#HumansofIUP: Meet Dee Mortensen

Dee Mortensen

The Humans of IUP blog series focuses on the stories of our staff members, who help create all our wonderful books and journals. Follow #HumansofIUP on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to learn more about the people behind our publishing program.


“I don’t think there is an average day at the Press. That’s what I love about publishing. There’s always a new problem that has to be solved or someone coming up with a new idea. There is always more work than any one person can do.” —Dee Mortensen, Editorial Director


Dee Mortensen was born in Philadelphia and first came to Bloomington for a graduate degree in comparative literature. She soon met her husband and began working in the Africana section of Wells Library and stayed there for six years. Her first job at IU Press was as an assistant editor. She took the job because the Press wanted someone with expertise in African studies, but she had no idea what publishing was about. Since her start at the Press 22 years ago, she has learned the publishing business very well, working her way up the ranks to Editorial Director. 

When asked what some of her favorite books from the Press are, she said she especially enjoys the Global African Voices titles. These are most closely related to her graduate work, and she is fulfilling a dream by publishing them.

In addition to her work on our African studies titles, a few years ago she took over acquiring books for our Jewish studies list. She is fascinated with the work among scholars in the field, especially on Judaism in the US. “The things we are finding out are so relevant, especially with people who are involved with global issues, war, and oppression of women and other marginalized religious groups,” she said.

She keeps herself very busy at the Press, but does find time to enjoy her small farm at home with her husband and their flock of chickens. Dee said it had always been her husband’s dream to have chickens. They started out with just six and now their flock of 30 forages in the vegetable garden. They mix their own feed, a combination of grain, corn, and wheat. “They have a happy life on the farm.” And we are equally happy to have Dee with us at IU Press!

Proud member of IU Press since 1994.

Tweet Dee: @dee_mortensen

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