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Publisher Spotlight – Monash University Publishing

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Monash University Publishing, the publishing arm of the largest university in Australia, is one of the wonderful publishers we had the pleasure of meeting when the academic book distributor International Specialized Book Services (ISBS) joined the IPG family. Here, Director Nathan Hollier tells us about the evolution of their press, how they blend the scholarly with the accessible, and the titles he’s most excited to see in their upcoming seasons.

IPG: How did Monash University Publishing get its start?

Nathan Hollier: The press was the brainchild of several senior Monash University figures including the eminent historian Professor Graeme Davison, the then University Librarian Cathrine Harboe-Ree and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the time Professor Adam Shoemaker. It was established in 2003 as ‘Monash University ePress’. We rebranded as ‘Monash University Publishing’ in 2010.

IPG: What differentiates Monash University Publishing from other university presses?

NH: I am honoured to work and share a publishing vision with our series editors Philip Chan (Asia-Pacific Education Studies), Clinton Fernandes (Investigating Power), Melinda Harvey (Contemporary Australian Authors), Julian Millie (Vernacular Indonesia), Sue McKemmish (Social Informatics), Luke Morgan (Art History), Jemma Purdey (Herb Feith Indonesian Translations), Sean Scalmer (Australian History), and Marika Vicziany (Monash Asia Series). I hope the press possesses a particular identity arising out of its publishing focus and the quality of what we produce.

IPG: What do our readers need to know about your books?

NH: Monash University is Australia’s largest university. I am an unabashed book nerd with a great interest in the history of book publishing and in contemporary industry issues and developments, as well as in many of the subject areas that we publish into. My team and I do our best to ensure that what we publish and how we publish it best demonstrates the continuing importance of engaged, challenging but accessible scholarly books. Our press has particular strengths in Australian Studies and History, South-east Asian and South Asian Studies, politics, and Southern Theory. ‘Monash University Publishing has made a substantial contribution to the Australian publishing landscape and garnered widespread respect and admiration in its relatively short existence.’ Andrea Hanke, Editor in Chief, Books+Publishing, 2016.

IPG: What books/journals are you most excited for in your upcoming season?

NH: Before the end of the year we will publish a number of titles that I’m very excited about:

Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955-1964 by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell: (a richly illustrated biographical study of an important group of expatriate writers and artists including Leonard Cohen); Knowledge and Global Power: Making New Sciences in the South by Fran Collyer, Raewyn Connell, João Maia and Robert Morrell (building on Connell’s ground-breaking study of how knowledge is created and evaluated on a world scale); A Second Chance: The Making of Yiddish Melbourne by Margaret Taft and Andrew Markus (a personalised, highly readable account of the impact of Yiddish speakers on the larger Jewish world of Melbourne, Australia, from the 1930s); Rethinking Development and Politics: Essays by Professor Lord Meghnad Desai on India, China and Global Change edited by Marika Vicziany (a major collection of the published essays of this globally significant intellectual); and Black Saturday: Not the End of the Story (an oral history of the Victorian bushfires or wildfires of 2009 which claimed the lives of over 170 people).

IPG: Where do you see Monash University Publishing in five years?

NH: Monash University Publishing will have a higher profile within Australia, as a major contributor to the national ‘conversation’, and a higher profile internationally, especially as a press vitally interested in the regions of South-east Asia and South Asia.

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