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University of Minnesota Press's Quadrant initiative is revolutionizing interdisciplinary publishing and collaborative scholarship

Program to launch online research archive and book series

University of Minnesota Press's Quadrant initiative is revolutionizing interdisciplinary publishing and collaborative scholarship

With the launch of the Quadrant web site, www.quadrant.umn.edu, the program delivers on its promise to create a new digital infrastructure to facilitate and promote collaborative scholarship.

Dec 06, 2010

Quadrant, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded partnership between the University of Minnesota Press and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), brings universities, scholars, and university presses together to transform current models of scholarly communication and publication on the environment, health, architecture and design, and global culture. Creating a collaborative environment for developing book manuscripts, Quadrant sponsors scholars from around the world who come to Minnesota to engage in public presentations, workshops, and colloquia. This month, Quadrant launches an innovative digital archive of research and the Quadrant Books series, designed to revolutionize interdisciplinary publishing and collaborative scholarship.

Since its inception in 2007, Quadrant has hosted faculty from 13 departments at the University of Minnesota to develop the research of 31 residential fellows and visiting scholars from 8 countries and 30 universities. Now with the launch of the Quadrant web site (www.quadrant.umn.edu), the program delivers on its promise to create a new digital infrastructure to facilitate and promote collaborative scholarship, as well as pioneer an archive model of scholarly publishing. With information about Quadrant scholars, news and events, and books, the site’s most innovative feature is the “project” section. There each fellow and many of the visiting scholars will use archive space to make scholarly materials such as maps, recorded lectures, historical photographs, empirical datasets, articles, interviews, and more available for their individual book projects and ongoing research.

The project archives will do no less than reinvent the book, presenting a broad, inclusive, interdisciplinary view of an author’s research beyond the limits of what can be accommodated within a monograph and making that research accessible to an audience worldwide. As the archives further develop, visitors to the site will be able to access a wide range of materials that augment Quadrant Books. The web site is a further step in building the Minnesota model of institution-wide collaboration and, like the University of Minnesota Press imprint, takes scholarship well beyond disciplinary and campus boundaries.

Kelly Quinn, a former Quadrant fellow, comments “Quadrant offers an intellectually stimulating environment for participants to sample and survey current scholarship in a range of disciplines and practices. As our larger public discourse has been diminished by anti-intellectual screeds, I very much appreciate and admire Quadrant as an important site where we can develop, test, and share ideas. This practice should be at the heart of the mission of a university.”

The Quadrant Books series launched this fall with the publication of Rebecca R. Scott’s Removing Mountains: Extracting Nature and Identity in the Appalachian Coalfields and Rebirth of the Clinic: Places and Agents in Contemporary Health Care edited by Cindy Patton. In spring 2011 two more Quadrant books will be published: Laura Ogden’s Swamplife: People, Gators, and Mangroves Entangled in the Everglades and Lisa Anna Richey and Stefano Ponte’s Brand Aid: Shopping Well to Save the World.

For more information on Quadrant, please contact Heather Skinner, Publicist, at presspr@umn.edu or 612-627-1932.

About the University of Minnesota Press: Founded in 1925, the University of Minnesota Press is widely considered one of the top ten U.S. university presses and is best known as the publisher of groundbreaking work in social and cultural thought, critical theory, race and ethnic studies, urbanism, feminist criticism, and media studies. The Press is among the most active publishers of translations of significant works of European and Latin American thought and scholarship. Minnesota also publishes a diverse list of works on the cultural and natural heritage of the state and the upper Midwest region. The Test Division of the Press publishes highly regarded personality assessment instruments, including the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A.

About the Institute for Advanced Study: The Institute, founded in 2005, offers fellowships to scholars and artists, sponsors a variety of research and creative collaboratives, and hosts a lively series of public programs. The goal of the institute is to facilitate scholarship and creative work and to extend the conversations about that work across and beyond the boundaries of the university. For more information, see www.ias.umn.edu.