Publishing Humanities Initiative hosts Diversity in Scholarly Publishing Roundtable

Sylvia Miller
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Adriane Lentz-Smith and Kamela Heyward-Rotimi
Panelists Adriane Lentz-Smith and Kamela Heyward-Rotimi. Photo by John Zhou.

The Publishing Humanities Initiative held a roundtable on the lack of diversity in scholarly publishing at the Franklin Humanities Institute on October 17, 2018.

Niko Pfund, President and Academic Publisher of Oxford University Press USA, offered an overview of scholarly publishing today, pointing out that, while subject matter has diversified somewhat, the staff who decide what books and journals to publish has not. 

Discussants were Gisela Fosado, an editor at Duke University Press; Kamela Heyward-Rotimi, Distinguished Visiting Research Scholar at the Center for African and African-American Research at Duke University; and Adriane Lentz-Smith, Associate Professor of History at Duke University.

They considered a wide range of challenges in regards to diversity in publishing, from the demands on the "token" person of color in a predominantly white context, to the absence of voices from the Global South in Western publishing, to the need for support networks for minority authors in order to help them secure publishing contracts. Fosado concluded the conversation on institutional racism with the words "We have a lot of work to do." 

Attended by a capacity crowd from local university presses as well as area faculty and graduate students, the event was co-sponsored by the Publishing Humanities Initiative, the Graduate School, and Versatile Humanists @ Duke.

The event was not recorded; contact if you would like more details.

From left, Adriane Lentz-Smith, Kamela Heyward-Rotimi, Gisela Fosado, and Niko Pfund. Photo by John Zhou.