Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Announcing a Major Publishing Initiative: The Texas Bookshelf

The University of Texas Press announces a major new initiative unprecedented in publishing—The Texas Bookshelf. This project will be the most ambitious and comprehensive publishing endeavor about the culture and history of one state ever undertaken. The Texas Bookshelf will comprise sixteen books and a companion website launching in 2017, all to be written by the distinguished faculty at The University of Texas at Austin. The first book will be a new full-length history of Texas, followed by fifteen books released over five years on a range of Texas subjects—politics, music, film, business, architecture, and sports, among many others. (Authors and subjects listed below)

The Texas Bookshelf authors.
Photo by Michael O’Brien (Hard Ground2011)

John Steinbeck wrote in his 1962 book Travels with Charley: In Search of America, “I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion.” Texas has long been a source of international fascination for writers, thinkers, musicians, artists, and innovators alike. This vast and varied state occupies a unique and sometimes controversial place in conversations about our nation’s cultural, economic, and political history, yet at the same time embodies something essential about the American experience. Today’s Texas, like America itself, is vital and diverse, a place whose rich heritage and Wild West romanticism are constantly being recombined with its modern entrepreneurial spirit, reflected in its personalities and national politicians—including three U.S. presidents—and the global boom industries of film, music, high tech, energy, and the growing sustainability movement. 

Drawing on the state’s brightest writers, scholars, and intellectuals, the engagingly written narratives of the Texas Bookshelf will reveal the many fascinating stories that have played out in Texas from pre-Columbian times to the twenty-first century.

Director of Princeton University Press Peter Dougherty calls the project “inspired” and says, “The Bookshelf is ambitious in aim, authoritative in authorship, and panoramic in scope. I think it brilliantly merges the resources of the University of Texas with a vision as big as Texas itself. The Bookshelf sets a new standard and establishes a new genre for university presses and publishers everywhere.”


The Bookshelf will launch in 2017 with a sweeping, full-length history of Texas to be written by New York Times best-selling author and faculty member at the university’s Michener Center for Writers, Stephen Harrigan. He is author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction, including the award-winning novels The Gates of the Alamo and Remember Ben Clayton, and the critically acclaimed essay collection The Eye of the Mammoth.

Fifteen additional titles will follow, released over a five-year period and also written by distinguished faculty members at UT Austin, offering provocative and in-depth general interest histories of Texas politics, art, film, music, foodways, architecture, photography, sports, business, books and writers, and theater, as well as perceptions of Texas outside of the state, the African American experience, a history of the Texas Borderlands, and the Tejano and Tejana experience.

President of UT Austin Bill Powers supports the idea of a campus-conceived project: “Texas deserves a comprehensive series of books that explores its history and culture. A collaboration between our esteemed faculty and UT Press is the ideal way to produce The Texas Bookshelf and to share the rich resources of this campus with the rest of the world,” he says.

The Bookshelf will be supported by an interactive website that will facilitate an extended online community. Visitors to the site can access related supplemental content, including audio, video, photography, and downloadable readers' guides, as well as links to rich primary source materials located in the magnificent research archives and special collections on the UT Austin campus. Additionally, a schedule of special programs and public events for the university community and general public will be developed in conjunction with the publication of each book.

Authors and Subjects

Stephen Harrigan

Stephen Harrigan is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction, including the award-winning novels The Gates of the Alamo and Remember Ben Clayton, and the critically acclaimed essay collection The Eye of the Mammoth. A faculty fellow at UT’s Michener Center for Writers, he is a longtime writer for Texas Monthly and has contributed articles to a wide variety of other publications, including the Atlantic, the New York Times MagazineAudubonAmerican History, and Slate

Robert Abzug, As Others See Us: Insiders, Outsiders, and the Idea of Texas 

Robert Abzug is the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Regents Chair of Jewish Studies and Professor of History and American Studies, and founding Director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies. He is the former director of the American Studies Program, and founding Director of the Liberal Arts Honors Program at UT. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps (Oxford University Press, 1985), Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination (Oxford University Press, 1994), and the forthcoming Meaning It: The Spiritual Odyssey of Rollo May (Oxford University Press).

Cecilia Ballí, A Reported Memoir: A History of Texas Borderlands  

Cecilia Ballí is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts. She has published with Harper’s, and in addition to being a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly, she is also the first Mexican American contributor to the publication.

Charlotte Canning, Theatre  

Charlotte Canning is the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor in Drama and Head of the Department Performance as Public Practice in the Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Fine Arts, and Director of the Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism. She is a recipient of the 2011 Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Award and the author of The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance (University of Iowa Press, 2005), which won the 2006 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theater History. She is also the new editor of Theatre Research International, the journal of the International Federation for Theatre Research.

Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, Art  

Annette Carlozzi is Curator at Large for the Blanton Museum of Art. Prior to the Blanton, she was a museum and alternative space director, arts producer and curator of contemporary art at institutions in Minneapolis, Aspen, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Austin. She has curated or produced artist projects with Vito Acconci, Siah Armajani, Tony Cragg, Betye Saar, Yukinori Yanagi, Eduardo Kac, Shahzia Sikander, Byron Kim, Ellen Gallagher, Peter Saul, Fabian Marcaccio, and many others. She is the author of numerous articles and exhibition catalogues, including those that have accompanied the more than forty exhibitions of modern and contemporary art that she has curated to date.

Greg Curtis, Books and Writers 

Greg Curtis is the Humanities Coordinator at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center and a Senior Lecturer in the Liberal Arts Honors Program. He was the editor of Texas Monthly from 1981 to 2000, during which time the publication was awarded five national magazine awards. In 2000, the Columbia Journalism Review named him as one of the ten best magazine editors in the country. He is the author of Disarmed: The Story of Venus de Milo (Knopf, 2003) and The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World’s First Artists (Knopf, 2006).

Elizabeth Engelhardt, Texas Foodways 

Elizabeth Engelhardt is the Chair of the Department of American Studies and Professor of American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. She is a recipient of the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, 2010 – 2011, and author of A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food (University of Georgia Press, 2011) and Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket (University of Texas Press, 2009). She serves on the board of the Southern Foodways Alliance and is a founder and board member of Foodways Texas.

Roy Flukinger, Photography
Roy Flukinger is the present Senior Research Curator of Photography and former Department Head and Senior Curator of Photography and Film of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, where he has served as a curator since 1977. He has published and lectured extensively in the fields of regional, cultural and contemporary photography and the history of art and photography, and has produced or participated in nearly eighty exhibitions. He has published nearly a dozen books and his most recent publications include: Arnold Newman: At Work (2013), The Gernsheim Collection (2010), and Fritz Henle: In Search of Beauty (2008), all published by the University of Texas Press. He is currently co-curating an exhibition of the Ransom Center’s Magnum photography archive for the fall of 2013.

Frank Guridy, Sports 

Frank Guridy is the Director of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies and Associate Professor in the Departments of History and African and African Diaspora Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. He is a recipient of the 2009 Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Award and author of Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), which won the 2011 Wesley-Logan Book Prize conferred by the American Historical Association.

Martha Menchaca, The Tejana and Tejano Experience in Texas 

Martha Menchaca is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Center for Women's and Gender Studies, and Center for Mexican American Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. She is the author of Naturalizing Mexican Immigrants: A Texas History (University of Texas Press, 2011), recipient of the 2013 National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Book Award, and Recovering History, Constructing Race: The Indian, Black and White Roots of Mexican Americans (University of Texas Press, 2001). Both books won Choice magazine’s Outstanding Academic Book Award.

Karl Miller, Music 

Karl Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and in the Butler School of Music in the College of Fine Arts. He is a recipient of the 2009 Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Award, and author of Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow (Duke University Press, 2010), which won a Hamilton Book Award in 2011.

Bill Minutaglio, Politics and Business 

Bill Minutaglio is the Everett C. Collier Centennial Chair in the College of Communication and Clinical Professor of Journalism in the School of Journalism. He is a recipient of the 2011 Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Award, and author of many nationally acclaimed books, including City on Fire: The Forgotten Disaster That Devastated a Town and Ignited a Landmark Legal Battle (HarperCollins, 2003), Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life (PublicAffairs, 2009), and the bestseller First Son: George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty (Three Rivers Press, 2001) He is currently completing the forthcoming book Dallas 1963 (Twelve, fall 2013).

Charles Ramírez Berg, Texas and the Movies  

Charles Ramírez Berg is the Joe M. Dealey, Sr. Professor in Media Studies in the Department of Radio Television Film in the College of Communication. He is a recipient of the 2009 Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Award, and author of numerous film books, including Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, and Resistance (University of Texas Press, 2002) and the forthcoming The Classical Mexican Cinema: The Poetics of the Exceptional Golden Age Films (University of Texas Press, 2014). He is a founding member of the Austin Film Society.

Lawrence Speck, Architecture  

Lawrence Speck is the W. L. Moody, Jr. Centennial Professor in the School of Architecture in the College of Liberal Arts and former Dean of the School of Architecture, from 1992 to 2001. He has authored numerous articles in professional journals and other publications on art, architecture, engineering, and design. As a practicing architect his work has garnered forty national design awards, including the ACSA/AIA Topaz Medallion Award in 2011, an award given to one individual in North America each year in recognition of his/her contribution to excellence in architectural education.

Shirley Thompson, The African-American Experience in Texas  

Shirley Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Departments of American Studies and African and African Diaspora Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Associate Director for the Center for African and African American Studies. She is the recipient of the Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize by the American Studies Association for her dissertation, which became the basis for her first book, Exiles at Home: The Struggle to Become American in Creole New Orleans (Harvard University Press, 2009).

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