The Quadrant Program: Supporting the sustainability of scholarly communication

Today’s post is by Anne Carter, Quadrant Coordinator at University of Minnesota Press. She introduces the Quadrant program, a collaborative and innovative effort that has recently been developed between the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Press. See below to listen to a panel that outlines Quadrant’s early lessons, benefits and future goals.

With topics ranging from the politics of oil to the global market for body parts, scholars involved in the Quadrant program have been coming to the Twin Cities to work on and discuss their book projects. Quadrant is a joint initiative of the University of Minnesota Press and the Institute for Advanced Study that provides support for interdisciplinary scholarship.

Four interdisciplinary research and publication groups provide the intellectual foundation of Quadrant: Design, Architecture, and Culture; Environment, Culture, and Sustainability; Global Cultures; and Health and Society. The groups are made up of faculty from across the University as well as scholars from around the world invited to participate in this initiative. Quadrant provides the administrative and financial support for these groups to hold workshops and public presentations. In addition, the University of Minnesota Press provides editorial support to scholars whose book projects may be considered for the Quadrant book imprint.

This year, Quadrant has hosted lectures by Matt Huber, whose project is on the cultural politics of oil; Lisa Uddin, who is writing on race and mid-twentieth century American zoos; Laura Ogden, who has a forthcoming book on the Florida Everglades; Klaus Hoeyer, whose project focuses on the exchange of body parts; and Kelly Quinn, who is completing a biography of an African American architect. More is to come as Quadrant fulfills its mission of bringing scholars in the humanities and social sciences into dialog with those in the sciences and professional schools, and of repositioning university presses to become more actively involved in the intellectual life, research priorities, and academic ambitions of their parent institutions.

Look for the first books in the Quadrant imprint to be published in fall 2010. Quadrant is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

UMP director Douglas Armato spoke at a panel about the Quadrant program and its early lessons and impact at ITHAKA’s Sustainable Scholarship conference in September 2009. He was joined by Bruce Braun, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota, and Katherine Solomonson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Design. Find the video here or listen to the complete audio of this 46-minute panel here:

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