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Lever Press is a publisher of pathbreaking scholarship. Supported by a consortium of liberal arts institutions focused on, and renowned for, excellence in both research and teaching, we have founded our press on three essential commitments:

  • To be a digitally native press;
  • To be a peer-reviewed, open access press that charges
    no fees to either authors or their institutions; and
  • To be a press aligned with the ethos and mission of liberal arts colleges.

This last commitment means we seek out, identify, evaluate, and advocate for transformative scholarship that:

  • Emerges from creative dialogue within and between traditional fields of inquiry, with an emphasis on disciplinary innovation and transformation;
  • Engages with issues of social and civic importance; and
  • Transcends inherited divisions between research and  teaching by drawing from new models of collaborative  inquiry and a willingness to address a broad audience.

Informed by the collaborative and interdisciplinary ethos of liberal arts colleges, we approach our work respecting the received traditions of scholarly publishing while being open to innovative scholarly questions and to working with researchers shaping new fields and with new approaches.

Our works will be published on Fulcrum, an emerging digital publishing platform built in the open source Hydra/Fedora software framework with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, providing a venue for research publication that treats all forms of digital objects equally and richly integrates narratives with associated data (images, videos, audio files, visualizations, etc.). This will mean that our titles are discoverable by, and accessible to, the widest possible audience, while being sustainable into the digital future. The scholarly leadership of Lever Press is exercised by an Editorial Board of faculty drawn from our participating institutions, in partnership with the Amherst College Press and Michigan Publishing.

We are eager to consider any proposals for projects aligned with the interests described above. We have also identified five distinct concepts we plan to pursue that, while not exclusive, describe some qualities of the work we are seeking:

Great Questions and Grand Challenges

Recent decades have been marked by the tension between human progress and optimism on the one hand, and increasingly complex global crises on the other hand. Creating the conditions for thriving communities in the coming decades will require transgressing traditional disciplinary boundaries and finding ways to think and work together across divergent methodologies, perspectives, contexts—even, sometimes, fundamental commitments. Accordingly, we are seeking proposals that bring such diverse perspectives to bear upon pressing issues of social, moral, political, and scientific concern. Such projects need not only be single-authored monographs. They could involve interdisciplinary groups of scholars bringing a variety of perspectives to bear on a given question; dialogues between scholars of contending, even irreconcilable, viewpoints, modeling civil discourse; or a constructive approach to a question from a discipline not ordinarily thought to be the obvious starting point. We encourage innovative thinking.

Lever Texts

Lever Texts will make frequently taught works available in a useful, open access format that both reflects the ethos of liberal arts colleges and challenges traditional canons. We seek texts that encourage discussion and reflection on contemporary issues and recurrent themes in human history and culture. We define “texts” broadly to include traditional written forms, new translations of foreign-language works, and media such as film, musical compositions, or still images. Each volume will build upon an authoritative version of the original text with an introduction that emphasizes its intersections with contemporary concerns, commentary or notes, an up-to-date bibliography, and suggestions for teaching the material in an immersive and experiential way appropriate to a small college classroom. All proposed texts should be in the public domain. Inquiries for translations of works likely to be under copyright restriction should be directed to the Press.

New Frontiers in the Digital Liberal Arts

As a born-digital publisher, Lever Press looks to feature works of research that take advantage of online formats to offer scholarship impossible to convey adequately in print form. These works will highlight original scholarship emerging out of the Digital Liberal Arts, applying digital methods to a wide range of academic disciplines and interdisciplinary explorations. New Frontiers in the Digital Liberal Arts functions as the Lever Press laboratory for innovation, open to new models of scholarly knowledge, digital dissemination, forms of peer review, integration of data and other sources, and collaborative engagement.

Special Collections

The Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Archive at Middlebury College and the Kuna Indian or Burmese works housed in the Denison Museum are just two of many examples of the remarkable materials held by many liberal arts colleges. Lever Press welcomes interdisciplinary studies of a specific collection, and encourages thematic studies across institutional collections that promote collaboration and illustrate our connections. Of particular interest are as-yet unexplored narratives of communities, movements, and populations whose voices have been marginalized and excluded.

Teaching, Learning, and Leading in the Liberal Arts College

Liberal arts colleges have played a distinctive, leadership role in the development of American higher education. Lever Press seeks to publish work that highlights excellence in teaching and the strategies that enable transformational student development, including through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. We will also feature contributions from academic leadership to critically reflect upon the present and future state of liberal arts education, providing a forum for both constructive self-reflection and leadership for policy makers, administrators, trustees, graduates, and others who care about sustaining and improving upon the liberal arts college tradition.

Questions? Write to info@leverpress.org.