Skip to Content

ICASP Announces Book Series with Duke University Press

ICASP is pleased to announce that the Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice Book Series contract has been signed with Duke University Press. Books in this new series advocate musical improvisation as a crucial model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action—for imagining and creating alternative ways of knowing and being in the world. The books are collaborations among performers, scholars, and activists from a wide range of disciplines. They study the creative risk-taking imbued with the sense of movement and momentum that makes improvisation an exciting, unpredictable, ubiquitous, and necessary endeavor. The initial run of the series, whose General Editor is Daniel Fischlin, will be for six books, two of which are already in press.

People Get Ready

The first book, People Get Ready: The Future of Jazz is Now, is coedited by Ajay Heble and Rob Wallace. Ajay Heble is the ICASP Project Director, and a Professor of English in the School of English and Theatre Studies at University of Guelph. Rob Wallace is a teacher, writer, and musician. Wallace holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is the author of Improvisation and the Making of American Literary Modernism. In People Get Ready, musicians, scholars, and journalists write about jazz since 1965, the year that Curtis Mayfield composed the famous civil-rights anthem that gives this collection its title.

The Fierce Urgency of Now

The second book, The Fierce Urgency of Now: Improvisation, Rights, and the Ethics of Co-creation, is authored by Daniel Fischlin, Ajay Heble, and George Lipsitz. Daniel Fischlin is the ICASP Books Coordinator and Project Co-Investigator, as well as a Professor and University Research Chair in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Most recently, he is coauthor (with Martha Nandorfy) of The Community of Rights – The Rights of Community (Oxford UP). George Lipsitz is Professor in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of many books, including How Racism Takes Place and Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music. The Fierce Urgency of Now links musical improvisation to struggles for social change, focusing on the connections between the improvisation associated with jazz and the dynamics of human rights struggles and discourses.

We’ll all be more innovative if we participate in collaborative webs and share more openly. Creativity is always a collaboration and it’s always a form of improvisation, written large in the social world.

– Keith Sawyer