HSU Press

Digital Commons

Humboldt State University Press publishes high-quality scholarly, intellectual, and creative works by or in support of our campus community. HSU Press operations and publications support the HSU mission and vision to improve the human condition and our environment by promoting understanding of social, economic, and environmental issues.

Publication Model

Humboldt State University Press publishes in open-access in support of student, faculty, staff, alumni, and community authors and researchers. Humboldt State University Press is a non-profit service of the Humboldt State University Libraries and is supported by dedicated members of the campus community and Library Scholar Internships.


Please visit our website at To learn how you can support HSU Press, please contact Scholarly Communications and Digital Scholarship Librarian Kyle Morgan at, (707) 826-5602.

New Release: African Masks

African Masks from the Collection of James GaaschAfrican Masks from the Collection of James Gaasch contains photographs of the African masks and carvers from the Bwa (or Bwaba), Winiama and Mossi peoples of Burkina Faso, and the Bamana and Dogon peoples of Mali. Gaasch acquired many of these masks in the villages where they were carved. Gaasch’s interviews with the carvers underscore the cultural context where traditional African world views persist. And, to the extent possible, they give voice to the masks to reveal their own significance.

Published Journals

Courageous CuentosCouRaGeouS Cuentos is a journal of the creative writing of students in classes offered by the Department of Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Humboldt State University. This volume of the journal compiles counternarratives created by the students in Ethnic Studies 107: Chican@/Latin@ Lives. By making the stories publicly available to communities and students who can relate to these powerful stories, the journal bridges the divide of silence toward a shared community of conversation and understanding.

ideaFest JournalideaFest: Interdisciplinary Journal of Creative Works and Research from Humboldt State University is an annual journal that showcases the diversity of scholarly and creative output of faculty, staff, and students in multiple genres and from across all disciplines at Humboldt State University. The journal is an outgrowth of Humboldt State University’s ideaFest conference, a day-long event which celebrates the collaborative research and creative projects of faculty and students from across campus.

ToyonToyon is a multilingual journal of literature and art that is edited and produced by Humboldt State University students from all disciplines. While Toyon receives submissions from all over the planet, it is also a journal of North Coast writing and art, and particularly welcomes new voices. Run by students since its inception in 1954, Toyon exists to encourage creative writing and art-making in Humboldt County and to provide hands-on learning opportunities in literary publishing for Humboldt State University students.

Published Books

KamomeThe Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome; A Tsunami Boat Comes Home is a sweet story by HSU emeritus professor Lori Dengler and Rikuzentakata Director of Global Public Relations Amya Miller, with illustrations by Amy Uyeki, of a lone boat that washed up on the shores of Crescent City, two years after the April 7, 2013, tsunami. The confirmation of the boat as belonging to a high school in Rikuzentakata was the first step in an amazing story that has linked two tsunami-vulnerable communities on opposite sides of the Pacific.

MaasaiMaasai Dictionary. This English-to-Maasai dictionary was compiled by Charles Richmond from 1935 until 1951 in the back country of Kenya colony, East Africa, where he was a Captain in the King of England’s African Rifles during WWII. Charles completed the dictionary after returning to the Maasai and Samburu tribes of central and northern Kenya colony as a missionary.

Pinetum BritannicumPinetum Britannicum: A Descriptive Account of Hardy Coniferous Trees Cultivated in Great Britain by Edward James Ravenscroft was originally published during the time period 1863-1884. This first edition includes Ravenscroft’s exquisitely detailed illustrations and exemplifies the widely embraced enthusiasm for the art and science of capturing and classifying conifers during the 19th-century.

Vo PhienVõ Phiến and the Sadness of Exile by HSU emeritus professor John C. Schafer describes the life and work of a literary giant in the Vietnamese diaspora. A prolific writer in Vietnam and America, Võ Phiến published stories and essays and edited a seven-volume collection of works from 1954-1975. In this first book-length study in English of a modern Vietnamese writer, Schafer introduces readers to an author who has much to teach us about war, revolution and exile in a strange land.

Upcoming Works

Journals: The Humboldt Journal of Social Relations (HJSR) is a peer reviewed free online journal housed in the Department of Sociology at Humboldt State University. This internationally recognized journal produces one annual themed spring edition focused around current issues and topics.

Books: American Prometheus by HSU emeritus professor Tom Gage presents a captivating historical family memoir set in Pittsburgh during the Second Industrial Revolution. The central figure, Captain Bill Jones, was a hero of the Civil War and the Johnstown Flood; founder of the Edgar Thomas Steel Works, at one time the world's most productive and profitable steel mill; promoter of the eight-hour work day; and a revolutionary figure the steelmaking industry.

Textbooks: Survey of Communication Study by Scott Paynton and Laura Hahn is an open source Wikibook that offers an introduction to Communication as an academic field of study. The textbook covers the scope of communication study, its history, theories and research methods. In 2014, HSU’s COMM 490 students’ updates and revisions created this second edition of the textbook, which will be used by students taking introductory communication courses across the country.

Ongoing Projects

Writing Competitions: Students, staff, faculty, and community members are invited to submit a narrative, essay, argument, or letter regarding Andrea Wulf's Invention of Nature for the Book of the Year Awards contest. Submissions will be accepted November 2016 through early March 2017. Winners and runner-up submissions will be published in the ideaFest Journal.

photographPhotographs: As part of our effort to publish historic resources in open-access, HSU Press is working with the Humboldt Room to publish The Erickson Photograph Collection. Ericson Photograph Collection depicts a wide variety of everyday northwest California scenes and activities from the 1880s through the 1920s. Lumber industry, Native Americans, city and village street scenes (primarily Arcata), schools, portraits, and scenic views are the featured subjects of this collection. We will be adding more online from this collection and expanding the access features of the site for greater discoverability.

mapMaps: As part of our effort to publish historic resources in open-access, HSU Press is working with the Humboldt Room to publish the HSU Map Collection. Besides representing the history of the region, the maps provide opportunities for GIS scholars to perform ecological, demographic, and geographic comparisons across time and space. We will be adding more online from this collection and expanding the access features of the site for greater discoverability.

thesesGraduate Theses: As part of our effort to support student scholarship, HSU Press will soon be publishing graduate theses on its Digital Commons platform. The theses evidence originality as well as critical and independent thinking to topics in the fine and applied arts as well as in professional fields. The first theses will be published this calendar year.
To explore go to

At Humboldt, we want to make a difference, and open-access publishing aligns with our vision for social justice and sustainability, by reducing costly barriers to connect author and reader, teacher and learner. Launching Humboldt State University Press offers authors an open access publishing platform to reach their readers, and to showcase the high-quality work of our authors, researchers, and scholars. --Cyril Oberlander, HSU Library Dean

Running Toyon as a digital commons publication broadens the journal's readership and allows contributors to have greater reach. Students now can leave HSU with online professional portfolios that link to their peer-reviewed and published work in Toyon. --Dr. Janelle Adsit, Toyon advisor and Assistant Professor in the HSU English Department