UND’s Digital Press debuts with new work


David L. Dodds

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


Inaugural issue of 'Punk Archaeology' is first publication to roll out of New Media effort

The University of North Dakota Digital Press, the high-tech heir to the long defunct UND Press, is up and running.

The Digital Press is an imaginative reinvention of the University press, bringing together the spirit of entrepreneurship and digital and new media savvy inherent in the humanities, according to Associate Professor of History William Caraher, a member of UND's Working Group in Digital and New Media.

"Our strategy is one part stone soup, one part entrepreneurship and one part commitment to the enduring value of long form arguments, important conversations, and books in any form." says Caraher.

Recognizing a need at UND, the working group – including Caraher, the late Joel Jonientz, assistant professor art & design; Kyle Conway, assistant professor of English and communication; and Brett Ommen, former UND assistant professor of English and communication, sketched out a plan for a university press that would be something different, disruptive and digital.

The Digital Press at UND has already published its first publication, an inaugural volume of Punk Archaeology (also available at Amazon), edited by Caraher, Franklin and Marshall College Professor Kostis Kourelis and Andrew Reinhard, a member of Punk Archaeology without Borders.

Efficient and dynamic

The Digital Press aims to publish books in both paper and digital formats that will benefit from an efficient and dynamic editorial and production process. For instance, a book on the Bakken oil boom that takes three years to come together might miss out on an opportunity to make an impact on the boom or speak to pressing issues and events.

Conway, co-founder of the press, emphasized, "we see the Digital Press as yet another way for UND to make good on its responsibility to North Dakota and North Dakotans. Although we're interested in a range of topics, we're really keen to publish books that address the concerns North Dakotans have right now."

The Digital Press has several volumes in various stages of production including a book on the Bakken Boom and a translation of a Norwegian study of the Dakota Wars. These books will appear in digital form, paperback, and for various e-readers.

"Because we're approaching this press from a sensitivity developed from our experience in new media like blogs, we think we can find ways to simplify the publication process without sacrificing quality or academic value." Caraher says.

"The small size of the press allows us to work closely with authors and to create collaborative relationships that can be hard to establish in traditional academic publishing. This press won't be for everyone or every project, but we feel like we can publish good books that matter."

Ommen says, "I truly think the thing that makes Punk Archaeology important is that it illustrates its deep commitment to the field in the act of disrupting it."