We’re turning 40, and we’re celebrating with a special fortieth anniversary sale! Through June 30, get a 25% discount on ALL books when you use the code ANN2019. And if you’ll be in our area (Ashe County, North Carolina, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains), we’d love to see you at our open house event on Friday, June 14. Thank you for supporting our first 40 years—we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.
On June 14, 2019, McFarland will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an open house party. From noon to five, our campus at 960 Hwy 88 W, Jefferson, NC will be open to the public with finger food, conversation and tours available, and many of our authors will be in attendance. To stay up-t0-date with event information, follow our event page. Below is a brief company history, with personal thoughts, by founder and editor-in-chief Robert Franklin.
McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old
by Robert Franklin
McFarland’s history (founder, Robbie Franklin, me): My close friends Biff and Alicia Stickel were burned out special ed teachers in Connecticut, early 70’s. What to do? Back to the land! They (and their little daughter Maranatha Shone Stickel) drove south till they loved the vibe and the scenery and wound up living on Peak Road from 1972 through part of 1978 (and birthing Micah Stickel). Alicia played piano at the local Baptist church and they were cofounders of the Creston Co-op. I visited them in ’72 (instantly fell for the land and people, the forefinger car salute, the almost drinkable river) and again every year after, and when wife Cheryl Roberts came into my life in 1975, we visited. Soon I was bragging about Ashe County to everybody – “If your car breaks down, the very next person to come along will stop and ask if you need help.” I hope a few readers can recognize the Stickels’ name (he goes by Richard now; they live in Toronto). They are the reason McFarland was begun in Ashe County. We present band of publishers, about fifty in number, owe them great honor.
I did not learn till after we moved here in 1979 that my Revolutionary War ancestor Lieutenant Robert McFarland, after whupping the king at Kings Mountain, lived up here in the 1790s. He then went overmountain to become the first ever sheriff of Greene/Washington County, Tennessee. (I was born in Memphis.)
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers is our official name. Founded in April 1979 right here. I had been the executive editor of a smallish scholarly publisher in New Jersey; my mentor/boss/friend Eric Moon (a charismatic Brit) knew before I did it was time for me to go off on “my own” (very misleading words!). The local Ashe County newspaper was failing by 1978 and at first I thought, o.k., I’m an editor type, maybe I can start up a new one. Between summer and Christmas the local fellow David Desautels decided the same thing and very successfully started The Jefferson Times. We became friends and McFarland’s earliest two or three books (including a biography of Soviet leader Brezhnev) were typeset using off-hours time on that new newspaper’s equipment. Katy Zell Taylor was our first fulltime employee (Ashe Central H.S. yearbook editor!) and did a lot of typesetting and correcting. Dental Care in Society was our first published book, in 1980 (ask me some day).
After deciding up in New Jersey to stay with book (versus newspaper) publishing, I phoned the Jefferson Post Office in February 1979 to set up a box number mailing address – they said people had to apply in person. Whew! So I flew from Newark to Tri-Cities, Tennessee (what did I know?), rented a car, drove to Jefferson (hours!), filled out a form, got back in the car, drove back to Tri-Cities, and got back home not long before day was done.
A couple of months later, on April 1, 1979, Cheryl and I packed our former life stuff (including hundreds of books—heavy!) in a small U-Haul, attached it to our VW bug, and began to drive south, the Stickels’ Ashe County on our minds.
My ninth-grade homeroom friend (Toledo, Ohio), Mike Strand, had helped with some financial and emotional support and we stopped at his place in Maryland overnight. Armed with an Ashe return address, I had written several hundred letters (yes!) on a yellow pad on my knees in the front seat while Cheryl drove, and Mike arranged for a nearby university used-to-weird-hours thesis typist to type them all overnight; we mailed them April 2 and drove on. We were headed to my parents’ (retired librarians) house in Charlottesville, with me again writing several hundred short letters on my lap. We had arranged for a similar heroic overnight typing fest (the two days: 905 letters to all the authors I had addresses for, saying my former employer will take good care of you, they’re wonderful publishers—But if by any chance they turn you down for something, give us a shot!).
The U-Haul was too much for the Bug and our left rear wheel came OFF 20 miles north of Charlottesville—but stayed in the wheel well (having nowhere else to go), behaving violently. Definitely exciting (it was my stint at the wheel). We lost two or three days; I split logs for my parents’ fireplace.
In Ashe County finally, we scooped up some reply mail from authors. Already! And we soon secured a sweet farmhouse in Dillard Holler (landlord Jesse Dillard; Mom-figure Clyde Dillard; horse-plus-himself quarter-acre-garden plower Jones Dillard). The Dillard families taught us a great deal about what being “conservative” actually means. (One day Jesse turned up with several hundred fence rails he stored near “our” (his) house; no immediate need, but “I got ’em for 25¢ each.” They stayed stacked for years…) The birth of our sons Charles (in ’81), Nicholas (’85) and William (’89) certainly emphasized the Dillards’ lessons. (Jesse routinely tossed hay bales up into pickup trucks in his 80’s. Lemme be him!)
McFarland itself started out next to the H & R Block office, near the florist, in Jefferson, a small space but enough for our first couple of years. The Jefferson Post Office turned out, under our loyal friend Charles Caudill, to be one of our greatest early assets. He was so supportive as McF struggled through ignorance of mass mailings, foreign registered packages (we learned together!), “library rate” book mailings, etc. McFarland moved in 1981 or ’82 to the Mountain View shopping center between the towns and quickly expanded there. In 1982 we lucked out by having Rhonda Herman agree to join the tiny staff, doing all the “business” stuff while I coddled authors, edited manuscripts and coached the typesetters. High school senior Cynthia Campbell became a stalwart and sixteen year old Cherie Scott was a wow of a typesetter, along with Katy Taylor, on our new typesetting equipment. Within three years we were producing 40 or so new books a year (in 2018 the total was nearly 400).
Meanwhile, the people of Ashe County all around us showed interest, great surprise (“A Publisher in Ashe County?” read one huge Jefferson Times headline), and affection. Highly significant was Hal Colvard, repeatedly trusting us, at Northwestern bank, another wonderful early friend of McFar. We warmly greeted each other on Saturday mornings at the post office for many years after he retired.
By 1984 we’d moved to our present location, which became five buildings on both sides of the road. We’re technically inside Jefferson town limits. We took Mackey McDonald’s trim brick ranch house, whacked walls left and right, pushed out here, there… Years later we added a second floor – my joke is, the main building now has more roof lines than an Italian hill village.
We are, or were, a library-oriented scholarly and reference book publisher. (We’ve grown much more into a straight-to-people operation today but libraries are still a critical component of our efforts.) Two of our earliest works were Library Display Ideas by my sister Linda Franklin and Free Magazines for Libraries, by Adeline Mercer Smith: they were terrific sales successes. Another 1982 biggie was Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William M. Taylor, M.D. We hit that topic just as it exploded nationwide. One of the most memorable early works was Keep Watching the Skies! by Bill Warren (1982). This huge book expertly, humorously covers in amazing depth every American science fiction movie of the 1950s and a lot of Hollywood Big Names spoke highly of it in print. We were famous! (Well, the author was…)
McFarland was an early strong supporter of the local arts scene. (There are hundreds of paintings hanging in four of our buildings.) Cheryl Roberts and I founded the publication ARTS/DATES for the Arts Council in 1980 or 1981, and for more than a decade paid all its expenses as it grew grander and ever more useful. Loyal Jane Lonon (Arts Council head) wangled twice for us an N.C. Governor’s Business Award for the Arts and Humanities (go to Raleigh; shake hands; pose for photos; eat dinner).
I joined the strong, active Ashe County Little Theatre and played Dracula for them in 1981, sporting fangs crafted by the late Brett Summey, who became a good friend, now truly missed. Jane Lonon and I wowed the crowd in The King and I and Tom Fowler and I rolled them in the aisles in Greater Tuna. When I played Macbeth, the high school English teacher promised extra credit to student attendees.
McFarland’s output grew rapidly—by the 1990s we were producing hundreds of new titles each year and our staff had doubled, then tripled in size. Margie Turnmire had arrived in the mid–’80s, a beautiful soul and a very smart lady: director of finance and administration. In 1995 the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce honored us with a Business of the Year award (I believe we were the third such) and in 1998 The Wall Street Journal ran a feature article on us, showing that we are a bit unusual in our range of offerings. We have a commanding position in, for example, Vietnam combat memoirs, chess history, baseball (teams, eras, bios), automotive history and popular culture (film, TV, comics, literature…). We’ve done many reference books (though with Wiki-Google etc. now such works are uneconomical to produce); a Library Journal book of the year was local John Stewart’s African States and Rulers in 1989. Lots of Civil War, World War II, American/European/World history, literary criticism. Authors from all over the world. That part’s fun! As I write this we have published 7,800 titles.
We had busted out of our onsite warehouse and used the old Ashe County Jail on Buffalo Road for several years in the 80s! Ultimately we had to move our shipping operation into the building next to the Arts Council owned by Jim Reeves. On its outer wall facing the Arts Center we had Jack Young do the town’s first mural (now painted over): “Ashe County through the Ages.” Finally, Mike Herman built us an entirely new warehouse across the road from our main building in about 1990. Fourteen years later, then-vice-president Rhonda Herman (now president) moved the company onto firmer financial footing by arranging to install state-of-the-art printing equipment in that warehouse (we’d always used out-of-house printing firms).
Cheryl and I love Ashe County. We love the people. We love the trees, the river. (We came in first in the Mixed Expert class canoe race four or five years ago!) I even like the curves driving 23 miles to and fro our home to work (we live practically on the Tennessee line, up in the Flatwoods). The finger salute still works and the tire zing helps me think through business challenges. Our three boys, Charles, Nicky and William, also revere their place of birth. McFarland has about 50 employees, all of whom are exceptionally talented. When I got here to start the company, I truly had my pick of some of the best talent available anywhere, and I mean Anywhere. Our typesetters know every Hungarian or Swedish accent mark there is!
The local merchants have become business partners. Local artists have paintings hanging in our offices. The restaurants are great for business lunches. The weather—sublime (I learned to fell trees and the art of minimizing the lifting and stacking of logs our first year here); I like winter! Mike Herman built our house and the numerous renovations of our current space—impossible to imagine a better job. Stan Barker did some fabulous stone walls at our home. I feel both cozy and exhilarated just getting up in the morning! Ashe County, we’re for you!
McFarland is having an open house (snacks, drinks, tours) starting at noon on Friday, June 14th. We want to show our thanks to a community that has nurtured us for 40 years. Come one, come all!
The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarland under the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!
We’re in Pittsburgh for the 48th annual meeting of the Society for American Baseball Research! Visit the McFarland table to view our latest baseball books, and to discuss your manuscript proposal!
It’s our biggest sale of the year! Through the holiday season, get 30% off your order of two or more books with the coupon code HOLIDAY17! Need inspiration? Check out our brand new holiday catalog!
HOLIDAY17 is valid through January 2, 2018, and applies to any book on McFarland’s website. Browse our entire online catalog here.
This weekend, we’re in Atlanta for the 89th South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference—join us in the exhibit room in the Westin Peachtree Plaza!
This weekend, we’re in Savannah for the 2017 Popular Culture Association in the South conference! Join us in the exhibit hall to browse our latest pop culture scholarship, and while you’re there, marvel at managing editor Lisa Camp’s improvised bookstands made from hotel napkins (the real ones didn’t make it).
Gen Con may be sold out, but McFarland is just getting started—visit our booth in the exhibit hall, where the best scholarship on gaming and pop culture is on sale now!
This weekend, we’re in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for the 20th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference!
We’re back in San Diego for another Comic Con—stop by our booth in the exhibit hall for the best in pop culture scholarship!
We’re in New York City for the 47th annual meeting of the Society for American Baseball Research!
We’re in Kalamazoo, Michigan for the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies! Visit senior acquisitions editor Gary Mitchem on the campus of Western Michigan University.
We’re in Baltimore for two conferences this weekend—in addition to the Association of College and Research Libraries, you’ll also find us at the Marriott Waterfront for the Northeast Modern Language Association! Visit our booth in Grand Ballroom V to browse books and to discuss your manuscript proposal!
We’re in Baltimore, Maryland for the Association of College and Research Libraries 2017 conference! Librarians, please join us in the exhibit hall at booth #912.
We’re in Houston, Texas this week for the National Council for Black Studies 2017 conference! Attendees, please visit our exhibit to browse books and discuss your book proposal!
This week, we’re in Tempe, Arizona for the 24th annual Nine Spring Training Conference! Senior acquisitions editor Gary Mitchem is onsite exhibiting books and discussing book proposals.
Playing for Equality: Oral Histories of Women Leaders in the Early Years of Title IX
Diane LeBlanc and Allys Swanson
Mammography and Early Breast Cancer Detection: How Screening Saves Lives
Alan B. Hollingsworth, M.D.
The Beyoncé Effect: Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism
Edited by Adrienne Trier-Bieniek
Click here to browse McFarland’s complete line of women’s studies titles.
This week, we’re in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 38th annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference! Visit our display in the Hyatt Regency Conference Center to browse books and to discuss your book proposal!
Baseball fans and historians in the Atlanta area, meet John P. Carvalho at SABR Magnolia Chapter‘s Hot Stove Meeting on February 4 at Kennesaw State University. Carvalho (professor of journalism, Auburn University) will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Frick*: Baseball’s Third Commissioner.
On February 21, Carvalho will be a featured speaker as part of of the Discover Auburn Lecture Series. This event takes place at the Ralph Brown Draughon Library at 3 p.m., and books will be available from the Auburn University Bookstore.
We’re exhibiting at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia! Attendees, visit us in booth 1611!
This weekend in Nashville, we’re exhibiting at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association in the South 2016 conference! Visit our book exhibit to shop and to discuss your book proposal with Dylan Lightfoot.
We’re in Indianapolis for Gen Con 2016—visit McFarland in booth 345!
We’re exhibiting at Comic-Con this week—visit us in booth 1501!
We’re exhibiting at the 2016 American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida! Librarians and other attendees, please visit McFarland in the exhibit hall at booth 606!
We’re in Kalamazoo for the 2016 International Congress on Medieval Studies! Visit our senior acquisitions editor, Gary Mitchem, in the exhibit hall to browse books and discuss your nonfiction manuscript!
Hosted by Western Michigan University’s Medieval Institute, the International Congress on Medieval Studies is an annual gathering of around 3,000 scholars interested in medieval studies. The congress features 550-575 sessions of papers, panel discussions, roundtables, workshops and performances. There are also some 100 business meetings and receptions sponsored by learned societies, associations and institutions. The exhibits hall boasts nearly 70 exhibitors, including publishers, used book dealers and purveyors of medieval sundries. The congress lasts three and a half days, extending from Thursday morning, with sessions beginning at 10 a.m., until Sunday at noon.
Join us this weekend in Providence, Rhode Island for the 2016 Organization of American Historians annual meeting!
We’re in Denver for the 2016 Public Library Association Conference! Be sure to visit McFarland at booth 1240 in the exhibit hall!
This week, we’re in Atlanta for the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference! Visit our booth in the Hilton Atlanta to browse books and to discuss your book proposal.
The Society for Cinema and Media Studies is the leading scholarly organization in the United States dedicated to promoting a broad understanding of film, television, and related media through research and teaching grounded in the contemporary humanities tradition. In addition to hosting its annual conference, the Society publishes the quarterly, peer-reviewed Cinema Journal.
This weekend, we’re at Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, North Carolina! Visit our booth for the best scholarship on horror, comics, pop culture, gaming… and tell us about your nonfiction book proposal!
This week, we’re in Seattle for the annual Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association conference. Visit our booth in the Sheraton Seattle to browse scholarly books about popular culture, meet our own Karl-Heinz Roseman and Gary Mitchem, and discuss your book proposal!
This week, we’re exhibiting at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. Stop by our booth at C2E2 to browse books about popular culture and to discuss your book proposal with managing editor Lisa Camp!
We’re exhibiting at the 23rd annual NINE Spring Training Conference this week in Phoenix, Arizona! Our own Gary Mitchem is onsite displaying scholarly books about baseball, and is available to discuss your manuscript proposal. If we didn’t convince you with that information, please consider this: the conference has beer vendors!
This month, meet the authors of African American Doctors of World War I (“prodigious… promises to captivate”—Library Journal) at two events in the Washington, D.C. area!
On Thursday, February 18, authors W. Douglas Fisher and Joann H. Buckley will be the featured speakers at the Army Historical Foundation’s first exhibit in The Soldier Experience Series. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in the AUSA Conference and Event Center (Arlington, Virginia). Seating is limited, and guests are encouraged to RSVP here. Books will be available for purchase at the event.
On Saturday, February 20th, both authors will participate in the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s 90th Annual Black History Luncheon. The Featured Authors’ Book Signing is free to attend and begins at 10:00 a.m., to be followed by a luncheon (tickets required) at 12:15. Both events will be held at the Washington Rennaisance Hotel, and books will be available to purchase at the signing.
We’re exhibiting at the 2016 ALA Midwinter conference in Boston this week! Visit assistant sales manager Adam Phillips in booth 1611 to browse our book exhibit and to discuss your book proposal!
This week, we’re exhibiting at the 2016 Modern Language Association convention! The largest scholarly meeting in the humanities, the MLA convention brings together thousands of members to discuss new research, participate in workshops, and build their professional networks. This year’s convention, the first to be held in Austin, Texas, takes place January 7–10, with the theme Literature and Its Publics: Past, Present, and Future. Senior acquisitions editor Gary Mitchem is onsite—visit him at booth 202 to browse our book exhibit and to discuss your book proposal!
Still shopping for holiday gift ideas? Check out our holiday catalog, and get 30% off your order of two or more books with the coupon code HOLIDAY2015!
Author John P. Coleman participated in two events this weekend in the Baltimore area where he signed copies of his new book, Historic Amusement Parks of Baltimore: An Illustrated History. Thanks to Ukazoo Books (Towson, MD) and Barnes & Noble (Ellicott City, MD) for hosting these events!
We’d like to thank all of our local friends who made Janet Pittard’s booksigning such a success on Friday night. The Florence Thomas Art School in downtown West Jefferson was packed the entire evening, and we nearly sold out of books!
Tomorrow night, December 4, 2015, McFarland and the Florence Thomas Art School will host a book launch party for Janet Pittard’s new book, A Hospital for Ashe County. The event will be held inside the Florence School at 10 S. Jefferson Ave., West Jefferson, from four to six p.m. Books will be available for purchase at the event, and Mrs. Pittard will be autographing copies.
This newly published book is the story of the generations of supporters, doctors, nurses, emergency personnel and others whose lives are interwoven with regional health care and the planning, building and operation of (the “new”) Ashe Memorial Hospital. This legacy, brought to life through 114 photographs and personal interviews with 97 individuals, traces the development of health care in a remote Appalachian community, from the days of folk remedies and midwives, to horseback doctors and early infirmaries, to the technological advances and outreach efforts of today’s Ashe Memorial Hospital.
For more information about the event, please contact McFarland at 336-246-4460.
This weekend, author James Bigwood will visit Silver Screen Oasis, where he’ll participate in a two-day question and answer session. All are welcome to participate at this link, and an account to access the SSO forums is free.
Founded in 2013 by the Toadstool Bookshops of Keene, Milford and Peterborough, New Hampshire, Cider Monday is a laid-back, bookish alternative to the online “doorbuster” environment of Cyber Monday. Describing the first event, Toadstool said:
“Cider… made from squished micro soft apple products. Delicious! Stop in for a free cup, maybe a snack, see some real people and have a good time checking out what’s in our stores. It’s sure to be a heartwarming experience. We can promise no crashing websites, our ‘servers’ won’t be overloaded and we bet they will even smile at you!
“Cider Monday–soon to overshadow Cyber Monday as THE shopping event of the year. You read it here. If you have a store we hope you too will celebrate Cider Monday. If not, do stop in, and thanks for shopping locally.”
Since then, Cider Monday has spread to bookstores throughout New England (and elsewhere!). Changing Hands Bookstores in Tempe and Phoenix, Arizona, have even pushed the idea a step further with what may be the first ever Hard Cider Monday. Today, we encourage book lovers everywhere to step inside your favorite local bookstore, enjoy a cup of fresh apple cider, and pick up a good book.
We’re in Milwaukee for the 2015 National Women’s Studies Association Conference!
Meet author Robert R. Ebert (Champion of the Lark) and others at the Studebaker National Museum’s Automotive Book Fair and Holiday Open House, Sunday, November 15, in South Bend, Indiana! The museum will offer free gifts to the first 100 families, special discounts, and there will be door prize drawings every half-hour. Best of all, admission is FREE! For more information, please call the Museum at (574) 235-9714 or toll free at (888) 391-5600, or visit the website at www.studebakermuseum.org.
Tonight, author Al Conetto will read from his new book The Hump: The 1st Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry, in the First Major Battle of the Vietnam War at the Walla Walla Public Library. Beginning at 6:30 pm, this event honors the local author and combat veteran in advance of Veteran’s Day, and includes refreshments and books available for purchase. For more information, please visit the library’s event page.
Our brand-new holiday catalog is in the mail, but we’re giving you a sneak preview this morning—click here for great holiday gift ideas before the catalog hits your mailbox!
And, because it’s never too early to start your holiday shopping, we’re offering our biggest sale of the year! Get 30% off your purchase of two or more books when you enter the coupon code HOLIDAY2015 at checkout!
We’re exhibiting at the Northeast Popular Culture Association’s 2015 meeting on the campus of Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH this week! Adam Phillips is on campus displaying books about popular culture, and is available to discuss book proposals.
We’re exhibiting at the biennial North Carolina Library Association conference in Greensboro, North Carolina this week! Our own Dylan Lightfoot and Stephanie Nichols are exhibiting books, and several McFarland authors are among the NC librarians attending the convention.
We’re exhibiting at the National Organization for Human Services conference in Charlotte, North Carolina this week! The theme of this year’s conference, “Diversity Matters,” focuses on celebrating diversity with clients, students, colleagues, programs and communities. McFarland president Rhonda Herman is in the exhibit hall with a display of health and human services books, and is available to discuss your book proposal.
This weekend, authors Alan G. Gauthreaux and D.G. Hippensteel discussed their forthcoming book Dark Bayou: Infamous Louisiana Homicides at the Algiers Branch of the New Orleans Public Library. Scheduled to be published in early 2016, this book chronicles the mysterious, bizarre and often overlooked homicides in Louisiana History. Dark Bayou is available for pre-order.
Today is the fourth annual Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Founded in 2012, this interdisciplinary conference provides a forum for scholarly presentations arising out of J.K. Rowling’s series. The conference is free and open to the public.
If you’re lucky enough to be at Chestnut Hill this weekend, there will be a small display of McFarland books at the conference, including the following:
We’re exhibiting at the sold-out New York Comic Con this week! NYCC—the East Coast’s largest pop culture event–is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and McFarland is celebrating its fifth year exhibiting. Stop by booth 2104 to browse the best pop culture scholarship and to chat with our Lisa Camp.
This weekend, author Kristina Horton will lecture at the Gaston County Museum (Dallas, North Carolina) about the 1929 Loray Mill Strike—one of the most notable strikes in American labor history—during which her great grandmother, union organizer and balladeer Ella Mae Wiggins, was murdered. This program is free and begins at 1 p.m. tomorrow, September 26. For more information, please contact the museum.
We’re exhibiting at the 100th annual ASALH conference in Atlanta, Georgia this week. If you’re attending the conference, be sure to visit us in the exhibit hall to browse books and to discuss your manuscript proposal with our Lisa Camp.
For a complete list of African-American Studies titles from McFarland, please visit our online catalog.
Author Nicholas Baham signed copies of his new book, The Coltrane Church: Apostles of Sound, Agents of Social Justice, at Bird & Beckett in San Francisco this weekend. Special thanks to the folks at Bird & Beckett and the more than 50 book lovers who attended the event! Be sure to catch Baham at the second annual Howard Zinn Book Fair on November 15 at the City College of San Francisco, Mission campus.
We’re exhibiting this afternoon at the On the Same Page literary festival near our hometown in West Jefferson, North Carolina. If you’re in town today, stop by to see us between 3:30 and 5:30 in the Ashe County Arts Council building.
Author Harry M. Ward will sign and discuss his latest book, Children of the Streets of Richmond, 1865—1920, at 6 p.m. on Monday, September 14 as the special guest of the Richmond Public Library’s Main Writers Group. For a peek at his book, and for some colorful stories of the child gangs and newsies that once ran Richmond’s streets, check out this Style Weekly story – you’ll find lines like: “All the women were fine talkers, the men were hard workers and the boys made their living by throwing rocks.”
We’re in Atlanta for DragonCon! Be sure to stop by booth 1401 for the best new scholarship in popular culture – and if you’re working on a nonfiction manuscript, our Kim Hadley will be available to discuss!
Senior Designer and sci-fi maven Mark Durr reports from WorldCon, this time with pictures!
This just in from our friends at the International Arthurian Society, North American Branch…the Medievalism in Popular Culture Area’s deadline submission is October 1, 2015 (one month earlier than previous years).
PCA/ACA 2016 National Conference (March 21- 25, 2016, Seattle, Washington): The Medievalism in Popular Culture Area (now the combined areas of Arthurian and Other Medievalism) accepts papers on all topics that explore either popular culture during the Middle Ages or transcribe some aspect of the Middle Ages into the popular culture of later periods. These representations can occur in any genre, including film, television, novels, graphic novels, gaming, advertising, art, etc. Submissions encouraged about the following topics:
· The Arthurian World
· Children’s Books / Shows / Games
· Medievalism and Science Fiction
· Medievalism in Game of Thrones, including representations of masculinity, weapons, and vows
· Robin Hood
· Medievalism and Teaching
· Board Games / Online Gaming / Cosplay
· Medievalism in Novels /Short Stories/ Poem
All papers will be included in sessions with four presenters each, so plan to present on your topic for no more than 15 minutes, inclusive of any audio or visual materials. If your topic idea does not fit into any of these categories, please feel free to submit your proposal. I would like to encourage as much participation as possible, and depending on submissions, I may rearrange the topic groupings. Panel submissions are also welcome on any topic of medievalism. If you would like to propose a panel, please submit your complete panel directly to Christina Francis (individual papers must be submitted to the PCA online system — see below).
Please submit a title and a 250 word abstract to http://ncp.pcaaca.org. All submissions must be directed to the online database. Be sure to indicate whatever audio/visual needs you may have. Traditionally, all rooms at the PCA/ACA conference provide a projection screen with sound capability. Presenters are required to bring their own laptops and any special connectors. Deadline for submission: October 1, 2015 (one month earlier than previous years). For questions, contact Christina Francis.
Medieval Literature & Gender Studies
Department of English
Email: [email protected]
It’s that time of year again! McFarland is in Indy for Gen Con: the original, longest-running, and best-attended gaming convention in the world! It’s no small thing to keep up with gamers from all 50 states and more than 40 countries, but we’ll do our best.
Comic-Con International San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.
McFarland is getting ready to do its part at Comic-Con this week. Create awareness—check. Appreciate comics and related popular art forms—check. We’ll also copiously document all the spectacle that is this event: stay tuned.
With San Diego Comic-Con International commencing in just a few days, it is a timely moment to take another look at recent fan studies explorations by Ben Bolling and Matthew J. Smith (It Happens at Comic-Con), Bill Schelly (Founders of Comic Fandom), Kristin M. Barton and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley (Fan CULTure), and Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse (Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet).
It Happens at Comic-Con: Ethnographic Essays on a Pop Culture Phenomenon
This “engrossing” (Midwest Book Review) collection seeks to expand fan studies, exploring Comic-Con International more deeply than any publication before it. Ben Bolling is a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Matthew J. Smith is a professor of communication and director of cinema studies at Wittenberg University, where he teaches courses in media, including television criticism and graphic storytelling.
Founders of Comic Fandom: Profiles of 90 Publishers, Dealers, Collectors, Writers, Artists and Other Luminaries of the 1950s and 1960s
In the 1950s and ’60s, a grassroots movement arose to celebrate comic books and strips, which were becoming increasingly important to American popular culture. “Meticulously researched and thoroughly documented” (School Library Journal), profiled here are the people at the heart of the movement. Bill Schelly has been chronicling the history of popular culture since the 1960s, beginning with his magazine Sense of Wonder. He has written or edited several books, and is associate editor of the Eisner Award–winning magazine Alter Ego.
Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century
This “highly recommended” (Choice) collection explores how present-day fans interact with the films, television shows, books, and pop culture artifacts they love. Kristin M. Barton is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia. Jonathan Malcolm Lampley is a prolific contributor to many popular-culture periodicals and publications.
Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays
The essays in this “useful and thought-provoking” (SFRA Review) volume explore the world of fan fiction—its purposes, how it is created, how the fan experiences it. Karen Hellekson is a copy editor and independent scholar. She writes book reviews for Publishers Weekly and lives in Jay, Maine. Kristina Busse teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Alabama and has previously written about fan fiction and fan culture. She is the founding coeditor of Transformative Works and Cultures.
There is no shortage of major news items out there in recent days. What do we recommend you do in order to stay on top of it all? READ. To that end, we’d like to offer a discount on our gay and lesbian studies titles. Through July 5, 2015, get 20% off these books when you enter the coupon code RAINBOWS.
There is much to celebrate today! Our publishing duty, however, is to equip you with industry intel (some of which is less likely to be in your news feed today). Therefore, as we witness historic decisions in our country, we’d be remiss not to mention the Annual American Library Association conference, which meets over the weekend in San Francisco. Themed “TRANSFORMING our libraries, ourselves, McFarland looks forward to several days’ worth of terrific conversations about all things librarianship.
A happy coincidence—assistant sales manager Adam Phillips has THIS hotel view, providing opportunities to share the goings-on of an historic Pride Week in San Francisco.
It’s back to the future (and Chicago) for SABR and it’s 45th national convention. The Society for American Baseball Research first visited the Windy City back in 1973, returning in 1976 and 1986. And if we’re to believe Back to the Future Part II (and why wouldn’t you?) this is the year the Cubs break their long drought and finally win the World Series. So if you’re in town for the show, stop by the McFarland booth and say “Go, Cubs, Go!” to Gary and Mark.
The Children’s Literature Association promotes high standards of criticism, scholarship, research, and teaching in children’s literature. This year, ChLA 2015 encourages “the exploration of both sides of Patrick Henry’s famous ultimatum, liberty and death, in a city of similar extremes….Richmond rebuilt amid the ghosts of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars is the perfect location to explore the high stakes and dark sides of children’s literature.” Hosted by Longwood University, McFarland is in attendance in Richmond, Virginia, and looking forward to some lively company and conversation in the coming days! #chla15
Reflections on the New River: New Essays, Poems and Personal Stories, edited by Chris Arvidson (of West Jefferson), Scot Pope (of Creston) and Julie E. Townsend (of Fleetwood).
From its headwaters in western North Carolina near the Tennessee line, the New River runs north 337 miles, cutting through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia on its way to the Ohio. No big cities inhabit its banks—just a few small towns along the way—and it carries no significant commercial traffic. The age of the New is debated, but it is certainly one of the world’s oldest rivers, predating the Atlantic Ocean. This anthology assembles history, poetry, essays and stories by writers who have been inspired by the ancient and secluded stream, and from those whose lives are connected to its flow. Contributors hail from Ashe, Alleghany, Watauga and Wilkes counties in North Carolina, as well as Virginia and West Virginia
The creators are celebrating Reflections on the New River with a book launch party on Tuesday, June 16th at 5:00 at the Boondocks Brew Haus in West Jefferson, North Carolina. Copies will be on hand for purchase and its editors and contributors will be there to sign books and read excerpts! Drinks and appetizers will be available for purchase. Join us for great company and great stories. Direct publicity and other questions to Beth Cox at McFarland.
McFarland is traveling to the Society for Disability Studies Conference in Atlanta this week. SDS is a lively scholarly association of more than 400 artists, scholars and activist who promote Disability Studies, recognizing disability as a complex and valuable aspect of human experience.
One of our favorite times of year is the chance to dwell among 3,000+ of the world’s most knowledgeable medievalists. This week McFarland is participating in the 50th annual International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo.
Instead of throwing back today, we’re looking ahead. Mark your calendars for May 10th, folks in the Pacific Northwest, and join author Grant Hayter-Menzies as he discusses Lillian Carter. A great program for Mother’s Day, or any day!
Okay, music fans….McF has mentioned MerleFest more than once in recent days—because it’s a BIG DEAL. The Avett Brothers, for example, will take over the Watson Stage at MerleFest on Saturday night at 9:30–just some of the performers covered in Daniel Coston’s North Carolina Musicians. If you’re in the NC mountains, go there. If you’re not, make plans to go there someday. In the interim, we’ll entice you with the festival line-up. Happy weekend, everyone!
MERLEFEST APPROACHES! Y’ALL READY? “…Considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, [Merlefest] serves as an annual homecoming for musicians and music fans. Held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of ‘traditional plus’ music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts numerous artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event.
Only a couple days left before the party begins, folks. Let McF help you prepare!
Doc Watson is pictured on the front cover of Traditional Musicians of the Central Blue Ridge with his son, Merle. Guitarist and luthier Wayne Henderson (on the back cover), a longtime friend of Doc, will perform and present a demonstration on how he builds his prized guitars. Joel Walker Sweeney introduced America to a new musical instrument in the 1840s. Banjo player and teacher Bob Carlin tells that story in The Birth of the Banjo. And this— The Bristol Sessions— is where it all began. Experts examine the birth of country music. Happy reading!
April 24-May 3: We’re pleased to have our titles displayed at this year’s Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair, where an estimated 2.5 million visitors will be onsite.
A message from some terrific local folks:
“Girl Scout Cadette Troop #10304 had a fun time during their recent visit to McFarland. (The girls have been working on earning their Book Artist badges.) We are so fortunate to have such a great publishing company in our own back yard where the very real process of book making may be seen. We’re grateful to president Rhonda Herman (coming in after-hours!) for showing us around and speaking to the girls about different careers in the industry. They really enjoyed watching the “chopper” through the equipment window, checking out some of the unique titles on the shelves in the warehouse, and they especially liked rooting through the trash/recycle bin! Thanks to Rhonda and Rory for letting the troop come by and for being so kind and encouraging to all of the girls.”
We love our community!
See you next time in Seattle!
McFarland is exhibiting at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History April -12th, 2015. The meeting is hosted by The Air University Foundation in Montgomery, Alabama. Click here to browse McFarland’s books about military history.
Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews edited by Sarah Lightman is the winner of the Susan Koppleman Award for Best Anthology
The comics within capture in intimate, often awkward, but always relatable detail the tribulations and triumphs of life. In particular, the lives of 18 Jewish women artists who bare all in their work, which appeared in the internationally acclaimed exhibition “Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women.”
The comics are enhanced by original essays and interviews with the artists that provide further insight into the creation of autobiographical comics that resonate beyond self, beyond gender, and beyond ethnicity.
The Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy by Tom Weaver, David Schecter, and Steve Kronenberg is the winner of the Ray & Pat Browne Award for Best Reference/Primary Source Work in Popular Culture and American Culture
He was the final addition to Universal’s “royal family” of movie monsters: the Creature from the Black Lagoon. With his scaly armor, razor claws and a face only a mother octopus could love, this Amazon denizen was perhaps the most fearsome beast in the history of Hollywood’s Studio of Horrors. But he also possessed a sympathetic quality which elevated him fathoms above the many aquatic monsters who swam in his wake.
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Gill Man and his mid–1950s film career (Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, The Creature Walks Among Us) is collected in this book, packed to the gills with hour-by-hour production histories, cast bios, analyses, explorations of the music, script-to-screen comparisons, in-depth interviews and an ocean of fin-tastic photos.
Day Two at PCA was another busy affair. Authors stopped by to discuss music, tattoos, and all things vampiric. Check out a few photos from the day… #pcaaca15
Opening day at PCA was very busy with authors and attendees. Check out who stopped by.
McFarland is in Portland! Join us at the Association of College & Research Libraries Annual Meeting.