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Archive for the 'Academia' Category

Friday, July 31st, 2015

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

This week, the Cambridge University Press blog published an article highlighting the issues surrounding migration in Europe. The article specifically mentions problems along the French and Italian border as an example of Europe’s pressing problems with migration and immigration. It also discusses the limitations of the law with regards to creating real change, but leaves hope for future cooperation between nations.

Johns Hopkins University Press recently featured an article that discusses the future of late-night talk shows. The topic was inspired by the news that Jon Stewart will be leaving the Daily Show after a long and successful run. The author fears that his departure, along with other changes in late-night, will lead to the loss of true political satire, and critiques the Daily Show’s new-hire, Trevor Noah, while imploring for the hiring of more female comedians.

The NYU Press blog has created an ongoing series of posts about the 2016 election. The most recent post discusses the important role that social media plays in the political arena. Social media is increasingly crucial during campaigns because it has become a primary source of news for many people. The post then transitions toward a discussion of comment forums and the discontent of Republican voters toward their own party. Comment forums show that Republicans feel like their party is not producing anything and they are therefore drawn to Donald Trump due to his ‘take charge’ attitude.

The Stanford University Press blog posted an article that discusses the power of symbolism within the context of the Confederate flag controversy. The author suggests that the flag’s distinctly different representations exemplify a broader schism within the American population.

Translated from its original French version, a post by Pierre Birnbaum, a professor at the Sorbonne, gives a brief history of the French Jewish politician, Leon Blum, on the Yale Press blog. Birnbaum explores Blum’s revolutionary implementation of the forty-hour workweek, its repeal due to its effect on the war effort, and its eventual re-implementation and legacy.

A post at the Oxford University Press blog debunked popular myths surrounding the American healthcare system that have grown due to their political divisiveness. The article tackles topics ranging from the connection between Medicaid and welfare programs to comparing the cost of Medicare and the cost of healthcare in the private sector.

Island Press published an article relaying the importance of modernizing America’s infrastructure. In 2013, America’s infrastructure received a grade of D+–a startling fact, especially in the face of climate change. Poor infrastructure disproportionately affects low-income households and has the potential to devastate communities if a natural disaster strikes. Hopefully Congress will continue to support policy focused on funding improvements to America’s infrastructure.

Thanks for reading! As always, we hope that you enjoyed the links. Please let us know what you think in the comments!

Friday, July 24th, 2015

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

Last week, Yale University Press featured an article on their blog about the Makah Nation’s whale hunting practices. Joshua Reid (Snohomish), Professor and director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts—Boston, gives historical background on the Makah’s long-standing relationship to the sea. He explains how their traditional engagements with fishing and whale hunting have changed over the years with United States government involvement, bringing us up to date with current political debates about native whale hunting practices.

Over at the Stanford University Press Blog, the poet Robinson Jeffers is remembered. The article ruminates on the question of why Jeffers, who once graced the cover of Time Magazine in 1932 and who published many volumes of poetry, has been overlooked by both critics and scholars. His biographer, James Karman, explores the decline of Jeffers’ celebrity and reasons why there has been so little critical engagement with the poet’s work.

Another recent post on the subject of literature and scholarship can be found on the blog of University Press of Colorado. The article explores changes in English education, asking the question of how “freshman” or introductory writing and English courses have changed at colleges over the past several decades. As Rhetoric & Composition departments crop up and expand in universities around the country, there have certainly been many changes.

At the University of Minnesota Press, Alice Kang of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, poses important questions about how our government and other large international humanitarian organizations evaluate women’s rights in different countries. Her article digs into where this data comes from, how these forms of measurement can potentially misrepresents gender equality or inequality in other countries, and how this data may function to pit Global North and South against one another as “civilized” versus “uncivilized.” Even as women’s rights advance, particularly with leaders like Hillary Clinton, Kang urges us to keep these tough questions in mind.

Cambridge University Press also delves into issues of gender inequality. Aaron A. Dhir, author of Challenging Boardroom Homogeneity, writes about male-dominated corporate culture and the distinct absence of women in business leadership positions. He discusses potential solutions and ways that different countries are beginning to deal with gender inequality in the corporate workplace.

Over at Harvard University Press’ blog, a recent post explores a comparison that many have drawn in past weeks between Roe v. Wade and the recent Supreme Court decision about marriage equality. How accurate is the comparison really? To what extent are current and past debates about abortion similar to those about gay marriage?

In keeping with this focus on current politics, a post from the University Press of New England discusses the issue of prison reform, Obama’s recent comments on the subject, and bipartisan efforts at change. Chris Innes, author of Healing Corrections: The Future of Imprisonment, takes us further, though, asking the question, “What next?” Once we’ve made strides at ending mass incarceration, what else must we do to “heal” the prison system? What indeed?

To finish off our roundup, this week the University of Virginia Press takes us back fifty years, reminding us of the anniversary of the escalation of the Vietnam War. The article gives readers a fascinating snippet of conversation between a very anxious President Lyndon B. Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield on the subject of troop escalation.

Thanks for reading! As always, we hope that you enjoyed the links. Please let us know what you think in the comments!

Friday, June 19th, 2015

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

This week, University of Chicago Press blog features an In These Times interview with Micah Uetricht and Andrew Hartman, author of The War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars , about whether or not the great American culture wars are over. They argue that the Christian Right is largely a “lost cause” and have retrenched from the national stage in favor of smaller factions that debate out of the public purview.

Over at University of Minnesota Press, Ryan Thomas Skinner, an Assistant Professor of ethnomusicology at the Ohio State University, discusses the complex and ever shifting character of Malian music. Drawing from years of personal observation and scholarly research, Skinner argues that despite the cultural and political disruption of the March 2012 military mutiny, Malian music is far from “dead”. In fact, Skinner claims that Malian music is defined by the convergence of ethnic, religious, urban, economic, etc. positions under which it’s produced.

University of Illinois Press blog features a video of Corrupt Illinois authors, Thomas J. Gradel and Dick Simpson discussing the abundance of governmental corruption in the state. Though the news is saturated with high-level Illinois corruption with the recent investigation of Representative Aaron Schock and the indictment of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Gradel and Simpson claim that they uncovered corruption at all levels of public government. From state, aldermanic, and city corruption, to county employee and suburban corruption, it appears Illinois’ long history of machine politics continues to haunt the Land of Lincoln.

What is the fewest number of guards per shift an art museum can employ without sacrificing the security of any of the pieces? This question is the focus of this week’s Princeton University Press blog post by Marc Chamberland, author of Single Digits: In Praise of Small Numbers. Chamberland explains how to calculate it in a snappy video embedded in the post.

At the University of North Carolina Press blog, Erin Smith, author of What Would Jesus Read? Popular Religious Books and Everyday Life in Twentieth Century America, explores religious books’ lack of critical success despite their commercial popularity. In the post, Smith discusses the varying motivations of authors, publishers, and readers when it comes to religious scholarship.

Friday, May 1st, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

Ever experience frustration while learning French? Cambridge University Press’s blog tackles that pesky challenge of French word order. Read about questions over word inversion or whether or not that adjective goes before the noun thanks to French grammar expert, Ron Batchelor.

“Despite legal and procedural reforms, Missoula remains in murky territory where people on all sides of the issue cling to the fiction that society can somehow expel, arrest, prosecute, imprison, and censor its way into a less sexually violent future.” This week, Beacon Broadside Press explores the controversy growing around Jon Krakauer’s new book Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town in the Montana town on which it covers. Read writer and activist Kay Whitlock’s take on the matter.

Read the last of Duke University Press’s celebration of National Poetry Month with their Poem of the Week. On display this week is Ariel Dorfman’s “First Prologue: Simultaneous Translation” from his 2002 book In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land.

This week John’s Hopkins University Press has a better solution for Doug Hughes in order to get the attention of Congress without flying a gyro-copter onto the White House lawn. Read professor and writer Benjamin Alexander’s portrayal of Jacob Coxey and Carl Browne and their 1894 attempt to march up to the Capitol with an army of unemployed men.

Need an update on your go-to salsa recipe for this weekend? Minnesota Historical Society Press has got you covered with chef and writer Sue Doeden’s take on a honey balsamic black bean and mango salsa.

Did you know that the internet is powered by light? Check out other things you never knew about light on Oxford University Press’s blog this week in their post celebrating 2015, the year the UN has deemed the “International Year of Light.”

This week, The University of Virginia Press has posted a full recording and transcript of a March 19, 1971 conversation between Nixon and Kissinger regarding the withdrawal of troops in Vietnam to observe the fortieth anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Hear Nixon voice his worry over his upcoming campaign.

Anxiously awaiting your chance to read Toni Morrison’s new book God Help the Child? Read author Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman’s take and praise and her musings about its relationship to her own scholarly work in the meantime on The University of Texas Press blog.

Thanks for reading! As always, we hope that you enjoyed the links. Please let us know what you think in the comments!

Friday, April 24th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

Writer and sustainability adviser E. Friya Williams writes about our favorite companies this week, including Chipotle, Sweet Green, Warby Parker, and other “green” businesses on AMACOM Books, detailing the increasing incentive for companies to go Earth friendly.

“Let us honor the Earth on Earth Day by reflecting upon its current state and the choices we might make on its behalf.” The University of California Press celebrated Earth Day with an environmental survey put together by Linda Weintraub, art writer and curator. See how well you consider the planet!

As you already know, the beloved romantic critic M.H. Abrams died this past Tuesday on April 21, 2015. Read about his long career as a professor at Cornell and his position on the Cornell University Press editorial board from 1947-51.

Ever wonder about the history of the avocado and its recent increased popularity? Read writer Amanda Harris’ guest post on The Florida Bookshelf about the origin and price histories of avocados, mangoes, lemons and other fruits from all over the world centered around the fruit exploits of one man, David Fairchild.

Do you have a traumatically embarrassing experience being forced to sing in elementary school? “Why do we want children to sing?” asks Martin Ashley, head of research in the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University this week for Oxford University Press’ blog.

John Gibbons, a Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex, has a new and improved account of the Hubble Telescope and its true place in scientific history this week for Yale Books Unbound.

At Princeton University Press Blog this week, NYU professor Catherine Robson, author of Heart Beats: Everyday Life and the Memorized Poem, writes about her journey confronting and embracing poetry recitation in schools for National Poetry Month. Read about her experience as a judge at the “Poetry By Heart” festival in Cambridge where British teenagers ages 14-18 compete for the best poetry recitation.

Thanks for reading! As always, we hope that you enjoyed the links. Please let us know what you think in the comments!

Friday, April 17th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

“Our nation’s tax system is badly broken. Everyone knows that.” Writing at Yale Books Unbound, Michael J. Graetz explains how the tax system in the U.S. has gotten so hopelessly complicated and proposes some reform possibilities that would allow the system to more accurately and simply represent financial realities.

The rehabilitation of Gas Works Park in Seattle is one of landscape architect Richard Haag’s most famous projects, and at the University of Washington Press Blog, Thaisa Way tells the story of how Browns Point was transformed from “a toxic wasteland” to a new type of public park.

At the University of Texas Press blog, writer Seamus McGraw uses Senator Jim Inhofe’s (in)famous snowball-throw Senate speech as a way to discuss the impacts of a changing climate on those whose work depends on environmental consistency: farmers and fishermen. (more…)

Friday, March 27th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

This week the University of California Press Blog continued their Behind the Scenes post series with a look at the challenges that Susan Sered faced in writing Can’t Catch a Break, her in-depth study of “how marginalized women navigate an unforgiving world.” The post explains the methodology that Sered and coauthor Maureen Norton-Hawk followed in conducting their long-term study, and delves into the ways that Sered and Norton-Hawk were able to maintain contact and build trust with the marginalized and traumatized women with whom they worked.

At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, abortion politics get a close look in two separate posts. First, Douglas Walton and Fabrizio Macagno finish their series on Emotive Language in Argumentation with an examination of how “carefully constructed argumentative language influences the debate over abortion.” Then, Deana A. Rohlinger looks at political and social trends and concludes that, while the public debate over abortion is certainly different now than it was in the early 2010s, it certainly hasn’t gone away. (more…)

Friday, March 20th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

March Madness is already in full swing, and while it may be too late to submit your bracket for this year’s tournament, a post on using math in making bracket picks by Liana Valentino on the Princeton University Press Blog is great tournament reading regardless.

Speaking of March Madness, at From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Stanley I. Thangaraj contemplates what the NCAA Tournament, our tendency to celebrate both athletes and coaches, and the structure of the NCAA as an organization tell us about American society in general.

Tuesday, March 17, was, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. At the UNC Press Blog, Cian T. McMahon discusses the phenomenon of Irish transnationalism and how St. Patrick’s Day is observed around the world. (more…)

Friday, March 13th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

Harper Lee’s forthcoming second novel has generated excitement and controversy in equal measure, but at Beacon Broadside, Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski look back at Lee’s famous first novel. In particular, they are interested in the way that To Kill a Mockingbird speaks to the current racial tensions and structural problems that pervade the United States today.

How are emotions used in argumentation? At fifteeneightyfour, Douglas Walton and Fabrizio Macagno are beginning a series of posts in which they discuss the differences between rhetorical argumentation and logical argumentation and how we use emotive language in order to win debates.

March 7th is fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday, “the day Civil Rights marchers were beaten by police as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama” (as portrayed in the recent film Selma). Duke University Press has shared an excerpt from Gary May’s Bending Toward Justice, in which May explains how Americans found out about the events of Bloody Sunday, in honor of the occasion. (more…)

Friday, February 27th, 2015

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

For Black History month, the OUP blog unearthed four remarkable black lives forgotten or neglected by history. These are William Shorey, known as “Black Ahab” in the late 19th century, Gladys Bentley, a 1920s blues singer of the Harlem Renaissance, Marie Laveuz, Voodoo queen of New Orleans, and Charles Caldwell, a Mississippi Reconstruction politician. Read more brief bios about them here.

The mathematicians over at Princeton UP are using calculus to predict MORE snow for Boston. Will winter never end? Wellesley (!) professor Oscar Fernandez rephrases the question to: What’s the probability that Boston will get at least s more inches of snow this month? Here is his answer.

Over at Cambridge UP’s blog, Jordi Diez discusses the recent expansion of gay rights in Chile and the country’s relative laggardness compared to other Latin American countries. This January 28th, Chile’s Congress allowed civil unions between two individuals regardless of gender. The passage of this bill has been a long time coming—it was first introduced to Chile’s parliament eleven years ago. There is still legal progress to be made: Gay couples still cannot adopt children in Chile or be married. Diez concludes that Chile will continue to be ‘a laggard on gay rights.’

Masuda Hajimu explores the Korean conflict as a kind of ‘crucible’ for the Cold War at the Harvard UP blog. He is keen to have us reassess our Cold War lenses and realities, asking us, “Instead of formulating another imagined reality, we can keep raising questions about stereotypical narratives that tend to simplify complex stories and prevent us from thinking further. How real is our “reality”? How and for whom are the images of threats composed and circulated? What are the social needs—or self-sustaining dynamics—of such imagined realities? Who creates walls and for what purposes?”

Down south at Duke UP, Marcia Chatelain relays the history of black girls’ groups such as the Campfire Girls. She argues that ‘delving into the dynamics and definition of black girlhood is key to understanding various dimensions of the Great Migration.’ These groups proved formative in forging ‘an image of a black girl as an active citizen.’

At the Stanford UP blog, Andrew Hoffman discusses how climate change has become an issue of ideology rather in the US at the Stanford UP blog. No longer a scientific debate, one’s position on climate change is intrinsically tied to one’s cultural identity. As such, the topic has been tabled in the US from polite dinner conversation along with ‘sex, religion, and politics’.

Suzanna Danuta Walters at NYU Press argues that the recent decision of Mt. Holyoke, one of the original Seven-Sisters colleges, to ban the performance of The Vagina Monologues in order to be more ‘inclusive’ is misguided.

That’s all folks. Thanks for reading your Superior CUP blog! Please let us know what you think in the comments!

Friday, February 20th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

The recent murders of three young Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, have raised questions about the possible motivation for such crimes as well as about the way that we talk about them after the fact. At Beacon Broadside, Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski argue that, while we like to see violent acts as the acts of disturbed individuals, “this violence is not anathema to respectable society,” and ask whether the recent spate of violence to change the parts of our collective imagination that contributes to these crimes. Meanwhile, From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, ran two posts on the topic this week. Evelyn Alsultany claims that we need a “new paradigm to think about racialized violence,” and Nadine Naber makes the case that the murders were about much more than a parking dispute. (more…)

Friday, February 13th, 2015

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and since each year we’re not entirely certain as to what that might mean, Oxford University Press author Kate Thompson discusses the historical, cultural, and ideological underpinnings of the tradition. Recalling the second century eponymous saint martyred for his religion, the ancient pagan fertility festivals heralding the approach of Spring, and our own modern considerations of romance as idealized (or left tragically unfulfilled) by Valentine’s Day, it’s clear that the meaning of the holiday remains largely rooted in not only where and when you are, but how you interpret the notion of romantic love when juxtaposed against the backdrop of its less glamorous context: reality. Perhaps it’s only in bearing these considerations in mind that we’re able to enjoy the holiday and its rituals while remaining cognizant of, say, those criticisms arguing the ways in which rampant consumerism have stripped Valentine’s Day of its saccharine abutments. In either case, do be sure to read the whole post for a trenchant sliver of insight from Balzac.

In keeping with the topic of amorous rituals, NYU Press’s Jane Ward, author of Not Gay: Sex between Straight White Men, refutes the myth of rigidity in male sexuality by drawing on well-documented rituals of male homosexual interaction in which factors such as gender identity and sexual preference are tertiary considerations after tradition and utility.

While we are of course always interested in discussions of policy, administration, and difference in pedagogy, we look today to anthropologist David F. Lancy’s perspective on childhood education, citing differences learning between children from the Peruvian Amazon, the Sahara, Denmark, and Polynesia. Having compiled his research into ethnographies of childhood development spanning vastly different cultures from opposite sides of the globe, Lancy’s uniquely holistic view of the matter is far beyond the more familiar issues of “teachers, schools, curricula, or TV.” This might be the reason why the New York Times called Lancy’s The Anthropology of Childhood “the only baby book you’ll ever need.”

Here at the midpoint of Black History Month, Beacon Press’s Sheryll Cashin talks Martin Luther King, Jr. and his strategies for propelling civil rights, as well as recent events highlighting racial tensions and injustice, and the protests ongoing today (such as that summarized in the hashtag campaign, #BlackLivesMatter) to challenge paradigms of indifference and acceptance toward racial inequality.

This is a beginning, I hope, of a saner, multiracial politics for justice in law enforcement and other critical realms like housing and education. I believe the Black Lives Matter movement has the potential for staying power that the Occupy movement lacked because, like Jim Crow itself, there is a clear moral target and the activists coming to the cause span the rainbow. It is as true in 2015 as it was for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Dr. King in 1965 that you have to have allies beyond your own tribe to win a victory. You don’t have to convince everyone, just the growing swath of people who are open to diversity and want to make it work.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Friday the 13th/Valentine’s Day! As always, we hope that you enjoyed the links. Please let us know what you think in the comments!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Four Thoughts for Academic Writers (Or Maybe All Writers) — Eric Hayot

The Elements of Academic StyleThe following advice on writing comes from Eric Hayot, author of The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities

1. Listen first

Part of being a good writer is having a sense of what good writing feels like. That’s hard to do if you’ve never read academic writing for the writing. You probably already know whose writing you like and whose you don’t. Start, then, by rereading the work of people whose writing you admire, and try to figure out what makes it especially good. I strongly strongly recommend writing a two- or three-page imitation of that person’s style. In the long run, the goal is not to ventriloquize them, but simply to use the exercise as a form of deep engagement with another writer, and to feel what it feels like to inhabit a style. (Like imitations of voices, the first thing you have to know when you imitate a style is what makes something imitable in the first place—is it in the rhythm, the diction, the flow, the paragraphing, the relation between exemplification and idea, the style of argument, the figurative or rhetorical tropes? All of these, of course, and more, but differently each time.)

You should make listening to the writing of others part of a lifelong practice as a writer. But don’t forget, also, to listen to your own work! You have a style (you’ve been speaking in prose all along!), so you should know what it is, how it works, what you like and don’t like about it.

2. Know your genre

All writing takes place in a genre. This is true generally for academic writers—you write in a genre called “literary criticism” or “cultural studies” or “philosophy”—but it is also true in particular—you write in a subfield called Victorian Studies, or epistemology, and even within those subfields you write for specific journals or specific groups of peers. In order to be a successful writer, then, you need to know quite a bit about the discourse you’re attempting to join. You probably already do know quite a bit, implicitly. But you and a friend might agree, for instance, to read all the articles from two or three issues of the same journal, to see if you can begin to theorize a house style; or you can read four or five articles from a random journal in random year in the not-so-distant past (1983, say) and then some from the present to get a sense of the stylistic changes that have taken place. The point is simply that you need to know your genre, and you need to write within its framework.

Once you know this, of course, you can probe the edges of the genre, where the interesting outliers are, to see if you can change it. And you can also draw strength from other genres (including nonacademic genres like fiction, poetry, or essayistic prose), using ideas you gain there to breach the conventions of the genre you’re working in. That’s a good, easy way to generate stylistic force—taking something that works elsewhere and grafting it onto the genre you’re writing makes for engaging, interesting writing.

(more…)

Friday, February 6th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

The merits of reading books in print versus those of e-reading have been hotly argued over the past few years, by publishers, readers, authors, and entrepreneurs alike. Writing at the OUPblog, Naomi S. Baron evaluates some of the most prevalent talking points on both sides of the issue and explains the complications behind even the simplest claims about the value of reading one way or the other.

Stanford University Press introduced their new trade-oriented imprint, Redwood Press, this week on the SUP blog. In related posts, SUP Art Director Rob Ehle explained the process of creating the colophon for Redwood Press, and editor-in-chief Kate Wahl discusses the academic and intellectual value of fiction generally and of the first Redwood Press novel in particular.

MOOCs and other forms of online education have had a significant presence in higher education over the past few years, though they have also engendered quite a bit of controversy as some schools embrace them and others do not. This week, the JHU Press Blog featured an excerpt from Bill Ferster’s Teaching Machines: Learning from the Intersection of Education and Technology in which Ferster lays out some of the reasons that MOOCs have been such a touchy issue in education. (more…)

Friday, February 6th, 2015

“What Is Academic Freedom For?,” by Robert J. Zimmer

Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom?

This week our featured book is Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom?, edited by Akeel Bilgrami and Jonathan Cole. Today, on the final day of the feature, we are happy to present Robert J. Zimmer’s short article from the book: “What Is Academic Freedom For?”

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy!

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

“Exercising Rights: Academic Freedom and Boycott Politics,” by Judith Butler

Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom?

This week our featured book is Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom?, edited by Akeel Bilgrami and Jonathan Cole. The academic boycott of Israeli universities has generated a great deal of debate over the past few years. Yesterday, we posted Stanley Fish’s response to the boycott; today, we have Judith Butler’s take on the relationship between academic freedom and the boycott.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy!

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

“Academic Freedom and the Boycott of Israeli Universities,” by Stanley Fish

Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom?

This week our featured book is Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom?, edited by Akeel Bilgrami and Jonathan Cole. The academic boycott of Israeli universities has generated a great deal of debate over the past few years. In this post, Stanley Fish examines the boycott and argues that, “if we are going to have an academy we should really have it in all its glorious narrowness and not transform it into an appendage of politics, even when–no, especially when–the politics is one that we affirm and believe in with all our hearts.”

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy!

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

What We Talk About When We Talk About Academic Freedom

Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom?

This week our featured book is Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom?, edited by Akeel Bilgrami and Jonathan Cole. Today, we are happy to present an excerpt from the book’s introduction, by Bilgrami and Cole.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy!

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Book Giveaway! Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom?, edited by Akeel Bilgrami and Jonathan Cole

Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom?

“The phrase ‘academic freedom’ is often used carelessly: here is a work that will allow a more careful conversation about those many crucial issues facing the academy, in which a well-worked out understanding of conceptions of academic freedom is, as its authors show, an essential tool.” — Kwame Anthony Appiah

This week our featured book is Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom?, edited by Akeel Bilgrami and Jonathan Cole. Throughout the week, we will be featuring content about the book and its author on our blog as well as on our Twitter feed and our Facebook page.

We are also offering a FREE copy of Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom?. To enter our book giveaway, simply fill out the form below with your name and preferred mailing address. We will randomly select our winners on Friday, February 6th at 1:00 pm. Good luck, and spread the word!

Friday, January 30th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

Sandra M. Gustafson has been writing posts following the annual State of the Union address for the past few years at The Chicago Blog of the University of Chicago Press, and this year is no exception. In her most recent post, she looks at Barack Obama’s sixth SOTU address, arguing that “[m]ore and more, the president’s rhetoric and public actions inform an effort to shape his legacy, both in terms of the direction of his party and with regard to his historical reputation.”

At the University of California Press Blog, the spotlight is on Executive Editor Naomi Schneider, who answers questions about what she does as an editor, what it’s like editing Nobel Prize Winners, some of her favorite authors, and what it’s like to have her own imprint at the press. Her strategy: “clear your desk so you can think about your program in a more creative way and do higher-level strategizing about what to acquire.” (more…)