Baylor University Press and Baylor faculty have again partnered to produce two new and exciting volumes that will be widely used by Baylor’s undergraduates: The United States in Global Perspective: A Primary Source Reader was edited by Associate Professors Julie K. deGraffenried and Stephen M. Sloan of the Department of History, and American Literary Cultures: A Reader was edited by Senior Lecturer Elizabeth J. Dell and Professor Joe B. Fulton of the Department of English. The Departments of History and English, the Office of the Core, the Academy of Teaching and Learning, and the Dean’s Office in the College of Arts & Sciences supported both volumes by providing logistical aid and funding toward graduate student assistance and production expenses.
The United States in Global Perspective represents more than a year of research and editorial development to provide a vibrant collection of primary sources that gives instructors a tool that “globalizes” instruction. Through a variety of textual and visual sources, students can investigate the long history of the region’s engagement with the world as well as the ways in which the world has shaped the United States. Each chapter includes a section that presents a quick global overview of a specific topic or issue, using sources from varying locations and time periods. Instructors can utilize various pathways to follow specific themes throughout the book, such as labor, immigration, environmental history, African American history, urban history, and women’s rights.
The volume includes a beautiful 64-page insert of full-color graphics and images that enhance reader engagement. It also represents the fruit of a very deliberate effort to make the book affordable for Baylor students. “This nearly 700-page textbook with a lengthy full-color insert would normally sell for between sixty and seventy dollars,” notes Interim Director of Baylor University Press David Aycock. “But thanks to assistance from the Department of History and the College of Arts & Sciences, we were able to price the volume under forty dollars.” Aggregately, Baylor students will realize tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the textbook’s life at Baylor thanks to the lower price. The volume will be used in most, if not all, sections of HIS 1300 The U.S. in Global Perspective this fall.
American Literary Cultures highlights literature written by regional authors—particularly those of Texas and the Southwest—and includes readings representative of a broad array of American social, religious, racial, and ethnic groups from first contact to early twentieth-century Modernism. The volume will be used in sections of ENG 2310 American Literary Cultures: Imagining the American Experience, which focuses on the diverse literary cultures of the United States, from the early nineteenth century to the present.
“This really represents the first anthology of its kind,” notes Dr. Dell. “To our knowledge, no other anthology has ever focused on the literature of Texas and the American Southwest. We were highly selective in our editorial choices for the volume, and we believe Baylor students will greatly benefit from this rich and representative body of important texts.” At a generous 661 pages, the volume provides a tremendous resource to students for less than thirty dollars.
More than a thousand Baylor undergraduates will benefit from these two volumes during the 2020–2021 academic year, and perhaps more importantly, the volumes are expected to be adopted by other institutions of higher education in coming years. Baylor University Press is also taking steps to ensure both books are available in Amazon Kindle format for any students whose access to the print versions may be disrupted by the Covid-19 situation.
Publishing course textbooks with Baylor University Press offers faculty and departments the opportunity to tailor their volumes to Baylor’s mission and pedagogy, and students generally realize savings from lower-priced textbooks that would not be possible if the texts were produced by external publishing houses. The Press welcomes ideas for textbook partnerships with other Baylor University departments and schools.