The Florida Current
The University Press of Florida Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 1
i n..-:-... r l ...
UPF Grabs Headlines
In it- loin,.- 12. 2'liii I--j i,.
the Gainesville Sun hailed the
University Press of Florida as a
"publishing powerhouse." Marina
Blomberg, the Sun's Voice
Editor, astutely noticed one of
the most important and driving
characteristics of UPF's director
Meredith Morris-Babb. She is "on
a mission to publish important
Morris-Babb became UPF's
director two years ago, after
almost a decade in the roles of
co-Editor-in-Chief and Editor-
in-Chief. Her goal is not only to
publish important books, but also
to bring them to the attention of
all who should and deserve to know
about them-and that is everyone. To
this end, she is transforming the press.
The press's new website is one of
the most visible changes. UPF.com has
been rebuilt with a modern design, fresh
layout, and continually updated current
information about the press's books and
authors. Internet Technology Director
Bryan Lutz and Database Developer
Shyam Sundar are in the process of
implementing an SQL server that will
provide the press with state-of-the-art
networking technology and serve as the
backbone of the improved website.
The recently restructured Sales
and Marketing department is headed
by Dennis Lloyd, a university press
veteran. His experience at presses as
diverse as University of Pittsburgh Press
and University of Alabama Press have
prepared him well for his new role as the
Sales and Marketing Director at UPF.
With a sharp eye for the lightning-quick
developments taking place in the world
of e-marketing, Lloyd is ready to lead the
department into the twenty-first century.
We Proudly Congratulate:
Winner of the American Historical
Association's 2006 Wesley-Logan
Prize in African Diaspora history for
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Winner of the American
Conference for Irish Studies
2005 Donald Murphy Prize for
a Distinguished First Book for
Wake Rites: The Ancient Irish
Rituals of Finnegan's Wake
First place winner of the
Florida Outdoor Writers
Excellence in Craft Award
for 30 Eco-Trips in Florida:
The Best Nature Excursions
(and How to Leave Only
Honorable Mention in the North
American Travel Journalists
Association Awards for Waters Less
Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big
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Second place winner
of the Florida Outdoor
2006 Excellence in
Craft Award for
Hiker's Guide to the
Continued on Page 2
Florida A&M University + Florida Gulf Coast University + Florida State University + University of Florida + University of South Florida
Florida Atlantic University + Florida International University + University of Central Florida + University of North Florida + University of West Florida
An Interview with Gary Monroe
Q: Your first Highwaymen book-The Highwaymen: Florida's
African-American Landscape Painters-has been a success.
From publicity to sales, it's been all the rage. Did you expect this?
A: Yes and no... I knew that the highwaymen story is of the highest
order but I never expected the art or the book to become the phenomena
it is today. We tapped into something special. We also established a
truly American story with a Florida twist-the American Dream in the
Sunshine State-during the times of Jim Crow, to boot.
Q: What first drew you to the Highwaymen story and what
inspired you to delve deeper into Harold Newton's particular
A: I learned about this then-little known group of unlikely artists while
researching for my book Extraordinary Interpretations: Florida's Self-
taught Artists. So I went to Ft. Pierce, home of the highwaymen, and
met Baker, Gibson, and Carroll. I was blown away as they told me
their story... I knew that I was about to unearth and tell the last
great-untold story of modern Florida.
To me, the highwaymen story revolved a ,i.i.orn, .
Alfred Hair. His character, personality and paintin-,
epitomized what I most loved about the highwaymen.
I remember going off on this with a group of
impassioned collectors who didn't share my
enthusiasm; one told me that I got it all wrong, l
that I should be calling my book Harold Newton -- tl
and His Followers. I replied, "That's another Director. Ai
book," but understood his point, management
Newton's art, to put it simply, is more chart this ur
appealing than any of the highwaymen; he was the Associati
the first and, by traditional standards, the best. seven have
His brother testily says that Harold was not a not intimid
highwayman; he was, in fact, the prototype, the metamorph
one all the others could only aspire to be like, and bold annou
they did. Newton's work stands alone: it is the most future of 1
highly sought after and collected. In an(
in the Ta
Q: Now that you've completed Harold Chief and
Newton, do you think you will tackle any knows F
other Highwaymen? Despite b
A: I had a highwaymen trilogy in mind, and I'm culture,
this is nc
completing the last book. It is about Al Black's tribss ne
prison murals. Black converted a cinderblock prison dance bo
into a virtual paradise in which inmates talk under
the glow of these large on-the-wall paintings with Joyce.
reverence, often like choir boys as they reflect on Fort
their lives and mistakes, hopes and aspirations. include t
It's truly amazing, and since the prison is not a Hor
museum, thanks to the Department of Corrections, by Cornel
who permitted me to conduct interviews and Y w
photograph each of the 91 murals, we now have and Its P
and Its Pc
a record. of Nuclear
Learn more about Gary Monroe, The In the
Highwaymen, and Harold Newton at we will co
www.garymonroe.net. regional im
,,t tl-i n11-t ti..1.1iii,1nlt.il changes at the
i '.' .k. .. i t. .. I i".-iti.n of Development
idrea Dzavik, long in the ranks of UPF's
team, has taken up the mantle and is ready to
trodden ground. Of the 129 member presses in
on of American University Presses, only about
full-time Development Directors, but this does
ate Dzavik. Already she has spearheaded the
osis of the press's dusty mission statement into a
cement of the importance, the purpose, and the
other 2006 news story featuring UPF-this time
mpa Tribune-John Byram, the press's Editor-in-
Shead of its Acquisitions department asked, "Who
lorida history better than a press in Florida?"
eing the publishing authority on Florida history,
literature and politics, the Tribune recognized
t all UPF publishes. Karen Haymon-Long of the
said, "[UPF] is one of the leading publishers of
oks and scholarly tomes about Irish author James
has also produced books on everything from
n New England to the future of Lebanon."
[coming titles we can hope to see by the end of 2007
ie concluding volume to the popular Florida on
2, focusing on the North and Panhandle Regions,
ia Bernard Henderson; David R. Colburn's From
ig Democrats to Red State Republicans: Florida
)litics since 1940, Gawdat Bahgat's Proliferation
Weapons in the Middle East, and Bernard Shaw
,by Kay Li.
vords of the press's new-minted mission statement,
itinue to "produce works of global significance,
portance, and lasting value."
< II n M ], li, .
The Dangerous Professor
Eli Bortz, Acquisitions Editor
Becoming a "dangerous professor" came with little fanfare
for Dean Saitta. No warning, no hint that political writer David
Horowitz was including Saitta in his 2006 book, The Professors: The
101 Most Dangerous Academics in America. Just a message in his
e-mail inbox from a colleague. "He wrote to tell me, 'congratulations',"
According to Horowitz's logic, these professors were guilty of
espousing radical viewpoints through their academic work. For
Saitta, a professor of anthropology at the University of Denver,
resisting the term "radical" or activist" has always been a fight.
"I'm still struggling with that one," he said.
Thus, his quandary: His research gains attention, but he has to
combat the negative aspects that such attention affords.
In his new book, The Archaeology of Collective Action (UPF,
2007), Saitta exemplifies why his work is important and,
simultaneously, controversial. Archaeologists are taking a closer
look at sites of "collective actions"-mass protests, labor strikes,
utopian communities, slave uprisings on plantations-and Saitta
has placed himself in a unique position to examine this world.
T The Archaeology of Collective Action is also the inaugural book
for Western Michigan University anthropology professor Michael
Dean Saitta and his son, Joe, in London, 2004 Nassaney's new series with the University Press of Florida, The
American Experience in Archaeological Perspective. Of Saitta's book,
Nassaney writes, "it has a strong, emancipatory component."
As co-director of the Colorado Coal Field War Archaeological
Project, Saitta was part of the first effort to excavate sites that were
key to the Ludlow events of 1913-1914, including the infamous
Ludlow Massacre, where thirteen women and children were
among strikers murdered by the Colorado state militia. "I wasn't 1) ,Io U l'
expecting to write a book," Saitta said. This research fit so well .
with his focus, however, that he felt compelled to say something.
"This is the book I've always had in me," he said. th ni ... k Ir l.i Hi-t. n
"What's important to me is empowering readers in the C,,Ito,., .- ., t I. to'.. t. tit .
present using the past," Saitta said. "Archaeology can be so 1e iliClddl d tlihe. hlii ie iolpu tadlt
much more than what is just seen on the Discovery Channel." stuff
Working in what he calls "save-the-world" archaeology, Please also congratulate Faith
Saitta seeks to make the usually stoic, analytical field relevant Eidse for Voices of the Apalachicola.
to society today. "I strive for a useful reflection of the past on the Compilations like this interest me greatly.
This collection of tales was particularly
present," Saitta said. "I wanted to use this knowledge to reflect This collection of tales was particularly
vivid and entertaining.
on contemporary circumstances." One more request-instruct Ms.
Hence, the struggle against the "activist" label. Horowitz's Eidse to return to the woods to dig up
book coincided with the controversy over University of Colorado another three or four dozen stories. You
professor Ward Churchill's comments, resulting in greater may send me the first copy.
scrutiny of academic freedoms. Saitta is now active in Teachers
for a Democratic Society, an organization concerned with Cordially,
defending the freedom of speech of professors.
Saitta's current work hasn't left much time for follow-up Robert Hults
research, and he realizes that his current political involvement is
somewhat dangerous. "This sort of attention can make things like ***We enjoy hearing from you. Please
becoming an administrator more difficult," Saitta said. "But I'm submit your letters, comments, and other
firmer in my conviction that we must reach out to the public." mental meanderings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's New in Middle East Studies at UPF
Amy Gorelick, Senior Acquisitions Editor
For well over a decade, UPF has been a leading publisher of quality books on
Middle East topics, in disciplines as diverse as anthropology, history, literature,
and political science. A short list of some of our titles displays our commitment
to publishing books that are both timely and timeless in this area. They include
Islamic Societies in Practice, Second Edition by Carolyn Fleuhr-Lobban; The Veil
Unveiled by Faegheh Shirazi; Daughters of Abraham, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck
Haddad and John Esposito; American Oil Diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and the
Caspian Sea by Gawdat Bahgat; Iraq from Monarchy to
Tyranny by Michael Eppel; Middle East Politics Today,
by Tareq Y. Ismael. We will be publishing a number
of important books in Middle East studies in 2007,
including Swimming Up the Tigris: Real Life Encounters
with Iraq, by journalist and anthropologist
Barbara Nimri Aziz.
This fall, I was fortunate to
be able to start a new series in
Middle East studies, one that
should further cement UPF's Tu sJ.i,. i .i ,,i
.Washnol,. D <
reputation as a publishing Bi
leader. Governance and Jacki. .. .'..
International Relations in at the "oii,- ,,m.m' \N
the Middle East will focus on Locklc, N l.,,in, IN.\
the entities and ideas that Natio,.il Nl.II RdIJ,
shape the governmental Adm:-i..,. ri.. Ti i.
direction of the Middle East,
SLand iand People: .
such as party politics, non-government organizations, Series iii. ,I. N1,
the media, foreign policy, human rights, religion, and State.., r ...... .4 -...
politics (more information about the series, including Spon:LCd bI-, liC rl..,
the series abstract, can be found at our website, www. Florid. Huim,- ,
upf.com). The issues that we plan to cover in the series \\cJW.d.J, N.
are ones of pressing concern to scholars and policy ., rL
makers in the Middle East. r.i ld T[ ,li
I am extremely pleased to be working on this project 111,1 d I ,I
with Mohsen M. Milani, professor of political science
and chair of the international relations department ..1 [
at the University of South Florida. Dr. Milani has RI TII.i.,,m.
devoted his career to writing about politics in the
Middle East, and his knowledge of the latest trends
in scholarship will guarantee only the highest caliber
of books. Our first major promoting of this series was
this past November, when Dr. Milani and I attended
the Middle East Studies Association annual conference
in Boston (UPF is a regular attendee of this and many
other scholarly conferences).
In coming issues of The Florida Current, I look forward
to being able to tell you more about this series and our latest
work in my other fields. In the meantime, I encourage you to
discover the Middle East with Florida books!
[lIuid N! i.,
The Florida Current is edited by Romi
Gutierrez and Jen Graham. Design by
Thorn O'Hearn. To learn more about
the press, please visit www.upf.com.
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