Columbia University Press launches new partnership with Howard University to advance Black studies and diversify academic publishing

deadline for submissions: 
February 26, 2026
full name / name of organization: 
Columbia University Press
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Columbia University Press today announced a new ongoing scholarly book series in the field of Black studies called Black Lives in the Diaspora: Past / Present / Future, to be published in partnership with Howard University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Columbia University’s African American and African Diaspora Studies Department. This collaboration between a historically Black university and an Ivy League university’s press and faculty is the first of its kind in academic publishing, and it represents the first step in a larger partnership between the two universities to publish more robustly in Black studies and to recruit and support a cohort of editorial fellows to provide an entryway for recent HBCU graduates into the publishing industry.

An editorial board of eight faculty—four each from Howard University and Columbia University—will oversee the new series, which will be published by the Press. The series will publish in the humanities and social sciences at the junior, midcareer, and senior levels. Acquisitions for 2–3 publications per year in the new series will begin immediately. Funding is currently being sought to expand the program to publish up to 20 titles per year and augment the staff of Columbia University Press with a new full-time Black studies editor and graduate student fellows. The fellows will receive specialized training in the editorial department and will be supported to gain experience across the other standard departments in publishing, according to their own interests. Over time, this cohort of fellows, mentored by the new editor and others at Howard University and Columbia University, will be prepared for careers in the publishing industry.

Building on Columbia University Press’s history of publications in Black studies and history, sociology, religion, philosophy, and literature, the new series will further scholarship in African American and African Diaspora studies by focusing on Black lives in a global diasporic context. The series will showcase scholarship and writing that enriches our understanding of Black experiences in the past, present, and future. It is a goal of the series that the books will reach beyond the academy and become part of urgent national and international conversations about the experiences of people of African descent. By design, the series anchors an exchange across two global educational institutions, both residing in historical capitals of Black life and culture.

Howard University had a press that was discontinued a decade ago, representing the loss of an important voice in African American studies and scholarly publishing. This new collaboration will enable Howard once again to participate in the curatorial process of scholarly publishing, and result in a series dedicated to African American and African Diaspora studies that is more inclusive and of a higher caliber than Columbia University and Columbia University Press could achieve alone. The series will become self-sustaining financially within five years, including funding for the editorial fellows, who are central to the Howard University–Columbia University partnership.

Editorial board members for the new series are:

Howard University
● Clarence Lusane, Professor of Political Science, and former Chair, Department of Political Science
● Rubin Patterson, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Sociology
● Nikki Taylor, Chair, Department of History, and Professor of History
● Amy Yeboah, Associate Professor of Afro-American Studies

Columbia University
● Kevin Fellezs, Associate Professor of Music and African American and African Diaspora Studies
● Farah Jasmine Griffin, Chair, African American and African Diaspora Studies Department , and William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies
● Frank Guridy, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies
● Josef Sorett, Chair, Department of Religion, and Professor of Religion and African American and African Diaspora Studies

Those interested in submitting a project to the series should contact Eric I. Schwartz, PhD, Editorial Director of Columbia University Press (es3387@columbia.edu), with a proposal containing a brief description of the content and focus of the book, a table of contents or chapter outline, a literature review and market analysis, and professional information about the author, including previous publications.

About Columbia University Press
Founded in 1893, Columbia University Press advances world knowledge through essential writing and research focusing on the global, the urban, and the contemporary. Our books and electronic resources bring new ideas and foundational understanding to a diverse and engaged readership of the intellectually curious, both within and across academic disciplines and other conventional boundaries. We embody our parent institution's educational and research mission as well as its international reputation. Columbia University Press is one of the oldest and largest university presses in the United States.

Notable highlights in Columbia University Press’s history include the publication of the Columbia Encyclopedia in 1935; the acquisition of The Columbia Granger’s Index to Poetry in 1945; the introduction of the three Sources anthologies of Chinese, Japanese, and Indian classic works in the 1950s; and, over the years, the publication of works by numerous eminent thinkers. Recent publications in the field of African American and African Diaspora studies include: A Haven and a Hell by Lance Freeman, Banking on Freedom by Shennette Garrett-Scott; The African Diaspora by Patrick Manning; Dispatches from the Ebony Tower edited by Manning Marable; Uptown Conversation edited by Robert G. O’Meally, Brent Hayes Edwards, and Farah Jasmine Griffin; Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918–1927 by Jeffrey Perry; and The Other Blacklist by Mary Helen Washington. For more information, see http://cup.columbia.edu/.

About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that comprises thirteen schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The university operates with a commitment to excellence in truth and service, and has produced 1 Schwarzman Scholar, 3 Marshall Scholars, 4 Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows, and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American PhD recipients than any other university in the United States.
Howard ranks among the highest producers of the nation's Black professionals in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, nursing, architecture, religion, law, music, social work, and education. Howard’s College of Arts and Sciences alumni include Vice President Kamala Harris, Toni Morrison, Chadwick Boseman, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.