At a time when many universities are shuttering their presses, the Lehigh University Press is going strong. One of its recent books has received the prestigious 2010 Philip S. Klein Award from the Pennsylvania Historical Association for the best book about Pennsylvania history.
The book, Gentlewomen and Learned Ladies: Women’s Elite Formation in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia, by Sarah Fatherly, examines the roles that women played in the rise of Philadelphia’s merchant elite during the 18th century. Fatherly is associate professor of history and director of women’s studies at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio.
LU Press published Gentlewomen and Learned Ladies in 2008 as part of its series, “Studies in 18th-Century America and the Atlantic World,” which builds on one of the press’s traditional strengths. The series “embraces interdisciplinary work in 18th-century transatlantic literature, history, visual arts, material culture, religion, education, law and medicine.”
LU Press publishes about two volumes in the series each year. Other titles include Self, Community, World: Moravian Education in a Transatlantic World, edited by Paul Peucker and Heikki Lempa, and Thomas Barclay (1728-1793): Consul in France, Diplomat in Barbary, by Priscilla Roberts and Richard Roberts. The next title will be “Food for Apollo”: Cultivated Music in Antebellum Philadelphia, by Dorothy Potter.
The Klein Award, which is given in even years, recognizes books for the quality of scholarship and significance of contribution to historical knowledge, as well as style, presentation and readability.
“The award means that Lehigh University Press is publishing the highest-quality work in the field of 18th-century history,” says Scott Paul Gordon, professor of English and the director of LU Press.
“Fatherly’s work is strikingly original, solidly researched and deeply engaged with ongoing scholarly debates about gender and class,” he says. “The award will help the Press become more visible among the emergent and established scholars who write the manuscripts that we consider for publication.”
The Lehigh University Press publishes books in all areas of scholarship, including history, literary and cultural studies, anthropology, business and economics, film and science, and technology. After many years of affiliation with Associated University Presses, it is now associated with Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group.