The Association of University Presses has announced the theme for this year’s University Press Week, which runs from Sunday, November 3 through Saturday, November 9: “Read. Think. Act.”

The theme, the AUPresses said in its statement, is timely in that "many citizens around the globe continue to engage in important debates that will influence vital decision-making in the months ahead; in fact, this year’s UP Week will begin exactly one year to the day before the 2020 Election Day in the U.S." The organization added: "AUPresses members worldwide seek to encourage people to read the latest peer-reviewed publications about issues that affect our present and future—from politics to economics to climate change to race relations and more—and to better understand academic presses’ important contribution to these vital areas of concern." AUPresses has also put together a reading list for those looking to explore the theme in depth.

“Many of us choose to work for university presses because we believe in the UP mission of bringing the latest research and ideas to diverse audiences of readers, [and] the success of recent university press books such as White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon Press) and Cyberwar by Kathleen Hall Jamieson (Oxford University Press) make it clear that there is a hunger for these books,” Kathryn Conrad, AUPresses president and director of the University of Arizona Press, said in a statement “In the last few years many people have found it difficult to have effective conversations about the most serious and important issues facing our communities, nations, and world. We hope that by encouraging readers to explore university press works on topics that affect everyone—and to reflect on their reading—our publications might help stimulate positive conversations and actions.”

This is the eighth edition of the annual University Press Week, which will find the UP community hosting a variety of online celebrations of this year’s theme via a blog tour and a featured publication gallery. Ingram, NetGalley, and Baker & Taylor will also mark the week online through special messages and marketing, and a number of live events are planned as well, including a panel focusing on this year’s theme at the Texas Book Festival and a panel on November 7 at Book Culture in New York City.

Additionally, a number of university presses will take part in an “Indies First” campaign orchestrated by the America Booksellers Association the week of November 3, extending through Small Business Saturday on November 30.

University presses publish approximately 14,000 books each year, as well as more than 1,200 journals and numerous digital works. 151 presses belong to AUPresses, and 20% of that number are presses based outside the U.S.