Megan Milan is the Commissioning Editor for the Tamesis, our imprint for Hispanic and Lusophone Studies books. Megan tweets at @megans_morsels.
Can you tell us a little about your career pathway to becoming a Commissioning Editor?
My journey to becoming a Commissioning Editor is an unusual one! I started off on a classic academic path: B.A. at Hamilton College, M.A. at Yale, M.Phil. and Ph.D. at Cambridge. I then left academia for a number of years to fulfil a shared dream with my husband of working and living by the Med. When we returned to England, I wanted to find something that combined my academic and business skills, and publishing seemed a very good fit. There was an opening as an Assistant Editor at Boydell & Brewer in Post-Medieval History and Music, and I was lucky enough to be taken on. After a few years, I was promoted to Associate Editor; and I’ve now been entrusted with the role of Commissioning Editor for Tamesis.
Can you tell us a little about the history behind the Tamesis imprint?
Tamesis started life in the back of a taxi coming down London’s Finchley Road! John Varey, an authority on Spanish Golden Age drama, and Spanish poet Germán Bleiberg were chatting together and had the idea of starting a small publishing company dedicated to Hispanic studies. The imprint was officially founded in 1963, taking its name from the River Thames, and the first editorial committee comprised some of the most renowned names in contemporary Hispanism, including medievalist Alan Deyermond. Tamesis went from strength to strength and in 1975 was awarded the Nieto López Prize from the Real Academia Española. The imprint became fully part of the Boydell & Brewer family in 1995 and, under the guidance of general editor Stephen Hart, Professor of Latin American Film, Literature and Culture at University College London, continues to publish innovative, high-quality scholarship on all areas of the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds.
What does the future hold for the imprint?
I’ve got the support of a superb general editor and a distinguished editorial board behind me, and we’re launching two new series, one on Hispanic and Lusophone popular and digital cultures and another on the dynamics and ramifications of violence in Latin/x America, Spain and Portugal. These are in addition to our new Icons of the Luso-Hispanic World and our long-standing Tamesis Companions and Monografías series, which, of course, we will continue to develop and promote. Look out for books on Calderón de la Barca, Teresa of Ávila, Portuguese cinema, and the depiction of women and the textile arts in contemporary literature, among others! We also have a very rewarding relationship with Editorial Barcino, publishing translations of medieval Catalan literature. So far, we’ve had works by Ramon Llull, a cookbook, a chronicle, etc., so watch this space!
What’s the most rewarding part of being an Editor?
It’s pretty much an all-round rewarding job. While the day-to-day tasks might be the same, the material is always changing. I get to read and learn about many new and interesting things and share in authors’ enthusiasm for their subjects. And I find it deeply satisfying to help to turn an idea into a book – it’s wonderful when a file copy lands on your desk and you get to write to an author and say ‘hooray’!
Why should an early career researcher consider Tamesis for their first book?
The reputation of Tamesis speaks for itself, so I’ll focus on the experience. The Tamesis editorial board are very involved with each manuscript, lending their experience and expertise; and we try to ensure that the process from proposal to published book goes smoothly, with the author being kept up to date at each stage. I would say that one of the things our authors appreciate most is the personalised support we offer: we are large enough to provide global marketing when a book is published but not so large that an author becomes just a number. As Tamesis is part of an employee-owned company, each member of staff is personally invested in every book: our authors’ success is our success.
What are you reading currently?
Spinoza’s Ethics, Einstein’s Relativity: The Special and General Theory, Joyce’s Ulysses. Detective fiction, historical fiction, chick lit.