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University of Minnesota Press Announces First Three Forerunners Series Titles

Nov 10, 2014

The University of Minnesota Press is pleased to announce the launch of the first three titles in its new Forerunners: Ideas First initiative: The Anthrobscene, by Jussi Parikka; Aesop’s Anthropology: A Multispecies Approach, by John Hartigan Jr.; and Mediators: Aesthetics, Politics, and the City, by Reinhold Martin.


“I am thrilled with the three pieces debuting Forerunners. Whether we are talking about the toxic waste of media, multispecies culture, or aesthetics and politics of the city, these are perfect examples of what we are looking for—they are timely, have strong arguments, and cross disciplinary boundaries,” said Danielle Kasprzak, Forerunners series editor.


Forerunners is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital works coming between fresh ideas and finished books and drawing on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, and articles. Bridging informal and formal scholarly output, Forerunners uses agile publishing tools and e-book technology to make works available quickly and widely, inviting discussion and debate and looking to advance current conversations in scholarly publishing.


Continued Kasprzak, “Forerunners gives authors space to explore idea-driven works that often aren’t taken up by university presses. These pieces are shorter and more speculative than traditional monographs, and we see them reaching a wider, interdisciplinary (even general) audience. Our goal with Forerunners is to combine the value of an academic publisher—peer review, editorial guidance, copyediting, and production—with the timeliness of agile publishing tools. These pieces are out in twelve weeks instead of twelve months, and they’re affordable and accessible.


“Forerunners provides space for creative, speculative thought. Both the author and the press can be more flexible in how these come together. Still thinking through an idea that’s not quite polished? Or maybe you have a piece that’s too short for a book but you don’t want it to languish in your desk drawer. That’s what the Forerunners series is for. Our goal is to get these ideas circulating widely and outside the more traditional avenues for academic publishing.”


Forerunners will be available through e-book retailers, with on-demand print editions for those who prefer tactile reading experiences. E-book priced at $4.99, print $7.95.


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The University of Minnesota Press celebrates University Press Week, November 9–15, 2014. For more information about the innovative work of university presses, including a gallery of more than 75 collaborative projects and a blog tour, visit: