From the Editors: Congress 2020

This week, we were due to be in London, Ontario, to attend Congress 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the conference was cancelled, meaning we won’t get the chance to celebrate with other publishers and showcase our latest books. But we will try not to let that overshadow the tremendous work of all of our authors and scholarly publishing colleagues! Instead, we reached out to some of our editors and asked them what Congress means to them and if they would be willing to share some of the projects they have been working on.



Natalie Fingerhut, Editor
Acquiring in: History, with specific interest in Aboriginal History, Canadian History, European History, Jewish History, Medieval Studies, and non-Western History.

To the participants of Congress 2020, I hope you and your families are all staying healthy and safe. I am sorry I will not see you at the UTP booth this year and I look forward to a reunion in years to come. As you may know, we have recently published a most timely book by Mitchell L. Hammond at the University of Victoria called Epidemics and the Modern World. I hope that you will have a look at the accessible historical narrative and pedagogical tools and consider sharing the knowledge within the pages with your students in your forthcoming courses. As you know better than I, epidemics and their fallout will be top of mind for years to come.

So here is my list of the top 10 reasons for instructors to adopt Epidemics and the Modern World by Mitchell L. Hammond:

  1. We are in a pandemic.
  2. Given #1, students will want to know all they can about epidemics.
  3. If you have been concerned about declining enrollments in your courses, pitch a course on epidemics to your department chair. This textbook contains all the course materials you will need.
  4. There is history and science and critical thinking skill-building all in one book.
  5. There are primary sources included for your students to practice source analysis. No need to photocopy extra sources.
  6. It has a solid image program including an iron lung, a malaria map, the spread of Rinderpest in Africa, and the inoculation of a ferret with influenza.
  7. The format is ideal for students. Distinct colour is used to highlight maps and the text is organized into reader-friendly sections.
  8. It is totally reasonable: $54.95 for 536 pages on the most topical issue of the next year and likely beyond (only $43.95 in multiple ebook formats for those of you teaching virtually).
  9. It really stands apart from the competitors, none of which have the combination of narrative, primary sources, science focus features, images, and discussion questions.
  10. We are in a pandemic.

You can reach out to Natalie at


Len Husband, Acquisitions Editor
Acquiring in: Canadian History, History of Sciences and Medicine, Jewish Studies, Native History, and Philosophy.

I was looking forward to this year’s CHA and while I of course understood why, I was disappointed it was cancelled. I was really looking forward to promoting our great list of new books in Canadian history as well as announcing our two new series (one in Canadian Business History as well as one in Food Studies). But I was also looking forward to the two things I have always enjoyed at the conference. The first is frankly social: its great to meet new people, put faces to names, and catch up with old friends. The second is the energy that comes from going to the CHA: talking to people about their projects, listening to the talks, and following the debates both during and after the sessions. It sounds corny but it is true, I always come back energized and rejuvenated after the CHA because of this.

You can reach out to Len at


Stephen Shapiro, Acquisitions Editor
Acquiring in: Non-Canadian History, Slavic Studies, German Studies, and Lonergan Studies.

This is the first time I’ll be missing Congress in seven years, even if it is for a very good reason. As the acquiring editor for non-Canadian history, I see many of my authors at disciplinary and area studies conferences in the United States. But Congress is unique in bringing so many disciplines and organizations together in one place. It’s a chance to promote books to an incredibly eclectic audience: perfect for hearing about the people and projects I would never have seen at my usual other conferences. Standing at the UTP booth and seeing what people ask for, pick up, and rave about always reinvigorates me for another year of publishing.

You can reach out to Stephen at


Social Sciences

Jodi Lewchuk, Acquisitions Editor
Acquiring in: Anthropology, Geography, Indigenous Studies, Sociology, and Urban Studies.

While we may not be gathered together this year, that’s doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate a year of outstanding work by Canadian scholars and look ahead to exciting projects on the horizon.

Jeff Denis’s much-anticipated volume, Canada at a Crossroads: Boundaries, Bridges, and Laissez-Faire Racism in Indigenous-Settler Relations, is the highlight of our Sociology and Indigenous Studies lists this year. It examines the myriad social psychological barriers to transforming white settler ideologies and makes an important contribution to the discussion of what a restructured Canadian society truly looks like.
In a similar vein, Nicholas Shrubsole’s What Has No Place, Remains: The Challenges for Indigenous Religious Freedoms in Canada Today, analyzes state actions, decisions, and responses on Indigenous religious freedom, and provides the first comprehensive assessment of the host of factors that prevents this freedom from becoming a reality for our country’s Indigenous Peoples.

In additional activist scholarship, editors Tamari Kitossa, Erica S. Lawson, and Philip S.S. Howard bring together a stellar cast of voices in African Canadian Leadership: Continuity, Transition, and Transformation to challenge they myth that African Canadian leadership is in crisis and explore the many and dynamic ways that leadership manifests in Canada’s Black communities. And in one of those communities, in Vancouver, Gillian Creese employs feminist and critical race theories in examining how second-generation African Canadians define their Canadian identities in “Where Are You From?”: Growing Up African-Canadian in Vancouver.

I’m also very thrilled to announce a new series established for UTP’s sociology list. Institutional Ethnography: Studies in the Social Organization of Knowledge is being headed up by series editor Eric Mykhalovskiy (Sociology and Health Studies, York University) and will feature ethnographies that contribute to contemporary knowledge about how ruling relations are organized in our present day. The first series of its kind, Institutional Ethnography will showcase research excellence and innovation in the field and critique relations of exclusion, marginalization, and oppression and contribute new perspectives about how they can be altered in pursuit of better futures. We are accepting proposals for consideration from all applicable research fields and disciplines.

You can reach out to Jodi at


Stephen Jones, Acquisitions Editor
Acquiring in: Political Science

As the press’s science and technology editor there is not usually a lot of overlap between Congress and my subject areas, so not much call for me to attend. However, I’m currently wearing two hats and covering for our regular political science textbook editor who’s on maternity leave, so I was excited at the opportunity to attend in that capacity. We have a number of landmark titles publishing this year – new editions of trusted favourites as well as brand new contributions – that I know many instructors are eagerly awaiting, so Congress would have been the perfect opportunity to showcase our exciting new releases as well as a chance to meet the next crop of authors and editors. I was particularly keen to attend the launch of Turbulent Times, Transformational Possibilities? Gender and Politics Today and Tomorrow edited by Fiona MacDonald and Alexandra Dobrowolsky, an event that will now be scheduled virtually. Although attending Congress (and the book launch!) will no longer be possible in person, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any projects in the pipeline or ideas for a political science text – I look forward to meeting in person at a later, safer time.

You can reach out to Stephen at


Carli Hansen, Acquisitions Editor
Acquiring in: Anthropology, Sociology, and Related Disciplines.

This year would have been my first time attending Congress with the University of Toronto Press. I was looking forward to introducing myself as the new editor of anthropology and sociology texts, and to connecting with Canadian academics and colleagues across the social sciences. We are living through a challenging time, with anthropologists cancelling their fieldwork, sociologists watching inequalities grow, and professors across the country struggling to find new and meaningful ways to reach their students. The social and cultural implications of this global crisis are profound, and the work we do has never been more important. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to educate and engage with others about the important issues we are facing. While we may not be able to meet in person, I still look forward to having these conversations and collaborating on these projects in the coming year.

You can reach out to Carli at


Meg Patterson, Acquisitions Editor
Acquiring in: Health, Medicine, Social Work, and Education.

There’s a lot to enjoy about Congress: First and foremost, I love having the chance to connect with authors and potential authors in person, hearing first-hand the conversations that come out of various presentations, round-table discussions, and caucus meetings. I love perusing the shelves at the other Canadian university presses, seeing (and buying) the new books and series that appear from year to year.

But I think where Congress is at its best is in the conversations that happen across disciplinary lines. I hear them in hallways, in line for coffee, while I’m standing at our booth. There are very few places that bring together researchers from German studies to sociology, Canadian history and social work.

Because of this, the book I was most excited to see at our booth at Congress this year was rosalind hampton’s Black Racialization and Resistance at an Elite University. It is a beautifully written account of the ways in which racism is built into the structures and systems of the universities represented at Congress. For anyone in any discipline interested in making their schools or departments or classes more inclusive, more thoughtful, this is essential reading.

You can reach out to Meg at


Daniel Quinlan, Acquisitions Editor
Acquiring in: Political Science and Law.

The cancellation of the annual meeting of the CPSA is unfortunate given the efforts of the organizers and those planning to be there to present their latest research. For UTP, it would have been a great opportunity to display recent books and spread the word about forthcoming titles in political science.

While a number of exciting books have been published in the last year, I would like to draw particular attention to Lost on Division: Party Unity in the Canadian Parliament by Jean-François Godbout not just because it is a monumental new contribution to Canadian political science scholarship, but because it is the first book in our series Political Development: Comparative Perspectives. I was very much looking forward to being in London to launch the book and discuss the series alongside the editors, Robert Vipond and Jack Lucas. Of course, there have been many excellent books published that we will be highlighting online and I encourage everyone to check out our list.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t send a special shout-out to David B. Macdonald’s The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation, which landed on the Donald Smiley Prize shortlist for 2020.

You can reach out to Dan at


Thanks to our editors for their contributions in the absence of this year’s Congress. We’ll be announcing some of our award-winners later this week on social media and in a blog post early next week so make sure you are following us.


Subscribe to our newsletter to find out about new and forthcoming releases in your field, books for courses, and special discounts and promotions.

Featured Posts