University of Toronto Press Blog

  • UTP at Congress 2010

    Today, the second day of Congress 2010, dawned cloudy with a little rain following a sunny Friday at Concordia University in Montreal. After arriving on Thursday to set up the booth, the book fair for Congress 2010 opened its doors Friday morning, and despite the cloudy weather today, conference attendees are browsing the variety of books that the publishers have set out for display.

    Friday saw a lot of attendees and other interested people coming to the UTP booth to check out what new titles we have to offer. Several authors attending the conference dropped by to check out their, and other UTP titles. Medieval and Renaissance titles were popular yesterday, as well as David Adams Richards of the Miramichi by Tony Tremblay, who came for a visit at the UTP booth. And as always, Eleanor Harman's The Thesis and the Book draws many people's attention.

    University of Toronto Press is promoting the launch of our new website at Congress 2010. UTP now offers electronic examination copies to professors previewing books for course use. For more information, check out www.utppublishing.com, or if you're attending Congress, come by the booth.

    CTV Montreal is doing a feature on Congress 2010 on their local news program. Yesterday they interviewed Ronald Rudin, author of award-winning Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie, and the Academic Convenor for Congress 2010. Click this link to see the interview and check back to see their coverage all week long. You can also check out the UTP booth in the background.

    Last night was the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine's annual Champagne and Strawberry book launch. Featured at this event were Jacalyn Duffin's History of Medicine, Second Edition, and Cheryl Krasnick Warsh's Prescribed Norms. Jacalyn was very pleased to see the UTP booth, as well as UTP at the launch.

    UTP is at Congress until the book fair ends on Friday June 4th, 2010. If you're attending the conference, or in the Montreal area, come visit us at the EV Pavilion, Booths 22-25.

  • Sacred Violence Launch at NYU

    Now that UTP has returned from the 45th annual International Congress on Medieval Studies, where we mounted an impressive display of our new and backlist books, we thought we should mention another medieval studies event that occurred this past semester, but which we were sadly unable to attend in person.

    On February 18, at 5:00 p.m., Jill N. Claster's Sacred Violence: The European Crusades to the Middle East, 1095-1396 was launched at an event hosted by the College of Arts and Science, the Humanities Institute, and the Department of History at New York University. The book launch took place in a beautiful lounge on the first floor of the Silver Center for Arts and Science (the main NYU building).

    The event, which was very well attended, began with some wine, and then speeches were given. Dean Matthew Santirocco of the College of Arts and Science introduced Dr. Claster, spoke about her career at NYU, and then gave a glowing review of the book.

    Dr. Claster then spoke about recent scholarship on the crusades, how the field has changed overall, how she chose to incorporate new research in her book, and how her book spends more time on the religious history and the background of the crusades than most of the other books on the subject. She also thanked those people who helped.

    Speeches were followed by a book signing and a very nice cocktail party. Comments on the book were shared during the party, with many people mentioning the book's excellent illustrations and its gorgeous cover and production quality. Those who had read it in advance spoke of the clear and accessible writing style, which is definitely one of its selling points. The NYU Bookstore, which managed sales of the book at the launch, quickly sold out of all copies and took orders for many more. In the Bookstore's view, the launch was a BIG success. And given the excellent quality of this book and the importance of its topic, we hope it continues to succeed!

  • Kalamazoo Diaries #2: This Conference is Berserk!

    The second full day at the 45th annual International Congress on Medieval Studies started with 15 copies of my brand new book, The Viking Age: A Reader, on one side of the booth, and 15 copies of Medieval Medicine: A Reader (the other new book in the extremely popular Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures series) on the other. By noon, we were down to 7 copies of each. Using discarded wine glasses from the daily wine hour, Natalie started keeping score of which book was going to run out first.

    On the other side of the booth, the happy sounds of Suzanne greeting her authors permeated the humid air. Lisi Oliver, upcoming author of The Body Legal, stopped by, and she was followed by many other past, present, and future UTP authors. The beautiful British Library guides sold themselves throughout the day (Medieval Birds, especially, flew off the shelves).

    Anna’s cartoons and "Berserker for a Buck" buttons were the talk of Kzoo with students and profs and independent scholars alike coming to the booth to pick up the swag.

    When the nervous voice of the Western Michigan student volunteer announced that there were only 15 minutes left, the girls looked surprised. It had been a busy day. I was exhausted and so were they. We went down to Bell’s Brewery but could not get in. Our old mainstay, the local tapas restaurant, had one free table so we were able to feast on rattlesnake rolls and dates wrapped in bacon. Natalie carried me home in her arms and I snoozed until she put me into bed.

    We arrived at the booth this morning for the third full day of the conference with only 5 copies of The Viking Age and Medieval Medicine remaining. All bets were on. At around 11:00 a.m. one of my creators, Andrew McDonald, came by for a photo op with me. He was all smiles as he showed me and my book to his graduate students.

    After he left, the booth began to buzz like a fire sale at Holt Renfrew. Medievalists jousted with each other over final copies. By late afternoon, Rosenwein’s A Short History of the Middle Ages was a memory, as was anything to do with the Carolingians or the Merovingians.

    Anna and Natalie met in the middle of the booth and declared the next hour dedicated to selling anything in the booth that had to do with Crusades. That gave me a chance to get a glass of mead and a white wine chaser, and also to try on a souvenir t-shirt. In just an hour, 3 copies of Sacred Violence and 3 copies of the bestselling Crusades reader were gone.  

    Adoption rumours were amok when the gossip mill started to circulate news of an adoption of The Viking Age: A Reader at Purdue University, as well as an adoption of Medieval Medicine at SUNY Oneonta.

    By 5:00 p.m., there was only one over-massaged copy of Medieval Medicine left. By 5:05 p.m., there was only one of my Viking readers left. The girls called the contest a draw. In the end, we were all winners.

    I’ve decided to stay in the UTP booth for the night so that I can catch up on my blog, and hopefully spend some time looking at books and coins and eating the white chocolate peanut butter cups left for me by a very kind nun. Tomorrow morning will be the end of the book fair and I will need to get some rest so that I can stand tall one last time at the ICMS!

    Kzoo 4Ever.

    -The Berserker

  • Kalamazoo Diaries #1: The First Day

    Please allow me to introduce myself. I am The Berserker. You can call me Berserk for short. I am escorting Natalie, Anna, and Suzanne to Kalamazoo (or "Kzoo" as the pros call it) for the 45th annual International Congress on Medieval Studies.

    The drive down to Western Michigan University was uneventful. We saw the expected amount of road kill and discarded rubber tires. Natalie fed me a rather large Hershey bar and I sang songs from some show called Glee that Natalie had never heard of before.

    We arrived at the Exhibits Hall around 5:00 pm where Suzanne was waiting for us. We quickly unpacked our books and prepared our booth.

    Exhausted from their efforts, the girls went back to the hotel and tucked me in so that I would be at my Berserker best for the first official day of Kzoo 2010.

    And what a day it was!! So many medievalists saw me and came right over to our booth asking for books in our Readings in Medieval Cultures and Civilizations series. By noon, we had sold out of Medieval Saints: A Reader, The Annals of Flodoard (btw, no two people seem to pronounce "Flodoard" the same way), and Gregory of Tours. Anna had some Vikings cartoons prepared and they were eagerly taken from our table. We also had some Berserker buttons of me and some of my friends that we sold: Berserker Buttons for a Buck.

    My new Vikings reader flew out of the booth as did another new volume, Medieval Medicine. On the other side of the booth, Suzanne was doing her annual meet and greet with her peeps, many of whom requested Finding the Right Words: Isidore’s Synonyma in Anglo-Saxon England by Claudia Di Sciacca.

    We discovered that Jill N. Claster’s Sacred Violence seems to be the preferred summer beach reading for the Kzoo crowd, and we are eagerly anticipating their feedback in the fall.

    Our new UTP medieval coursepacks were a hit with profs, who were heard uttering expressions like "Wow" and "Thank you for this idea!" and "Fantastic!" upon hearing the news that  our content was now available for their students in a more flexible format.

    A busy day was capped off by a relaxing night at the local Indian restaurant at the Kzoo strip mall in the company of long time UTP series editor, Paul Edward Dutton. The only disappointment at dinner came when we were informed that there were no more chick peas left in the city of Kalamazoo.

    Natalie and Anna are now getting me ready for bed for my second day on the job.

    Kzoo 4Ever.

    -The Berserker

  • Fall-Winter 2010 Catalogues Have Arrived!

    University of Toronto Press is very pleased to announce that our Fall-Winter 2010 catalogues have arrived. This catalogue features a new 4-colour design to display all the exciting titles coming out in the season ahead.

    The upcoming season's releases include the paperback version of the National Business Book Award finalist Gravity Shift by Wendy Dobson, as well as two new additions to the Canadian Cinema series.

    Allan King's A Married Couple, by Zoe Druick, the fifth book in the Canadian Cinema series, examines King's film in the context of late 1960s cinematic and cultural movements. Watch for Allan King's A Married Couple at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

    Darren Wershler brings us the sixth installment in the Canadian Cinema series with Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg. In this volume, Wershler argues that Maddin's use of techniques and media that fall outside of the normal repertoire of contemporary cinema require us to re-examine what we think we know about the documentary genre and even 'film' itself.

    Check out these and all the other upcoming UTP titles in the Fall-Winter 2010 Catalogue.

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