Q&A with Madison Allums

New Senior Acquiring Editor for Political Science

By: Danielle Coty-Fattal | Date: March 14, 2024 | Tags: Q&A, Acquisitions
Photo of Madison, a woman with short brown hair in a white shirt, with the text Q&A with Madison Allums

Madison Allums is the new Senior Acquiring Editor for Political Science at the University of Michigan Press! She was previously the Commissioning Editor of US politics and political theory at Palgrave Macmillan, where she started working as an editorial assistant in 2018 and worked her way up to commissioning editor in 2022. 

What excites you the most about working at the University of Michigan Press?

I’ve been really impressed so far with the way the entire press (from our Director Charles Watkinson to editorial assistants and student workers) is focused on thinking critically about what we do and why. We have frequent conversations about how to address new developments in scholarly publishing, how best to support and protect authors, and how to promote equity in the industry. I’m proud to be part of a team that places such emphasis on the social impact of our work and it makes me excited to see what the future holds for the press.

Do you know what conferences you will be attending? What is the best way for authors to meet you?

This year, I’ll be attending APSA and MPSA. In future years, I may also attend ISA and/or WPSA depending on scheduling and budgeting. Outside of conferences, I’m a fully remote employee based in New York City, so email is typically the best way to get in touch with me (mallums@umich.edu).

Do you have a book you have acquired in the past that you are particularly proud of?

While working on the politics list at Palgrave, I had the pleasure of working on multiple editions of our Scotus Decisions books with Morgan Marietta. The books provide a short, accessible overview of the US Supreme Court term in a given year. We had to get the books from proposal to published quickly, so it was always a fun challenge.

What do you want to accomplish with the new projects you acquire?

Generally, the projects I acquire will engage with one or more of the following questions:

  • How do political power and social power relate to each other and how do both impact lived experience for individuals and groups?
  • How can government and related structures be reimagined to be more effective, equitable, just, sustainable, etc?
  • How can we push the boundaries of what political science is; what methodological and epistemological assumptions of traditional political science should be expanded?

I have specific interest in projects on queer politics, environmental politics, gender and politics, and critical theory. Please note that I do not typically take on biographies, memoirs, or political histories.

Is there any advice you would like to share with authors who are working on a book?

Try to approach your editor as a collaborator rather than an adversary! If an editor has decided to publish your book, that means they believe in it. They are advocating for your book within the press itself and want to help it succeed.

Editors also have a responsibility to commission books that are a good fit for their list and the press overall so that each book has the best chance of success. While it can be disappointing if an editor declines to publish your book, it also gives you an opportunity to have the project published by a press that is a better match.

Is there anything else you would like authors to know about you?

I’m not very formal and I don’t have a PhD, so please feel free to call me Madison.