AAS Statement on Stanford University Press

June 14, 2019

The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is writing to express its concern regarding the decision of Provost Persis S. Drell to cut $1.7 million in subsidies to Stanford University Press, thus placing the future of the Press in financial jeopardy.

For Asian Studies in particular, Stanford University Press is one of a very select group of top-tier academic publishers in North America that commands international respect. Its publications represent cutting-edge and discipline-redefining research as exemplified by the “South Asia in Motion” series, as well as in new studies of pre-modern and modern Korea, innovative analyses of Asia in global and transnational contexts, and ground-breaking work in Asian environmental studies, drug culture, and funerary practices. Moreover, the field of Asian women’s history owes much to the Press, whose early support has made the entire field possible.

Most of the humanities and a large part of the social sciences take the publication of monographs as the standard for tenure and promotion, and Stanford University Press’s deep investment in editing and production has long set a high watermark for publication in many disciplines. Many of our colleagues have published with the Press, and all of us look to the Press as a leading arbiter of contemporary intellectual and cultural conversation. To lose this voice would cause irreparable harm to the broader academic community and to Asian Studies in particular. We strongly urge the leadership of Stanford University to reconsider this decision and to commit to a sustainable future for Stanford University Press.

—AAS Board of Directors

For background information on the Stanford University Press situation, please see the timeline and news articles posted at save-SUP.org.