Josiah Martin | Staff Writer
Duquesne University Press fans may finally have a reason to rejoice. Though last year’s much-debated budget cuts seemed to spell doom for the academic press, the university has announced a new plan that will allow its existing titles to remain in print and available to the academic community.
This new, retooled DU Press will utilize agreements with other presses to continue and distribute its works. The University Press of New England will continue to handle distribution for Duquesne University’s existing books, as well as printing new copies of these titles when necessary.
However, the DU Press will no longer publish original titles on its own. The series for which the Press is known will be passed on to other publishers.
The DU Press’s reputation as a respected source on the works of John Milton, with their long-running Milton Studies series, will be able to live on, as this series is handed off to Penn State University Press.
Other reputable DU Press series will live on through Penn State and philosophy text publisher Philosophy Documentation Center, while the Milton Society of America will assist the DU Press in digitizing more of its Milton-related titles.
“The Duquesne University Press has long played a significant role in the publishing of excellent scholarship in fields such as philosophy, psychology, communication studies, and literary studies,” said Dr. Jeffrey McCurry, director of this new incarnation of the DU Press.
McCurry will oversee the printing of the existing titles, as well as other new projects handled by the press, in conjunction with the staff of the Gumberg Library.
“I hope to continue the legacy of excellence created at the Press by its previous directors, most recently Ms. Susan Wadsworth-Booth, both by keeping significant published print titles by the press available in print and by continuing to further new first-class scholarship in the online scholarly world,” he said.
These print titles will also now be available in a dedicated section at Duquesne’s Barnes & Noble Bookstore, allowing them to be conveniently purchased by the students and staff who fought for Press’s continued operation.
The new DU Press will also regularly publish new online publications, beginning with the Duquesne Journal of Phenomenology, overseen by McCurry.
McCurry, who is also the director of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, describes the field of Phenomenology as “an approach to philosophy, theology, psychology, and communication studies that has been very important at Duquesne for more than half a century.”
This online aspect of the DU Press’s future was suggested by faculty at the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts, led by Dean James Swindal.
“What this new phase of the Press now represents is an adaptation to some new demands in the field of scholarship,” said Swindal. “We look forward to the exciting challenge of steering this new initiative so that the Press can adapt to a changing publishing world.”
Duquesne University President Ken Gormley also weighed in, celebrating the new Press iteration.
“I am pleased that the Provost and faculty within McAnulty College and the Gumberg Library worked together to find these creative ways to preserve the great legacy of the Duquesne Press and refashion it for a new digital era,” said Gormley.