Monday, February 1, 2016

2016 San Antonio Book Festival

As you begin to plan your spring calendar, celebrate ideas, books, libraries and literary culture at the fourth annual San Antonio Book Festival. UT Press will be
More info
participating this year with our authors! Join on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Library, Southwest School of Art, and Charlene McCombs Empire Theatre.

The all-day festival is free and open to the public. Festival activities include author talks, panel discussions, book sales and signings, interactive areas and educational opportunities for children and teens, food trucks, the Festival Marketplace and recipe demonstrations by cookbook authors. For more information about the Festival, including the Literary Feast at the St. Anthony and Literary Death Match at the Empire and other additional weekend events, visit

Who will be at the 2016 festival?

Join the San Antonio Book Festival as they reveal their 2016 lineup of over 80 authors to the public! Clay Smith — the festival's Literary Director — as well as city officials, members of the press, and local literary stars will be in attendance.

9, 2016
10:00 AM
Central Library
Chihuly area

More festival events are listed here.

Important Information

Cost: Free

Central Library
600 Soledad St.
San Antonio, TX

San Antonio Public Library Foundation

Phone: 210-225-4728
Contact Name: Laura Roberts
Contact Email:


Monday, January 11, 2016

Watch Rare Texas-made Indies at the Bullock Museum

The Bullock Texas State History Museum will screen six rare Texas-made indie films as part of their Texas Focus Film Series this Thursday, January 14 at 7pm. Created by UT Austin film students, these short films were first compiled and screened in 1981
More info
when director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) introduced them at the Collective for Living Cinema in New York City. Under the guidance of SXSW and The Austin Chronicle co-founder Louis Black, these films have been newly restored and are now being presented together as a package for the first time in Jonathan Demme Presents Made in Texas. UT Press is distributing the DVD.
Following this Thursday's screening, Louis Black will moderate a Q&A with Tom Huckabee (The Death of a Rock Star), Sandy Boone (Invasion of the Aluminum People), Paul Collum (Speed of Light) and other talent. We asked Rachel Manning, the Film & Theater Coordinator at the Bullock Museum, to introduce their Texas Focus film series and explain the significance of these films and local filmmaking.

Don't miss this! An opening reception with a cash bar starts at 6pm. Get your tickets here: Texas Focus: Jonathan Demme Presents MADE IN TEXAS

What is the mission of the Texas Focus Film Series?

Texas Focus aims to highlight the creative energy and wide-ranging, unique qualities of Texas through the art of cinema. This selection of films will bring Texas to the world through many lenses and visions of this great state.

Still from Fair Sisters
In this homage to Demme’s Caged Heat, things go awry when a rough girl gang busts in on a back room poker game.

Why are regional films like these important?

Regional film is important because it not only highlights aspects about a location that are often unseen in Hollywood films, but they also explore the creative nature and outlook of filmmakers from that region, which is unique in itself. 

Still from The Death of a Rock Star
Real life events of The Doors ethereal frontman, Jim Morrison, frame this experimental short film.
How do the Whole Shootin’ Match and the short films in Made in Texas characterize or capture our region — what makes them Texas? 

There is nothing in each of the films to signify Texas per se, except for a city street or skyline in a shot or two. What these films do is capture the aesthetic and spirit of early independent filmmaking, which was happening in and around Austin during this time. These films are not connected to a studio and do not have the look and feel of a studio production, but rather reflect the environs and locations that were available to the filmmakers. They are homegrown in that sense, and the DIY nature of how these films were made comes across. 

Still from Leonardo, Jr.
A tribute to the silent comedy master, Buster Keaton.
What is the legacy of these films; how have more mainstream filmmakers been influenced by these films?

Filmmakers such as Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez have been influenced by these films and their unique take on Texas filmmaking. Jonathan Demme of course was endeared to these films to point of curating them for the Collective for Living Cinema in 1981.

Still from Speed of Light
Reminiscent of Demme’s Crazy Mama, this story of an outsider searching Central Texas for her lost child is permeated by Cold War anxieties.
What’s the best way for local film enthusiasts to get involved and hear about screenings?

Great question! Film fans that want to follow what's going on in the world of cinema at the Bullock should keep an eye on the Bullock's Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page, along with our Facebook film fan page. Additionally, film enthusiasts can follow us by signing up for email newsletters specific to the topic they're interested in, whether it be a specific film or everything we have to offer!

Still from Invasion of the Aluminum People
A contemporary and surreal take on science fiction horror of the 1950s.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Hollywood's Forgotten Legacy of Female Agency

Some may assume that top actresses like Reese Witherspoon and Angelina Jolie who also produce and direct have attained a level of control only possible in the modern era. Film scholar Emily Carman reminds us of the early Hollywood actresses whose sharp business acumen and near total ownership of their creative output laid the groundwork for female agency in Hollywood today. Carman's new book Independent Stardom: Freelance Women in the Hollywood Studio System is out now.

Hollywood's Forgotten Legacy of Female Agency
By Emily Carman

More info
With the Golden Globes this weekend, it is officially awards season in Hollywood. While it is true that 2015 was a banner year for female performances in film, this string of impressive films headlined by female stars harkens back to 
the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s—a forgotten age of the American film industry when strong women were the norm for Hollywood cinema. Female stars, in a range of genres (ranging from the woman’s film, musicals, and romantic comedies), dominated the American box office largely because studio executives and movie producers presumed that in order for their films to profitable, they had to appeal to women audiences. Thus, contra today, Hollywood films were designed, produced, and marketed with women in mind. 

In my new book Independent Stardom: Freelance Women in the Hollywood Studio System I argue that this presumed audience demographic created a demand for female talent that in turn enabled some business savvy actresses to bargain for lucrative contracts with the studios and to freelance and work independently in Hollywood, foreshadowing the current system for movie talent. I have complied a list of the top ten most innovative moments for female agency in Hollywood – what I call independent stardom – that resonate with contemporary industry practices and with women in Hollywood today. The actresses listed below are not in any particular order as all of the contributions are equally important, but I will start with the woman who graces the cover of my book, Carole Lombard, because, in my opinion, she was the vanguard of female independent stardom in Hollywood.

Carole Lombard

You might remember her as Clark Gable’s famous wife, or for her screwball comedies of the 1930s (in fact, the term "Screwball" comedy was coined for her after her Oscar-nominated performance in My Man Godfrey in 1936). But by 1937, Lombard was Hollywood’s most visible freelancer and Hollywood's highest paid actor, working concurrently at Paramount, Warner Bros. and for producer David O. Selznick. She chose her own roles, co-stars, directors, and even her own cinematographer to make her films. Moreover, she was a savvy businesswoman who negotiated for a cut of her films’ box office gross to supplement her salary and for the right to approve and create her publicity campaigns (which she often used to showcase her independent career). She also had plans to form an independent production company with her ex-husband and fellow actor William Powell, her agent Myron Selznick, and auteur director Ernst Lubitsch, prefiguring the now ubiquitous trend of movie stars who have their own companies to produce films. Her trendsetting career was cut short in 1942 after her death in a plane crash returning to California from a WWII bond tour.

Mary Pickford-desk2
Mary Pickford

Any discussion about women in Hollywood forging independent careers merits a mentioning of Pickford, a film pioneer in a myriad of ways. By 1916, she had the right to choose her own projects, the talent she worked with, and was the first film star to found her own production company. In 1919 she went further, co-founding the studio United Artists with fellow actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charles Chaplin and director D.W. Griffith in order to have total creative and financial control over the production and distribution of their films. In fact, Chaplin asserted that it was Pickford’s business acumen that kept the fledging company afloat in the 1920s.

Constance Bennett publicity copy
Constance Bennett

Daughter of stage actor Richard Bennett and sister of actress Joan Bennett, Constance Bennett was one of Hollywood's hardest bargainers. So much so that in 1931 Warner Bros. paid her $30,000 a week on her vacation time away from RKO to make a film for them. She also had her own corporation established in 1934 to earn a cut of her films' box office profits. And in the 1940s, when leading roles dwindled from the studios, she formed her own Constance Bennett Pictures and produced two films, Paris Underground (1945) and Smart Woman (1948). Her entrepreneurship expanded beyond Hollywood as well; the actress created her own make-up and clothing lines. Her cutthroat contract negotiations earned her the sole female spot among Hollywood’s poker-playing elite comprised of top movie moguls Jack Warner, Darryl Zanuck, Samuel Goldwyn, and more.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Year End Round Up of Best Books

End of year best-of lists are everywhere this month. We've had a great year and are very proud of the lists our books have landed on thus far. Help us celebrate another great year in publishing!

Holiday shopping note: Order by next Thursday, December 17, to guarantee domestic delivery by December 25.

End of Year Round Up

“Best Of” or “Gifts” Lists

New York Times Sunday Book Review Holiday issue

The Jemima Code
Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks

By Toni Tipton-Martin
"The Jemima Code is no ordinary book. It’s a heaping helping, a long overdue acknowledgment of African-Americans who have toiled in this field since the country’s beginnings. With eloquence and urgency, Tipton-Martin makes the case that without the people of the African diaspora not only would America’s food be different, so would its culinary conversation." 
The New York Times Book Review

Variations on a Rectangle
Thirty Years of Graphic Design from Texas Monthly to Pentagram

By DJ Stout

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The best photography books of 2015

A Retrospective

By Mark Cohen
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

NPR, Best Books 2015

The Jemima Code
Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks

By Toni Tipton-Martin
"[The Jemima Code is] that rare coffee table book that serves up important history and compelling imagery in digestible, bite-size chunks that still stick to your ribs.
Michel Martin, NPR's Best Books of 2015
Don’t Suck Don’t Die
Giving Up Vic Chesnutt

By Kristin Hersh

"Don't Suck, Don't Die is not only one of the best books of the year, it's one of the most beautiful rock memoirs ever written. Hersh is as stunningly talented an author as she is a musician, and her portrayal of Chesnutt is perfectly done.
NPR's Best Books of 2015
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wall Street Journal, Best Books for Photography Lovers 2015

A Retrospective

By Mark Cohen
"Mr. Cohen’s pictures are remarkable." 
The Wall Street Journal

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

American Photo, Best Books 2015

A Retrospective

By Mark Cohen
Political Abstraction
By Ralph Gibson

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What are the Best Gift Books for Academics?

Inside Higher Ed is running a contest on Twitter and Facebook where readers can decide the top University Press Books of 2015 that would make ideal holiday gifts. Sure, we'd be thrilled to feel the love and see all of you post our books as nominations, but this is also a great opportunity to support all our fellow university presses.

If you are looking for your next great read or trying to find the perfect gift, be sure to check out the contest hashtag, #IHEreaderschoice, to see and vote on entries. Whether you are a book lover, an author, part of a press, anyone in higher education, or someone who wants to gift a great book, this is your chance to see the best of scholarly publishing.

Nominating a Book

Anyone may nominate a book that has been published by a university press in 2015. Entries should include the #IHEreaderschoice hashtag and one or more of the following: book title, image of the book cover or link to the book¹s page on the press website or another site. The nomination period is November 30 through December 6.

Voting for a Book

To vote for a particular book, simply heart the tweet or like the Facebook post containing the nomination. You can vote for as many books as you like. The voting period is December 7-13. On December 14, Inside Higher Ed will tabulate the number of votes each book received and announce the top five titles. The book with the most votes will be the official winner.


All who voted for the winning book will be entered into a random drawing, and five lucky voters will receive a copy of the book. The publishing press of the winning book will enjoy special Inside Higher Ed 2015 Readers¹ Choice Winner recognition in an advertising campaign and their banner ad will appear in the Daily News Update just in time for holiday gifting. The winning book will also be displayed at the Inside Higher Ed booth at the Modern Language Association annual convention January 7-10, 2016, in Austin, TX.
By Clark Davis

Selected as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015

"Ultimately, what makes It Starts with Trouble an essential read for anyone interested in literature and art is Davis’s painstaking research combined with the passion and intelligence he brings to his subject, bolstering a compelling case to reclaim Goyen’s place in American letters . . . . Like Goyen, Davis understands what writing is for. He reminds us of the stakes of art, of being an artist." 

Los Angeles Review of Books

Nominate on Twitter! | Nominate on Facebook!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spider Martin: Image and Activism

Media coverage and public awareness of alleged police brutality has drastically changed in the era of YouTube and Twitter. During the Civil Rights Movement, only journalists sent by publications to cover racial unrest could widely disseminate images from demonstrations like the Selma to Montgomery March. Alabama native Spider Martin was one of those journalists. The Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas in Austin acquired Mr. Martin’s archive, including more than 1,000 images shot in and around Selma, which lead to our collaborative publication, Selma 1965: The Photographs of Spider Martin. We asked Ahmad Ty-ke Ward, the Head of Education at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, to comment on Spider Martin's significance and how the power to engage in this kind of activism is now in the public's hands.

Spider Martin: Image and Activism

More info
By Ahmad Ty-ke Ward, Head of Education at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The Selma to Montgomery March was a landmark event in American history which ultimately led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In February of 1965, twenty-seven-year-old Jimmy Lee Jackson, demonstrating with his family for the right to vote, was fatally injured in Marion (Perry County), Alabama. Jackson had placed his body between his mother and a state trooper’s club and was shot in his abdomen. His death galvanized groups like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Active in voter registration efforts in the Black Belt, these groups decided to stage the largest demonstration on behalf of equal voting rights for African Americans in history—a march from the Dallas County seat, Selma, to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, a distance of fifty-four miles.

James “Spider” Martin, a native of Wylam, Alabama, and an up-and-coming photographer with the Birmingham News, was sent down to Selma to cover Jackson’s death. Martin had cut his teeth on civil rights coverage during the events that happened in Birmingham in 1963. Even with that background, he could have no idea how instrumental his work would be to the Selma movement. With his camera, Spider Martin would serve as recorder, witness and moral compass for the rest of the country trying to make sense of the situation unfolding in Alabama.

“Dr. King told me the reason they were marching and protesting in Alabama was because of George Wallace, Bull Connor, Sheriff Jim Clark and Al Lingo. They all fell into the plan. Dr. King said we could march and protest in Chicago and nobody would care. But in Alabama . . .”

—Spider Martin

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mark Cohen's Throwback Street Photography

Decades before Instagram photographer Daniel Arnold amassed 118,000 followers by capturing street scenes below eye level and surreally framed, Mark Cohen was cementing a style of street photography that has become not only iconic but fashionable decades later. Cohen recently told Vice's i-D magazine, "If you look at the advertising in Vogue, you'll see a lot a pictures that look like I might have taken them 30 or 40 years ago. In the New York Times, you see pictures with people's heads cut off all the time. When I first did that, it was seen as extremely radical, but now, it's very common." In a recent
HuffPost Arts and Culture piece, photographer Michael Ernest Sweet reminds contemporary audiences that Mark Cohen's style was paradigm-shattering at the time: "In precis, both Cohen's way of working, as well as his product, were entirely unfamiliar to a vintage audience."

Many of Mark Cohen's iconic images were taken on the streets of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in the 1970s. The scenes captured in these photographs amount to more than just street style fashion photography; Cohen's work is emotional and evocative. "There's an autobiographical thread to Frame that's very hard to explain even to myself. But it's about life, your work is really about your life in some ways," he explains. We asked Mark to take us back to the moment he created some of his images. F
or Throwback Thursday, enjoy these six short pieces written by Mark Cohen detailing the process and spirit behind photographs from his most recent book, Frame: A Retrospective.

Behind the Images

By Mark Cohen
Bandaged Boy on Bike, August 1998
From Frame: A Retrospective

Bandaged Boy on Bike, August 1998, is about my use of speed and the life intensity of the small boys playing more or less wildly. And it is about the bandages—just visible as they zoom by—seen around this kid's arm and chest. A bandage in a picture creates an eerie unease or discomfort.

I was using a 50mm lens, panning along with the boy to have the much-needed depth of field as there was no time to focus, a normal lens, as I did more and more frequently, at this time, 25 years after the 1970’s, to keep my distance, and safety, from the very close and confrontational interactions when I would get inches away with the 28mm lens.

The boy sees me as he goes by and when I see this negative I see that there are two bandages, adding to the sense of surrealness of the picture. We meet eye to lens as he flies by. He has defiance and speed and I have pretty good focus. The shirt is like a part of a Weston contact print and it all goes on with Hollywood lighting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

University Press Week Blog Tour: Day 3

It's the third day of the annual blog tour for University Press Week. Stayed tuned tomorrow when we share quintessential street photographer Mark Cohen's 1970s street style and his behind-the-photos commentary. Our fellow presses are featuring themed posts for each day of the week. Check out yesterday's stops here. Monday's posts are collected here. Today's theme is University Press Design.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

University Press Week Blog Tour: Day 1

Welcome to the fourth annual University Press Week! University presses are full of surprises each year and this year we didn’t have to look hard to find the unique and
More info
special ways that these presses make their mark on the world. From our very own James Beard award winner Yucat√°n by Chef David Sterling to Princeton University Press’s 150th Anniversary Edition of Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali and Ohio University Press’s illustrated YA novel Trampoline, this has been a year of outstanding publishing from university presses. All the while, university presses continue to publish the best scholarship from the foremost thinkers working today and garner awards and media attention in vast numbers for their work. University presses worldwide are proud to create these varied, often surprising, and always incredibly well-researched publications for students as well as armchair scholars, librarians, journalists, booksellers, and general readers alike.

For the annual blog tour, our fellow presses are featuring themed posts for each day of the week including, “Surprise!”, Design, Throwback Thursday, conversations between authors and their editors, and The Future of Scholarly Publishing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The 10 Most Significant Sci-Fi Films

Advance tickets for a small indie film called Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (wink, wink) went on sale this week, smashing box office records for pre-sales and crashing movie theatre websites. The Walt Disney Company release, which doesn't hit theaters until December 18th, is expected to take in $2 billion globally making it the biggest mainstream science fiction film of the decade, potentially the biggest genre film of the century. But let's not forget how the film industry got here.

Douglas Brode is a screenwriter, playwright, novelist, graphic novelist, film historian, and multi-award-winning journalist who has written nearly forty books on movies and the mass media. His latest book Fantastic Planets, Forbidden Zones, and Lost Continents
The 100 Greatest Science-Fiction Films is a comprehensive list ranging from today’s blockbusters to forgotten gems, with surprises for even the most informed fans and scholars. We asked Brode to list the ten most significant science fiction films that established the genre as a global industrial powerhouse. The force is strong with this one.
More info

'The 10 Most Significant Sci-Fi Films'
By Doug Brode

The idea of doing a book on the 100 greatest science fiction films of all time had been dancing around in my mind for decades. Thank goodness I didn’t have the opportunity write it until very recently. While growing up in the 1950s, most of the sci-fi films that I stood in line to see were low-budget affairs, sometimes high-quality (The Incredible Shrinking Man), others less so (Cat-Women of the Moon) – though even the least ambitious films were appealing to the first true generation of American teenagers who became addicted to rock ‘n’ roll music, the then-new medium of television, and anything at all to do with outer space – in large part because that's when the US-Soviet space race began in earnest. So many films of that era played strictly at local drive-In movie theatres or downtown grindhouse bijous that many people forget a simple fact: when feature-length science-fiction premiered with Metropolis in 1927, the genre represented the biggest budget films of the time.

Today, the most important films being produced internationally as well as in Hollywood are almost exclusively science-fiction related. The mainstream has fallen in love with the sort of stories that way back when, in the Dick Clark era, were thought to be marginal. But how did the transition occur? One element of my book Fantastic Planets, Forbidden Zones, and Lost Continents is the manner in which step-by-step, high budgets (often accompanied by high quality) gradually returned to this genre.

Here, in their order of their production, are ten of the most significant:

If there was one Hollywood studio that seemed unlikely ever to make a sci-fi film, it was MGM. Here was the home of the greatest musicals, the biggest epics, and more stars than there were in the heavens. Leave sci-fi to the likes of Universal-International, where such B items could be knocked out for about $500,000 per production, invariably in black and white. Then, the seemingly impossible occurred – MGM turned out a $2 million sci-fi color feature with a top star (Walter Pigeon), gorgeous color photography, a sexy female star who appeared in the near-nude (to make clear this was for adults as well as kids), and an irresistible robot named Robby. Here was an early indication of the shape of things to come.


George Pal, the second greatest fantasy-filmmaker in L.A. (only Walt Disney surpassed him as to quality and quantity), wanted to move away from what remained the run of the mill stuff by mounting a full-scale interpretation of H.G. Welles’ The Time Machine. With young rising stars Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux, a smart script that updated the classic novel for a new generation, some superb state of the art special effects for the monstrous Morlocks, and the creation of a ruined future world brought to life in vivid color, he succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dream.

Monday, October 12, 2015

UT Press at the 2015 Texas Book Festival

This weekend, the University of Texas Press and 13 of our authors will enjoy the 20th annual Texas Book Festival on the Capitol grounds in downtown Austin and environs. We'll have a booth on Colorado Street with tons of titles for sale at a great discount, so please stop by. There are a lot of wonderful authors in attendance this year, so we’ve distilled our authors' appearances into a single UT Press schedule (browse the full schedule here):


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

More info

The Jemima Code
Author: Toni Tipton Martin
Moderated by Addie Broyles
Location: Central Market Cooking Tent

Come see Toni Tipton-Martin discusses recipes and stories from her book, The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks, a comprehensive treasure.

Where to find the author online: @thejemimacode | Website

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

More info

The Best I Recall: A Memoir
Author: Gary Cartwright
Moderated by John Spong
Location: Capitol Extension Room E2.028

Esteemed writer Gary Cartwright traces his career across Texas in his memoir, The Best I Recall. After working in publishing and journalism for over 60 years, Cartwright has acquired countless by-lines and numerous awards. Join the lively and talented author as he shares his stories.

2:45 - 3:30 PM

More info
Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home
Author: Eli Reed

Moderated by Steven Hoelscher
Location: The Contemporary Austin--Jones Center (700 Congress)

Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home presents the first career retrospective of Reed's work. Consisting of over 250 images that span the full range of his subjects and his evolution as a photographer, the photographs are a visual summation of the human condition.