Searching for the Sustainable History Monograph—A New Publishing Pilot

Saturday, April 4, 2020, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Type: Panel Discussion

Tags: Digital History; Media and Communications; Print Culture


A panel discussion (including perspectives from a publisher, a librarian, a researcher, and an author) about a new Mellon-funded publishing pilot program to develop a web-based, standardized workflow for the production of open digital editions of high-quality university press monographs in the field of history

Session Participants

Chair and Panelist: John Sherer, University of North Carolina Press
John Sherer was named the seventh director of the University of North Carolina Press in June of 2012. Since his arrival the Press has published two New York Times bestsellers and has been the recipient of several major foundation grants including two grants of nearly $1 million each from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support new scaled models for high quality monograph publications.

Prior to arriving at UNC, he was the publisher of Basic Books where he published numerous best-selling and award-winning authors including Zbigniew Brzezinski, William F. Buckley, Michael Eric Dyson, Richard Florida, Eduardo Galeano, Henry Louis Gates, Chris Hedges, Douglas Hofstadter, Diane Ravitch, Åsne Seierstad, and Thomas Sowell. He had previously been the Marketing Director at Basic and has held marketing positions at Henry Holt, the Brookings Institution, and the University of North Carolina Press. John was a manager and buyer at Olsson’s Books and Records in Washington, DC for ten years.

He has also held the positions of Publisher of Nation Books, member of the AAP Trade Executive Committee, member of the Advancement Council of the University of North Carolina Press, and adjunct professor at New York University’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Panelist: Susan Burch, Middlebury College/Disability History Association

Panelist: James Kessenides, Yale University Library
James Kessenides is the Kaplanoff Librarian for American History at the Yale University Library. Previously, he served as Humanities Research Librarian at Southern Methodist University. He received his B.A. in History from Columbia University and Ph.D. in American History from Yale University with a dissertation entitled, “Before Hollywood: A Prehistory of Los Angeles.” After teaching at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, he earned his M.L.I.S degree from Rutgers University with a specialization in digital libraries. He has participated in NEH Summer Programs held at The Huntington Library and Stanford University and taken part in the Scholarly Communication Roadshow of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Panelist: Karin Wulf, Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture
Karin Wulf is Executive Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, a journal and books publisher (with partner UNC Press), as well as funder of pre-and postdoctoral research, and convener of scholarly and public events. Wulf is Professor of History at William & Mary, and the author or editor of award-winning scholarly books and essays focused on eighteenth-century gender, family, women’s writing, and political culture. She is completing a new book, Lineage: The Politics and Practice of Genealogy in Eighteenth-Century British America, and is an academic director of the international collaboration, the Georgian Papers Programme.

Wulf’s service includes co-founding Women Also Know History (, a media and curriculum tool for promoting the work of women historians. Launched as a social media campaign in 2017, the website was launched in 2018 and now hosted profiles for over 3,300 women historians. She is also a founder of the Neurodiversity Initiative at William & Mary. Wulf is a board member for ORCID, and a Chef for the Scholarly Kitchen, the blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing. For the latter and elsewhere she has written about issues concerning scholarly communications in the humanities. She serves on the Nominating Committee for the American Historical Association.