Columbia University Press, in collaboration with Howard University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Columbia University’s African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, is launching a new Black studies book series, with plans to use the book line to recruit and train students for careers in the book industry.

The series will be published by Columbia University Press and overseen by an editorial board of eight faculty members drawn from the two universities; four each from Howard University and Columbia University. The new series will publish works in humanities and social sciences. It will launch with 2-3 publications a year and is expected to expand to up to 20 titles per year once it receives full funding. In addition, CUP will add a new full-time Black studies editor to its staff as well as recruit and train a group of graduate student fellows.

The program is also designed to prepare interested students at Howard University and at Columbia University for careers in book publishing and the graduate fellows recruited will receive specialized training in editorial work and other publishing departments.

The Howard University faculty members that will be part of the new editorial board are professors Clarence Lusane, Rubin Patterson, Nikki Taylor, and Amy Yeboah; and the Columbia University faculty are professors Kevin Fellezs, Farah Jasmine Griffin, William B. Ransford, Frank Guridy, and Josef Sorrett.

This new collaboration between Howard and Columbia—an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) and an Ivy League University—is considered to be the first of its kind in academic publishing. The new publishing venture is the first step in a larger partnership between the two universities to expand the publication of works in the Black studies category while also recruiting HBCU graduates to work in the publishing industry.

The Black studies series will expand on CUP’s history of publishing in the category. The series will include research in African American and African Diaspora studies with a focus on a global diasporic context. The collaboration also marks a return to academic publishing by Howard University after the university shut down the Howard University Press in 2011.