by Victoria Pittman
1st March 2019

Victoria Pittman.jpg

Victoria Pittman

This Academic Book Week, and ten months after the publication of the first Bristol University Press title, Victoria Pittman, our Head of Commissioning, looks back over the year, showcasing our lists so far and explaining why we’re proud and privileged to be part of the academic publishing world.

Although I read my share of academic books during my own time at university, it wasn’t until I worked in academic publishing that I really appreciated the huge variety and importance of these books, and what goes into creating them. Academic Book Week is a great opportunity to celebrate their contribution and at BUP we are excited to be part of a conversation which celebrates the diversity, innovation and influence of academic books.

It’s a little under a year since BUP launched, building on the success of Policy Press and expanding our range of titles across new subject areas, authors and audiences in the social sciences and aligned disciplines. Publishing books which are of the highest academic quality, we work with internationally recognised experts and it has been a fantastic year so far. We feel proud to be a University Press that academics trust to publish their important research.

Feature Montage

Our first titles have ranged from those which launched new series such as The Politics of Compassion: Immigration and Asylum Policy by Ala Sirriyeh which was the first tile in the Global Migration and Social Change series, to accessible and topical books like Amitai Etzioni’s Law and Society in a Populist Age: Balancing Individual Rights and the Common Good.

A number of monographs across the lists show the range of subject areas we cover:

Across our Shorts (books between 30-50,000 words), we have published titles which provide the latest cutting-edge or topical research findings, including Prison Suicide: What Happens Afterwards? by Philippa Tomczak and Making Waves Behind Bars: The Prison Radio Association by Charlotte Bedford.

Other titles like The Lies We Were Told: Politics, Economics, Austerity and Brexit by Simon Wren-Lewis, a Prose award finalist, have been reviewed as important and influential with Paul Krugman writing in the preface: ‘This is a book you should read, for understanding what went wrong in the past is our only hope of doing better in the future’.

Creating this impact is fundamental to our mission. The titles above, and the many others I could mention, show the huge value of academic book publishing in bringing essential research evidence and insights to a wider audience, joining debates and influencing policymakers.

To support this, we produce policy briefings for government, such as this one for Whose Government is It? The Renewal of State-Citizen Cooperation by Henry Tam. Media coverage, such as this piece in the Independent adapted from Who are Universities For? Re-making Higher Education by Tom Sperlinger, Josie McLellan and Richard Pettigrew, makes academic research relevant and increases its capacity to create change.

In short, this is a wonderful industry to be part of and one we hope continues to thrive.

Catalogue Spring 19

Visit our website to find out more about our new and forthcoming books and journals, as well as others from our imprint Policy Press and other news about our publishing.

Our spring catalogue is out now. Download a pdf here.