University of Toronto Press Blog

  • UTP Partners with Symtext to Offer Digital Coursepacks

    The Higher Education Division of the University of Toronto Press has launched a pilot program that will make over one thousand of its medieval history primary source documents available to instructors in the form of customized digital coursepacks.

    In order to provide instructors with as much flexibility as possible in how they use the many primary sources that UTP publishes, and to ensure that students have access to learning materials in a variety of formats, the Higher Education Division of the University of Toronto Press will begin offering content from its list of medieval history course books in the form of digital coursepacks.

    UTP has partnered with Symtext Corporation ( in order to capitalize on the Symtext platform, which enables instructors to craft Liquid Textbooks—a unique, interactive learning experience featuring their own material, as well as text, video, podcasts, photos, content from publishers, and student-generated content.

    As part of this pilot project, UTP will begin by offering material from its list of medieval history source readers, including volumes in the very popular Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures Series.

    Highlights of the pilot program:

    • Approximately 16 books to be included initially, accounting for over one thousand individual sources
    • Builds on UTP’s current custom coursepack offerings, which are available in hard copy
    • Extends UTP’s reach into the digital arena
    • Provides the ultimate amount of flexibility for instructors
    • UTP and Symtext will provide full customer service and support throughout the process of assembling, ordering, and using digital coursepacks

    UTP has received excellent feedback on its current custom publishing offerings and is excited to expand the range of options for instructors and students. In the future, UTP hopes to expand its digital coursepack offerings further to include secondary source readings, as well as materials in other disciplines.

    VP of the Higher Education Division, Michael Harrison, says, "Working with Symtext immediately allows UTP to start offering digital coursepacks that students can purchase directly online or that can be integrated into any learning management system. It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn more about emerging digital learning approaches.”

    For more information please visit

    About the University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division:

    University of Toronto Press (UTP) is Canada’s leading scholarly publisher and one of the largest university presses in North America. The Higher Education Division actively markets UTP books to academics across Canada and the United States. All editorial, sales, marketing, and production duties are carried out through the UTP Higher Education office in Guelph, Ontario. The division has over 300 books in print.

    About Symtext:

    Symtext makes it easy for educational organizations—universities, colleges, and businesses—to provide their learners with exactly the right mix of instructional materials. Since its successful launch in 2009, more than 70 publishers have contributed content specified by educators. Located in Toronto, Ontario, Symtext continues to develop new features to improve the delivery and access of digital content.

  • Moving forward, looking back: J.L. Granatstein's Canada's Army, Second Edition

    2011 promises to be a pivotal year for the Canadian military. Combat in Afghanistan will be coming to an end, and Canada is set to withdraw the bulk of our troops by the end of the year. Canada's renowned military historian, Jack Granatstein, looks back on the War in Afghanistan in the second edition of his definitive work, Canada's Army: Waging War and Keeping the Peace, just released by UTP last month. Enjoy this excerpt from the new edition, fully updated with fresh material on the evolving role of the military in Canadian society.

    Afghanistan and the Remaking of the Army

  • Contesting Aging and Loss

    In recognition of Alzheimer Awareness Month, UTP asked author Janice Graham to contribute the following words on the book that she recently co-edited with Peter Stephenson, Contesting Aging and Loss:

    Last November, The Globe and Mail began running a stark, full-page advertisement depicting a gravestone under the banner “It’s never a question of if, always a question of when.” The ad read: “Alzheimer’s disease takes everything from you. When will it take your ability to think, understand, appreciate, and tell jokes? When will you no longer be able to do something as simple as making coffee? When will your spouse, children, siblings, and friends start to grieve the person they love, though you are still there in body? Alzheimer’s disease takes everything that makes you who you are…. And when it’s done taking everything, it takes your life.”

    The ad ends with a plea to “give generously to help find a cure.”

    The fact remains that there is no cure, despite the proliferation of a clinical research industry dedicated to a pharmaceutical magic bullet. What other alternatives are there?

    In Contesting Aging and Loss, we wallop this dominant biomedical paradigm of loss and inevitable decline that has seeped into how Canadians view aging. By approaching aging from the viewpoints of those growing old, much can be done besides waiting for a cure. Contesting Aging and Loss discovers people who continue to live fulfilled lives that are multifaceted and encompass many experiences, beyond a deep sense of loss. The voices here contest the reduction of aging to disease, decline, and dementia, and the idea that much of what we experience as we age is inevitable. As such, the book is intended to be a corrective that is based on ethnographic evidence. Drawing from South Africa, the Netherlands, Australia, and Canada, the stories provide a rich resource for a senior-centred approach to living and continuing to grow.

  • Enter Stage Right, Wearing Snowshoes

    Ponteach or the Savages of America: A Tragedy is a play written by Robert Rogers, the famous frontier soldier of the Rangers, in 1766. A new release from UTP, Ponteach is presented for the first time in a fully annotated edition, with an introduction by Tiffany Potter. A remarkable text, Ponteach is one of the only early dramatic works composed by an author with personal knowledge of the Indigenous nations of North America. Rogers was also famous for his soldiering, including his formation and commanding of Rogers' Rangers, an independent company of rangers.

    This month marks the anniversary of the First Battle on Snowshoes. In January of 1757, Robert Rogers and Rogers' Rangers were involved in a skirmish named the 1757 Battle on Snowshoes, fought between Rogers' Rangers, and the French and First Nations peoples during the French and Indian War. The British, and the Rangers, were reported to have a distinct advantage due to the snowshoes they wore.

    To honour Robert Rogers, playwright and snowshoe-er, here's an excerpt from Act 1, Scene 1 of Ponteach.

  • For the contrarian on your gift list: John Pepall's Against Reform

    We were excited this week to learn that that John Pepall's Against Reform has been included in Macleans' list of the top 20 books of 2010. Macleans calls the book "A clever and bracing contrarian critique of proposed reforms to our political institutions—an elected Senate, fixed election dates—and why they’d fail." To see for yourself what the buzz is about, have a look at this excerpt from Against Reform - our gift to you!

    An excerpt from the introduction of Against Reform

    Happy holidays to you and yours from University of Toronto Press!

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