Show featuring best of university presses to open Monday

By Annabeth Carlson

Earlier in 2013, 608 collections of literary work were submitted by university presses across the country to the Association of American University Presses. Out of these entries, just 95 were chosen to be featured at the AAUP’s Book, Jacket and Journal show, which will begin on campus Monday.

Hosted by the University of Illinois Press, the show will be open to the public until May 9 at the UI Press Building, located at 1325 S. Oak St. in Champaign. The show will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to Kim Miller, office manager and program administrator at the AAUP, the expedition features books, jackets and journals that are being recognized for achievement in their design, production or manufacturing.

“(The show) gets the word out and showcases the book covers and books from university presses across the United States,” said Dustin Hubbart, art director at the UI Press and coordinator of the event.

At the event, people can expect to see over 50 books in different categories, according to Hubbart.

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“(The books) are all great — the best of university presses right now,” Hubbart said.

Miller explained that the annual show has been around since 1965. She wrote in an email that the showcased books are submitted and chosen by members of the AAUP from November until January. In February, members of the Book, Jacket and Journal show committee select the best entries. According to the AAUP’s website, 263 books, 330 jacket and cover designs and four journals were entered for consideration for this year’s event.

After the selections are chosen, the books are first displayed at the AAUP annual meeting in New Orleans and then the display travels to the different member presses and other interested institutions from September until May, according to Miller. The show has also visited institutes like Yale University, New York University and University of Wisconsin. The exhibit also visits locations besides college campuses such as the National Gallery of Art, where the display will be shown in June.

The 2012 Book, Jacket and Journal show featured two covers designed from UI Press books: “Sonic Persuasion: Reading Sound in the Recorded Age” by Greg Goodale and “From Jim Crow to Jay-Z: Race, Rap, and the Performance of Masculinity” by Miles White.

Even though the 2014 winners do not include books from the U of I Press, there are still 62 books featured for their content or covers from universities across the nation.

These include “Everyday Technology: Machines and the Making of India’s Modernity” by David Arnold from the University of Chicago Press and “Alternative Medicine” by Rafael Campo from the Duke University Press. Arnold’s book is being featured in the scholarly typographic category and Campo’s book is being featured for its poetry and literature, as well as jacket and cover. Other categories for submissions included scholarly illustrated, trade typographic, trade illustrated, reference and journals.

Joshua Nixdorf, sophomore in LAS, said if he could choose any book to be featured in the show, he would pick “In the Garden of Beasts,” a nonfiction book by Erik Larson about an American ambassador and his family living in Hitler’s Germany.

“The cover is not that special but the read is really good,” Nixdorf said. “It has lots of (literary) elements to it so it reads like fiction.”

Hubbart said students should attend the event because they can see a wide range of works of literature from trade books to scholarly books.

“There are all different types, and it is nice to see what the University of Illinois and other universities are publishing,” Hubbart said.

Annabeth can be reached at [email protected].