Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dawn Durante Named Editor in Chief of the University of Texas Press

Austin, Texas—The University of Texas Press is thrilled to announce that following a nationwide search, Dawn Durante will become the next Editor in Chief of the Press on August 10.

As Editor in Chief, Durante will lead the editorial direction of the Books program at UT Press, enriching and expanding a list of approximately one hundred new titles each year

across a broad range of subjects including U.S. history and American studies, Women’s Studies, and Black Studies.

“I am elated to be joining the University of Texas Press. It is a professional dream to be stepping into an Editor in Chief role, and I am fortunate to be doing so at a Press I admire for its dynamic staff, talented acquisitions team, and its high publishing standards,” said Durante.

"What strikes me about UT Press," she continued, “is its longstanding commitment to borders and borderlands—geographic borders like the Texas borderland itself, the bounds of ancient empires, the conceptual borders of imperialism, and the expansion of intellectual boundaries in the fields the Press serves, like contemporary American music, Latinx studies, and media and popular culture. I am delighted that I'll be able to continue to acquire books in familiar territories like history, American studies, and Black studies, while expanding my editorial frontiers to new areas. It is a true privilege to have the opportunity to fuse the UT Press publishing program with my editorial vision and to work with and support the acquisitions team along with the Press's valuable network, particularly its authors, series editors, and advisory committee members."

Durante joins UT Press from the University of Illinois Press, where she has served as a senior acquisitions editor since 2016. A Phoenix native, Dawn got her B.A. in English from the University of Arizona and her M.A. in English from Arizona State. At ASU, she wrote her master’s thesis on ebooks and peer review and also earned a Scholarly Publishing Graduate Certificate. Dawn began her publishing career with internships at the University of Arizona Press and Cluj University Press in Romania, before settling into a permanent position at UIP in 2011.

At Illinois, Durante has worked with authors and series editors including Brittney Cooper, Keisha Blain, Koritha Mitchell, Darlene Clark Hine, Deborah Gray White, and the University of Texas’s own Christen Smith and Karma Chávez. Her acquisitions represent a broad range of intellectual commitments, from L.H. Stallings' multi-award winning Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures to Anya Jabour's biography of Sophonisba Breckinridge, whose life and activism spanned the Civil War to the Cold War, to Joseph Vogel's James Baldwin and the 1980s: Witnessing the Reagan Era and Emily Thuma's All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence. She has published books that have won awards in a variety of disciplines, including the American Political Science Association's Michael Harrington Book Award, which recognizes books that demonstrate how scholarship can be used in the struggle for a better world, the American Historical Association's Wesley-Logan prize, and the Lambda Literary Award for the Best Book in LGBTQ Studies.

Active in the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) community, Durante is recognized as a leader on issues like equity, mentorship, and professional development. In addition to her many presentations, Dawn has served on the AUPresses’ Task Force on Gender, Equity, and Cultures of Respect and was the chair of the association’s Professional Development Committee in 2017-2018.

Durante brings a depth and breadth of knowledge and connections to our Acquisitions team as well as a clear and exciting vision for the future of the press. Director Robert Devens noted, “I could not be happier to be welcoming Dawn to UT Press. She brings to the position of Editor in Chief a stellar acquisitions background, a broad understanding of the publishing landscape, and the strong leadership skills to usher UTP’s editorial program to its next successes.”

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The University of Texas Press serves knowledge seekers in an information-rich world through the publication of books and journals in a wide range of fields. Our work is a focal point where the life experiences, insights, and specialized knowledge of writers converge to be disseminated in both print and digital formats. Established in 1950, UT Press has published more than 3,000 books over six decades.


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