A Letter from the Director in our 75th Year
Think of your favorite books. Do you know who published them? Can you name the original publisher of To Kill a Mockingbird? Many people recognize books and authors but not their publishers. We want you to know who is behind the many award-winning titles that are published each year under the Wayne State University Press, Great Lakes Books, and Made in Michigan Writers imprints. The Press is the largest publisher in the City of Detroit, and we are proud to publish books that highlight many facets of our community in addition to our academic books and journals.
Wayne State University Press plays a crucial role on the research-intensive, urban campus of Wayne State University in Detroit, publishing high-quality books, journals, and digital content that contribute to the discovery, discourse, and dissemination of scholarship, foster creativity and the arts, and enhance the reputation and well-being of Detroit and Michigan.
Wayne State University Press is internationally recognized for its scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, its academic journals, and its renowned regional general-interest and literary list. Our books develop and enrich the lives of students, scholars, and local and global communities of readers and researchers.
The Press has a professional staff of editors, designers, and marketers who are passionate about their work. We believe in the importance of disseminating knowledge and ideas, we know how to shape and refine books, and we understand the business of bookmaking and bookselling. The Press shares this knowledge with students through its internship program and provides would-be publishing professionals with a place to learn and work through the hiring of student assistants. The Press’s relationships with other university units, such as the library system, foster a campus-wide scholarly communication system. We offer authors and would-be authors peer review, a process that enables scholars to critique and advise other scholars. The peer-review process facilitates teaching and learning—the sharing of ideas that universities encourage and foster. Through the Press, the university associates itself with new scholarship and rich local history, distinguishes itself as the supporter of a leading publisher of regional books, Jewish studies, fairy tale and folklore studies, and literary works by Michigan authors, and extends its name into thousands of homes, schools, and libraries in many countries around the globe. Over the last five years we have made a number of investments in making all our new books and journals, and more gradually our backlist titles, widely accessible in digital formats in addition to print.
University presses operate much differently from traditional publishers. We specialize in very particular areas in of publication, and all manuscripts are peer-reviewed and approved by an editorial board made up of faculty from a variety of disciplines. This rigorous process ensures that we publish the best books possible—the best-researched, the groundbreaking. Because most of these books are geared toward small audiences of specialists more general publishers do not see enough of a return on their investment to bring them to market. But publishing work of significance to audiences of scholars and students is the central purpose of a University Press, and we are committed to it.
In addition, we publish an extensive list of books for and about the local community, the City of Detroit, the metropolitan area, the State of Michigan, and the Great Lakes region—including books of interest and significance to the general public. In this way the Press helps to extend the University’s public service and community engagement mission.
We will celebrate several anniversaries in 2016: the Press’s 75th, the Great Lakes Books Series’s 30th, and the Made in Michigan Writers Series’s 10th. For us these anniversaries represent only the start of all we continue to accomplish. Whether it’s publishing the most impressive book on Detroit architecture or the most current research on citizenship, Wayne State University Press stays true to its mission and will, for many years to come—right here in Detroit!
Jane Hoehner, Director