Publishing Research Quarterly

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 39–51 | Cite as

University Presses and Emerging Disciplinary Configurations and Orientations: An Exploration and Discussion

  • Jean-Pierre V. M. HérubelEmail author
  • Edward A. Goedeken


University presses publish books according to their respective publishing specializations and programming. Disciplinary interests supported by university presses align with their strengths and adaptation to the vicissitudes of the scholarly communication system. This discussion frames changes in humanities and social science disciplines published by university presses via examination of AAUP Directories for 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2017 to ascertain and clarify disciplinary alignments and changes in emphases over time. Special attention is focused on discussion of disciplinary emphases, including evolution of nomenclature and changes for multidisciplinary and area studies. Over the past 20 years, university presses have published scholarship reflecting the changes of disciplinary orientation captured in subject interests and emphases, evolving with disciplinary changes occurring in academia.


University presses Disciplinary Multidisciplinary Interdisciplinary Publishing Area studies 



  1. 1.
    Becher T, Trowler PR. Academic tribes and territories: intellectual enquiry and the cultures of disciplines. Buckingham: Open University Press; 2001.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bourdieu P. Homo Academicus, trans. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press; 1984.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bourdieu P. Pascalian Meditations, trans. Cambridge: Polity Press; 2000.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Veysey L. The plural, organized world of the humanities. In: Oleson A, Voss J, editors. The organization of knowledge in modern America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1979. p. 1860–920.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Clark W. Academic charisma and the origins of the research university. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 2006.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    McKeon M. The origins of interdisciplinary studies. Eighteenth-Century Stud. 1994;28(Autumn):17–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bender T, Schorske CE. American academic culture in transformation: fifty years, four disciplines. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 1998.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Frodeman R, editor. The oxford handbook of interdisciplinarity. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2010.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bennett WC. Area studies in American universities. New York: Social Science Research Council; 1951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Waters NL. Beyond the area studies wars: toward a new international studies. Hanover: Middlebury College Press; 2000.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lamont M. How professors think: inside the curious world of academic judgment. Cambridge: Harvard University Press; 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hérubel JPVM. Musings on disciplinary morphology and nomenclature in the humanities and social sciences: implications for book selection. J Sch Publ. 2007;39:318–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hérubel JPVM. Disciplinary morphologies, interdisciplinarities: conceptualizations and implications for academic libraries. In: Mack DC, Gibson C, editors. Interdisciplinarity and academic libraries: ACRL publications in librarianship No. 66. Chicago: ACRL; 2012. p. 17–53.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jagodzinski CM. The university press in North America: a brief history. J Sch. 2008;40:1–20.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Meisel JS. American university presses, 1929–1979: adaptation and evolution. Book Hist. 2010;13:122–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Haney-Jones BG. The restructuring of scholarly publishing in the United States, 1980–2001: a resource-based analysis of university presses. New York: Edwin Mellen Press; 2009.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hérubel JPVM. Disciplinary affiliations and subject dispersion in medieval studies: a bibliometric exploration. Behav Soc Sci Librarian. 2005;23:67–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Shapin S. Discipline and bounding: the history and sociology of science as seen through the externalism-internalism debate. Hist Sci. 1992;30:333–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kelley DR. Intellectual history and cultural history: the inside and the outside. Hist Hum Sci. 2002;15:1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shryock RH, Daugherty DH, Gabriel RH, Jones HM, McDowell T, Schneider HW, Vance RB, Young D. American studies: a statement by the committee on American civilization of the American council of learned societies. Am Q. 1950;2(Autumn):286–8.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bod R, Kursell J, Maat J, Weststeijn T. A new field: history of humanities. Hist Hum. 2016;1(Spring):1–8.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pisciotta H, Frost J. Trends in art publishing from University Presses, 1991–2007. Art Doc J Art Libr Soc N Am. 2013;32:2–19.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hérubel JPVM. Professionalization, university presses, specializations, and the ecology of art historical scholarship, 1970–2009. J Sch Publ. 2014;45:289–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jacobs JA. In defense of disciplines interdisciplinarity and specialization in the research university. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 2013.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Townsend RB. History and the future of scholarly publishing, field does better than most in getting books published, but problems loom. Perspectives. 2003;41:32–7.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Goedeken E, Hérubel JP. Two sides of the same coin? Trade and University Press publishing of revised dissertations, 2007–2016: some observations. Publ Res Q. 2018;34:170–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Pierre V. M. Hérubel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edward A. Goedeken
    • 2
  1. 1.Purdue University Libraries-HSSE Library, Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Iowa State University Library, Iowa State UniversityAmesUSA

Personalised recommendations