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The Business of Books: An Insider’s Look at 21st Century Publishing

Leaders of two top publishing houses—a trade press and an academic press—offer insights on navigating the world of book publishing now, and discuss where the industry is heading.

Featuring Julia Reidhead, President of W. W. Norton & Company, and Dean Smith, Director of Duke University Press, in a conversation moderated by Ed Balleisen, Duke Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Light lunch provided. 

Free, but space is limited. To reserve a spot, please register using the form below.

Co-sponsored by the Duke Libraries, Duke University Communications, the Publishing Humanities Initiative of the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Duke Faculty Write Program, and Duke University Press.

About the Speakers

Julia Reidhead, photo by Beowulf SheehanJulia A. Reidhead is President of W. W. Norton & Company, the nation’s oldest and largest publishing house owned wholly by its employees. She began her career there as a traveling college sales representative before embarking on an editorial path, taking on responsibility for the legendary Norton Anthologies, read by more than 50 million students worldwide. From 1990 to 2016, she edited the flagship Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Norton Anthology of American Literature, The Norton Anthology of Poetry, and The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women. She also guided the editorial process for the publication of Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf, commissioned for The Norton Anthology of English Literature in 2000. In addition to her work at Norton, Reidhead chairs the Board of Governors of Yale University Press. She also holds a B.A. in comparative literature from Yale.


Dean SmithDean Smith is Director of Duke University Press. His career in publishing spans more than thirty years and includes experience in scholarly, STM, university press, and trade- and association-based publishing. His career has evolved with the profession in a variety of roles including as press director, digital platform director, journal publisher, director of electronic publishing, vice president of sales, and marketing and society publisher. Prior to coming to Duke, he was the director of Cornell University Press—the first university press in America—overseeing a program that publishes 150 new books a year and features 3,400 e-books. He is a published author, poet, and freelance journalist. He is an adjunct professor of publishing in the Masters in Professional Studies program at George Washington University. One of his all-time favorite moments was doing a public talk with John Cleese.


Friday, November 8, 2019
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Rubenstein Library 153 (Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room)
West Campus
Public Event  
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

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Duke University Libraries