Mark Simpson-Vos

Mark Simpson-Vos, photo by Clay FarrMark Simpson-Vos, Senior Executive Editor 

Over the course of my editorial career, I have been fortunate to combine my passion for the written word with an omnivorous interest in ideas that span many eras, fields, and academic disciplines. I love working with both emerging and well-established writers, and one of my greatest pleasures is working with authors whose books reflect superior scholarly research while contextualizing and explaining key subjects, moments, and ideas for a wider public.  

My principal acquisitions focus is in the field of religious studies, which employs a variety of scholarly methods to assess the role of religion in the human experience. UNC Press’s list is broad and deep, with particular strengths in historical, ethnographic, and material culture approaches. I am especially interested in work that centers on American religious history, broadly defined; religion in the African diaspora; and religion as a central consideration in global and transnational networks of thought and practice. I also prioritize work assesing the role of race, genders, sexualities, politics, and nationalities in religious experience; and uses the ideas of material and lived religion to expand our ideas about religious ideas, communities, and practices. 

I also acquire scholarly and general-interest books in the field of Native American and Indigenous studies. I especially seek work that is firmly grounded in the questions and methods of critical Indigenous studies,centers Indigenous people’s knowledge and practice, and seeks to advance our collective understanding of Indigenous sovereignties.   

Finally, I acquire selectively in the fields of American history and American culture. As the Press’s primary editor for its list in the history of the American Civil War, I acquire military, political, social, and cultural histories that interpret the Civil War era in broad context. I also have a special interest in books on American music, broadly defined, and am especially eager to publish new work that challenges and expands conventional ideas about American roots genres, including the blues, jazz, folk, country, and rock. 

I joined the Press staff in 1998, and from 2011-2023 I was honored to serve as Wyndham Robertson Editorial Director.  

My scholarly background is American literature and American studies, including graduate work (M.A. 1995, A.B.D. 1998) at UNC-Chapel Hill. I earned a B.A. in English and Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College.  



X: @MarkSV