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Meet our people: Federico Perelmuter

Meet our people: Federico Perelmuter

27 July 2021

Federico Perelmuter is currently undertaking an internship with the Film, Music, and Dance studies department, in the US. In the latest instalment of our 'Meet our people' interview series, he tells us what he enjoys most about his internship, and the skills and experience it has given him to carry into his future career.

Please let us know about your interests in and out of work, and what you studied?
I just graduated from Haverford College with a major in English and a minor in Philosophy. I am interested in Black Studies, Latin American Studies, Pop Culture studies, the history of the left, queer theory, and cultural and literary theory. I am a freelance writer who has written for the LARB, Lapham’s Quarterly Online, and Public Books among others on topics around representations of Latin America and Latin American literature. I am also a music writer, and hope to continue all of these moving forward.

What are you doing your internship at OUP in, and why are you passionate about it?
I’m interning with the Film, Music, and Dance studies department, under Lauralee Yeary, who has been a wonderful boss and mentor. I have always loved film and music in particular, and have some background in performance studies, albeit not specifically dance. That being said, I don’t really know much at all about the field and find myself learning new things every day. I’m fascinated by different meanings and circulations of art. I particularly enjoy exploring forms of art that get lost in time and become obsolete. Literary and visual arts tend to be incredibly popular mediums of art throughout history, but it's the others that particularly intrigue me.  I’m fascinated by different meanings and circulations of art. I particularly enjoy exploring forms of art that get lost in time and become obsolete. Literary and visual arts tend to be incredibly popular mediums of art throughout history, and I love both dearly (particularly the former) but the others have grown to particularly intrigue me.

What made you want to be an intern at Oxford University Press?
OUP is the perfect middle ground between a university press and a trade publisher, so its list features both bestsellers and niche monographs, groundbreaking works only accessible to specialists, and fascinating writing designed for everyone to enjoy. I wanted to explore that middle ground, how one place can do so many things, and OUP is ideal for such an interest. I was also curious because OUP seemed from the outside to be transitioning towards slightly more experimental texts, even as it published handbooks and Oxford World’s Classics; that mix and transitional, up-in-the-air energy was a big draw.

What have you learnt in your time at OUP?
There are  so many acronyms in publishing! I’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about how lists are built, and how editors think about publishing books in a way that is radically different to how I, as a consumer and student, thought of books. I think constantly seeing what possibilities become manifest when one sets books next to each other, in a list as a kind of interlocking network, is truly the most interesting facet of editorial work, as well as understanding how one might draw out the best from an author’s work.

What have you enjoyed the most about working at OUP?
I’ve met so many interesting  people and had truly fascinating conversations about books—that’s been the highlight, without a doubt. I’m hopeful that this will continue—I’ve only been here a few weeks, so hopefully the remaining chunk of my internship will be filled with fruitful, enlightening conversations.

Do you feel like the skills you have learnt will help you in the future?
Yes! They seem entirely relevant and ideal for a career in publishing, certainly, but also for approaching cultural production more broadly and considering the many facets of knowledge-creation.