Giving our Readers a Global Reach

It’s the last day of the University Press Week blog tour. We end the tour on the theme of the global reach of university presses. Below is our contribution to the tour “Giving our Readers a Global Reach”. The tour also stops at Columbia University Press, Indiana University PressJohns Hopkins University PressNew York University Press, Princeton University Press, the University of Wisconsin Press, and Yale University Press.

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Georgetown University Press publishes authors from around the world. Many of our books have been translated into other languages including Chinese, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, French, Bosnian, Macedonian, and Japanese. We have done co-publications with a myriad of publishers in other countries including Hurst, Cambridge University Press India, Edinburgh University Press, DJØF, Penguin UK, and HarperCollins India. We attend the Frankfurt Book Fair and the British International Studies Association. Further, our foreign distributors (Scholarly Book Services, NBN International, Footprint Books, and United Publishers Services, Ltd.,) ensure that our books can be bought around the world. We are incredibly proud of our staff and our partners for creating that kind of global reach for Georgetown University Press. But, when discussing our international activities, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the things that excites us the most: our efforts to help our readers engage with the rest of the world.

Our passion is to help to unite people speaking different languages, literally and figuratively, and so our publications attempt to illuminate, clarify, and respond to the world’s most difficult questions. One of the ways that we do this is through Georgetown Languages. This imprint of our press produces incredible linguistics titles and language learning materials. We publish in Spanish, French, and English as a second language. But we also publish extensively in Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs). We have books for learning Chinese, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek, Pashto, Tajiki, Kazakh, Portuguese, Turkish, Japanese, and Arabic. In particular, our Arabic program includes our very popular Al-Kitaab Arabic Language Program; literature for the classroom; multimedia materials for learning Moroccan, Iraqi, Levantine and Formal Spoken Arabic; as well as grammars, and dictionaries (one of which is our new and truly stupendous The Georgetown Dictionary of Iraqi Arabic). By giving our readers the tools to learn and understand new languages, we help them to get out into the world and interact with people from other cultures.

Under this same mission, we publish three popular career guides for those interested in working internationally. The first is Career Diplomacy:Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service by Harry W. Kopp and Charles A. Gillespie. This book—now in its second edition—is an insider’s guide that examines the foreign service as an institution, a profession, and a career. The authors lay out what to expect in a foreign service career, from the entrance exam through midcareer and into the senior service—how the service works in practice, not just on paper. (We recommend that you check out our Q&A with Harry Kopp on YouTube). For those hoping for a broader look at working in international affairs, we have Careers in International Affairs, currently in its 8th edition with a 9th edition coming out in Fall 2014. Published in cooperation with Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Careers in International Affairs is the ultimate job hunting guide for anyone hoping to work in the U.S. government, international organizations, business, or nonprofits. It provides descriptions and data about careers in the global workplace and how to find them—along with nearly 300 organization profiles.

Then for those fellow cause-oriented people, we also publish Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development by Sherry L. Mueller and Mark Overmann, the second edition of which is coming out this April. The two authors present their individual perspectives on career development on topics like work-life balance, the importance of informational interviews, moving on, and other key building blocks for international careers. They also explore how the idea of an international career has shifted: nearly every industry has taken on more and more global dimensions, and skills such as linguistic ability, intercultural management and sensitivity have become ever more highly prized by potential employers. By creating these three fantastic career resources, Georgetown University Press enables its readership to get out into the international job market and make their mark.

Finally, our International affairs titles truly bring the world to our readers and help them understand the complexities of foreign policy and international relations. For last year’s UPWeek, we created this map that demonstrates the global activities of the press. The red pins on the map represent just a few of our titles and the variety of countries around the world that those books study. Brahma Chellaney’s Water: Asia’s New Battleground, winner of the Asia Society’s Bernard Schwartz 2012 Book Award and now available in paperback, is a pioneering study of Asia’s murky water politics and the relationships between fresh water, peace, and security. This unique and highly readable book expertly paints a larger picture of water across Asia, highlights the security implications of resource-linked territorial disputes, and proposes real strategies to avoid conflict and more equitably share Asia’s water resources.

Continuing on the Asian continent, the press recently launched a new series: South Asia in World Affairs. It focuses on producing high quality scholarly works that help readers to understand this region of eight states and more than one fifth of humanity. One of the first books in the series Vying for Allah’s Vote: Understanding Islamic Parties, Political Violence, and Extremism in Pakistan by Haroon K. Ullah will be coming out this December. Another Fall 2013 title, Matthew Levitt’s Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God is the first thorough examination of Hezbollah’s covert activities beyond Lebanon’s borders, including its financial and logistical support networks and its criminal and terrorist operations worldwide. The book has received a considerable amount of praise, including positive reviews from The Wall Street Journal, Library Journal, ForeWord, The Washington Post, and Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. Having international affairs titles that have not only undergone a rigorous peer review process but that are also critically acclaimed and awarding-winning gives Georgetown University Press a truly impressive list through which our readers might extend their own global reach.

By giving our readers books for understanding the world, guides for starting an international career, and materials for learning other languages, we believe that we help them to have a greater engagement with and impact on the world at large. And we think that’s certainly a goal worth working towards.