: A Woman’s Journey (UPK)
Joyce Dyer, Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers (UPK)
Anne Emanuel, Elbert Parr Tuttle: Chief Jurist of the Civil Rights Revolution (UGAP)
Melissa A. McEuen, Seeing America: Women Photographers Between the Wars (UPK)
William C. Harris, With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (UPK; winner of the 1998 Lincoln Prize)
Thomas Hallock & Nancy E. Hoffman, eds., William Bartram, The Search for Nature’s Design: Selected Art, Letters, and Unpublished Writings (UGAP)
Susan Millar Williams & Steven G. Hoffius, Upheaval in Charleston: Earthquake and Murder on the Eve of Jim Crow (UGAP)
Jack Leigh, James Kilgo & Alan Campbell, Ossabaw: Evocations of an Island (UGAP)
Michele Gillespie, Katharine and R. J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South (UGAP)
John C. Inscoe, Writing the South Through the Self: Explorations in Southern Autobiography (UGAP)
Marc Sommers, Stuck: Rwandan Youth and the Struggle for Adulthood (UGAP)
Larry Reynolds, Righteous Violence: Revolution, Slavery, and the American Renaissance (UGAP)
Betty Rizzo, Companions Without Vows: Relationships Among Eighteenth-Century British Women
Calvin C. Johnson Jr., with Greg Hampikian, Exit to Freedom (UGAP)

Book Series:
18th Century Novels by Women (UPK)
Southern Women: Their Lives and Times (UGAP)
The New Southern Studies (UGAP)
Studies in Security & International Affairs (UGAP)