Fordham University Press not only represents and uphold the values and traditions of the University itself but also furthers those values and traditions through the dissemination of scholarly research and ideas. The Press publishes boundary-breaking print and digital books that bring recognition to itself, the University, and authors while balancing the need to publish in new formats and work collaboratively on and off campus. Its regional imprint, Empire State Editions, and location in New York City’s Lincoln Center neighborhood reinforce the university’s motto, New York is My Campus, Fordham is My School.
Fordham University Press, established in 1907, the seventh oldest university press in the country and the nation’s oldest Catholic university press, is the not-for-profit publishing arm of the University. Dr. James Walsh, Dean of Fordham’s School of Medicine, having gained the approval of the University, published the first title of the Press, The Makers of Modern Medicine, in 1907. Later that year, the Fordham University catalog announced the establishment of Fordham University Press as a new department under the temporary supervision of the Medical School at the Rose Hill campus. All titles published under Dr. Walsh’s leadership concerned medicine, science, history, and religion.
After the Medical School closed in 1922, the Press relocated to Downton Manhattan at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences that was housed in the Woolworth Building. Under the leadership of Fathers R. Rush Rankin, S.J., and Miles J. O’Malia S.J., the Press began publishing a wide variety of textbooks in education, English, law, philosophy, and psychology. After ten years in Manhattan, the Press was brought back to the Rose Hill campus and appointed Father Robert E. Holland, S.J. as the first full-time director, under whom the Press established its reputation in the humanities and social sciences in the 1930s.
After the death of Father Holland in 1947, the Press continued to publish under the supervision of a “University Representative” by outsourcing production and distribution to a commercial publisher. In 1957 Father Edwin A. Quain, S.J. became director of the Press. Fr. Quain continued as director until 1972 when, due to failing health, he retired. It experienced its most dramatic growth in the decades after the 1950s, publishing more than 100 books during that period.
George Fletcher, an editor with Father Quain, was appointed director and served until 1991. In 1991, the Press appointed Saverio Procario as director and he retired in 2004. Robert Oppedisano, who served as associate director succeeded Mr. Procario as director upon Mr. Procario’s retirement. Throughout the 1990s and into the first year of the 21st century the Press had steadily increased its publishing program to releasing 50 tiles per year. The Press solidified a reputation for publishing intellectually penetrating philosophy books that reflected the University’s highly regarded Philosophy Department and its professors’ deep commitment to disseminating critically engaged scholarship from a wide array of voices.
Helen Tartar was appointed Editorial Director in 2003, and Fredric Nachbaur Director in 2009. Subsequently the Press published more than one hundred books annually, with a new focus on interdisciplinary studies. Tartar brought preeminent scholars to the Press, including Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-Luc Nancy. Butler’s Giving an Account of Oneself is one of the Press’s bestselling books. Nachbaur established new series to mirror the University’s academic strengths and created the Empire State Editions imprint. After Tartar’s untimely death in 2014, Richard Morrison became Editorial Director and has concentrated on diversifying the list by acquiring books in cultural studies, critical race theory, and gender studies.
The Press, which celebrated its centennial in 2007 and currently publishes seventy books annually, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, has an outstanding reputation for producing award-winning studies in the fields of anthropology, classics, communications, cultural studies, gender studies, history, literary studies, philosophy, political theory, race and ethnicity, religion, sociology, theology, and urban studies with a particular emphasis on creatively interdisciplinary work. Each year it publishes two books of poetry through the Poets Out Loud prize. Fordham University Press also has a long history of publishing books focusing on the New York region and in 2010 established the Empire State Editions imprint to better brand and market these popular regional books.
A Board of Directors, consisting of not fewer than eight nor more than ten members, all tenured Fordham university professors, governs its program and staff. The Director of the Press reports to the Provost of the University.
Fordham University Press Board of Directors
Colin M. Cathcart, Department of Theatre and Visual Arts
Benjamin Dunning (Chair), Department of Theology
Christina Greer, Department of Political Science
Samir Haddad, Department of Philosophy
Glenn Hendler Department of English
Brenna Moore, Department of Theology
Barbara Mundy, Department of Art History & Music
Aseel Sawalha, Department of Art History & Music
Kirsten N. Swinth, Department of History
Rosemary Wakeman, Department of History
Directors of Fordham University Press
James Walsh, 1907-1922
Fathers R. Rush Rankin, S.J., and Miles J. O’Malia S.J, 1922-1932
Father Robert E. Holland, S.J, 1932-1947
No director, 1947-1957
Father Edwin A. Quain, S.J, 1957-1972
George Fletcher, 1972-1991
Saverio Procario, 1991-2004
Robert Oppedisano, 2004-2008
Fredric Nachbaur, 2009-