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 has 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.

Open Arizona explores the histories and experiences of Indigenous and Latino groups in the southwestern United States, foundational areas of the Press’s long publishing history. The project will include works that touch on topics such as the impact of government policy on Indigenous communities and the experiences of Mexican American communities throughout the 20th century.

The funding will also allow the Press to commission new essays that will provide context for the scholarly works, increasing their relevance to contemporary audiences. Discussion guides and outreach efforts are also central to the project. A cornerstone of Open Arizona will be a series of public events to promote use of the books and engage in community dialogue around race and ethnicity in the Southwest.

Kathryn Conrad, Director of the University of Arizona Press, says, “We are really seeking to take these works and re-engage 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.”

About the University of Arizona Press

The University of Arizona Press publishes about 55 books annually and has more than 1,400 books in print. These include scholarly titles in Native studies, anthropology, archaeology, environmental studies, geography, Latino and Chicano studies, history, Latin American studies, and the space sciences. The University of Arizona Press also publishes general interest books on Arizona and the southwest borderlands. In addition, we publish two series in literature: Sun Tracks: An American Indian Literary Series and Camino del Sol: A Chicana and Chicano Literary Series.