The University of Washington Press, working with the Department of Scandinavian Studies, has launched two new book series that include Scandinavian co-publishers. New Directions in Scandinavian Studies issued its first volume this year, and will add a second in March. Nordic Film Classics will issue its first two books in 2007.
Christine Ingebritsen, an associate professor in Scandinavian Studies, edits New Directions with department Chairman Terje Leiren. “It’s logical for Scandinavian Studies to house this effort,” Ingebritsen said. “We’re the largest such department in North America, and there are very few places where Scandinavian scholars can publish.” Since the Cold War has ended, and Scandinavian studies now include the Baltic countries, she said, “there are new possibilities for interesting work, and we want to attract the best manuscripts.”
In the first volume, Small States in International Relations, Ingebritsen has two essays, one of which focuses on Scandinavians as leaders in certain codes of conduct. They influence not with military or economic might, Ingebritsen writes, but with diplomatic and reputational leadership. They influence international behavior, particularly regarding security, global welfare and the environment.
As a follow-up to Small States, the UW Press will publish Danish Cookbooks: Domesticity and National Identity, 1616-1901. Written by Carol Gold, a history professor at the University of Alaska, the book explores how Denmark’s cooking contributed to its identity as a nation.
Other writers in the New Directions series include Andrew Nestingen, an assistant professor of Scandinavian Studies and author of Criminal Scandinavia: Popular Culture, Cultural Politics and the Welfare State.
Scandinavian Studies will provide $5,000 toward the $30,000 cost of producing each New Directions book. Typically, the press recoups about 60 percent of its costs in sales, and grants and endowments often provide the rest, said UW Press Director Pat Soden.
Books in the other series, Nordic Film Classics, will focus on individual Scandinavian films. In fall 2007, the press will publish Carl Theodor Dreyer’s ‘Gertrud,’ by Columbia University film professor James Schamus, and Bent Hamer’s ‘Kitchen Stories,’ by Trevor Ponech, an English professor at McGill University.
To extend its reach, the UW Press is making deals with academic and commercial publishers outside the U.S. Small States was co-published with the University of Iceland, and Danish Cookbooks will be co-published with Museum Tusculanum Press in Copenhagen. “It’s always best if a book is published under the imprint of a publisher in its home country,” Soden said, “because that publisher will know the markets.”