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View Diary: Help Gloria Anzaldua's "Borderlands/La Frontera" (24 comments)

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  •  Yes, but it's still very important (6+ / 0-)

    to try to support this publisher since they have done so much for both women's and ethnic studies, as well as LGBT studies. I would hate to see it picked up by some generic publisher trying to simply turn a profit when it can be maintained by a nonprofit press without the same kind of vested financial interest in it. At any rate, I'd seen this story really make the rounds amongst academic listserv's that I'm on: I'm definitely not the only one I know who is concerned in the least.

    •  Never heard of them before. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And I've been in the field for a very long time.

      I'd be surprised if Alyson Books or Four Walls/Eight Windows doesn't pick it up.

      A publisher that has to go hat-in-hand begging for donations is not long for this world.

      •  So you support small press (4+ / 0-)

        given that you're in publishing? I'm unclear what your opposition is to trying to ensure that they are able to continue to publish Anzaldua's work? Why would anyone want them to stop being able to do that after twenty-five years of their publishing her work?

        They are a solid player in the world of multicultural feminist publishers and have won a "Best Small Press Award" in 2006. You can just Wikipedia them or Google them and see this.

        The point which they make on their site about the current state of women's publishers, small press publications, and so on strike me as categorically true.

        In general, I know it's true that many, many academic publishers are struggling, which is why I touched on that in my diary.

        Do you think it's better for another press to simply take over publishing Anzaldua's work? If so, why? I absolutely don't follow your thinking here, sorry, that because someone is unsuccessful after prior success in a niche market involving feminism, LGBT studies, and multicultural studies, that they are somehow not worth supporting. To me, this only makes the very argument which these publishers are making, by and large, about how Capitalism interferes with more marginalized voices to emerge into public spaces.

        •  I'm not in publishing. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm in academia.

          My "opposition" is that a small press (that I've never heard of) that has to beg for handouts is doomed already.

          Clearly, though, I support smaller presses--Alyson Books and Four Walls/Eight Windows are small presses, and neither have had to stoop to begging for handouts to publish an edition of a book that should be flying out of their warehouses.  Alyson's been publishing LGBT books--exclusively--for more than 20 years.

          I'm not sure I'd say they were "successful" in their niche, either.  My PhD exam areas included LGBT studies, my personal library of LGBT books is beyond enormous, and I have never heard of this publishing house before.

          And, this may come as a shock, but I prefer that the book is in print than that a tiny, nearly-unheard of press that can't seem to do business stays alive.  I'd be perfectly fine if Routledge takes over printing Borderlands/La Frontera, because that means the book survives, and the ideas presented in it are far more important than the survival of a press that can't seem to make a profit selling a book that's required reading in virtually every college & university LGBT Studies 101, Women's Studies 101, and Ethnic Studies 101 course (not to mention all the upper-division and graduate seminars the book is taught in).

          •  Well.... (5+ / 0-)
            My "opposition" is that a small press (that I've never heard of) that has to beg for handouts is doomed already.
            I have heard of them, but I also spent 23 years as a book seller. That said, this publisher is non profit. I've never heard of a non profit that didn't ask for donations or sell something to make ends meet.
            •  I had as well.. (5+ / 0-)

              But probably because I own a copy of the book and have cited it! :)

              I am not really following the argument here though to be honest. I think supporting non profit booksellers are a good thing, and particularly those which specialize in multicultural women's studies. As an academic myself, I don't particularly care about how large a press is; I'm very, very used to exceedingly small publishing houses which cater to select markets and which definitely are often carried by only a few books. Many of the finest works, as you would know, are smaller.

              But what really confuses me is that this entire argument came to my attention on an academic listserv and it is being productively backed by others. Maybe it's a 2nd Wave vs. 3rd Wave Feminist thing? Maybe it's a Poststructuralist pique? It's hard to say.

              •  strange arguments between academics (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive

                sounds pretty greedy to me. Now donating double, because the conversation about supporting a small book publisher with a donation has imo no place here after a diary so informative. Not being an academic the book is now on my "to buy and read" list.

                Thanks mahakali overdrive.

                •  LOL @"greedy" (0+ / 0-)

                  I have no horse in this race.  I just don't think any publisher who has to beg for donations is long for this world, and I'm far more interested in the survival of the book--because it's much, much more important--than the survival of a publishing house that apparently can't keep itself in business.

                  •  The more I read your comments (0+ / 0-)

                    the more I'm amazed at the nastiness of the tone.  Auntie Lute is an historic feminist press, despite the fact that you haven't heard of it.  Transferring the literary assets of feminist presses to big publishers like Routledge is a tragedy, because Routledge doesn't give a damn what it publishes, as long as it sells.   The booklist of a feminist press, however, reflects a long process of selection -- and even shaping -- of the fields in which you claim expertise. Small press publishing is a labor of love, and many of the small presses from which feminist classics were issued are still doing the work of finding fabulous new writers today -- writers Routledge, wouldn't take a chance on.

                    But then, if "business" is your model, all the radical presses are going to seem contemptible to you.

                    All it takes to keep a book alive is to render it in electronic format and upload it.  We don't need to give money to Routledge to do that.  Contrary to your assertion, books can now easily survive.  It's presses that are hurting.  And that's a tragedy because it's the small press editors who are willing to work with unknown writers, on books they don't expect to  be best-sellers , and who facilitate the creation of rich literatures in fields that are marginal... or still waiting to be born. Sure, I buy books to support writers... but I am even more enthusiastic about supporting the presses who I depend on to supply me with writers who aren't cardboard commercial cutouts....

                    "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

                    by hepshiba on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 02:09:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I wound up asking about this train of commentary (0+ / 0-)

                  because I was confused. I asked a few people on the listserv I'm on why it would be opposed. They couldn't think of any reason other than mass support of big box-type Capitalism. Most said the argument didn't make sense to them either!

                  Thank you for donating, Mimi. That's awesome. When I first wrote this, I wasn't even thinking much about the publisher. I was just thinking about the book. However, this conversation has really pushed me to think more about the value of this sort of support as well.

      •  You've never heard of Auntie Lute? (0+ / 0-)

        What field is it you're in?

        It's right up there with Kitchen Table Press.

        Virtually all small press publishers go hat-in-hand, and right now they're the only folks publishing literature that isn't for the mass market.  They're the only publishers of poetry that isn't commercial drivel or the product of high-end Creative Writing MA programs.

        Many of my favorite presses have gone hat-in-hand for 40 years now.

        And, really, what's your point?

        "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

        by hepshiba on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:55:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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