Open Book Publishers - Spring Newsletter - May 2024

OBP Newsletter Jun 14, 2024

Greetings and welcome to our Spring Newsletter!

In this edition, you'll find a treasure trove of updates, interesting insights into our practices and industry practices, and an array of exciting new open-access books, videos, resources and more. Get ready to dive into a world of knowledge, innovation, and our upcoming releases. Here's a sneak peek at what's waiting for you inside:


• Announcing the Winner of the 2024 GESIG Best Edited Book Award

• OBP Author Survey: Share Your Feedback!

• Open Access Books Network

• The PALOMERA project Survey

• Featured Article: Open-access books need more support from universities by Lucy Barnes

• Featured Blog Post: Where does the money go? Explaining our Library Membership Programme by Lucy Barnes

Books, Resources and Reviews

• Featured Books: Now in OA!

• New Open Access Publications  

• Forthcoming Open Access Publications

• New Blogs, Articles and Resources  

• Call for Proposals  

• Latest Reviews

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Announcing the Winner of the 2024 GESIG Best Edited Book Award

Cover of 'Higher Education for Good' on a 3D image of a tablet, a phone, and a book.

We are thrilled to announce that Higher Education for Good: Teaching and Learning Futures, edited by Laura Czerniewicz and Catherine Cronin, has been awarded the 2024 GESIG Best Edited Book Award!

This groundbreaking collection, featuring contributions from academics and professionals spanning 17 countries and numerous disciplines, offers insightful perspectives on the future of higher education. In the face of ongoing challenges and crises, the book boldly reimagines the values and purpose of universities, advocating for a shift away from financial incentives and performance metrics towards a focus on resilience, collective action, and innovative solutions.

Read and download for free or get your own ebook or hard copy at

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OBP Author Survey: Share Your Feedback

Your input matters!

If you're an OBP author, contributor, or editor, we want to hear from you. Share your insights on our publishing process and help us better understand our community.

We're also keen to hear your suggestions on how we can enhance title dissemination and broaden our readership. Together, let's make OBP even better!

Access the survey now at

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Open Access Books Network

SIGN UP for the latest OABN webinar, free and open to all: 'How are open access associations supporting OA book publishing?' On Thursday 23 May at 2pm BST, join representatives of the Open Institutional Publishing Association (OIPA) in the UK, the Irish Open Access Publishers (IOAP) in Ireland, the New University Presses (NUPs) from the Netherlands, and the AG Universitätsverlage for German-speaking presses to discuss how these associations are supporting OA book publishing in their regions.

Access here:

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The PALOMERA project Survey

The PALOMERA project, which is investigating OA book policymaking across Europe, has recently released their Knowledge Base. How might you use it? Let them know!

You can also read this blog post about the recent PALOMERA-led event bringing together OA projects across Europe with a representative from the European Commission, to discuss their latest developments and how these projects contribute to a broader vision for open access:

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Featured Article: Open-access books need more support from universities by Lucy Barnes

Our Senior Editor and Outreach Coordinator, Lucy Barnes, has written a piece for Research Fortnight: 'Open-access books need more support from universities'.

Please read and share!

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Featured Blog Post: Where does the money go? Explaining our Library Membership Programme by Lucy Barnes

Our Senior Editor and Outreach Coordinator, Lucy Barnes, has written a new blog post where she delves into the Open Book Publishers' Library Membership Programme, detailing its pivotal role in supporting open access publishing while addressing what it funds, and why we also ask authors who are able to apply for funding to do so.

Read now at

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Featured Books: Now in OA!

Delve into the rich tapestry of intangible heritage with two captivating reads: A Country of Shepherds: Cultural Stories of a Changing Mediterranean Landscape by Kathleen Ann Myers, translated by Grady C. Wray, and Tangible and Intangible Heritage in the Age of Globalisation edited by Lilia Makhloufi.

Cover of 'A Country of Shepherds' on a 3D image of a tablet, a phone, and a book.

In A Country of Shepherds Myers intricately weaves together the life stories of shepherds and farmers in Spain's Andalusian region, offering profound insights into their cultural practices, traditions, and the intangible essence of their way of life. As these individuals navigate the challenges of their landscapes, their narratives provide a poignant reflection on the significance of intangible heritage amidst ecological shifts and global influences. From ancient traditions to contemporary challenges, this book paints a vivid portrait of the enduring cultural landscapes of the Mediterranean.

Cover of 'Tangible and Intangible Heritage' on a 3D image of a tablet, a phone, and a book.

Complementing this exploration, Tangible and Intangible Heritage presents a diverse array of perspectives on heritage preservation across cultures and continents. Delving into the complex interplay between tangible sites and intangible practices, this collection offers critical insights into the dynamic nature of heritage in an increasingly interconnected world. From Algeria to Japan, each essay examines how tangible and intangible elements intertwine to shape cultural identities and communities, urging us to rethink traditional paradigms of preservation in the face of global challenges.

Together, these books invite readers on a journey to discover the intangible threads that weave through our cultural tapestry.

Access them now at:

A Country of Shepherds: Cultural Stories of a Changing Mediterranean Landscape:

Tangible and Intangible Heritage in the Age of Globalisation:

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New Open Access Publications

In addition to the two titles featured above, these past two months we have released another 13 new Open Access titles:

Genetic Inroads into the Art of James Joyce by Hans Walter Gabler

This book is a treasure trove comprising core writings from Hans Walter Gabler‘s seminal work on James Joyce, spanning fifty years from the analysis of composition he undertook towards a critical text of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, through the Critical and Synoptic Edition of Ulysses, to Gabler‘s latest essays on (appropriately enough) Joyce’s sustained artistic innovation.

Eliza Orme’s Ambitions: Politics and the Law in Victorian London by Leslie Howsam

Why are some figures hidden from history? Eliza Orme, despite becoming the first woman in Britain to earn a university degree in Law in 1888, leading both a political organization and a labour investigation in 1892, and participating actively in the women’s suffrage movement into the early twentieth century, is one such figure.

Byron and Trinity: Memorials, Marbles and Ruins by Adrian Poole

This is a collection of reprinted essays about the life and writing of Lord Byron and the themes of ‘memorials, marbles and ruins’ that were prominent in his thinking and feeling.

No Life Without You: Refugee Love Letters from the 1930s by Frank Felsenstein

The letters and journals of Ernst Moritz and Vera Hirsch Felsenstein, two German Jewish refugees caught in the tumultuous years leading to the Second World War, form the core of this book. Abridged in English from the original German, the correspondence and diaries have been expertly compiled and annotated by their only son who preserves his parents’ love story in their own words. Their letters, written from Germany, England, Russia, and Palestine capture their desperate efforts to save themselves and their family, friends and businesses from the fascist tyranny. The book begins by contextualizing the early lives of Moritz and Vera.

Translating Russian Literature in the Global Context by Muireann Maguire and Cathy McAteer

Translating Russian Literature in the Global Context examines the translation and reception of Russian literature as a world-wide process. This volume aims to provoke new debate about the continued currency of Russian literature as symbolic capital for international readers, in particular for nations seeking to create or consolidate cultural and political leverage in the so-called ‘World Republic of Letters’. It also seeks to examine and contrast the mechanisms of the translation and uses of Russian literature across the globe.

Heavy Metal: Earth’s Minerals and the Future of Sustainable Societies edited by Philippe Tortell

Heavy Metal brings together world-leading experts from across the globe to reimagine the future of mineral exploration and mining in a post-fossil fuel world.

A Grammar of the Jewish Arabic Dialect of Gabes by Wiktor Gębski

This volume undertakes a linguistic exploration of the endangered Arabic dialect spoken by the Jews of Gabes, a coastal city situated in Southern Tunisia. Belonging to the category of sedentary North African dialects, this variety is now spoken by a dwindling number of native speakers, primarily in Israel and France. Given the imminent extinction faced by many modern varieties of Judaeo-Arabic, including Jewish Gabes, the study's primary goal is to document and describe its linguistic nuances while reliable speakers are still accessible. Data for this comprehensive study were collected during fieldwork in Israel and France between December 2018 and March 2022.

(An)Archive: Childhood, Memory, and the Cold War edited by Mnemo ZIN

What was it like growing up during the Cold War? What can childhood memories tell us about state socialism and its aftermath? How can these intimate memories complicate history and redefine possible futures? These questions are at the heart of (An)Archive. This edited collection stems from a collaboration between academics and artists who came together to collectively remember their own experiences of growing up on both sides of the ‘Iron Curtain’. Looking beyond official historical archives, the book gathers memories that have been erased or forgotten, delegitimized or essentialized, or, at best, reinterpreted nostalgically within the dominant frameworks of the East-West divide. And it reassembles and (re)stores these childhood memories in a form of an ‘anarchive’: a site for merging, mixing, connecting, but also juxtaposing personal experiences, public memory, political rhetoric, places, times, and artifacts. Collectively, these acts and arts of collective remembering tell about possible futures―and the past’s futures―what life during the Cold War might have been but also what it has become.

No Prices No Games!: Four Economic Models by Michael Richter and Ariel Rubinstein

While current economic theory focuses on prices and games, this book models economic settings where harmony is established through one of the following societal conventions:

•  A power relation according to which stronger agents are able to force weaker ones to do things against their will.

•  A norm that categorizes actions as permissible or forbidden.

•  A status relation over alternatives which limits each agent's choices.

•  Systematic biases in agents' preferences.

The Nordic Minuet: Royal Fashion and Peasant Tradition edited by Petri Hoppu, Egil Bakka and Anne Margrete Fiskvik

This major new anthology of the minuet in the Nordic countries comprehensively explores the dance as a historical, social and cultural phenomenon. One of the most significant dances in Europe, with a strong symbolic significance in western dance culture and dance scholarship, the minuet has evolved a distinctive pathway in this region, which these rigorous and pioneering essays explore.

Jesus and the Making of the Modern Mind, 1380-1520 by Luke Clossey

For his fifteenth-century followers, Jesus was everywhere – from baptism to bloodcults to bowling. This sweeping and unconventional investigation looks at Jesus across one hundred forty years of social, cultural, and intellectual history.  Mystics married him, Renaissance artists painted him in three dimensions, Muslim poets praised his life-giving breath, and Christopher (“Christ-bearing”) Columbus brought the symbol of his cross to the Americas.  Beyond the European periphery, this global study follows Jesus across – and sometimes between – religious boundaries, from Greenland to Kongo to China.

Arabic Documents from Medieval Nubia by Geoffrey Khan

This volume presents an edition of a corpus of Arabic documents data-ble to the 11th and 12th centuries AD that were discovered by the Egypt Exploration Society at the site of the Nubian fortress Qaṣr Ibrīm (situated in the south of modern Egypt).

Reign of the Beast: The Atheist World of W. D. Saull and his Museum of Evolution by Adrian Desmond

In the 1830s, decades before Darwin published the Origin of Species, a museum of evolution flourished in London. Reign of the Beast pieces together the extraordinary story of this lost working-man's institution and its enigmatic owner, the wine merchant W. D. Saull. A financial backer of the anti-clerical Richard Carlile, the ‘Devil's Chaplain’ Robert Taylor, and socialist Robert Owen, Saull outraged polite society by putting humanity’s ape ancestry on display. He weaponized his museum fossils and empowered artisans with a knowledge of deep geological time that undermined the Creationist base of the Anglican state. His geology museum, called the biggest in Britain, housed over 20,000 fossils, including famous dinosaurs. Saull was indicted for blasphemy and reviled during his lifetime. After his death in 1855, his museum was demolished and he was expunged from the collective memory. Now multi-award-winning author Adrian Desmond undertakes a thorough reading of Home Office spy reports and subversive street prints to re-establish Saull's pivotal place at the intersection of the history of geology, atheism, socialism, and working-class radicalism.

As always, these titles are freely available to read and download at

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Forthcoming Open Access Publications

Teaching Music Performance in Higher Education: Exploring the Potential of Artistic Research edited by Helen Julia Minors, Stefan Östersjö, Gilvano Dalagna, Jorge Salgado Correia

This book contributes presenting examples of artistic research projects that are embedded within Higher Music Performance courses at universities and conservatoires across Europe.

Music and the Making of Modern Japan: Joining the Global Concert by Margaret Mehl

In only 50 years, from the 1870s to the early 1920s, Japanese people laid the foundations for the country’s post-war rise as a musical as well as an economic power. Meanwhile, new types of popular song, fuelled by the growing global record industry, successfully blended inspiration from the West with musical characteristics perceived as Japanese.

Psychological Perspectives on Musical Experiences and Skills: Research in the Western Balkans and Western Europe edited by Blanka Bogunović, Renee Timmers, and Sanela Nikolić

This book features recent research on the psychology of music from the Western Balkans, foregrounding its specific topics, methods, and influences by bringing it into productive conversation with complementary research from Western Europe and further afield.

The Life of Nuns: Love, Politics, and Religion in Medieval German Convents by Henrike Lähnemann, Eva Schlotheuber and Anne Simon

In the Middle Ages half of those who chose the religious life were women, yet historians have overlooked entire generations of educated, feisty, capable and enterprising nuns, condemning them to the dusty silence of the archives.  What, though, were their motives for entering a convent and what was their daily routine behind its walls like? How did they think, live and worship, both as individuals and as a community?  How did they maintain contact with the families and communities they had left behind?  Henrike Lähnemann and Eva Schlotheuber offer readers a vivid insight into the largely unknown lives and work of religious women in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Trix: The Other Kipling by Barbara Fisher

This volume represents the first biography of Alice MacDonald Kipling Fleming (1868-1948), known as Trix. Rarely portrayed with sympathy or accuracy in biographies of her famous brother Rudyard, Trix was a talented writer and a memorable character in her own right whose fascinating life was unknown until now. In telling Trix’s story, Barbara Fisher rescues her from the misrepresentations, trivializations, and outright neglect of Rudyard’s many biographers.

Human Evolutionary Demography edited by Oskar Burger, Ronald Lee and Rebecca Sear

Human evolutionary demography is an emerging field blending natural science with social science. This edited volume provides a much-needed, interdisciplinary introduction to the field and highlights cutting-edge research for interested readers and researchers in demography, the evolutionary behavioural sciences, biology, and related disciplines.

To find out more about this and other forthcoming titles visit:

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New Blogs, Articles and Resources


[blog post] One woman’s challenge to the Victorian Legal Professions by Leslie Howsam

[blog post] “NO LIFE WITHOUT YOU”: REFUGEE LOVE LETTERS FROM THE 1930s by Frank Felsenstein

[blog post] On 'Translating Russian Literature in the Global Context' by Muireann Maguire and Cathy McAteer

[blog post] Unveiling The Human Journey by Frank Felsenstein

[blog post] How do languages die? The case of the Jewish Arabic dialect of Gabes (Southern Tunisia) by Wiktor Gębski


[article] Coming Soon: The Life of Nunsby Henrike Lähnemann

[article] The trials of migrant academics: The ‘Outsider Within’ at academic conferences (Ladan Rahbari & Olga Burlyuk)


[video] Godstow Abbey - the Life of Nuns Trailer

[video] 'Eliza Orme’s Ambitions: Politics and the Law in Victorian London' - An Interview with Leslie Howsam

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Call for Proposals

We have various Open Access series all of which are open for proposals, so feel free to get in touch if you or someone you know is interested in submitting a proposal!

Global Communications

Global Communications is a book series that looks beyond national borders to examine current transformations in public communication, journalism and media. Special focus is given on regions other than Western Europe and North America, which have received the bulk of scholarly attention until now.

St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture

St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture, a successful series published by the Centre for French History and Culture at the University of St Andrews since 2010 and now in collaboration with Open Book Publishers, aims to enhance scholarly understanding of the historical culture of the French-speaking world. This series covers the full span of historical themes relating to France: from political history, through military/naval, diplomatic, religious, social, financial, cultural and intellectual history, art and architectural history, to literary culture.

Studies on Mathematics Education and Society

This book series publishes high-quality monographs, edited volumes, handbooks and formally innovative books which explore the relationships between mathematics education and society. The series advances scholarship in mathematics education by bringing multiple disciplinary perspectives to the study of contemporary predicaments of the cultural, social, political, economic and ethical contexts of mathematics education in a range of different contexts around the globe.

The Global Qur'an

The Global Qur’an is a new book series that looks at Muslim engagement with the Qur’an in a global perspective. Scholars interested in publishing work in this series and submitting their monographs and/or edited collections should contact the General Editor, Johanna Pink. If you wish to submit a contribution, please read and download the submission guidelines here.

The Medieval Text Consortium Series

The Series is created by an association of leading scholars aimed at making works of medieval philosophy available to a wider audience. The Series' goal is to publish peer-reviewed texts across all of Western thought between antiquity and modernity, both in their original languages and in English translation. Find out more here.

Applied Theatre Praxis

This series publishes works of practitioner-researchers who use their rehearsal rooms as "labs”; spaces in which theories are generated and experimented with before being implemented in vulnerable contexts. Find out more here.

Digital Humanities

Overseen by an international board of experts, our Digital Humanities Series: Knowledge, Thought and Practice is dedicated to the exploration of these changes by scholars across disciplines. Books in this Series present cutting-edge research that investigate the links between the digital and other disciplines paving the ways for further investigations and applications that take advantage of new digital media to present knowledge in new ways. Proposals in any area of the Digital Humanities are invited. We welcome proposals for new books in this series. Please do not hesitate to contact us ( if you would like to discuss a publishing proposal and ways we might work together to best realise it.

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Latest Reviews

Democratising Participatory Research: Pathways to Social Justice from the South by Carmen Martinez-Vargas

In this context, Martínez-Vargas presents a broad theoretical landscape, highlighting prominent authors of participatory approaches, their most relevant research contributions, ideas, and singularities. A unique aspect of this book is the invitation, in different moments of the text, to propose pluralist understandings of participatory approaches: not as a homogenous “participatory perspective”, but as a constellation of academic and political views which share family characteristics. This pluralist view offers an understanding of the changing and contextual character of participatory social theories. Specifically, it helps identify connections and elective affinities among four families of participatory approaches: a) an “industrial family”, or perspectives related to the world of labour; b) a “development family”, or approaches linked to debates on development and social change; c) an “indigenous family”, or views interested in intercultural and decolonial dialogues, and d) an “educational family”, or tendencies focused in democracy production of knowledge in pedagogical environments.In analysing these families of participatory views, the author recovers the academic sources, the central problems for social research, and the different understandings of the relationship between theories and practices.

César Osorio Sánchez

Journal of Human Development and Capabilities , 2024. doi:10.1080/19452829.2024.2330175

Ecocene Politics by Mihnea Tănăsescu

It is certainly the merit of Ecocene politics, a very carefully composed work that engages with many thinkers who commented on the Anthropocene, that it takes philosophy further to what political practice for this new era might mean. It ties together useful concepts, different traditions and concrete examples.

Nele Buyst
Environmental Values, 2024. doi:10.1177/09632719241245532

Ecocene Politics aims to ward off the paralysis that can afflict those who inherit a tragedy in progress. […] This [is] a book that will change conversations.

Lisa Disch

The AAG Review of Books, vol. 12, no. 2, 2024. doi:10.1080/2325548X.2024.2315336

Ecocene Politics is a political theory that emerges from actual places and thinks through relations that are situated in landscapes and personal histories. This book offers something other than what readers might expect from political theory. […] It exemplifies a form of political thought that resonates closely with more-than-human geography.

Clemens Driessen

The AAG Review of Books, vol. 12, no. 2, 2024. doi:10.1080/2325548X.2024.2315336

Ecocene Politics […] offers a wealth of trenchant insight and analysis, lucidly and passionately presented, for understanding the challenges and opportunities ahead.

David Bollier

The AAG Review of Books, vol. 12, no. 2, 2024. doi:10.1080/2325548X.2024.2315336

Why am I not also tending to an olive tree, planting tomatoes, guiding the flock to pasture, or sailing on a sailboat? […] We are yet to ascertain whether this occasional inclination to put down the book is positive or negative. It might very well be positive, exactly what Tănăsescu was willing to inspire.

Xenia Chiaramonte and Marco Malavasi

The AAG Review of Books, vol. 12, no. 2, 2024. doi:10.1080/2325548X.2024.2315336

The Predatory Paradox: Ethics, Politics, and Practices in Contemporary Scholarly Publishing by Amy Koerber, Jesse C. Starkey, Karin Ardon-Dryer, R. Glenn Cummins, Lyombe Eko and Kerk F. Kee

[...] what Koerber, Starkey and their coauthors have created here is a gen­uinely useful, coherent and clearly written text which will, I hope, become a valuable resource for early career researchers in particular. The book very effectively uses its focus of predatory journals as a window into the ever-shifting world of contemporary scholarly publishing.

David Barker, University of Derby

Publishing Research Quarterly, 2024. doi:10.1007/s12109-024-09984-2

The result is an impressive collection of chapters which summarise recent debates and report the authors’ own research examining the impact of these changes on the views of researchers and crucially their reading and publishing habits. [...] Overall I would strongly recommend this book and suggest that it should be required or background reading on research methods courses for doctoral and research masters programmes.

Huw Morris, Honorary Professor of Tertiary Education, UCL Institute of Education

Open@UCL Blog, 2024.

The Official Indonesian Qurʾān Translation: The History and Politics of Al-Qur’an dan Terjemahnya by Fadhli Lukman

Divided into seven chapters (plus concluding remarks) and organized around a chronological framework, this book is a scintillating read for those interested in the politics and perils of translation. It is a major addition to the growing literature on Islam in Southeast Asia.

Khairudin Aljunied
Journal of Islamic Studies, 2024. doi:10.1093/jis/etae011

Shépa: The Tibetan Oral Tradition in Choné by Bendi Tso, Marnyi Gyatso, Naljor Tsering and Mark Turin acting as Trustees for the Members of the Choné Tibetan Community

More importantly, the book is an invaluable documentation of an oral tradition that is hanging by its thread, made accessible because of the translation of the stanzas into English and Mandarin.

Kunda Dixit
Nepali Times, 2024.

Laura Rodríguez

Laura Rodríguez holds an MPhil in Medieval Literature at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include medieval pastoral care, women's studies, religious history, and cycle drama.