Scholarly Publishing: Role, Mission, and Necessity – Online Discussion August 26 2022

Date and Time: Wednesday, 31 August 2022, 11:00-12:30 hrs. Bangkok Time



Peter Berkery, CEO, Association of University Presses, USA
Lisa Quinn, Director, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Canada
Trasvin Jittidecharak, Publisher and Founder, Silkworm Books, Thailand
Michael Duckworth, Publisher, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong
Micah Fisher, Fellow, The East-West Center, USA


Noah Perales-Estoesta, Luce Scholar, USA

Organize and hosted by

Silkworm Books and Mekong Press Foundation 


  • Peter Berkery has been Executive Director of the Association of University Presses since early 2013. Berkery came to AUPresses (then AAUP) from Oxford University Press, where he served for the previous five years as Vice President and Publisher for the US Law Division. Prior to that he worked for Wolters Kluwer for 11 years in a series of positions, publishing works on securities licensing examination training, securities law, taxation, and financial planning. He began his publishing career at a division of Thomson Reuters.
  • Lisa Quinn is the Director of Wilfrid Laurier University Press, in Waterloo, Ontario, where she previously built a decade of experience as an acquisitions editor. She has lectured in the graduate LIS program in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario on media theory, publishing, and the organization of information. She is currently past president of the Association of Canadian University Presses, a member of the board of directors of the Ontario Book Publisher’s Organization and Livres Canada Books. She currently chairs the Association of University Presses' Advocacy Committee.
  • Trasvin Jittidecharak is from Chiang Mai, Thailand. She began learning the art of the book trade from a very young age when her parents founded the Suriwong Book Center, the first bookstore in Thailand outside of Bangkok. In 1991 Trasvin founded Silkworm Books, a general, independent publisher of English-language books on Thailand and Southeast Asia. In 2005, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, Trasvin founded Mekong Press, later Mekong Press Foundation, in 2008 to support publishing activities in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and to establish a network of publishers in the region.
  • Micah Fisher is a Fellow in the Research Program at the East-West Center. He researches deforestation, land rights, and tenure policies in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. An Indonesianist by training, he and his Indonesian colleagues have spent much of the last three years engaged in a range of professional capacity-building activities that involve publication, including launching a new OA peer-reviewed journal (Forestry and Society), running research design and publication training programs for Southeast Asia-based colleagues in-region, and—more recently—holding virtual courses on related topics.
  • Michael Duckworth has worked in bilingual/multilingual university presses since 1995, prior to which he was an editor and reporter at The Wall Street Journal. Before returning this summer to Hong Kong University Press (where he served as Publisher 2009-13), he worked as Director of the American University in Cairo Press, Director of University of Hawaii Press, and Executive Editor at University of Washington Press. 


  • Noah Perales-Estoesta received a fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation to live and work in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he is being hosted by Silkworm Books. His nearly decade-long publishing career encompasses various roles in editing, project management, the digital sphere, and grant writing. He is the former Associate Editor ofMānoa: A Pacific Journal of international Writing and the former Development and Digital Projects Specialist at University of Hawai’i Press. He previously received a Fulbright fellowship to Brazil. 

Discussion Points

  • The need across the region for more and more rigorously developed local perspectives to be included in the scholarly conversation
  • The role of scholarly inquiry and critical thought in decolonization and democratic participation
  • Censorship in the region
  • Current needs and trends in regional scholarship and the decreasing investment in the humanities/social sciences generally
  • How current social transformations locally are influencing knowledge production and raising new needs for scholarly progress
  • The imposition of theoretical frameworks from the west and need for research parity
  • The role played by academic presses in credentialing/validating/advancing research
  • Peer review
  • Preservation, dissemination, and exchange of knowledge
  • These presses as a necessary venue for commercially unviable work
  • Networks among presses and other stakeholders (press associations, scholarly circles, think tanks, funding agencies, etc.)
  • Trickle down impact on students, education, and broader civil society
  • How university presses are established and administered
  • What kind of financing models do university presses typically follow?
  • Where do presses sit within administrative structures of universities?
  • What kinds of scholarly-publishing activities are already taking place in/about the region?
  • What benefits do scholarly presses provide to universities?