University Press Week 2022: What is #NextUP for our acquisitions team?

We look forward to new scholarship in art, design, and biological sciences

University Press Week—an annual celebration of university presses, our unique culture, and the impact we have on scholarship and society at large—kicked off this week. This year the theme is #NextUP, highlighting university press’s dedication to seek out, engage, advance, and promote the latest scholarship, ideas, best practices, and technology.

So what’s #NextUP for the MIT Press? Below we share what’s coming up on our lists from just a few of our acquisitions editors—and if you want to learn more about our upcoming books and journals, sign up for the MIT Press newsletter.

Thomas Weaver, senior acquisitions editor, art and architecture:

Next up (or #NextUP) for my art and architecture list for the coming seasons is an entirely unplanned and happily accidental confluence of books that all in some way or another deal with color – Eduardo Cadava and Sara Nadal Melsió dealing with red and their little Mao-esque manifesto, Politically Red; Iris Moon’s wonderful book on melancholy (ie, being blue), Melancholy Wedgwood, is ar revisionist takedown of the eighteenth-century ceramicist and capitalist hero Josiah Wedgwood; and to complete the tricolor, there is Helen Hills’ history of silver (Silver: Surface/Substance). For each book, I hope to color-block the pages so that turned on their side, each will exude their representative color.  

Acquisitions editor Victoria Hindley stands with her dark hair down and wearing a white leather jacket, leaning against a beige wall

Victoria Hindley, acquisitions editor, design and visual culture: 

My list examines how visual and material culture are inscribed with power; how the visual is central to meaning-making; and how designed objects and systems represent the social and political systems within which they’re created. I’m thrilled to work with authors who investigate the ways that visual and material culture reveal ideologies about complex concepts like gender, race, identity, and even climate crisis. In spring 2023, we’ll release White Sight: Visual Politics and Practices of Whiteness by Nicholas Mirzoeff and Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook by Dori Tunstall. Next fall, I’m looking forward to Feminist Designer: On the Personal and Political in Design, edited by Alison Place. Soon after, in Spring of 2024, we’ll launch the new On Seeing book series with Mortevivum by Kimberly Juanita Brown. These are books that feed our hunger for positive change from authors who aren’t content to rest at critique—they go one step farther and create hopeful paths forward. 

Anne-Marie Bono, associate acquisitions editor, biological sciences and evolution:

Next Up for me is continuing to expand MIT Press’s offerings in biological sciences and evolution. I am excited to acquire books that will engage curious readers looking to understand why evolution is relevant to contemporary issues in our everyday lives. The forthcoming Explaining Life through Evolution by Prosanta Chakrabarty is an accessible introduction to evolutionary biology that will entertain and inform readers looking to learn more about this broad field.

A photo of acquisitions editor Jermey Matthews from the shoulders up, wearing a grey blazer, lightly dotted white button up shirt, and black rimmed glasses.

Jermey Matthews, senior acquisitions editor, physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics:

The Physical Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics list continues to be focused on general interest titles that explore important but undercovered stories and people in STEM. We also continue to acquire trade titles that aim to make science and math more accessible and inclusive through rich illustrations and, occasionally, fictional plots. On the professional and textbook side, we are acquiring titles on emerging topics in science and engineering, particularly when they intersect with or rely on data science and other advances in computing, which is leading to new breakthroughs in scientific research and development. 

I’m particularly excited about The Price of Cake: And 99 Other Classic Mathematical Riddles, a math trade book by Clemente Deslandes and Guillaume Deslandes. This book is a collection of some famous—and some new—mathematical puzzles, ranging in difficulty, and presented with clarity and visual appeal. It has received rousing endorsements from former NFL player and mathematician John Urschel and math educator James Tanton.

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