About Open Arizona

In 2017, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $73,000 to the University of Arizona to support Open Arizona: A Humanities Open Book Initiative. The grant allowed the University of Arizona Press to undertake a three-year program to make available in an open-access format two dozen critical works of scholarship that had formerly been out of print.

In its earliest iteration, titles published in Open Arizona explored the histories and experiences of Indigenous and Latino groups in the southwestern United States, foundational areas of the Press’s long publishing history. The projects included works that touched on topics such as the impact of government policy on Indigenous communities and the experiences of Mexican American communities throughout the twentieth century.

The funding also allowed the Press to commission new essays that provided context for the scholarly works, increasing their relevance to contemporary audiences. Discussion guides and outreach efforts also played a part in the project. Open Arizona also included public events to promote use of the books and to engage in community dialogue around race and ethnicity in the Southwest.

Kathryn Conrad, director of the University of Arizona Press, said, “We are really seeking to take these works and reengage them into the critical and topical conversations in our community. The Press has been publishing about the diverse cultures of the region since our founding in 1959. We are grateful to Mellon for funding this project as it allows us to take our commitment to this scholarship in new directions.”

In June 2022, thanks to a grant from the NEH, the Press was able to expand offerings in Open Arizona by adding twenty backlist titles in archaeology to the platform. These titles expand our understandings of the ancient Southwest and demonstrate the University of Arizona Press’s long-standing excellence in the field of archaeology.

In May 2023, the Press published its first simultaneous print and open-access frontlist title, Persistence of Good Living by James R. Welch. This work presents ethnographic insights from long-term anthropological fieldwork in two A’uwẽ communities (Brazil), addressing how distinctive constructions of age organization contribute to social well-being in an era of major ecological, economic, and sociocultural change.

In October 2023, the Press began a long-term project to add works to Open Arizona that have been available for download on sites such as the University of Arizona Libraries’ Campus Repository or Knowledge Unlatched.

All University of Arizona Press titles are thoroughly peer reviewed prior to publication following the Association of University Presses Best Practices for Peer Review. As of October 2023, the Press has made 112 projects freely available on Open Arizona as open-access ebooks.

About the University of Arizona Press

The University of Arizona Press publishes about 55 books annually and has more than 1,500 books in print. These include scholarly titles in Native studies, anthropology, archaeology, environmental studies, geography, Latinx and Chicanx studies, history, Latin American studies, and the space sciences. The Press also publishes general interest books on Arizona and the Southwest borderlands, in addition to two literature series: Sun Tracks: An American Indian Literary Series and Camino del Sol: A Latinx Literary Series.