MSI Virtual Workshop Project

Princeton University Press is honored to be one of five publishers supporting the Minority-Serving Institution Virtual Book Workshop Project, a joint project of Howard University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, in collaboration with the American Political Science Association (APSA). The venture, which launches during the 2021 APSA Annual Meeting (September 30 – October 3), will implement virtual book workshops for scholars at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the United States.

The MSI Virtual Workshop Project is designed as a direct intervention to the problem of inequitable access to the resources needed to undertake scholarly book projects; an inequity that is especially harmful faculty at Minority Serving Institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. The MSI Virtual Workshop Project aims to expand opportunities for as diverse a group of scholars as possible to benefit from the expertise in their fields. Programming is set to begin in June 2022, with applications open now until January 14, 2022. More information can be found in APSA’s announcement of the project.

According to the project’s co-directors, John Jay College professor Dr. Heath Brown and Howard University professor Dr. Niambi “Carter:” We have a simple goal: to help our colleagues write great books. Workshops do this, but too few scholars at MSIs ever benefit from them. We aim to address this in a little way by helping to fund and organize virtual book workshops as well as to begin to build a network to support our colleagues’ long-term success. To be sure, none of this would be possible without the aid of PUP and the other supporters of the project.”

This critical project will also serve to diversify publishing pipelines by tackling inequities that persist in the path from proposal to published book. PUP’s Senior Editor in Politics, Bridget Flannery-McCoy explains, “As publishers we see just how valuable workshops are in improving manuscripts, and we are honored to partner with the MSI Virtual Book Workshop to make these available to scholars at minority-serving institutions. The field and the reading public at large will benefit greatly from amplifying these voices.” PUP joins Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, New York University Press, and Oxford University Press in supporting the workshops.

As an institution that is committed to acknowledging and working to correct deep-rooted inequities across scholarly publishing, PUP is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the MSI Virtual Workshop Project. In recent years, PUP has launched several programs aimed at supporting and amplifying the work of scholars historically excluded or underrepresented in their fields. These programs include Global Equity Grants, which invite authors under contract with PUP to apply for funding to offset costs incurred during the preparation of a book, including childcare/family care, translation, travel, developmental editing, illustration/permissions expenses, among other options and Supporting Diverse Voices Grants, which partners scholars around the globe with writing coaches during the preparation of a book proposal. The most recent cycle of this grant was open to BIPOC scholars working in the social sciences, including political scientists.

Read more about PUP’s work to address and rebalance systemic inequities in scholarly publishing here.