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Wilfrid Laurier University Press

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Title: Wilfrid Laurier University Press  
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Subject: University presses of Canada, Mechanophilia, Wavelength (1967 film), Association of American University Presses, Ethics
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Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Wilfrid Laurier University Press, based in Waterloo, Ontario, is a publisher of scholarly writing and is part of Wilfrid Laurier University. The fourth-largest university press in Canada, WLUP publishes work in a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences — literary criticism, aboriginal studies, sociology, environmental studies, and history among them — as well as culturally significant books of regional interest. Laurier Press also provides publishing services to scholarly associations and journals.

The mandate of Laurier Press is to introduce new and original voices into the written discourses of culture and policy in Canada and to broaden the awareness of, and interest in, Canadian writing — especially Canadian scholarly writing — with readers everywhere.


The Press was founded in 1974 as a non-profit enterprise. They now publish 30 titles a year, have a turnover of $1.5 million (2007/2008) and have 260 physical titles in print. Having digitized their backlist, they have made over 400 titles available electronically. WLUP has been typesetting books from electronic files since 1984 (though they do less and less of it themselves), and was one of the very first publishers to have a web presence in 1994. Their e-ventures appear through netLibrary, Questia, Ebrary, Ingram Digital and the Canadian Electronic Library. They are also participants in Google Print.

Wilfrid Laurier University Press have co-publishing arrangements with: the Canadian Corporation for the Study of Religion, the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies (whose solo titles they also distribute), the Centre of International Governance Innovation, the TransCanada Institute; they distribute Cinematheque and Toronto International Film Festival titles in Canada. WLUP is represented in the trade market by Hargreaves, Fuller and Company, and around the world by Gazelle Books. They are also represented in the United States by a variety of regional sales reps. Wilfrid Laurier University Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses, the Association of Canadian University Presses (and through them, the International Publishers Association), the Association of Canadian Publishers, and the Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario. They attend the Frankfurt and London book fairs and have sold international rights to a number of their titles. WLUP books have won many awards and garnered excellent reviews. Their most significant recent accomplishment is the sale of their electronic backlist to the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN). From early on they have also provided pre-press, typographic, subscription and fulfillment services to a number of scholarly journals.

In October 2011, WLU Press, in conjunction with Laurier Library, launched Scholars Commons @ Laurier, an institutional repository that aims to support open scholarly communication, collaboration, and lasting visibility and recognition for Laurier scholarship. It will house online journals, faculty scholarship, theses, dissertations, and an archival collection of The Cord Weekly dating back to 1926.

Role in Canadian scholarly and literary publishing

The Press aims to help channel culturally significant research into reader-friendly culturally significant books. Their list is unique in its focus on Canadian literature, life writing/memoir, aboriginal voices in the First Nations series, and cultural studies, as well its range of new and continuing co-publishing arrangements with CIGI, the TransCanada Institute and the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic Disarmament Studies. WLUP has a number of series that serve to organize the list of its 30 titles published each year:

- The Bahá'í Studies Series publishes monographs on the history, theology, law, teachings, and principles of the Bahá'í Faith.

- The Canadian Commentaries Series, published in conjunction with the Literary Review of Canada, features prominent writers exploring key issues affecting Canadians and the world.

- The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale series contains the surviving writing of Florence Nightingale. Known as the heroine of the Crimean War and the major founder of the modern profession of nursing, this series posits Nightingale as an important and significant nineteenth-century scholar and illustrates how she integrated her scholarship with political activism.

- The Cultural Studies Series includes topics such as: construction of identities; regionalism/nationalism; cultural citizenship; migration; popular culture; consumer cultures; media and film; the body; post-colonial criticism; cultural policy; sexualities; cultural theory; youth culture, class relations and gender, and animal studies.

- The Environmental Humanities Series features research that adopts and adapts the methods of the humanities to clarify the cultural meanings associated with environmental debate. Gathering research and writing in environmental philosophy, ethics, cultural studies, and literature, the series aims to make visible the contributions of humanities research to environmental studies, and to foster discussion that challenges and reconceptualizes the humanities.

- The Film and Media Studies Series addresses the nature and effects of mass media upon individuals and society and analyzes media content and representations. The series includes topics such as identity, gender, sexuality, class, race, visuality, space, music, new media, aesthetics, genre, youth culture, popular culture, consumer culture, regional/national cinemas, film policy, film theory, and film history.

- The Indigenous Studies Series seeks to be responsive and responsible to the concerns of the Indigenous community at large and to prioritize the mentorship of emerging Indigenous scholarship.

- The Laurier Poetry Series introduces contemporary Canadian poetry.

- In the Life Writing Series, WLUP publishes life writing and new life-writing criticism in order to promote autobiographical accounts, diaries, letters and testimonials written and/or told by women and men whose political, literary or philosophical purposes are central to their lives.

- The Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada publishes scholarship from various disciplines, approaches and perspectives relevant to the concepts and relations of childhood and family in Canada.

- The Studies in International Governance series offers timely consideration of emerging trends and current challenges in the broad field of international governance through the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

- The goal of the TransCanada series is to publish forward-thinking critical interventions that investigate the larger forces of multiculturalism and market forces on the circulation of Canadian writing.

- Comparative Ethics Series

- The Editions SR is an omnibus series that publishes original monographs in particular religious traditions; on themes or topics that intersect a number of traditions; and that incorporate any number of theoretical and/or methodological approaches.

- The Studies in Christianity and Judaism Series

- The Studies in Women and Religion series features a wide variety of interdisciplinary works that engage, for example, the fields of feminist, queer, and gender theories; women in the history of religions; ethnographic studies; ritual/performance studies and the arts.

- The Study of Religion in Canada series covers particular geographic regions and presents a descriptive and analytical study of courses, programs and research currently being undertaken in the field of religious studies in Canada.

External links

  • Wilfrid Laurier University Press
  • Scholars Commons @ Laurier
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