UPs in Conversation with Authors

Posted on November 13, 2015 by Heather Gallagher

Dr Jon Hogg, Senior Lecturer at the Department of History, University of Liverpool, talking to Alison Welsby, Editorial Director at Liverpool University Press about a forthcoming Open Access e-textbook, Using Primary Sources:


  1. Tell us about 'Using Primary Sources'.

This is an ambitious e-textbook designed to help students in their study of History at university. Funded by JISC, it's a three year collaborative project exploring ‘the institution as e-textbook publisher’. Academics are working with a team from the University Library and Liverpool University Press, and our central aim is to offer students practical advice on the variety of ways they can analyse and then incorporate primary source materials into coursework.


The e-textbook will be wide-ranging, accessible and practically focused. We already have over thirty historians from the UK and the USA authoring nearly thirty thematic chapters. They are working with library staff in the digitisation and curation of source materials online via the Biblioboard platform, and then with Liverpool University Press for copyediting, typesetting and marketing, plus a print publication.


Most of the primary source material referred to in the textbook will emerge from existing History teaching at Liverpool, and collections in the University libraries. In the coming years, this promises to enhance the student experience by offering practical, relevant and accessible advice for students in a way that supports research-led teaching and learning.


  1. Why have you opted for an electronic publication instead of a conventional print format?


It allows us to do so much. Having the authored chapters alongside digitised source materials will allow students to search the source materials alongside the authored chapters. The source materials are fully searchable, and the software has some excellent features, such as zooming in on delicate or faint manuscripts, or allowing us to embed images, music and film. Alongside documents and photographs, we've already uploaded some really unusual materials, such as high quality photos of badges, and even baseball caps! It allows for real visual variety, alongside outstanding levels of detail when it comes to the categorisation of documents. We can also offer links to external websites, which will aid students further. One great benefit is that we can revise, or add to, the e-textbook in the future, so the possibilities are really exciting. 


  1. When did you decide it should be open access and why?


This was all part of the original funding agreement, and we are very happy that our work will be accessible to all. We like the fact that this is a new type of publication, and we are looking forward to seeing how it is used, and what difference open access makes to how the book is received. It means we can reach out to new audiences, and we are still working out who those audiences might be. The open access format means that we can explore other possibilities in the future, such as using the resource for our outreach activity with schools and sixth form colleges, and it also serves as a flagship resource for the library and Liverpool University Press.


  1. What have been the challenges so far due to the format and platform?


There have been lots of challenges so far, but overcoming them has actually be quite enjoyable! Working in this way is new for most of us on the project team, and we are quite open about this. We communicate regularly, and seem to solve problems quite quickly. Uploading materials onto Biblioboard requires a surprising amount of planning and thinking time, and getting used to the functions that the software offers also takes time.


So, I suppose one big challenge is time, and you have to be patient. We have to wait for authors to complete their work, and then work with them to revise and edit their chapters, while also curating their selected sources online: obviously, this work can't be rushed if you want top quality contributions. Because of the student-focused nature of this publication, I think it's safe to say that all authors have found it challenging adapting to a different writing style. Because of the volume of contributions, we planned a staggered submission period, and asked authors to stick to a prescribed template for their chapters. Being open access means that we've had to check copyright status on a range of materials, but some external archives have been very happy for us to use their materials free of charge, which has been a nice surprise!


  1. Are there any future plans for the project?


We have been discussing this recently. Of course, we will need to understand how students respond to the e-textbook, understand how the book is being used, and we can think of ways to enhance the project as we move forward. We have learned so much (and we're still learning every day), so I think most of us have developed new expertise which I hope we can carry forward in some way.


We will need to respond to some important questions posed by JISC, such as: does the institution as e-textbook creator help students by providing a more affordable and effective higher education? Does it promote a better, more sustainable information environment for libraries, students and faculty? From a pedagogical point of view it will be fascinating to see how students respond to this sort of practical advice, in this format. In the end, we also hope that this e-textbook might serve as a template for similar publications at Liverpool and beyond, demonstrating the rich possibilities for students if these exciting projects are carried out.


Check out fellow presses involved with UP Week and read up on fellow UPs in conversation with authors!

@templeunivpress @templeunivpress @uvapress @uvapress @uvapress 

@Kansas_Press @Kansas_Press @LivUniPress @utpjournals @utpjournals


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Academic Book Week/University Press Week events at the University of Liverpool

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Janet McDermott

There are plenty of events going on at the University of Liverpool to celebrate Academic Book Week and University Press Week. Why not come along and give your input?


Launch Event

Monday, 9 November, from 2.00-3.30pm in the School of the Arts Library, 19 Abercromby Square

This event provides an insight into key issues regarding the academic book, as well as an overview of all the events taking place during the week at the University of Liverpool. The keynote speaker will be Simon Tanner of King’s College, London, and member of the Academic Book of the Future project. 


Modern Languages Open (MLO): Writing Sprint

Monday, 9 November to Friday, 13 November, online at the Modern Languages Open website

Colleagues in Modern Languages in Liverpool coordinate a Writing Sprint that draws together experts in Modern Languages from around the UK and beyond. The Writing Sprint will be focused around the key topic of  Modern Languages and the Digital, and will explore how digital technologies are changing the shape of Modern Languages research and publishing.

The form of a Writing Sprint will allow for new ways of thinking about not just the content of what is written, but also about the process, as new ways of thinking the peer review process and the writing process take place.

Writing Sprint begins on Monday, 9 November, with seven commissioned pieces of c.500 words from experts in their field who address a particular question within the overall topic. During the week, respondents to each question will dialogue with each piece, nuance it, and shape the debate. By the end of the week, a finalized book chapter will have emerged, which will subsequently be published on Liverpool University Press’s MLO platform.

Come along to the blog at our MLO website during the week to see how an academic chapter takes shape. You can also submit comments yourself but please note that these will be moderated before publication.  


Tweet Your Academic Book competition

Monday, 9 November to Friday, 13 November, online at Liverpool University Press (LUP) on Twitter

Throughout the week Liverpool University Press will invite academics at universities throughout the UK to join in their ‘Tweet Your Academic Book’ event. Running from 9.00am on 9 November until 5.00pm on 12 November, we invite academics to be creative and to tweet, in a maximum of 140 characters, the essence of their recent or forthcoming book. Tweets should include mention of @LivUniPress. At the end of the week the best entry will win £100-worth of LUP books. 


Engagement with your Academic Book: Grow Kudos and Social Media

Tuesday, 10 November, from 3.00-4.00pm in the School of the Arts Library, 19 Abercromby Square

This session focuses on ways to promote your academic book via Kudos and social media. Charlie Rapple from Kudos will speak at the event, along with Anthony Cond from Liverpool University Press. 


Open Access in Humanities & Social Sciences: New Forms of Publishing

Wednesday, 11 November, from 2.00pm-4.00pm, Lecture Theatre 5, Rendall Building

Amy Bourke-Waite of Palgrave MacMillan will speak about open access monographs, and will also give insights into book proposals in general. A representative from Liverpool University Press will give their perspective and a representative from the Library will speak briefly about open access options available at the university, including reference to open access and the next REF. 


‘Using Primary Sources’ e-textbook: institution partnership publishing to support the student experience

Thursday, 12 November, at 10.00am in the Taylor Room, Sydney Jones Library

This session will focus on how academics, librarians and a university press can work together to create an open access academic book that supports students and adds value to their learning experience. ‘Using Primary Sources’ is a JISC funded e-textbook project currently being developed by the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, University of Liverpool Library and Liverpool University Press. This one-hour session will discuss how the project started, its progress to date and how this model can be developed further to offer more open access publications for the student.


There's lots more information and instructions on registering for the events at the University's dedicated webpage. We hope to see you there!


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Free Read Friday - Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing

Posted on November 03, 2015 by Heather Gallagher

Before you're swept away with all of the wonderful Academic Book Week 2015 events (#AcBookWeek)  we thought we'd kick start the excitement with our next #FreeReadFriday!

November is here and we're going to let you get your hands on Celia Britton’s Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing

This book analyses French Caribbean writing from the point of view of its language and literary form - questions which until recently were somewhat neglected in postcolonial studies but are now becoming an important area of research. Britton supplements postcolonial theory with structuralism and poststructuralism to show how analysis of the textual illuminates the political and ideological positions of the writers. Topics including genre, intertextuality, narrative voice, discursive agency, orality, the ‘creolization’ of languages and the renewal of realism are discussed in relation to Glissant, Césaire, Ménil, Chamoiseau, Confiant, Depestre, Condé, Schwarz-Bart, Pineau and Maximin. Written by one of the most important critics in Francophone Studies, the book provides a vital link between postcolonial theory, structuralism and poststructuralism. 

Britton makes an unanswerable case for a rebalancing of textually-based and world-based reading, a rebalancing of critical attention to language and form on the one hand, representation and political positioning on the other.'
Professor Mary Gallagher  
University College Dublin

Follow the instructions below to begin the download of your Free Read Friday title.

How to download Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing by Celia Britton:

  1. Go to our website: 
  2. Select ‘ADD TO CART’
  3. Follow to your cart and click ‘CHECKOUT’
  4. Fill out your customer details
  5. Click to enter your discount code where prompted, entering FreeReadFriday and click ‘APPLY’
  6. Press continue to complete your order, your account will not be charged.
  7. If you do not already have Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll need to download this (also for free!) here:
  8. Select your chosen download for either Macintosh or Windows
  9. Save, Open, Run and follow the prompts through to installation. It is not necessary to create home shortcuts for this programme but ensure that you tick ‘Associate .acsm and .epub file types’
  10. Closing the installer once set up is complete will open the programme
  11. From here, simply go to File > Add to Library > then select your download of Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing to begin reading
  12. Enjoy! 


Read and exclusive Q&A with Celia Britton here and remember to check our twitter for updates on next month's #FreeReadFriday, special author insights and latest publications!

@LivUniPress  #FreeReadFriday


Previous #FreeReadFriday titles have included:

-Labour and the Caucus by James Owen

-Assia Djebar: Out of Algeria by Jane Hiddleston

-The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Ireland Conflict by Stephen Hopkins

-The Time Machines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the Beginning to 1950 by Mike Ashley

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Call for papers: Special Issue of JLCDS

Posted on November 02, 2015 by Chloe Johnson

Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies Special issue: Literature for Young People

Guest editors: Chloë Hughes and Elizabeth A. Wheeler

This special issue of the JLCDS aims to bring together an international and multidisciplinary base of readers and writers who explore disability in literature published for young people. 


While disability and deafness have often featured in literature for young people, their most usual role has been as a “narrative prosthesis” supporting the storyline.  Disability and Deaf literature for young readers has boomed in the twenty-first century, including bestsellers like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Fault in Our Stars, Wonder, Wonderstruck, Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Out of My Mind, as well as a growing collection of texts written in or with Blissymbolics, Braille, Sign Language, or in tactile, textile, interactive, and digital formats. This special issue reconsiders the history and current urgency of disability and deafness in literature for young readers in light of this twenty-first century publishing boom.

Children are often on the front lines of the struggle over the meanings of disability. For young people both with and without disabilities, the works they encounter provide long-lasting frames of reference for understanding bodymind diversity. It is especially important that scholars well versed in disability and Deaf justice, theory, and lived experience critique this canon.

We seek articles on a wide variety of genres, including fantasy, dystopias, science fiction, graphic memoirs and novels, biography, digital forms like blogs and vlogs, “misfit romance,” “sick lit,” and superhero stories. Disabilities that only exist in fictional worlds are fair game. The guest editors are interested in submissions that cross-examine race, class, gender, and sexuality as well as disability and deafness and represent a wide cross-section of international literatures and ethnic groups.

We welcome proposals from disability and Deaf studies scholars (especially those who may not have previously written about literature for young people), but also encourage submissions from scholars of other disciplines who might lend their perspectives on using literature for young people with representations of disability to explore bodymind diversity with children and adolescents. We are also interested in intergenerational dialogues, interviews with authors and illustrators who have included protagonists with disabilities or published books for young people in accessible formats, as well as reviews of recently published young adult literature that features protagonists with disabilities. We particularly encourage submissions from scholars with the same disability as the protagonist. 


Examples of content foci for this special issue of the JLCDS include, but are not limited to:

  • Disabled and Deaf characters challenging normalcy
  • Fantastic Freaks and Critical Crips in countercultural texts for young people
  • Aesthetic/artistic representations of disability in picturebooks
  • Literature for young people by Disabled or Deaf authors and illustrators
  • Beyond “narrative prosthesis”
  • Children’s and Young Adult Literature in accessible formats 
  • The role /aesthetics of disability accommodations in texts for young people
  • Visibility or invisibility of Disability Rights in literature for young people
  • Intersectionality: race, gender, class, sexual orientation, gender identity
  • Representations of chronic illness and mental health
  • Biographical writing for young people—what is / is not included?
  • Critiques of didactic texts for young people on disability
  • Interviews of authors/ illustrators
  • Reviews of recently published children’s and young adult literature with representations of disability



April 15, 2016: submission of a 500 word proposal for articles or 150 word proposal for reviews and a one-page curriculum vitae to guest editors at and

May 15, 2016: prospective authors notified of proposal status.

November 1, 2016: final versions of selected papers due to editors.

February 1, 2016: finalists selected. Decisions and revisions on submissions sent to authors.

May 1, 2017: final, revised papers due from finalists.

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Celia Britton - Author Insights

Posted on October 30, 2015 by Heather Gallagher

We have our next #FreeReadFriday coming up, so here is our Q&A with Celia Britton ahead of the day. Read on to find out what you can expect from Celia's book, Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing which will be available to download free for 24 hours on Friday 6th of November!


1)       What prompted you to write this book?

Issues of the language and literary form of postcolonial literature have recently become a prominent area of research, after having been largely neglected. Since much of my work has always been in this area, I felt that the time had come to bring my ideas together and develop them further.


2)       What is the main argument of the book?

The central argument is that attention to the language and formal features of these texts can provide insights into their themes and social context that would otherwise remain inaccessible. But it is interpreted in very varied ways: 'language', for example, ranges from analysing Condé's sentence structures and Maximin's use of pronouns, to discussing the role of Creole in the identity politics of Chamoiseau and Confiant, and Glissant's promotion of what I call 'multilingual surfing' in the Tout-monde. Equally, the formal features cover both large-scale issues of genre (e.g., primitivism, exoticism, autobiography), and detailed analyses of intertextuality, narrative voice, etc.. In addition to strictly literary texts I also consider quasi-political writings about literature and, in Chapter 3, the commercial marketing of French Caribbean literature.

An important subsidiary argument is that orthodox postcolonial theory alone is not well-equipped to do this kind of study; theorists such as Benveniste, Bakhtin, Kristeva and Barthes, for example, offer ways of analysing the subject's relation to language that can better illuminate the position of the postcolonial subject.


3)       How does your approach differ from other research in this area?

In my use of poststructuralist and other theories to supplement postcolonial theory in my analysis of texts. But I also show that postcolonial texts reveal some of the limitations of poststructuralist theory, particularly with regard to realism.


4)       You devoted Part II of the book to the work of Edouard Glissant. What sets his work out from the other authors discussed?

Of all the authors I discuss, Glissant is by far the most concerned with questions of language and poetics; he has produced a body of theoretical work on these issues that has no equivalent in other authors of the francophone Caribbean. He has greatly influenced my own thinking on the subject.


Read more on Celia's book here and remember to download for free on the next #FreeReadFriday (6th November 2015)

Celia Britton is Emeritus Professor of French and Francophone Studies at University College London and is co-editor of American Creoles (Liverpool University Press, 2012) and the author of The Sense of Community in French Caribbean Fiction (Liverpool University Press, 2008); Race and the Unconscious: Freudianism in French Caribbean Thought (Legenda, 2002); Edouard Glissant and Postcolonial Theory: Strategies of Language and Resistance (University of Virginia Press, 1999).

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