The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Book Excerpt
In 1902, the federal government opened the Sherman Institute in Riverside, California, to transform American Indian students into productive farmers, carpenters, homemakers, nurses, cooks, and seamstresses. The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images from Sherman Institute, edited by Clifford E. Trafzer, Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert, and Lorene Sisquoc, tells the story of this flagship institution and features the voices of those who attended the school. The book is the first collection of writings and images focused on an off-reservation Indian boarding school. Contributors to the volume draw upon documents held at the Sherman Indian Museum to explore topics such as the building of Sherman, the school's Mission architecture, the nursing program, the Special Five-Year Navajo Program, the Sherman cemetery, and a photo essay depicting life at the school. In the following excerpt from the conclusion, Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert discusses his time spent conducting research in the Museum's archival vault and his experience bringing his findings back to Hopi alumni of the Sherman Institute.
'Tis the Season... of Books
With December quickly approaching and a new fall title arriving each week, what better moment to share some of what's new at OSU Press.
Robert Michael Pyle, who stopped by Corvallis last month for a wonderful event to launch his new collection of writings from Orion, The Tangled Bank, has been visiting bookstores and nature centers throughout Oregon and Washington. Don't miss his stop in your town—check our calendar for upcoming events.
University Presses: Through the Eyes of an Intern
We are pleased to have OSU Press intern Jessica Kibler finish up our week of blogging as part of the University Press Week blog tour. A complete blog tour schedule is available here. The week's posts are highlighted, with links, at AAUP's blog.
My year as the George P. Griffis Publishing Intern at Oregon State University Press is somehow already nearing its end, and I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work in such a welcoming and learning-filled environment.
University Presses: A Love Affair
We are pleased to have OSU Press author Richard Etulain blogging for us as part of the University Press Week blog tour. A complete blog tour schedule is available here.
Like most academics, I began my love affair with university presses when I first enrolled in upper-division and graduate-level college courses in history and English. In graduate school at the University of Oregon our assigned texts and collateral readings were often books with a university press imprint. We realized, too, that the most of the often-mentioned, must-read books for master's and doctoral comprehensive exams were university press books. At the very beginning of my academic career I began to understand how central university press publications were to my studies.
University Presses: Writing of Substance
As a writer who has published books for three decades with several of the major commercial publishing houses, I have become a greater and greater advocate for university presses. My experience in commercial publishing has generally been good. However, I have also been in a position to see some of its rawer exposures: unfriendly takeovers and mergers, the sinking of fine old houses to the status of coat-closets in giant conglomerates merely for the better pickings of the backlist bone yard, the shredding of books not a year out from literary awards in order to avoid inventory taxes, undue obeisance to big-chain bookstores, and on and on. The mercantile publishing world has grown even more starkly philistine and timid under the recent onslaught of e-books, to the peril of the backlist, contracts underway, and anything adventurous. When the bottom line alone calls the shots, the shots become mere potshots instead of shooting stars. By contrast, I have found university presses to be willing to engage and promote good books with readers more in mind than bean-counters. Not that they don't attend to business: they must adhere to good value and prudent choices, in a time of tight budgets. But the commitment to writing of substance in a non-profit setting makes the university presses capable of creating the kinds of high-quality, greatly varied, and original books that are growing all too scarce in the world of profit-driven publishing. While not giving up on the private houses altogether, I have truly enjoyed my first two outings with a university press, and look forward to more. I, for one, feel that civilization will live on, and well, as long as our universities stand and their presses continue to print significant books that might otherwise never see publication.
University Presses: Telling Stories That Wouldn't Be Told
We are pleased to have OSU Press author Brian Doyle join us as part of the University Press Week blog tour. A complete blog tour schedule is available here.
I have been delighted to be published by a university press for many reasons, some of them egregiously selfish, like a superb editor who let my headlong style alone and only caught my many errors and narrative crimes; but the deepest reason has nothing to do with finally getting to vote on my own book covers, or the immediate and personable response I get to the usual authorial neurotic wheedling and mania. It has something very much to do with community, and with responsibility to the stories that matter, and with giving children of all ages in my region the best opportunity to encounter and digest and savor stories they would never get in any other way than the graceful way they are celebrated by university presses. The university press that publishes me, bless its taste and discernment, is consciously and deliberately and happily a regional press. It takes its place in the community quite seriously. It wishes to catch and share history here. It wishes to sing and salute the natural world, which is to say our neighbors of all species. It wishes to speak clearly and eloquently of the moist grace of this place, and no other, for I believe its visionaries know full well that if this press does not speak those stories they will be lost. I have great respect for commercial presses of all sorts; to recruit and promulgate story is generally a positive thing in this universe, and those men and women who bet their livelihoods on publishing are brave souls. But I have a higher respect for university presses, when they turn their capacious talents and resources to communal responsibility and not merely the driest of academic ephemera. To live well in a place is to be a student of its character and characters, its stories and tales, its tumultuous life and stunning possibilities; if we do not share stories of what we were and who we can be, we are merely visitors in a region, not residents. It seems to me that university presses like the one that publishes me are most attuned to story as, no kidding, no exaggeration, food for the soul, both individual and civic. They tell the stories that would not be told otherwise; and the fact that my university press is backed and supported and encouraged by a university that is, in the final analysis, in the business of waking lanky children to their best and most generous and creative selves is doubly cheering.
University Presses: Ana Maria Spagna on What They Are (and Aren't)
I admire university presses, revere them even, for more reasons than I can name. There’s the wealth of information their books had provided me during research. Need to know about American Indians? There’s Oklahoma. Civil rights? Mississippi. Western water wars? Utah. Then there are the reprints, those lost gems. My own home press, Oregon State, has resurrected some of my personal literary heroes H.L. Davis and Don Berry. Then there’s the long tradition of essential writers who got their starts with university presses, many of whom stayed: Edward Abbey, Norman McLean, Rebecca Solnit, Scott Russell Sanders, Lucia Perillo, Stanley Crawford.
Leaves That Speak: Robert Michael Pyle's writings from Orion
The first of our new fall books is here! Join us in celebrating the publication of The Tangled Bank in Corvallis on Thursday, Sept 27 and in Portland on Sunday, Sept. 30 (details below). Sharman Apt Russell calls Robert Michael Pyle's collection of essays from his popular "Tangled Bank" column in Orion and Orion Afield magazines "a deeply pleasurable read." We hope you enjoy the excerpt below.
Leaves That Speak
The Holy Human Heart: Selections from Brian Doyle's "The Wet Engine"
We're pleased to share excerpts from Brian Doyle's The Wet Engine: Exploring the Mad Wild Miracle of the Heart, once again available in a new OSU Press edition. Brian describes The Wet Engine as a "headlong heartfelt chant and song and expedition to the seat of the soul, the pumping station of the body, the power house, headquarters, headwater, fuse-box, crossroads, the crucial battery, the mysterious extraordinary moist relentless fragile holy human heart; and notes on how it works and doesn’t work, and what it means, and how we use it so easily and casually as a metaphor for the extraordinary loves and pains that course through us like muscular rivers; and explorations of doctors and nurses and surgeries and the hearts of hummingbirds and whales and worms; and agony and atresia and courage and cardiology and blood and pulse and ebb and flow and prayer and people and the pain and poetry of the chambered muscle that drives us humming and weeping and hopeless and hopeful through the intricate countries of our days."
Asserting Native Resilience: A Conversation with the Editors
Indigenous nations are on the frontline of the current climate crisis. With cultures and economies among the most vulnerable to climate-related catastrophes, Native peoples are developing responses to climate change that serve as a model for Native and non-Native communities alike. The new book Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Crisispresents perspectives on Indigenous responses to the climate crisis, reflecting the voices of more than twenty contributors, including Indigenous leaders and Native and non-Native scientists, scholars, and activists from the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, Alaska, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. Today, volume editors Zoltán Grossman and Alan Parker talk with us about the inspirations behind this work, the relationship between culture and climate change, and next steps for Native communities and their allies in responding to the climate crisis.