From the Director (Winter 2020)
Beth Bouloukos, Director of Lever Press, gives an update on the latest Lever Press publication, as well as past and upcoming conference attendance
As we move into our second phase here at Lever Press, we are delighted to announce that our new website is now live. You should find it easier to access information and updates, which aligns with our goal of greater transparency and communication. We are also excited to announce that our latest book, Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive is live on Fulcrum. This project was born out of the poet’s archive at Vassar College and was edited by a scholar at Williams College. It is also our first title to include numerous embedded images and will serve as an example for others who are hoping to bring the archive alive with the tools allotted to us from Fulcrum. We will publish a book every month from now until June, so stay on the lookout for new titles!
On the conference scene, I gave a Lever Press update with planning help from our new Oversight Committee Chair, Marta Brunner, at the Coalition for Networked Information in December. A few folks from Lever Press member libraries were at the panel, as well as others from the Association of University Presses world and beyond. It was well attended and, as the head of external affairs for the US National Archive tweeted, “6 interesting short updates in the 1:00 slot, but so far ALL the discussion has been about the Lever Press, Fulcrum, and questions for @BBouloukos.” In early January I participated in two panels at the American Historical Association annual meeting in New York, one on open access monograph publishing and another on university press publishing. Both were well attended and I fielded many questions about the Lever Press model.
Our Assistant Acquisitions Editor, Hannah Brooks-Motl, attended the Society for Classical Studies meeting in January while I was at the AHA. She had this to say about the conference: “I had a very productive experience at the Society for Classical Studies meeting this January in Washington DC, where I talked with scholars who were doing fascinating work on a range of topics and utilizing a variety of methodologies—I learned about everything from public Classics to digital commentaries. There was a great response to Lever's mission and I look forward to assisting on future acquisitions in this dynamic field.”
As for upcoming conferences, Hannah and I are scheduled to attend meetings of the College Art Association (February 12-15), Northeast Modern Language Association (March 5-8), and American Comparative Literature Association (March 19-20), as well as the Ethics in Publishing Conference, sponsored by George Washington University (April 13), the Library Publishing Forum (May 4-6, with an accepted poster update on Lever Press), and the AUPresses annual meeting (June 13-15).
In my role as the chair of the Acquisitions Committee for the Association of University Presses, I am participating in the revision and expansion of the AUPressess Handbook, Best Practices for Peer Review. I am writing the sections on the peer review of digital projects and open review, both wonderful contributions that our Press can provide to the greater world of scholarly publishing.