The University of Washington Press, the MIT Press, Duke University Press, the University of Georgia Press, and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) today announce the recipients of the 2018–2019 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowships.
The Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship was established in 2016 by the four university presses and the AUPresses as the first cross-press initiative of its kind in the United States to address the marked lack of diversity in the academic publishing industry. The initiative seeks to create a pipeline program of academic publishing professionals with significant personal experience and engagement with diverse communities and a demonstrated ability to bring the understanding gleaned from such engagement to bear on their daily work. The fellowship program is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a four-year $682,000 grant.
Lea Johnson joins the University of Georgia Press from the University of California, San Diego, where she is a digital curator and PhD candidate in ethnic studies. Growing up between Los Angeles and Natchitoches, Louisiana, Lea developed an interest in circuits of culture and how black women negotiate space. Her interests include African American literature, the transnational South, and black feminist literary criticism. Currently, her dissertation explores race, gender, and the speculative literary imagination in the US South. She has also taught classes on the intersection of culture, art, and technology, helping students develop and experiment with creative projects across digital mediums. Her favorite books are Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.
Ms. Johnson will also be a member of the Libraries Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.