July 19, 2022
At last month’s Association of University Press (AUPresses) annual meeting, historians Farina King and Tai Edwards received the prestigious Stand UP Award for their work in defense of the University Press of Kansas.
The Stand UP Award honors those who through their words and actions have done extraordinary work to support, defend, and celebrate the university press community. The award is intended to recognize advocates who stand up from within the communities that presses work with, speak to, and serve.
King (Diné) is an associate professor of history at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and the author of The Earth Memory Compass: Diné Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century (University Press of Kansas, 2018) and coauthor of Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School (University of Arizona Press, 2021).
Edwards is an associate professor of history and directs the Kansas Studies Institute at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and is the author of Osage Women and Empire: Gender and Power (University Press of Kansas, 2018) as well as articles that have appeared in Kansas History and the Journal of American History.
Edwards and King were recognized for their powerful advocacy last year in support of the University Press of Kansas (UPK), a consortial press founded in 1946 and guided by a Board of Trustees comprised of the provosts of its six parent universities. Early in 2021, in light of budgetary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this board initiated an independent review to propose direction for UPK’s future, including a consideration of closure. Specialists in Indigenous history who each had published their first books with UPK, Edwards and King sprang into action to advocate in tandem for this imperiled press, successfully rallying others through grassroots efforts and promoting the work of university presses in general.
“By keeping the challenges faced by UPK in national context, these two scholars helped many in our community have valuable conversations on our home campuses about the significance of institutional support for the important work that we do,” said Stand UP Award nominators Kelly Chrisman Jacques, UPK’s managing director, and Kathryn Conrad, director of the University of Arizona Press.