Exciting Announcement: Mark Simpson-Vos Named UNC Press Editorial Director

We have some exciting post-holiday-weekend news! Mark Simpson-Vos, longtime acquisitions editor here at UNC Press, has been promoted to Editorial Director.  The full press release follows:

May 2011

Chapel Hill, N.C.—The University of North Carolina Press is pleased to announce that Mark Simpson-Vos has been named Editorial Director. As of June 1, 2011, he will coordinate all acquisitions activities for the Press.

“Over more than a decade of acquiring both scholarly and trade books for UNC Press, Mark has proven himself as a list-builder,” said Director Kate Douglas Torrey. “Now, as all university presses face important strategic decisions, I am confident that he will be both a dynamic Editorial Director and a thoughtful member of the Press’s senior management team.”

Simpson-Vos guided the development and publication of the Encyclopedia of North Carolina—a book of enduring public value. He is the acquisitions editor for the 24-volume The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture series and acted as acquisitions liaison for the Press’s “Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement” initiative.

He originally conceived (with former University of Arizona Press Director Christine Szuter, now of Arizona State University) the Mellon-funded “First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies” initiative. This is a joint collaboration of the University of North Carolina Press, the University of Minnesota Press, the University of Arizona Press, and Oregon State University Press that “seeks to publish books that exemplify contemporary scholarship and research in Indigenous studies.”

Simpson-Vos’s scholarly acquisitions include works in Native American and indigenous studies, environmental studies, and American studies. His recent titles include David Kinkela’s DDT and the American Century: Global Health, Environmental Politics, and the Pesticide that Changed the World and Duncan Maysilles’s Ducktown Smoke: The  Fight Over One of the South’s Greatest Environmental Disasters.

He has also acquired many general interest books with a regional focus, including a history of Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South, a guide to backpacking in North Carolina, and a children’s book on Cherokee legends.

“My years at UNC Press have given me deep love and abiding respect for our tradition of excellence in publishing both scholarly and general interest books. So it is an honor and a privilege to lead the Press’s editorial program, particularly at this time of great change not just for university presses but for the entire scholarly communications ecosystem,” Simpson-Vos said. “One of my first lessons on accepting the position was that it did not come with a key to the crystal ball closet. Fortunately, as compensation I have energetic and experienced colleagues, talented and passionate authors, and a terrific network of advisers and friends of the Press.”

The University of North Carolina Press is the oldest university press in the South and one of the oldest in the country. Founded in 1922, the Press is known for its strong regional publishing program, as well as for its offerings in African American studies, women’s studies, Civil War history, and Southern history. The UNC Press is part of the 16-campus University of North Carolina.