University of Michigan Library

Transforming Performing Arts and Media Studies Scholarship

Digital Innovation at University of Michigan Press

Picture of hand on Mac laptop keyboard with video editing technology on the screen

The University of Michigan Press is uniquely positioned to help scholars bring multimedia scholarship to both the academic community and the public thanks to our open source digital publishing platform, Fulcrum. In addition to hosting our ebook collection and open access titles, Fulcrum allows us to partner with authors to redefine the traditional monograph and expand published scholarship beyond the book.

Authors in the performing arts and media studies fields, two key subject areas published the Press, have increasingly been taking advantage of the digital publishing features offered by Fulcrum. The titles highlighted below are divided into two categories introduced by Michael Elliott in his germinal paper, published in the Journal of Electronic Publishing, on the future of the digital monograph. The main distinction is between enhanced ebooks and interactive scholarly works. The University of Michigan Press is proud to publish a variety of projects and continues to be a leader in the digital publishing space. Learn more about our publications and authors below.

Enhanced Ebooks

Enhanced ebooks take advantage of the networked digital environment, but can also be made available in print.

Music on the Move

Danielle Fosler-Lussier

Book cover for 'Music on the Move' featuring a colorful, mosaic-like map of the world

The opportunity to publish with the University of Michigan Press has allowed me to think as I'm writing about what music I want my reader to hear, and then embed it in the enhanced ebook on Fulcrum.

- Danielle Fosler-Lussier
Professor of Music, The Ohio State University

Rich Media Integration

The ability to embed media enables authors to tell their stories in a more natural way, allowing readers to experience the media in real-time (versus reading a description of it). Enhanced ebooks on Fulcrum include integrated media such as audio, video, images, maps, and 3D models.

Embedded Audio

Authors can embed music clips directly into the ebook for readers to play while simultaneously reading the text in the Fulcrum ereader.

Interactive Maps

Music on the Move also includes interactive maps, linked both within the text and on the resources tab on the main book page, where readers can explore the metadata associated with an individual media object.

Rather than forcing authors to strip away the richness of the digital materials at the point of formal publication to meet the constraints of a book format, Fulcrum facilitates rich integration of such digital objects with the narratives that reference them. Learn more by watching the video below.

Interactive Scholarly Work

Interactive scholarly works are long-form digital publications that could not exist in a print environment.


Jacob Smith

Book Cover ESC: Sonic Adventure in the Anthropocene

I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with UMP on my two experimental audiobooks. I had long been interested in applying audiovisual tools to the analysis of audiovisual culture, but it was only when I began working with the Press that I felt the confidence to undertake such a project.

- Jacob Smith
Professor of Radio/Television/Film, Northwestern University

The Process: An Author's Perspective

My editors at UMP helped me to think through different approaches, ranging from a traditional book with a few supplementary audio clips to a more wholeheartedly audio-driven format.

The next step was to try several “proof of concept” prototypes, and the UMP team provided valuable feedback that was crucial as I found my footing in this new form of digital authorship.

After the production and review processes were completed, the final project was posted to UMP’s Fulcrum platform, which is well-designed, user-friendly, accessible, and easy to modify thanks to UMP’s exceptional support team.

I couldn’t be happier with my experience working with UMP: they pushed me to take intellectual risks and explore new modes of research and publication; they encouraged me to develop strategies for reaching new audiences with my research; and they supported me as I developed the new skills required to become proficient at a new kind of academic writing.

Pushing the Boundaries of the Book

Lightning Birds is Jacob Smith's second audiobook to be published by the Press. It is a multi-media project that consists of a five-episode, podcast-style audiobook, a curatorial essay, and a bibliography. Both ESC and Lightning Birds apply audiovisual tools to the analysis of audiovisual culture thanks to the tools and infrastructure provided by the Fulcrum platform.

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i used to love to dream

A.D. Carson

An album cover with the title "I used to love to dream" position to a rotated profile photo of the author/creator facing upwards. A map serves as the background.

I saw a chance to challenge what counts as scholarly publishing in terms of both form and content. This mixtap/e/ssay was an opportunity to support cutting-edge scholarship that we were uniquely able to take on because of the digital affordances of Fulcrum.

- Sara Jo Cohen
Senior Acquiring Editor, University of Michigan Press

Information for Authors

The University of Michigan Press publishes a wide range of humanities and social science disciplines and continues to be a leader in the development of digital scholarship. To learn more about publishing with UMP, click the link below.

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