George F. Thompson on the E. O. Wilson Boardwalk along the Tensaw River
in Mobile, Alabama.
(Photograph: David Skolkin)
George F. Thompson's essay "Connecting the Dots"
George F. Thompson Publishing continues the longstanding efforts of George to advance our understanding of the places and spaces—urban, rural, social, and wild—that surround us and influence us in fundamental ways through well-conceived, smartly written, elegantly designed, and beautifully produced books. Fundamental to the GFT book program is the unwavering belief that books matter and endure as gifts to civilization and our personal enlightenment.
Books developed by GFT since 1984 have helped to establish new fields of publishing in geography and landscape studies, environmental and planning history, architecture and photography, garnering widespread attention worldwide and winning more than 100 editorial awards and prizes. These include multiple "best-book" honors in 32 academic, artistic, and professional fields, among them awards from the American Historical Association,
American Society of Landscape Architects, Association of American Geographers,
Association of American Publishers, Environmental History Association,
New York City Award for Cultural History, PEN Center U.S.A. West,
Pioneer America Society, Society of American City and Regional Planning History, Society of Architectural Historians,
Society for the History of Technology, and Vernacular Architectural
In addition to the books that appear under the GFT imprint, some book projects are developed by GFT and published by or in association with partner presses and nonprofit organizations. These include Liveright/W. W. Norton, Radius Books, and numerous university presses as well as the American Land Publishing Project, Denver Art Museum, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Foundation for Landscape Studies, Furthermore (a program of the J. M. Kaplan Foundation), Hubbard Foundation, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Scanlan Foundation, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and University of Baltimore Foundation, among others.
George began his career as a professional bookman in 1984, when he joined the Johns Hopkins University Press as an acquisitions editor. In 1990, he founded the Center for American Places, a nonprofit organization which he directed and served as the publisher until 2010. In 2006, George was recognized by pdn (Photo District News)
magazine as one of eight "players of the year" in the world who are "supporting innovation and bringing fresh perspectives to photography." He has also received lifetime achievement
awards and commendations from the Association of American Geographers, Council of
Educators in Landscape Architecture, and Vernacular Architecture
George is an author and editor of five books, including Ecological
Design and Planning, with Frederick R. Steiner (John Wiley, 1997;
2007), and Landscape in America (Texas, 1995), which was
designated a Notable Book of 1995 by Harper's magazine. George
was also a founding editorial member of the Black Warrior Review
at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and the first book review editor and editorial assistant for
Landscape Journal: Design, Planning and Management of the Land
(University of Wisconsin Press). Born in
Colorado and raised in Connecticut, in 1978 he married Cynthia Roberts Thompson, a choreographer, performer, and professor of dance at James Madison University. They have lived and worked in the Shenandoah Valley since 1983, and their daughter, Haley, was born in 1998.
Listen to George's interview with Martha Woodroof of "The Spark" on WMRA
(Photograph: Masumi Shibata)
Art Direction and Book Design
David Skolkin began his career in New York City, where he was born, working in the studio of Betty Binns, then one of the top book designers in the publishing industry. Over the course of his career David has designed and served as art director for book
projects and exhibitions on behalf of major art book publishers, museums, and art institutions in New York City and the U.S. He has received multiple design awards, including the American Institute of Graphic Arts 50 Books/50 Covers Competition, American Association of Museums Publications Competition, BookBuilders West, and Publishers Association of the West, among many others. David is a co-founder of Radius Books (www.radiusbooks.org), a founding partner of Skolkin + Chickey
Studio (www.skolkinchickey.com), a multi-disciplinary design
firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. David is also the art director of the Museum of New Mexico Press.
(Photograph: Jana Soroczak)
Assistant to the Publisher
Mikki Soroczak is a second-generation Floridian, born in St. Petersburg and raised mostly in Tallahassee, who was transplanted to Virginia ten years ago and has lived in several parts of the Commonwealth ever since. A lifelong autodidact, she has recently resumed her formal education and is currently studying history and literature at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. Since 2007, Mikki has been working as a freelance editor, proofreader, and virtual assistant for various businesses and business consultants. Finding that editing suited her love of the written word and her relentless perfectionism, she was delighted to join the GFT team, initially as an editorial assistant and later as an assistant to the publisher.
(Photograph: Sara Rashkin)
Morgan Pfaelzer grew up in rural southeast Ohio and earned her B.F.A. in painting at Ohio University in Athens. After moving to New York City, she developed her design skills working for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Parfums Givenchy, and the Women's City Club of New York, among other nonprofit and advocacy organizations. In 2007, she moved to Colorado and served as the associate director of marketing for the Fort Collins Museum of Art. Morgan currently resides in Colorado Springs and operates mo-tif (www.morganpfaelzer.com), a freelance graphic and Web design company specializing in customized, affordable design for artists and non-profit organizations. Her clients include the Association
of American Publishers, Center for the Study of Place, Fort Collins Museum of Art, Women's City Club of New York, artist Corey Drieth, and photographer William Wylie.
(Photograph: Jennifer Johnson)
Publishing Partner and Packager/Agent
Joanna Hurley is the president of HurleyMedia, LLC (www.hurleymedia.com), which agents, packages, and promotes
books of fine-art and photography. She is a co-founder of Radius Books (www.radiusbooks.org) and the president of the Board of Directors of CENTER (www.visitcenter.org), a nonprofit organization
in Santa Fe that supports and provides opportunity for gifted, committed photographers. Previously, she was the publicity director of Vintage Books
in New York City and the marketing director of the University of New Mexico Press. Over her long career she has worked with a variety of writers and photographers, including Richard Ford, Kazuo Ishiguro, Mark Klett, Richard Misrach, Joan Myers, Irving Penn, Eliot Porter, and Richard Russo, among many others. Born and raised
in Connecticut near New York City, she has lived in Santa Fe since 1994.
(Photograph: Richard Bieman)
Sherri Byrand was raised in the Ohio River valley, in western Pennsylvania. She earned her B.A in both psychology and theater arts from Point Park College in Pittsburgh and later graduated at the top of her class from Syracuse University with an M.S. in magazine journalism. Formerly a wilderness instructor, she also ghostwrote for prominent scientists through her work for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, wrote the AAAS News & Notes column for Science, and copyedited for that journal. For the Children's Defense Fund, she worked as a writer and as the
editor for CDF Reports. As a freelance writer she has
published in more than 250 magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post and National Parks, and in The Practical Guide to Practically Everything (St. Martin's
Press, 2006). Sherri also teaches writing at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, specializing in narrative nonfiction.
(Photograph: Dante W. Harper)
Denis Wood was born in 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio, where he passed his childhood along the Cuyahoga River. He received a B.A. in English from Western Reserve University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in geography at Clark University. From 1974 to 1996 he was a professor of design at North Carolina State University, where he taught environmental psychology and landscape history. Since 1996 he has been an independent scholar and writer (www.deniswood.net). His books include Making Maps: A Visual Guide to Map Design for GIS, Second Edition, with John Krygier (Guilford, 2011), Rethinking the Power of Maps, with John Fels and John Krygier (Guilford, 2010), Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas (Siglio, 2010), Five Billion Years of Global Change: A History of the Land (Guilford, 2004), and Home Rules, with Robert Beck (The Johns Hopkins University Press, in association with the Center for American Places, 1994). Dr. Wood resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.
(Photograph: Angela Toney)
|Ernest L. Toney, Jr.
Ernest Toney, a native of Farmville, Virginia, attended James Madison University, where he
earned bachelor and graduate degrees in sports management and marketing. Since 2004 Ernest has worked
as a professional in sales and marketing. He spent two years as the Chelsea Miller Goin Intern at the
Center for American Places, assisting George F. Thompson with marketing and advertising on
titles that were published under the Center’s imprint. In 2007, Ernest moved to the Sonoran Desert and
spent three years as the marketing director at the Northwest YMCA-Pima County Community Center in Tucson.
After a brief stint in Major League Baseball as a sales consultant for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010,
Ernest began working as the marketing director for Yellow Brick Code, a startup Web design and Internet marketing firm.
He currently resides in Denver, Colorado, where he works as an independent marketing consultant.
(Photograph: Marcia Scofield)
Project and Website Liaison
Randy Jones was raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. He was an adjunct writing instructor at VCU before joining the Center for American Places, where he worked from 1996 to 2004 as the associate editorial director and publishing liaison. Since 2005 he has worked at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources as a public relations, publications, and Web manager. Randy also has worked as a freelance writer, editor, and Website consultant for authors, publishers, and nonprofits from his home in Harrisonburg.
||Randolph T. Hester
Professor of Landscape Architecture, Emeritus, at the University of California in Berkeley and
Co-founder of the Center for Ecological Democracy
Randy Hester was born in Danville, Virginia, and raised in Hester's Corner, North Carolina.
He completed his B.A. in sociology and B.L.A. in landscape architecture at North Carolina State University
and his M.L.A. at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He taught landscape architecture at
the Pennsylvania State University and N.C. State before joining the Department of Landscape Architecture at
Cal-Berkeley in 1980, where he retired in 2010. He now resides near Durham, North Carolina, where he and his wife,
Marcia, are co-principals of the Center for Ecological Democracy, a design and planning firm they founded in
1985 that was originally called Community Development by Design. Randy is the author of numerous books,
including Design for Ecological Democracy (The MIT Press, 2010), The Meaning of Gardens, edited with Mark Frances
(The MIT Press, 1992), The Community Design Primer (Ridge Times Press, 1990),
Planning Neighborhood Space with
People, 2nd Edition (Van Nostrand Rinehold, 1984), Community Goal Setting,
co-authored with Frank J. Smith (Douden, Hutchinson, and Ross, 1982), and
Neighborhood Space (Douden, Hutchinson, and Ross, 1975). Randy has also served on the Raleigh (NC) City
Council and remains very active in an organization he founded in 1997, SAVE International, a program of the
Earth Island Institute whose goal is to secure habitat and species protection worldwide for the endangered spoonbill.
||Lucy R. Lippard
Writer, Curator, and Arts Activist
Lucy R. Lippard, born and raised in New York City, is the author of twenty-one books on contemporary art and cultural criticism, including
Down Country: The Tano of the Galisteo Basin, 1250-1782 (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2010),
The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society (The New Press, 1998), and
On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art, and Place (The New Press, 1997, 1999). She also has been a columnist for
The Village Voice, In These Times, and Z magazine. She has curated more than fifty exhibitions and is the cofounder of Printed Matter, the Heresies Collective, Political Art Documentation/Distribution, Artists Call Against U.S. Intervention in Central America, and other artists' organizations. The recipient of eight honorary degrees in fine arts, she lives off the grid in rural Galisteo, New Mexico, where she is involved in local county politics and for fifteen years has edited the monthly community newsletter,
El Puente de Galisteo.
Professor of American Studies and Director of the
Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at George Washington University
Richard Longstreth is a past president of the Society of Architectural Historians and
a past vice president of the Vernacular Architecture Forum who has written extensively on the built environment and its preservation in the United States. His books include
The American Department Store Transformed, 1920-1960 (Yale
University Press, in association with the Center for American Places at
Columbia College Chicago, 2010), The Drive-In, the Supermarket, and the Transformation of Commercial Space in Los Angeles
(The MIT Press, 1999), and Mall: Architecture, the Automobile and Retailing in Los Angeles (The MIT Press, 1997). Edited volumes include
Housing Washington: Two Centuries of Residential Development and
Planning in the National Capital Area (The Center for American
Places at Columbia College Chicago, 2010), Cultural Landscapes:
Balancing Nature and Heritage in Preservation Practice (University
of Minnesota Press, 2008), The Charnley House: Louis Sullivan, Frank
Lloyd Wright, and the Making of Chicago’s Gold Coast (University of
Chicago Press, 2004), and The Mall in Washington, 1791-1991
(The National Gallery of Art, 1991, 2002). He also has been involved in preservation activities.
Curator of Photography and Media Arts, Denver Art Museum
Since 2008 Eric Paddock has been Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Denver Art Museum. Prior to that
appointment, he spent
twenty-five years as the first Curator of Photography and Film at the
Colorado Historical Society. Originally from Boulder, Paddock completed
in photography at Colorado College and his M.F.A. in photography at Yale University. Paddock has
also taught art history and photography as a visiting professor for several leading Colorado institutions, including the
Colorado Historical Society, University of Denver, University of Colorado at Denver, Colorado College, and Arapahoe Community College’s study abroad arts program in Aix-en-Provence, France. He is the author of
Belonging to the West (The Johns Hopkins University Press, in
association with the Center for American Places, 1996).
Director, Emerita, University Press of Mississippi
Seetha Srinivasan is Director Emerita of the University Press of Mississippi. She joined the press in 1979 as its first acquisitions editor
and advanced to become the director in 1998, from which position she retired in 2008. Srinivasan played a major role in putting the press on a firm footing with a well-recognized publishing program. Throughout her publishing career Srinivasan was active in the Association of American University Presses, often in leadership positions, including service as the president of the AAUP in 2003-2004. In 2002, she received the association’s Constituency Award for her “outstanding service to the university press community.” Srinivasan has lived in Jackson since 1969. She has headed civic and arts organizations there and writes occasional columns for Jackson’s
Clarion-Ledger, which is distributed statewide. She serves as chair of the Women’s Fund of Mississippi (2011). In 1998, Millsaps College presented her with the Jim Livesay Service Award.
||John R. Stilgoe
Robert and Lois Orchard Professor of the History of Landscape at
Harvard University and Fellow of the Society of American Historians
John R. Stilgoe is the author of numerous acclaimed books, including Train Time: Railroads and the Imminent Reshaping of the United States Landscape
(University of Virginia Press,
2009), Landscape and Images (University of Virginia Press,
2005), Lifeboat (University of Virginia Press, 2003), Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places
(Walker & Co., 1999), Alongshore (Yale, 1994), Shallow-Water Dictionary: A Grounding in Estuary English
(Exact Change, 1990), Metropolitan Corridor: Railroads and the American
and Common Landscape of America, 1580 to 1845 (Yale,
1982), for which he won the Francis Parkman Medal. He lives on Brookside Farm, in Norwell, Massachusetts, where he was raised.
Photographer and Professor of Art at the University of Virginia
William Wylie was born in Harvey, Illinois, in 1957, and he received
his M.F.A. in photography from the University of Michigan in 1989. He
has worked extenisvely on the concept of place, from the American West
to Europe. Wylie's photographs have been widely exhibited and may be
found in the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum,
Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Louis Art Museum, Smithsonian Museum of
American Art, and Yale University Art Museum, among others. In 2005,
Wylie was awarded a John Simon Guggenhiem Memorial Foundation Fellowship
in Photography. His books include Route 36 (Falcon, 2010), Carrara (The
Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago, 2009),
Stillwater (Nazreli Press, 2002), and Riverwalk (University Press of
Colorado, 2001), which won the Colorado Book Award. Wylie taught
photography at Colorado State University for ten years until 2000, when
he joined the Department of Art at the University of Virginia in