By Christian Stenico, UNO Press / Center Austria Publishing Fellow
At the end of March, the University of New Orleans hosted the UNO Author Awards to highlight the excellent range of books published by UNO faculty, staff, and alumni. Dr. Anne Boyd Rioux started the evening with a keynote speech on “What It Means to Become a Public Scholar and Why It’s Important” and talked about the difficulties and unique challenges of reaching a general audience instead of an academic one. Then Dr. Ray Wang, Dean of Library and Information Services, handed out awards and gave each of the recipients the chance to talk about their books.
The best part about the evening was seeing the wide array of different publications by UNO authors. On the one hand, the list included literary pursuits, such as Elizabeth Miki Brina’s memoir Speak, Okinawa, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s collection of short stories The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You, and M.O. Walsh’s novel The Big Door Prize. On the other hand, academic publications boasted titles ranging from history, like Andrea C. Mosterman’s A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York, to philosophy, like Frank Schalow’s Historical Dictionary of Heidegger’s Philosophy, and engineering, like Nikolaos I. Xiros’ Feedback Linearization of Dynamical Systems with Modulated States for Harnessing Water Wave Power.
As a member of the UNO Press, I was delighted that ten of the forty-eight books being celebrated had been published by the press. Again, we appreciated a wide variety of books, from Mahyar A. Amouzegar’s novels The Hubris of an Empty Hand and Dinner at 10:32, to Günter Bischof’s book series Contemporary Austrian Studies, or Harriet Burbeck’s hand-made book An Illustrated History of Domestic Arthropods. And even though I had only been involved in a small part of the books being celebrated, it was wonderful to see the diverse selection being published by the press and the recognition for our great authors.
Towards the end of the awards ceremony, we at UNO Press were incredibly honored to receive an award and certificate of our own for the Press’ work on campus with faculty and staff and off-campus with other authors.