Pedagogical care on the COVID campus: New resources from the authors in our higher education series

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In this guest post, Cyndi Kernahan (author of Teaching about Race and Racism in the College Classroom) and Jessamyn Neuhaus (author of Geeky Pedagogy) unveil Pedagogies of Care, a free multimedia resource from the authors in our series Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Be careful what you wish for.

After years—literally, years—of advocating, negotiating, and campus-politicking, each of us got some exciting news this spring: we were appointed director of our colleges’ small teaching and learning center. In Cyndi’s case, the position came concurrently with the creation of the center itself, while Jessamyn assumed leadership of a center sorely in need of revitalization.

At last, here was the professional opportunity for which we’d worked so hard! Passionate about teaching and learning and about the scholarship of teaching and learning, we relished the chance to facilitate educational development efforts with our faculty.

And then, well, you know what happened.Read More »

Early summer roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events

WVU Press makes its first appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air (a significant publicity milestone!), where Nancy McKinley’s novel-in-stories St. Christopher on Pluto receives a favorable review. “Like the best comic fiction, it’s constructed out of insider social observations that sting as much as they amuse.”

A New York Times feature on contributing writers’ favorite restaurants quotes Candace Nelson on Fairmont’s Country Club Bakery, and mentions her WVU book The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll.

As the higher education community reflects on the past semester—and makes plans for the next—WVU’s books about teaching and learning continue to shape the conversation: 

  • In a major Los Angeles Review of Books essay on “Universities in the Age of COVID-19,” Ryan Boyd writes that Kevin Gannon’s Radical Hope “make[s] it clear what the stakes are, and which path we should sprint down, right now, if we want to live and maybe even thrive.” Gannon talks with Inside Higher Ed about grading during the pandemic, and appears on the Phoenix Thriving podcast.
  • Jessamyn Neuhaus, author of Geeky Pedagogy, writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the challenges that introverts face when engaging in remote teaching.
  • In Disability Studies Quarterly, Thomas Tobin and Kirsten Behling’s Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone earns praise for “sparking new ways of conceptualizing and creating inclusive access.”
  • And Joshua Eyler, author of How Humans Learn, joins editors and reporters from the Chronicle of Higher Education in a webinar on “Better Student Engagement during Covid-19.” The event is June 5, and registration is here.

Read More »

Too explicit to name: An excerpt from Storytelling in Queer Appalachia

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One of the first collections of scholarship at the intersection of LGBTQ studies and Appalachian studies, Storytelling in Queer Appalachia, edited by Hillery Glasby, Sherrie Gradin, and Rachael Ryerson, amplifies voices from the region’s valleys, hollers, mountains, and campuses. It blends personal stories with scholarly and creative examinations of living and surviving as queers in Appalachia. We’re pleased to share an excerpt from the collection, available now and shipping from our site, by contributor Matthew Thomas-Reid, collaborating with Michael Jeffries and Logan Land.

Down in the holler, I am a boy who is good to his momma: an eccentric who listens to classical music and brings a delicacy to every potluck. Being a boy good to his momma, I come from a tradition of the queer [phonetically kwar] in Appalachia. There is a rich history of the queer [kwar] in my community, from my lifelong bachelor great uncle to my father’s “rebel younger brother,” who died under unknown circumstances at the height of the AIDS crisis. Schooled in the southern Appalachian Brushy Mountains of North Carolina, queer [kwar] identity narratives abounded while queer [kwir] identities were marginal, simply too explicit to name in anything louder than a whisper.Read More »

Untangling famine from pandemic means untangling food from capital

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Stian Rice is a food systems geographer and author of Famine in the Remaking: Food System Change and Mass Starvation in Hawaii, Madagascar, and Cambodia, new from West Virginia University Press. Here he shares perspective on the entwined crises of pandemic and famine.

As the curtains opened on 2020, famine watchers warned that 135 million people in 55 countries were experiencing acute food insecurity and an elevated risk of starvation. War in Yemen, an economic crisis in Zimbabwe, and a locust plague in East Africa were set to repeat as the defining challenges for the new year. In the words of World Food Program (WFP) executive director David Beasley, “2020 would be facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two.” And then COVID-19 stole the show. Since then, quarantine and stay-at-home orders have strangled food supply chains. The collapse of oil prices has left some governments without revenue to feed their populations. Tens of millions, dependent on daily wages, face uncertainty over their next meals. School closures have deprived 368 million children of meals and snacks. And the strain is beginning to show: looting, protests, and ration line stampedes are being reported from Latin America to South Asia. Last week the WFP nearly doubled its estimate to 265 million facing acute hunger by the end of the year. Meanwhile, industrial agriculture in developed countries has become a theater of the absurd as farmers plow under crops, breeders kill off millions of surplus chickens, and dairy operations dump spoiled milk into fragile watersheds.Read More »

Celebrating West Virginia University’s long-form scholarship

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Each spring, West Virginia University’s Office of the Provost, in partnership with the WVU Libraries, WVU Humanities Center, and WVU Press, hosts an annual celebration of long-form scholarship and creative work produced by WVU faculty and staff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event was canceled, but we hope you’ll take a moment to celebrate WVU faculty through the virtual showcase linked here.

Mid-spring roundup: Reviews, media attention, and author events

With universities pivoting quickly to online instruction in response to public health concerns, a number of authors from our series Teaching and Learning in Higher Education are in the news:

  • Joshua Eyler, author of How Humans Learn, is part of an Inside Higher Ed roundtable on “The Shift to Remote Learning,” and he appears on the podcast Tea for Teaching to talk about how universities might plan for the fall semester.
  • Also in Inside Higher Ed, Cathy Davidson’s essay on student assessment during the pandemic cites work on going gradeless by Susan D. Blum, editor of our forthcoming Ungrading (a volume to which Davidson contributes). Blum’s work on the shift from grades is discussed, as well, in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Thomas Tobin, coauthor of Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone, appears in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed, and talks with the Lecture Breakers podcast.
  • The EdSurge series “Sustaining Higher Education in the Coronavirus Epidemic” includes a writeup of Derek Bruff’s Intentional Tech.
  • In Public Books, Kevin Gannon, author of Radical Hope, talks with historian Kevin Kruse about the role of public engagement at less prominent universities that are sometimes overlooked by traditional media. Gannon is also interviewed for the Teaching in Higher Ed and Tea for Teaching podcasts.

Pittsburgh City Paper‘s guide to supporting independent bookstores during the pandemic recommends Deesha Philyaw’s forthcoming The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.Read More »

How it’s made: Notes on the seasonal catalog cover

Art director Than Saffel provides a look at the DNA behind our Fall 2020 seasonal catalog cover.

“I believe that there is something in you that strives for order, and within that order, there’s a certain kind of mishmoshy confusion, and you bring this mishmoshy confusion, if you succeed, into some kind of order. There’s an element of control, and there’s also an element that just happens—if you’re very lucky.”
—Saul Leiter

—–

As WVU Press’s art director and lone production designer, I stay busy cranking out covers, interiors, galleys, ads, posters, signs, catalogs, social media imagery, and more. Most of the press’s visual sensibility originates with materials I create (or, in the case of Deesha Philyaw’s cover shown here, commission).

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Read More »

A publisher worth having in good times is twice as valuable in bad: A message from WVU Press

Update: Our warehouse in Chicago has now reopened!

In this period of extraordinary challenges—for publishing, bookselling, higher ed, and just about everything and everybody else—the staff at West Virginia University Press is committed to ensuring that the state’s largest publishing house continues to maintain a robust lineup of books and journals. Some key points:

  • We look forward to sharing our fall catalog next month. If your access to the print catalog is interrupted, let us know and we’ll make sure you get a digital copy. Booksellers and sales reps can always access information about our new and forthcoming titles on the Edelweiss platform.
  • Forthcoming titles will continue to be released on schedule, with the possibility of some modest hiccups related to the temporary closure of our warehouse at the University of Chicago Press’s Distribution Center. Our colleagues in Chicago have been great, and we don’t anticipate significant disruptions.
  • Many print books continue to be available directly from WVU Press during the warehouse closure (currently scheduled to last through April 7), but to help compensate for any delays we’ve made all of our ebooks half off on our website. Plus you’ll receive a free digital edition immediately when ordering any print book directly from WVU.
  • If you’re looking for print without delay, our books are widely available at online retailers. We suggest Bookshop.org, Indiebound.org, or independent bookstores that sell directly from their own websites. Our titles are also available and shipping now from Amazon.com and BN.com.
  • Our staff is working offsite, but we’re excited to continue acquiring new books. If you have something to pitch, please email the appropriate acquisitions editor.
  • While face-to-face book events are—like events of nearly all kinds—canceled, we’re teaming up with Taylor Books in Charleston to hold a virtual book launch for Kevin Gannon’s timely book Radical Hope on April 1.
  • We’re also donating 120 copies of Radical Hope to West Virginia University’s Teaching and Learning Commons, to be shared with teachers across our home institution.

Read More »

Ebooks are half off or FREE

Our warehouse in Chicago is temporarily closed because of a shelter-in-place order scheduled to last through April 7, and to help compensate we’re offering half off all WVU ebooks with code EBOOK50 at checkout.

Plus when you buy a print book from our site and wait for it to ship, you get the same title instantaneously as a FREE ebook. Just add both the print edition and the electronic edition (epub or PDF) to your cart and use the code PRINTPLUS. Then start reading.

Even though not all of WVU’s print books are currently shipping immediately when ordered from our own site, you can still get them now at online retailers like Bookshop.org, Indiebound.org, Amazon.com, BN.com, and from bookstores that sell directly from their websites. So there are lots of ways to get our books, both e- and print.

Thanks for sticking with us while we wait for our warehouse to reopen, and thanks too to our great partners at the Chicago Distribution Center warehouse for all the wonderful work they do. Stay safe and read!