About SFHR

Paul Sherwin, Dean of the College of Humanities, San Francisco State University.
George J. Leonard, Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities
Chairman of the Editorial Board:
James Kohn, Chair of the English Department and Professor of English.


From the editor:

San Francisco State University’s professors have begun a book review, the San Francisco Humanities Review.

Our particular mission is to support those presses publishing highly professional work which the mainstream New York publishers once prided themselves on publishing, but which the conglomerates that now own them no longer permit them to publish. Much of this writing is not even avant-garde. It is simply the work once described as “mid-list,” or “literary”– as if “literary” were a pejorative. As a “mid-list” novelist myself (Macmillan, Simon and Schuster) I have a warm feeling for other “literary” authors struggling in the current bestseller-and-movie-rights driven market.

Smaller houses and university presses now publish such work, but cannot afford the print ads which lead to reviews. There are now some valuable book blogs taking up the job, in which enthusiastic amateurs give opinions; or in which one hard-working bibliophile tries to review all topics under the sun. We admire all these efforts.

The San Francisco Humanities Review, however, has a Rolodex that the Los Angeles Times Book Review would envy. We can assign books to nearly five hundred professors in the College of Humanities, matching books to experts in the book’s subject. Since we are online and generously supported with staff and technology by Paul Sherwin, Dean of the College, the review’s length is no object. Online, it will stay in print forever, available world-wide to whomever Googles the book or its author. (Dean Nancy McDermid published for sixteen years, 1984-2000, a print version which we also archive.) The “Comment” feature even enables the scholarly public, world-wide, to join the discussion if they choose.

Reviewers express any opinions about the work they wish, without editorial interference. The decision to review a book will be made solely, and confidentially, by the Editor and Chair of the Editorial Board in consultation with the Publisher. (Full legal statement)

Publishers who wish to submit books for review should mail them to George J. Leonard, Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities, 411 Humanities, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway, San Francisco, California 94132. We cannot correspond directly with authors, only with publishers. No self-published or “vanity press” work can be reviewed.

Professors in the College of Humanities who wish to be considered for book reviews or who wish to nominate a book for review should contact us.

George J. Leonard

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