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About this Cambridge Elements series

“A new series of research-focused collections of Elements on aspects of Publishing and Book Culture.”

This new series aims to fill the demand for easily accessible, quality texts available for teaching and research in the diverse and dynamic fields of Publishing and Book Culture. Rigorously researched and peer-reviewed, this brand new Elements series will be published in thematic areas, or 'Gatherings', that can then be augmented by additional online materials.

The series will be cross-disciplinary in nature, making it useful in a number of areas where there are currently few helpful resources for teaching and research purposes: Young Adult Publishing, for instance, or Bookselling. By bringing in an Advisory Board with members from all the connected communities covered by the scope of the series, content will remain current and relevant, and the speed of the publication process will ensure texts are available to match the pace of developing ideas and trends.

The ambition of the series is to make each Gathering the first check point for researchers or students working on that area of publishing and book trade history and practice: we hope that, situated so logically at Cambridge University Press, where academic publishing in the UK began, it will develop to create an unrivalled space where these histories and practices can be investigated and preserved.

A Gathering typically consists of at least 3 minigraphs (20k – 30k words each) which complement each other (either by discipline or by publisher or topic). Crucially, content draws on the collected expertise of the different communities connected to each Gathering – academics, librarians, booksellers, publishers, policy makers, learned societies, festival organisers, -- so that the perspectives are represented in the round. Ideally, the perspectives would encompass a variety of geographical and ideological explorations.

Each Gathering has an Editor with experience in the field who commissions and oversees the development of their minigraphs in close collaboration with the Series Editor and Associate Editor.

The Elements series will operate as its own research-in-practice project, utilising the strong working partnerships between the Press and the series Editors to investigate the opportunities for additional online materials as the series matures, whilst also striving to make the Element aesthetically appealing, as befits a series on publishing and book culture. 

Advisory Board:

This Elements series will have its own Advisory Board, which will meet annually, and help guide and advise the Editors. The full list of confirmed members is as follows:

  • Simone Murray, Associate Professor (Monash University)
  • Claire Squires, Professor (University of Stirling)
  • Andrew Nash, Reader in Book History (Institute of English Studies, University of London) and Director of the London Rare Books School
  • Leslie Howsam, Distinguished University Professor Emerita (History) (University of Windsor) & Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Digital Humanities (Ryerson University)
  • David Finkelstein, Professor, The Centre for Open Learning (University of Edinburgh)
  • Alexis Weedon, Professor of Publishing (University of Bedfordshire)
  • Alan Staton, Director of Strategy and Communications, Booksellers Association
  • Angus Phillips, Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing
  • Richard Fisher, Deputy Chairman, Yale University Press and Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society
  • John Maxwell, Associate Professor & Director, Publishing Program, Simon Fraser University
  • Shafquat Towheed, Senior Lecturer in English, School of Arts and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) (The Open University)
  • Jen McCall, Publisher, Emerald Publishing

Areas of Interest

The first five Gatherings to be launched as part of this new series are Young Adult Publishing, Children’s Publishing, Publishing the Canon, Academic Publishing, and Bookshops and Bookselling. 

New Gatherings currently being commissioned include Megasellers, Digital Fiction, Colonial and Postcolonial Publishing, and Literary Prizes.  Other suggested areas are listed below:

  • Journals Publishing
  • The Editor
  • Publishing Romance Fiction
  • Publishing Crime Fiction
  • Publishing Historical Fiction
  • Publishing Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • Cultural Publishing (museums, exhibitions, heritage sites)
  • Religious Publishing
  • Self-Publishing
  • Book Production
  • Picture Book Publishing
  • Publishing in Translation
  • The Ethics of Publishing
  • The Literary Agent
  • Bibliotherapy
  • Publishing and the Digital Humanities
  • Book Design
  • Consumer Insight and Book Marketing
  • Book Reviewing
  • The Book and the Screen