Subject of the Month: 2018

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January 2018


WSU Press photo of the exterior of the building


Selector: Richard Buboltz and Rachael Clark

Learn how the WSU Press promotes the written word, uncommon voices and the arts and culture scene in our community in this month's Subject of the Month.

For me, the value of university presses is immense. Among their many important contributions is their support of the so-called ‘long tail’ of the publishing industry — books that do not necessarily attract a wide audience, but nevertheless have importance for our culture or society. But university presses are also able to meld popularity with intellectual rigor.

~ John MacCormack, author of 9 Algorithms That Changed the Future

Wayne State University Press

Logo for the Wayne State University PressThe Wayne State University Press is a distinctive urban publisher committed to supporting the core research, teaching, and service mission of WSU by generating high-quality scholarly and general-interest books of global importance.

Through its publishing program, the Press disseminates research, advances education, and serves the local community while expanding the international reputation of the Press and the University.

Articles About the Wayne State University Press

Logo for the WSU Press's 75th Anniversary

History and Facts

First book ever published at WSU Press?

  • The first full-length book was published in 1942: A Workbook for Reading German by Harold A. Basilius, a professor of German at Wayne.  Basilius became the first full-time director of the press in October 1955. 

How many books does the WSU press publish?

  • The in-print list of books is 856 print books and 399 active eBooks.

Are all the books by WSU faculty?

  • There are 50 WSU faculty/staff authors on the in-print list of books.  

How many awards has the WSU Press received?

  • On average, it receives 25 awards for books annually.  The Press began receiving and winning awards on a regular basis in the mid-1980s.  

Have any WSU Press titles been listed on the Michigan Notable Books Awards?

  • WSU Press books are on this list nearly every year.  In 2016, the WSU Press captured 25% of the total list with 5 of its titles.

What is the shortest book printed by the WSU Press?

  • The shortest book currently in print is called Mail by the Pail by Colin Bergel and illustrated by Mark Koenig (32 pages).  It’s a lovely illustrated book for children that details the mail delivery system for Great Lakes Freighters.

What is the longest?

  • The longest book currently in print is called The Jews of Hungary: History, Culture, Psychology by Raphael Patai (736 pages).

What’s the best-selling book ever by a WSU faculty member?

  • The bestselling book of all times in number of units sold (60,000) is Latin Via Ovid: A First Course by Norma Goldman and Jacob Nyenhuis. Norma Goldman was an associate professor, instructor, and lecturer at Wayne State University’s Greek and Latin department for 48 years. She also authored a collection co-written with her husband Bernard M. Goldman called My Dura- Europos: The Letters of Susan M. Hopkins, 1927-1935 (Wayne State University Press, 2011).

Wayne State University Sesquicentennial

WSU Logo with 150 years in the heart of Detroit

On May 18, in 1868, Wayne State University was officially founded as the Detroit Medical College. The first academic term began on Nov. 3, 1868.  On April 22, 1956, the Michigan Legislature adopted Act 183 “to establish and regulate a state institution of higher learning to be known as Wayne State University.” 

Photo of Detroit Medical College with the WSU Seal, Making History Since 1868


Throughout 2018, the WSU Libraries invite you to join us as we celebrate our University's rich history and sesquicentennial. The official celebration period will run from Jan. 1, 2018 to Nov. 1, 2018.  In addition to the Subject of the Month displays, please check the University Calendar for Special Events and Exhibits.

WSU Press Electronic Journals

Cover of Antipodes (journal)


Antipodes is published twice per year, in June and December. The journal welcomes critical essays on any aspect of Australian, New Zealand, and Pacific literature and culture, and comparative studies are especially encouraged. Additionally, Antipodes publishes short fiction, excerpts from novels, drama, and poetry written by Australian and New Zealand authors.

Cover of Criticism (journal)


Criticism provides a forum for current scholarship on literature, media, music and visual culture. A place for rigorous theoretical and critical debate as well as formal and methodological self-reflexivity and experimentation, Criticism aims to present contemporary thought at its most vital.

Cover of Discourse (journal)


Discourse explores a variety of topics in contemporary cultural studies, theories of media and literature, and the politics of sexuality, including questions of language and psychoanalysis. The journal publishes valuable and innovative essays on a wide range of cultural phenomena, promoting theoretical approaches to literature, film, the visual arts, and related media.

Cover of Fairy Tale Review

Fairy Tale Review

Fairy Tale Review is an annual literary journal dedicated to publishing new fairy-tale fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The journal seeks to expand the conversation about fairy tales among practitioners, scholars, and general readers. Contents reflect a diverse spectrum of literary artists working with fairy tales in many languages and styles.

Cover of Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media

Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media

Framework explores a variety of topics in contemporary cultural studies, theories of media and literature, and the politics of sexuality, including questions of language and psychoanalysis. The journal publishes valuable and innovative essays on a wide range of cultural phenomena, promoting theoretical approaches to literature, film, the visual arts, and related media.

Cover of Human Biology (journal)

Human Biology

Founded in 1929, Human Biology is an international, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on research to increase understanding of human biological variation. Among the topics considered by the journal are anthropological, quantitative, evolutionary, and population genetics and genomics; ancient DNA studies and paleogenomics; demography and genetic epidemiology; and ethical and social implications of human genetic and genomic research.

Cover of Jewish Film & New Media

Jewish Film & New Media

Jewish Film & New Media provides an outlet for research into any aspect of Jewish film, television, and new media and is unique in its interdisciplinary nature, exploring the rich and diverse cultural heritage across the globe. The journal is distinctive in bringing together a range of cinemas, televisions, films, programs, and other digital material in one volume and in its positioning of the discussions within a range of contexts—the cultural, historical, textual, and many others.

Cover of Marvels & Tales (journal)

Marvels & Tales

Marvels & Tales is a peer-reviewed journal that is international and multidisciplinary in orientation. The journal publishes scholarly work dealing with the fairy tale in any of its diverse manifestations and contexts. Marvels & Tales provides a central forum for fairy-tale studies by scholars of literature, folklore, gender studies, children’s literature, social and cultural history, anthropology, film studies, ethnic studies, art and music history, and others.

Cover of Merrill-Palmer Quarterly

Merrill-Palmer Quarterly

This internationally acclaimed periodical features empirical and theoretical papers on child development and family-child relationships. A high-quality resource for researchers, writers, teachers, and practitioners, the journal contains up-to-date information on advances in developmental theories; research on infants, children, adolescents, and families; summaries and integrations of research; commentaries by experts; and reviews of important new books in development.

Cover of Narrative Culture

Narrative Culture

Narrative Culture is a new journal that conceptualizes narration as a broad and pervasive human practice, warranting a holistic perspective that grasps the place of narrative comparatively across time and space. The journal invites contributions that document, discuss and theorize narrative culture, and offers a platform that integrates approaches spread across various disciplines. The field of narrative culture thus outlined is defined by a large variety of forms of popular narratives, including not only oral and written texts, but also narratives in images, three-dimensional art, customs, rituals, drama, dance, music, and so forth. Narrative Culture is peer-reviewed and international as well as interdisciplinary in orientation.

Cover of Storytelling, Self, Society (journal)

Storytelling, Self, Society

Storytelling, Self, Society is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that publishes scholarship on a wide variety of topics related to oral narrative in performance, as social or cultural discourse, and in a variety of professional and disciplinary contexts.

Made in Michigan Writers Series

Logo for the Made in Michigan Writers Series


The Made in Michigan Writers Series is made up of digital versions of books from the Wayne State University Press series of the same name. The series includes fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and essays. It celebrates the diverse and talented writers from Michigan. For more information on this collection, see the WSU Press Made in Michigan Writers Series. Only a subset of these works are currently available in the Wayne State University Libraries Digital Object Repository. 

(This resource is limited to on-site users and WSU students, faculty, and staff.) is the online platform for open access digital content made available from Wayne State University Press in partnership with the Wayne State University Library System.

This project was initiated and made possible through a $94,000 grant awarded to the Press in 2016 from a joint project between the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to WSU press to digitize 59 out-of-print titles from its backlist.

In addition to making the books available for resale in print and digital formats, this new collaborative effort between NEH and Mellon will also better define the costs and benefits of digitizing out-of-print scholarship and making it available, at no charge, to the general public.