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Archive for the 'Press News' Category

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Choice Selects 9 Columbia University Press Titles as Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013

Stanley Aronowitz, C. Wright Mills

Every year Choice editors single out for recognition the most significant print and electronic works reviewed in Choice during the previous calendar year. Appearing annually in Choice‘s January issue this list of publications reflects the best in scholarly titles. We were very happy to learn that 9 Columbia University Press titles were selected:

Taking It Big: C. Wright Mills and the Making of Political Intellectuals
Stanley Aronowitz

Evolutionary Perspectives on Pregnancy
John C. Avise

CIAO: Columbia International Affairs Online

China’s Uncertain Future
Jean-Luc Domenach

Sources of Vietnamese Tradition
Edited by George Dutton, Jayne Werner, and John K. Whitmore

Terrorism and Counterintelligence: How Terrorist Groups Elude Detection
Blake W. Mobley

Imaginary Ethnographies: Literature, Culture, and Subjectivity
Gabriele Schwab

Moving Data: The iPhone and the Future of Media
Edited by Pelle Snickars and Patrick Vonderau

Mission Revolution: The U.S. Military and Stability Operations
Jennifer Taw

Friday, November 15th, 2013

University Press Roundup: Special UPWeek Edition

#UPWeek

Welcome to our University Press Roundup! As many of you know, this week was University Press Week, and many of the blogs we normally cover here participated in the #UPWeek Blog Tour, so we are making this the Special UPWeek Edition of our normal roundup. Each of the days of the UPWeek Blog Tour had a theme for those blogs posting, which is great for a roundup: it allows us to organize the posts both chronologically and thematically. We are highlighting quite a few posts, as one might expect, but all are well worth reading. As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

Monday: Meet the Press
The UP blogs writing on Monday provided staff profiles and interviews in an effort to give a more detailed insight into how UPs do business, as well as to recognize the outstanding contributions to the scholarly process made by press employees.

McGill-Queen’s Press interviewed editors Kyla Madden and Jonathan Crago, Penn State Press interviewed “invisible” manuscript editor John Morris, the University of Illinois Press interviewed Editor-in-Chief Laurie Matheson, the University of Hawai’i Press profiled Journals Manager Joel Bradshaw, the University of Missouri Press introduced new director David Rosenbaum, the University Press of Colorado profiled managing editor Laura Furney, and the University Press of Florida interviewed editor Siam Hunter.

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Friday, November 15th, 2013

#UPWeek Blog Tour: Columbia University Press and Global Publishing

It’s the final day ofUniversity Press Week! All week long university presses have been participating in the UP Week Blog Tour. We are thrilled to participate, and excited about today’s blog post theme: The Global Reach of University Presses.

Make sure you check out the other presses posting today: Georgetown University Press, Indiana University Press, JHU Press, NYU Press, Princeton University Press, University of Wisconsin Press, and Yale University Press!

#UPWeek

Columbia University Press and Global Publishing

“Recognizing commonality in the midst of diversity, and diversity in the midst of commonality…. There’s no other way human life can be viewed.”—Wm. de Bary, in an interview with Columbia Magazine

Columbia University Press’s commitment to global publishing can be traced back to the late 1950’s, when Columbia University professors began extending the scope of their core courses to include classics of Asian literature alongside Western classics. Under the direction of William Theodore de Bary, one of the scholars responsible for Columbia’s innovative emphasis on non-Western thought, Columbia University Press published a series of four influential anthologies, Sources of Indian Tradition, Sources of Japanese Tradition, Sources of Chinese Tradition, and Sources of Korean Tradition, that form the foundation of our mission to contribute to an understanding of global human concerns.

Since the first of these anthologies was published in 1958, Columbia University Press has been committed to publishing quality scholarship in a variety of global fields. We take great pride in the diversity of our books and our authors. In the first few pages from our recently released Spring 2014 catalog alone we have an insect cookbook translated from Dutch, a discussion of Jacques Lacan and a book of short plays by French philosopher Alain Badiou, and three books from the new Kenneth J. Arrow Lecture Series, which boast Nobel winners from America and India as authors.

In addition to our own publishing program, we also help to disseminate global scholarship through our distribution services. Our distributed presses are based in Asia, Europe, and the United States; some publish primarily in specific subject areas, others in a variety of fields. However, despite their differences (or maybe because of them), all contribute quality scholarship and literature to the global scholarly conversation.

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Monday, November 4th, 2013

Chang Jae Lee on Book Design and Korean Photography

Lost Souls design by Chang Jae LeeChang Jae Lee, of our very talented designers, was recently interviewed by Asian Global Impact.

In the interview, Chang Jae revealed the process that goes into selecting the appropriate image and design for a book as well as discussing some of the covers he is most proud of. Chang Jae has designed a wide range of Columbia University Press books but some of his most memorable ones have been from Columbia’s list in philosophy and Asian fiction. Asked about how book design has changed in the age of the e-book, Chang Jae expressed optimism regarding the physical book:

I am pretty pessimistic about everything else, but I am not pessimistic about the future of books…. The physicality of books is important, and I think it can only be further accentuated, enhanced with thoughtful design. All successful designs achieve communication—translating the written language and its core ideas into the visual language, transforming them logically, succinctly, and viscerally.

Chang Jae also discussed his work as the curator for the a recent, critically praised photography exhibit Traces of Life: Seen Through Korean Eyes, 1945-1992. Chang Jae, who grew up in South Korea before his family moved to Seattle was interested in displaying photographs that reflected the full history of that dramatic period:

I wanted to show a past not predicated on biased, selective memories, and fill the chasm in the visual archive of the modern Korean vernacular spanning the period from 1945 to 1992. I intended it to be a counterpoint to what we often recognise as the Korean vernacular, the images doused by the turbulent history of the period itself: liberation, the Korean War, coup d’état, military dictatorship, industrialisation, and the ensuing struggles for democracy. You see, even during this sweeping modernisation and the sociopolitical upheaval, the children laughed in their play and the people lived their everyday lives.

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

New Series in American-East Asian Relations

Nancy Bernkopf Tucker and Warren I. Cohen Books on American–East Asian Relations
Columbia University Press is pleased to announce the creation of the Nancy Bernkopf Tucker and Warren I. Cohen Books on American–East Asian Relations series. The series is named after noted diplomatic historians and Columbia University Press authors Nancy Bernkopf Tucker (1948–2012) and Warren I. Cohen.

The goals of the series are to publish high-quality, rigorously researched works in the academic fields in which Tucker was involved. Selection of books written by new and established scholars will begin in late 2013 and will concentrate in the areas of political science, international affairs, diplomatic history, Asian history, and Asian studies. The press will be able to draw at least $15,000 from the fund to help support the cost of publishing and promoting each new title. The series aims to publish one or two new titles every year.

The series is made possible from a generous donation by Nancy Bernkopf Tucker and Warren I. Cohen. Before her death Dr. Tucker set in motion plans for the series, which was completed after her death by her husband, Professor Cohen.

Professor Cohen remarks, “This series is intended as a monument to Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, a great scholar, a superb teacher, and my beloved wife. Publication of works in her chosen fields will help keep her goals alive and ensure that she is never forgotten.”

Scholarly integrity for the series will be maintained by the internationally distinguished academics serving as series editors: Thomas Christensen (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University), Mark Bradley (University of Chicago) and Rosemary Foot (St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford).

Those interested in publishing in the series should contact Anne Routon, senior editor at Columbia University Press with a proposal containing a brief description of the content and focus of the book, a table of contents or chapter outline, literature review and market analysis, and professional information about the author, including previous publications.

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Friday, May 24th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! We hope you have a happy Memorial Day and an enjoyable long weekend! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

This Sunday, Arrested Development makes its long-awaited return to the small screen, and in preparation for this momentous occasion, the OUPblog has an excellent post by Mark Peters comparing the use of language in AD to other well-known television comedies: 30 Rock, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

NYC mayoral candidate Christine Quinn has been the subject of a great deal of media scrutiny recently, and at From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Margaret S. Williams argues that Quinn’s public treatment highlights the way that female candidates for political office still face a “double-bind.” Williams claims that “Female candidates need to seem tough, but not too tough …. Female candidates need to appear to represent women, but not too much …. And, above all, the female candidate needs to be well-dressed.”

In a fascinating post at the University of Minnesota Press blog, science writer Dorion Sagan discusses the differing views, differing approaches to science, and differing legacies of his parents, astronomer Carl Sagan and biologist Lynn Margulis.

The DSM-5 comes out later this week, and at the Harvard University Press Blog, Liah Greenfeld weighs in on the controversy surrounding this latest edition of the DSM. Greenfeld claims that the DSM-5 “is just an expression of the increasing confusion in the mental health community … in regard to the nature of the human mental processes—or the mind—altogether.”

Prompted by a recent string of apparently homophobic violence in New York City, and in particular by the murder of Mark Carson, Jay Michaelson has a guest post on Beacon Broadside discussing how the growing acceptance of gay marriage, while a step towards legal equality, may be masking deeper prejudices against the LGBT community.

Janis Joplin grew up in Port Arthur, but her relationship with the Texas town was “complicated.” In a fascinating excerpt from History Along the Way at the Texas A&M Press blog, Dan Utley and Cynthia Beeman look at the complex history between Port Arthur and its most famous citizen.

What lessons can today’s leaders take from one of history’s most famous explorers? At the Yale Press Log, Patrick J. Murphy and Ray W. Coye look at how Magellan used his single-mindedness to quell mutinies and deal with calamities on his voyage around the world, and explain how, despite his flaws, he can serve as an example for leaders today.

May 22 is National Maritime Day, and at the MIT Press blog, Larrie Ferreiro has a guest post looking at the current state of trade by sea. He points out that marine freight carriers are more energy-efficient and safer than either truck or rail transport, and that the US “has the industrial and engineering skills to expand the national maritime infrastructure” to better utilize intranational sea-transport possibilities.

The UNC Press Blog has an excerpt this week from Emily Clark’s American Quadroon, a look at how “the antebellum mixed-race free woman of color has long operated as a metaphor for New Orleans” in American literature.

Finally, This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, challenges you to put your knowledge of cotton and the history of its cultivation and use to the test in “Cotton: The Quiz!”

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, May 17th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

At Beacon Broadside, Carole Joffe discusses why the relationship between doctors and patients is so important, and why the “gotcha” filming of abortion clinic doctors undermines the possibility of such a relationship.

Are you a jazz fan? If so, you should listen to this podcast from the University of California Press Blog, in which John Goodman, author of Mingus Speaks, talks about his interviews with the great composer and performer Charles Mingus.

In the late 17th and early 18th century, cotton textiles and other “Eastern luxuries” were blamed for “corrupt[ing] the moral fibre of society” in Europe. Giorgio Riello tells the story of cotton in Early Modern England at This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press.

At the Florida Bookshelf, the blog of the University Press of Florida, Kathleen Kaska continues her account of the continuing battle to save the endangered whooping crane.

The seventeen-year life cycle of the cicada will come to a head this year when the ground temperature reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily, as May Berenbaum points out in a post on cicadas at the Harvard University Press Blog, “It’s not like these hordes of cicadas suck blood or zombify people.”

The JHU Press Blog had a couple of excellent posts this week. First, Sue Friedman discusses the consequences of patents on BRCA genes, with the future of BRCA testing in the balance in an ongoing Supreme Court case. Next, JHU Press manuscript editor Michele Callaghan asks whether “it matter[s] to anyone but editors and others who uphold the laws of grammar whether we use nouns or adjectives to describe people,” and answers firmly in the affirmative.

This week is National Transportation Week, and at the MIT Press blog, Joseph DiMento and Cliff Ellis argue that “we are at a critical point of major transportation diversification for some Americans.”

At the University of Minnesota Press, Rachel Hanel argues that “the death industry [has] taken firm hold and convinced Americans to let professionals handle the death and post-death process,” and that TV shows, Six Feet Under, for instance, help 21st-century America deal with “ideas about death that were common at the turn of the 20th century.”

Angelina Jolie recently wrote an op-ed in the NYTimes discussing her decision to undergo a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. At From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Kelly E. Happe discusses Jolie’s decision and the BRCA testing process that led to it.

Read an excerpt from Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory, by R. Gregory Nokes, at the Oregon State University Press blog.

The DSM-5, the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s manual of mental disorders, is scheduled to release next week, and it has already come under a great deal of criticism. This week, the OUPblog has been running a fascinating series of posts on the DSM series, the DSM-5 in particular, and the state of psychiatry in general.

Using the Wayne Brady-Bill Maher feud as a jumping-off point, Adia Harvey Wingfield discusses “black men who remain invisible” in a thoughtful and insightful post at North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press.

Finally, at the Yale Press Log, Edward McCord makes the case for the intellectual as well as moral and practical value of the diversity of species and ecosystems on Earth.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

With the new movie version of The Great Gatsby coming out soon, This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, has caught Fitzgerald Fever. They’ve collected a great playlist of Roaring Twenties tunes. Check it out if you’d like a fun University Press Roundup soundtrack!

Earlier this week, Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete in major American professional sports. At From the Square, the NYU Press blog, Mark Neal, while acknowledging that Collins’ decision to come out publicly was a brave one, points out that “the attention that Jason Collins is getting is really about the need of our society to pat ourselves on the collective back for being open and tolerant enough to allow a veteran basketball player, close to the end of his career, to tell us that he is Black and Gay.”

A devastating fire recently broke out in a clothing factory in Bangladesh, killing over 100 workers. At Beacon Broadside, the blog of Beacon Press, David Bacon decries the system in which unsafe factories in developing countries continue to oppress their workers. The story of the Tazreen factory in particular is horrifying: “At Tazreen the owners didn’t build fire escapes. They’d locked the doors on the upper floors “to prevent theft,” trapping workers in the flames. At Rana Plaza, factory owners refused to evacuate the building after huge cracks appeared in the walls, even after safety engineers told them not to let workers inside.”

Sunday, May 5, will be the 200th birthday of Søren Kierkegaard, a towering figure in the history of philosophy and theology. At the OUPblog, Daphne Hampson looks at Kierkegaard’s legacy and asks how we should judge him in today’s world.

May 2 was the National Day of Prayer. At the University of Virginia Press blog, John Ragosta looks at the occasion from the point of view of Thomas Jefferson, in hopes of reconciling the “debate between those demanding its end in the name of separation of church and state, and others who will complain that government is censoring prayers in the name of political correctness.”

Graduation is fast approaching for most colleges, and at the AMACOM Books Blog, Rights and International Sales Associate Lynsey Major offers some great advice to new graduates and prospective publishing job hunters.

Speaking of publishing jobs, have you ever wondered what production staffs think about typos? If so, you’ll find your answer at the University of Toronto Press Blog, where Production Editor Beate Schwirtlich discusses the “age-old tyranny of the typo and the impact of digital technology on the search for the perfect book.”

At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Shona Jackson, the author of a book on the Creoles in Guyana and the Caribbean, delves into her deeply personal relationship with the material she studies. Jackson was born in Guyana herself, and, as she explains in her post, her struggles with how she saw and defined her cultural identity helped to shape her scholarship.

In the Civil War, the US Military Telegraph (USMT) network was run by around 1200 operators and linemen, of whom around 200 were killed, wounded or captured. At the JHU Press Blog, David Hochfelder tells the little-known story of the USMT and the men who ran it.

The Harvard University Press Blog is continuing their ongoing series on 100 of the most significant HUP titles in honor of their centennial. This week, sales representative John Eklund looks back at the enormous success of Empire, the bestseller by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a guest post from the WLU Press blog. “Memoir, Ethics, and Shame: the reaction to Drunk Mom,” a post by Julie Rak, looks at the big business of memoirs today, and, in particular, what happens when a memoir is seen to go TOO far in telling truths about the memoirist’s life, using the reaction to Jowita Bydlowska’s tell-all memoir Drunk Mom as an example.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, April 26th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

We’ll start things off this week with a powerful article in defense of the reading of Miranda rights, even in cases like the Boston bombing, by David A. Harris at From the Square, the NYU Press Blog. Harris worries that “the administration seemed to be telling the public that Miranda warnings are just petty rules—another instance of hyper-technical laws that get in the way of real justice. This is dead wrong, and it shows grave disrespect for the rule of law and the Constitution—the very things that make our country great.”

Monday was Earth Day, and the OUPblog had a great series of posts in honor of the occasion. We’ll highlight one in particular: a post by Michael Allaby looking back at the history of Earth Day and our ongoing failure to reconcile the “conflict between environmental protection and the need for economic development.” (Also, they have a post listing eleven facts about penguins.)

In 1942, there were only fifteen whooping cranes left in the wild. Thanks to the work of ornithologist Robert Porter Allen, that number has grown to nearly six hundred. At The Florida Bookshelf, the blog of the University Press of Florida, however, Kathleen Kaska argues that the whooping cranes are hardly out of danger of extinction, and breaks down some of the current day challenges the species faces.

The Common Core curriculum emphasizes “informational readings” in primary education. At Beacon Broadside, the blog of Beacon Press, David Chura argues that this emphasis on informational readings over books deprives students of an incredibly valuable part of education. “[I]t makes me sad to see the education of the heart—the real core of any worthwhile English curriculum—gutted for the sake of global competition, and to see teachers once again take the hit for “dummied down” education.”

Historians have recently made the case that a form of linen armor, the linothorax, was a popular and influential type of military protection in ancient Greece from the time of Homer until well after the death of Alexander the Great. At the JHU Press Blog, one of these historians, Alicia Aldrete, tells the story of how she and her husband unraveled the mystery of the linothorax, complete with accounts of “large groups of weapon-wielding students in our yard, [with] my husband, Gregory Aldrete, shooting arrows at them” and of discoveries that sidetracked their research, like the fact “that linen stiffened with rabbit glue strikes dogs as in irresistibly tasty rabbit-flavored chew toy, and that our Labrador retriever should not be left alone with our research project.”

Liah Greenfeld believes that solely biological and genetic explanations for human behaviors are “a new bubble,” particular in regards to explanations of mental illness. Instead, as explained in a post at the Harvard University Press blog, she believes that “the phenomenon that was for a long time called simply “madness”—today’s schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression—is actually a symptom of modernity, an effect of our cultural environment.”

In 1913, the Woodrow Wilson administration led a drive to segregate the federal government. At the UNC Press Blog, Eric S. Yellin argues that this 1913 drive was a “pivotal episode in the age of progressive politics” and looks at the ramifications over the course of the past century of the “introduction of Jim Crow discrimination in government offices.”

At This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambidge University Press, David Stahel asks and answers one of the most important questions any scholar should ask herself or himself before starting a research project: “Why bother?” For Stahel, while a great deal has been written about the Second World War in general, and its Western Front in particular, “[o]ne of the exciting things about researching Germany’s war in the east between 1941 and 1945 is that the field is still at such an early stage of its development with many more questions than answers.”

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a post from the University of Minnesota Press Blog by Aaron Shapiro about the development of the North Woods in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan as a tourist destination. In his post, Shapiro urges us to consider the fact that for any tourist destination, and particularly in the North Woods, “work and leisure have proven inseparable from nature.”

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, April 19th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

April 16th was the 50th anniversary of the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written by Martin Luther King Jr. In honor of the occasion, Beacon Broadside, the blog of Beacon Press, has a post explaining the contents of the letter and MLK’s reasons for writing it, complete with an excerpt from Why We Can’t Wait, written by King in 1963. And at the UNC Press Blog, Randal Maurice Jelks has a guest post reminding us “of the lasting importance of King’s message in that document.”

This week, the MIT Press blog celebrated National Library Week (April 14-20) with a guest post from R. David Lankes. In his post, Lankes looks at the National Library Week theme this year–”Communities matter @ your library”–and explains that the most important collection of every library is not made up of books, but rather comes from the community that the library serves.

Do historians approach research subjects with preconceived expectations? At the JHU Press Blog, Daniel Kilbride tells the story of how his expectations for his most recent project were proven false over the course of his research, and how the actual results of his project were far more interesting and complex than he would have guessed that they could be.

“But why do we have such faith in creativity? What does creativity promise that we are so anxious get? … Why, then, is there so much effort to lay claim to something so ill-defined and elusive?” At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Amy F. Ogata takes a look at the idea of creativity and the hold it has on recent conceptions of positive education.

This week was a great week for literature posts at the OUPblog. John Carlos Row has a great post on the importance of and continued interest in the difficult and subtle fiction of Henry James. “Of course, I love Henry James and have spent much of my scholarly career reading, teaching, and writing about his works, but I also understand that they are aesthetically and intellectually difficult, lack “action” if not plot, deal with the wealthy classes, and depend on subtle psychological ambiguities many readers miss completely.” And Kirsty Martin has a fascinating post on the role of sympathy in modernist literature, using novels by Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, Ford Madox Ford, and Joseph Conrad as her examples. “Modernist writing like Woolf’s provides a way of thinking about ongoing debate over how we relate to each other, and it also simply draws attention to the particularities of human connection, addressing the reader: “But look”, and recognising how one might feel for such gestures.”

The authorship debate about the works of Shakespeare has involved many prominent artists and thinkers over the past few centuries. This week, This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, put the arguments of some of the most famous doubters (Charlie Chaplin, Mark Twain, Henry James, and Walt Whitman among them) in conversation with contributors to the new Cambridge UP title Shakespeare Beyond Doubt, as a way to put to rest some of the most commonly repeated arguments against the identity of the Bard.

Philadelphia has a rich history of basketball, much of which has been forgotten in today’s glitz-and-glamour sports culture. At North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Larry Needle delves into this history to tell the little-known story of the SPHAS (South Philadelphia Hebrew Association) basketball league; the first competitive all-Jewish basketball teams in professional basketball.

This week at From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Howard Ball has a guest post comparing Supreme Court cases on marriage equality: the two major cases from this year (US v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry), concerned with the legality of LGBT marriage, and the 1967 case Loving v. Virginia, concerned with the legality of interracial marriage. Ball thinks that it’s paradoxical that “unlike public opposition to racial intermarriage in 1967 rejected by a unanimous Court, in 2013, although 58% of Americans support same-sex marriage, it may be rejected by a five person majority.”

In 1971, Harvard University Press published John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, a highly influential work in political philosophy. The Harvard University Press Blog is taking a look back at some of their most significant titles published in the hundred-year history of HUP, and this week it’s Rawls’ classic that’s under the microscope.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a post at the University of Nebraska Press blog by Susan Blackwell Ramsey, winner of the 2012 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. In her post, Ramsey explains the process behind the first poem in her prize-winning collection, “Pickled Heads, Saint Petersburg.” As she explains, “I’ve always had a brain like a lint-roller, with the qualifier that only nonessential information sticks to it.”

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, April 12th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

We were all saddened by the recent death of Roger Ebert, who passed away last week at the age of 70. The Chicago Blog, the blog of the University of Chicago Press, paid tribute to his “professionalism and good humor” and his “passionate advocacy of the printed word—as a voracious reader, as well as an enthusiastic film-lover.” At the OUPblog, James Tweedie looks back at Ebert’s illustrious career as a critic, explaining that “Ebert’s success was due in large part to his ability and willingness to approach films with a seriousness commensurate with their ambition.”

(By the way, we’d be remiss not to congratulate the OUPblog for being honored as one of nine 2013 “Webby Honorees” in the Blog-Cultural category! A well-deserved recognition for one of the best blogs out there!)

National Poetry Month continues throughout April, and this week the Syracuse University Press blog offered up the beautiful “home,” a poem by Laila Halaby, in honor of the celebration. Happy National Poetry Month!

This week was also National Robotics Week, and the MIT Press blog is offering a series of posts on the current state of robotics. Of particular interest is a two-part Q&A with William Clancey on the Mars Exploration rover. In part one, Clancey explains how “programmed, mobile laboratories like MER (Mars Exploration Rover)” have changed space exploration. In part two, explains how innovations in space exploration benefit us here on Earth, and looks into the future of space exploration.

42, a Jackie Robinson biopic coming out soon, takes a look back at the impact Robinson’s integration of baseball had on the country in 1947. At the University of Virginia Press blog, Bruce Adelson explains how baseball teams in the still-segregated South followed the Dodgers’ lead in hiring and playing black ballplayers.

As anyone who works in marketing in any industry can tell you, getting concrete data that tells exactly how effective marketing campaigns are can be all but impossible. At the AMACOM Books Blog, David Scott breaks down “an easy way to conduct a clear, accurate analysis in spite of these complications.”

Does an emphasis on standardized test scores in evaluating teacher and school performance lead to cheating by both teachers and administrators? At Beacon Broadside, the blog of Beacon Press, William Ayers argues that recent studies make it clear that the answer to this question is yes. The recent and massive cheating scandal in Atlanta, where the former superintendent and her subordinates face criminal charges, is a prime example for Ayers.

The JHU Press Blog ran a fascinating three-part feature this week on a trip to spend a few days immersed in the Amish way of life in Lancaster, PA. JHUP author Karen Johnson-Weiner, JHUP head publicist Kathy Alexander, and JHUP acquisitions editor Greg Nicholl all wrote blog posts about their experiences with the “Amish immersion,” and together they paint a fascinating picture of Amish life in the 21st century.

The line between advertisement and actual content was once a very clear one, as newspapers were careful to distinguish their articles from space paid for by external sources. However, as Michael Serazio argues at From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, in the internet age, the rise of “advertainment,” or “brand-backed articles,” has blurred this line to the point where it barely exists any longer.

Looking for a post that explains what fracking is and why it’s so controversial? At This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Peter Grossman has you covered. As he explains, while fracking proponents claim that the natural gas accessible through fracking will “lower consumer energy costs, provide greater energy security while at the same time reducing carbon emissions,” fracking remains controversial, as it may pose a number of environmental harms, including chemical leaks into water supplies and emissions of natural gas into the atmosphere.

At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua looks at the Idle No More protest movement and its influence in Hawaii. “INM has gathered Indigenous and settler peoples to stand up for the health of lands and the communities that rely on them, and it has brought the importance of teaching people about Indigenous nationhood to the fore.” A recent INM-inspired rally showed the power of the message behind INM, but also showed “the fissures and need for dialogue between the various constituent groups was plainly apparent.”

Finally, we’ll wrap things up for this week by considering the cuttlefish. The Harvard University Press Blog has an excerpt from Concealing Coloration in Animals in which authors Judy Diamond and Alan B. Bond explain the impressive adaptive camouflage of the cuttlefish.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, April 5th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

This week, Beacon Broadside celebrated the start of Poetry Month with a collection of videos of poets reading their poems! Mary Oliver, Sonia Sanchez, Craig Teicher, C.D. Wright, Kevin Young, and Dobby Gibson all make appearances. (Poetry lovers: stay tuned for our poetry feature here at the CUP blog next week!)

There are many reasons for scholars to write for an academic audience rather than a popular one, particularly when the topic is a controversial one. At the JHU Press Blog, Mark A. Largent explains why he decided to write a book for a popular audience on vaccinations, despite all of the disincentives. Writing for a popular audience is a “duty” for scholars, Largent claims: “we ought to find ways to do extension work that applies our expertise to broader public problems and appeals to broader audiences.”

This week From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, ran a post about a unique approach the press took to publishing their new book, Two Presidents are Better Than One. In order to draw more attention to the books unique argument (that a bipartisan executive branch might be the best way to break our cycle of political gridlock), the design team for the book decided to print two versions of the book’s cover, one with a Republican elephant, one with a Democrat donkey.

April 4th was the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and at the UNC Press Blog, Gordon K. Mantler has a guest post arguing that, while everyone remembers (and should remember) King’s work for racial justice, we would be well served to remember his other major march in Washington D.C.: the Poor People’s Campaign.

“[T]he U.S. housing crisis that began in 2008 is not behind us.” At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Dianne Harris argues that not only is the housing crisis very much alive, but that we shouldn’t forget that, for many, housing difficulties have their roots in the racially troubled past of the US: “housing segregation, the seeming ineffability of white privilege and its connections to home ownership, and the cultural work performed by representations of houses and housing issues” all come into play.

Are challenging projects that ask students to “make arguments backed by evidence, to analyze the arguments of their peers, to communicate what they learned to experts, and to work together” more effective than standardized, knowledge-based tests in preparing students for college? At Voices in Education, the blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Robert Rothman claims that these types of assignments, part of what he calls “deeper learning” should be a major part of US education in the future.

On a similar note, at An Akronism, the blog of the University of Akron Press, Thomas Bacher discusses the role that MOOCs and online learning more generally should play in the process of higher education. Bacher believes that online pedagogy has an important role to play, but also believes that face-to-face interaction is crucial. Finding a useful balance between the two will be a crucial part of the development of education in the near future.

Edward Luttwak’s concept of “great state autism” refers to “a collective national lack of situational awareness that reduces a country’s ability to perceive international realities with clarity.” This week, the Harvard University Press Blog has a post explaining Luttwak’s ideas and how they relate to major world powers, Russia, China, India, and the US, and expanding the idea through the work of Diana Pinto to a much smaller country in land area and population: Israel.

The case of Jack the Ripper, the famous serial killer from late 19th century London, has inspired a whole discipline: “ripperology.” At the OUPblog, Paul J. Ennis has a post explaining the attractions of studying the case of Jack the Ripper and delving into the specific case of Emma Smith’s murder.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a March Madness post from the University of Michigan Press blog. The Michigan basketball team is getting set to play in the Final Four this weekend, and in a guest post, Mike Rosenbaum details the rise of this specific version of the Michigan team, starting in 2009 and running up to the team’s present-day success.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, March 29th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

Chinua Achebe passed away last week, and at the OUPblog, Richard Dowden has written a post in memory of Achebe, looking back at Achebe’s life and works, discussing his massive and continuing influence, and telling the story of Dowden’s own interactions with the great author. “A conversation with Chinua Achebe was a deep, slow and gracious matter. He was exceedingly courteous and always listened and reflected before answering. In his later years he talked even more slowly and softly, savouring the paradoxes of life and history. He spoke in long, clear, simple sentences which often ended in a profound and sad paradox. Then those extraordinary eyes twinkled, his usually very solemn face would break into a huge smile and he would chuckle.”

The NYU Press blog, From the Square, continued their month-long focus on Women’s History Month this week with a post by Melissa R. Klapper examining why we are still apparently “disconcerted by women in positions of authority.” In her post, Klapper delves into at the history of women working in her attempt to come up with an answer.

March Madness is in full swing, and at North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Gregory Kaliss takes a break from this year’s action to look back at an infamous NCAA tournament regional final weekend in Dallas in 1957. The Kansas University Jayhawks rolled to two convincing victories to advance to the Final Four, that weekend, but because the team was integrated (and in fact featured Wilt Chamberlain, one of the greatest basketball players of all time), they faced discrimination and racial violence both on and off the court.

What exactly is “craft” and how is it different (if it differs at all) from art? At the UNC Press Blog, Howard Risatti digs into these and other thorny questions in a guest post. Along the way, he also discusses how crafts and art can raise our awareness of ecological issues.

“Julius Caesar shows us two different kinds of political love, in tragic opposition. Brutus is principled, but he is not cold. He loves the institutions of the Roman Republic, and he tells us that this abstract love has driven out his personal love of Caesar, as fire drives out fire…. Brutus’s antitype is Antony, who can understand no kind of love other than the personal, who cannot refrain from calling the dead man “Julius” even in the presence of the conspirators.” This week, The Chicago Blog has a fascinating excerpt from Martha Nussbaum’s Shakespeare and the Law.

Since late 2008, North Dakota has been experiencing an “economic boom and rapid population growth” as the result of the discovery of oil and natural gas underneath the state. At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Dean Hulse warns that, while the boom has brought some good, it’s important to pay attention to the possible long-term consequences of the new uses of the land in the state.

At the JHU Press Blog this week, Valerie Weaver-Zercher discusses her decision to present her academic research in “what literary theorist Scott Slovic calls ‘narrative scholarship,’ in which writers do not strive to absent themselves from the text.” In her post, Weaver-Zercher looks at the positives and negatives of attempting to write objectively and of acknowledging the subjectivity of one’s perspective in an academic work.

In an interview with Beacon Broadside, Kim E. Nielsen thinks about the similarities and differences in approaching history through different lenses, in particular, through the lenses of women’s history and disability history. While there are clear differences, particularly in the “slipperiness” over time in the definitions of “woman” and “disabled,” she notes a number of important similarities, as well, in particular that “women, children, enslaved people, and people with disabilities have tended to share a similar legal status, having a limited legal identity and having their legal ability to act covered by somebody else.

The fate of Florida’s famed springs is an ongoing concern for the state, which recently announced that it will reclaim Silver Springs in an “attempt to prevent further environmental degradation of the natural wonder.” At the Florida Bookshelf, the blog of the University Press of Florida, Gary Monroe discusses this move by the state and looks at the historical importance of Florida’s springs.

The popular version of the history of tanning is a relatively simple one, involving the evolution of paleness being a sign of wealth to the Industrial Revolution’s reversal of this idea, with Coco Chanel playing a crucial role somewhere along the line. At the Penn Press Log, however, Catherine Cocks argues that this version simply isn’t true, and, more worryingly, ignores the important role that race played in establishing norms of skin color.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

Today, March 22, is World Water Day, and in honor of the occasion, the MIT Press blog has a post from Joanna Robinson on water cooperation. In her post, Robinson argues that, while “[w]ater has increasingly become a source of conflict globally,” “because water is a shared resource and a source of life, it has the potential to unite individuals and societies through increased cooperation over water governance as well as a commitment to equity and sustainability.”

From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, continued their celebration and examination of Women’s History Month with a post by Leela Fernandes in which she asks us to consider how we gain our impressions of women from around the world. Thinking about the origins of what we know about the world, she argues, “allows us to grapple with the challenges of “knowing” the world in ways that are ethical.”

What is “the brain supremacy”? In an interview with the OUPblog, Kathleen Taylor explains the “increasing relevance of neuroscience” and tries to imagine where brain research will take us in the future. “At present, we know of no such limitation. We also know that ideas which, two decades ago, would have been derided as impossible are now being calmly considered in the research literature.”

Feel underpaid? At the AMACOM Books Blog, Shoya Zichy argues that being underpaid is often the result of an under-assertive employee rather than an uncaring boss. In her post, she provides a step-by-step approach to negotiating a better compensation package at work.

“On any given day, more than 81,000 youth are confined to residential facilities in the juvenile justice system.” At Voices in Education, the blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Joanne Karger asks how best we can provide the education that will help reintegrate these youths into society. In her post, Karger claims that Universal Design for Learning (UDL) “has the potential to bring about fundamental improvements in the education provided to incarcerated youth.”

In a thoughtful post at the Yale Press Log, Fania Oz-Salzberger discusses two themes that she and her father address in their recent book: “How did the Jews remain Jews? and, How can books keep families and generations together?”

A video on the level of wealth inequality in the US recently went viral on Youtube, racking up over five million views to date. At the Stanford University Press Blog, Angelique Haugerud discusses why the video’s reception matters, and how it links the twenty-first century back with “earlier wealth bubbles–such as the late-nineteenth-century era Mark Twain popularized as a Gilded Age of surface glitter and vast underlying corruption, when the very rich sparkled while many went hungry.”

At Beacon Broadside, sociologist Laurie Essig denounces the practice of politically motivated “bad sociology.” In particular, she takes aim at a recent study by sociologist Mark Regnerus designed to measure the happiness of children of gay parents. She claims that Regnerus and the funders of his study “were assuming that the results would show gay families are worse than straight families.”

The Pan American Union on the National Mall in Washington D.C. became the home of an ambitious program of visual arts in the Cold War period. At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Claire F. Fox takes a look at the the history of the PAU, and contemplates the role of art in forging positive international relations between nations.

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Friday, March 15th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to this special Ides of March edition of our weekly University Press Roundup. We’ve collected the best posts of the week 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.

March 14 (3-14) is widely known as Pi Day. Several publishers ran posts this week in honor of the occasion. The MIT Press blog has a mathematics-centric interview with Sanjoy Mahajan on how the proliferation of technology has affected how we teach and learn math. Meanwhile, the University Press of Kentucky blog and the Penn Press Log took a very different approach to Pi(e) Day: the Kentucky Press blog provides a delicious recipe for a “Kentucky Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie,” while the Penn Press Log provides a delicious recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch shoofly pie. Bring on the pie!

What, exactly, is the role that scholarly publishers play in the creation of scholarship? And more importantly, what is the role that scholarly publishers SHOULD play in the creation of scholarship? These are the questions that University of Minnesota Press senior acquisitions editor Jason Weidemann asks in “What do university presses do?,” a post at the University of Minnesota Press Blog. Weidemann takes issue with “rhetoric about scholarly publishers these days, rhetoric which paints us as parasites sucking profit and capital out of the work of scholars, structured around a ‘conflict’ between publishers, libraries, and scholars often oversimplified into a binary,” and uses the journey of a new UMP book by Matthew Wolf-Meyer to argue against this oversimplification.

“Commas are extremely useful but, to my mind, they are the most singularly misunderstood punctuation mark.” At the JHU Press Blog, manuscript editor Michele Callaghan has a post delving into the many uses (and far too frequent misuses) of the comma. She focuses particular attention on the way people often want to add a comma before conjunctions, “possibly from a misguided sense of drama.”

In the latest entry in their “Director Dish” series of posts, the University of Nebraska Press Blog has a discussion of how book titling works differently in different book genres. The discussion brings up an age-old debate that’s recently been given additional fuel by the rise of search engine optimization as an important consideration in titling (particularly nonfiction) books: is it better to have a descriptive title or a flashy creative title? And what role should the subtitle play?

MOOCs have (once again) been a contentious topic of numerous op-eds recently, largely spurred by an article in the NYTimes by Thomas Friedman. An Akronism, the University of Akron Press blog, dove into the fray this week with a post looking at MOOCs and the phenomenon of MOOCH (MOOC Hysteria).

On March 26, the US Supreme Court will for the first time address the legality of bans on same sex marriage by hearing Hollingsworth v. Perry, a case based on California’s recent state ban on gay marriage. At This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, six experts debate the coming case and what the 14th Amendment actually means.

The generation born between 2000 and 2020 is likely to be significantly smaller than the Millennial Generation now entering the work force. At the AMACOM Books Blog, Claire Raines has a guest post offering a quick overview of recent generational history and ten quick predictions for this new generation, which she’s dubbed Generation Z for the purposes of the post. Interestingly enough, she argues that, “In just the way Gen Xers felt they grew up in the shadow of the Baby Boom, Z’s will feel like they’re coming of age in the shadow of Millennials.”

A book can be one of the most powerful gifts. At the LSU Press Blog, author Michael Downs tells the story of a gifted book that helped clarify what “writing fiction” actually meant to him. As he succinctly puts it: “My writing career started with the gift of a book.”

Hugo Chávez passed away earlier this week, and while the former leader of Venezuela has something of a bad reputation here in the US media, at From the Square, the NYU Press blog, Michael D. Yates argues that Chávez “was a great champion of the impoverished workers and peasants of both Venezuela and the world.”

At the OUPblog, Fiona Cox and Elena Theodorakopoulos have a fascinating guest post looking at female responses to Homer. They argue that “[i]n the last twenty years there has been an extraordinarily vital and widespread response to Homer by women writers,” and they cite a wide variety of works from Laura Esquival’s Like Water for Chocolate (published in 1989) to last year’s The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller, as evidence.

Finally, The University of Georgia Press blog has been continuing their “30 Days of the Flannery O’Connor Award” series this week. All the posts in this series are well worth reading, but Tony Ardizzone’s examination of Salvatore La Puma’s The Boys of Bensonhurst is particularly engaging.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, March 8th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

We’ll start out this week with a couple of excellent posts this week considering the history and role of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8). At the Stanford University Press Blog, Myra Marx Ferree has a guest post looking at the roots of International Women’s Day. And at From the Square, the NYU Press blog, Alison Piepmeier explains why she’s “a bit skeptical” of Women’s History Month.’

It’s now been over a month since US Secretary of State for Defense Leon Panetta announced that in 2016, combat roles in the US military would be open to female service personnel. At the OUPblog, Anthony King looks at the question that has been raised by critics of the decision to open combat roles to women: Can women fight? Using examples from the Canadian Army and the UK, he argues that “[i]t is empirically false to claim that women cannot serve on the frontline or that they necessarily undermine cohesion.”

Throughout the month of March, the University of Georgia Press blog will be hosting “30 Days of the Flannery O’Connor Award,” a series of guest posts from winners of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The first of these posts, by Jessica Treadway, discusses Hester Kaplan’s The Edge of Marriage.

Meanwhile, the JHU Press Blog is running a series of posts called “Kill Your Darlings,” in which authors are asked “What poem, line, stanza, or piece of brilliant work have you sacrificed for the greater good?” So far, X. J. Kennedy and Peter Filkins have written very interesting posts attempting to answer that question.

Michael Sadowski made a couple of appearances in the blogs of academic presses this week. First, at Voices in Education, the blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Sadowski discusses the powerful role parents can play in setting goals for students. Then, at North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Sadowski delves into the experiences that went into his new book, In a Queer Voice.

This week, Beacon Broadside, the blog of Beacon Press, has a Q&A with David Chura, author of I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine. Over the course of the interview Chura explains what inspired him to write about incarcerated youth, why he decide to ask other teachers to tell stories from their careers, and how he and other teachers find the strength to deal with the additional challenges involved in teaching at-risk kids.

In honor of their centennial year, the Harvard University Press Blog is running a series of posts on 100 significant HUP titles. This week, Executive Editor-at-large Elizabeth Knoll looks back at Jerome Bruner’s The Process of Education, originally published in 1960. In her post, Knoll discusses how spectacular best-sellers from academic publishers often come from unexpected sources, and how, “in 1960, no one expected the report of a Woods Hole conference of eminent scientists and psychologists, spurred by the political shock of Sputnik to imagine reforms in American schools, to fascinate and inspire book reviewers, university students, neighborhood book groups, and school teachers for decades.”

While a majority of the time and effort spent on editing a book focuses on what goes between the covers (and rightfully so), at the University of Nebraska Press blog, UNP marketing manager Martyn Beeny argues that the value of the marketing copy written about the book should not be underrated: “Writing copy for a catalog or the back cover of a book is not to be confused with writing the book in the first place or editing it into shape in the second, but it is an authorial and editorial challenge in its own right.”

This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, has recently been posting a series of fascinating essays on paternalism. This week, Sarah Conley has a guest post arguing that, while paternalism has a bad name, “[m]uch of our traditional dislike of paternalism is based on a false picture of human nature.” She asks why we accept so readily paternalistic interventions in a few cases (like being required by law to wear a seatbelt) and not in others with similar effects.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up for this week’s Roundup with a Q&A with Patrick McGilligan at the University of Minnesota Press Blog about the Hollywood Blacklist of 1947. In a story that is often forgotten today, 36 members of the Hollywood community were blacklisted due to their alleged involvement with the Communist Party.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

We’ll get things started this week with an in-depth look at North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and capabilities, courtesy of Joseph M. Siracusa at the OUPblog. Siracusa asks, “what, then, is Pyongyang’s motivation for its nuclear and missile programs? Is it, as Victor Cha once asked, for swords, shields, or badges? In other words, are the programs intended to provide offensive weapons, defensive weapons, or symbols of status?”

President Obama recently gave the first State of the Union Address of his second term in office, and at the Chicago Blog, the blog of the University of Chicago Press, Sandra M. Gustafson takes a close look at this most recent SotUA. She pays particular attention to how this speech mirrors and differs from other recent Obama speeches, from his second inaugural address to his campaign speeches.

The JHU Press Blog continued their ongoing look at firearms in America this week with a guest post from Lawrence Rosenthal in which he looks at the constitutional passages pertaining to gun rights in America. Obviously the Second Amendment takes pride of place in his discussion, but he argues that we should take seriously the preamble as well, as it “represents a textual commitment to regulation found nowhere else in the Bill of Rights.”

Barack Obama’s path to the Presidency has been well documented over the last four years, but at the UNC Press Blog, Lisa Materson argues that women’s activism in Chicago in the late 19th and early 20th century played a crucial role in getting Obama into the White House.

Migration played a crucial role in the story that Materson tells, and at Beacon Broadside, David Bacon argues that immigration could play a crucial role in positive changes in the future, but only if current immigration policy changes. “We need an immigration policy based on human, civil and labor rights, which looks at the reasons why people come to the U.S., and how we can end the criminalization of their status and work.”

February is celebrated across the U.S. as Black History Month. At From the Square, the NYU Press blog, however, Dayo F. Gore claims that we need to rethink Black History Month altogether. He worries that the focus on African American leaders means that “the messy and complicated details of centuries of oppression and resistance, which I believe make African American experiences so imperative in the national narrative, rarely garner attention.”

Bayesian thought, based on Bayes’ Rule, has been hotly debated for centuries, since Presbyterian Reverend Thomas Bayes came up with the premise in the mid 1700s. This week, the Yale Press Log takes a look back at the complex history of Bayesian thinking, and discusses how “the theory symbolized how religion’s role in the scientific study of physical phenomena was gradually phased out.”

No is a Chilean film that’s been nominated for the Academy Awards Best Foreign Language film. At the University of California Press Blog, Mary Helen Spooner tells the story behind the film of the 1988 “one-man presidential plebiscite” in which the people of Chile voted “no” on the question of General Pinochet’s continued governance.

This week, the University of Minnesota Press Blog has a Q&A with Leigh Fondakowski, who has spent “spent three years traveling the U.S. to interview survivors of the Jonestown massacre, many of whom have never talked publicly about the tragedy.” Fondakowski wanted to elevate public awareness of the actual events of the massacre, and to get the general public past “the catch phrase “they drank the Kool-Aid.””

February 21 was the birthday of Tadd Dameron, a crucial and underappreciated figure in the history of jazz. At the University of Michigan Press Blog, Paul Combs has a post remembering Dameron, whose “large and influential body of work and inspired, both directly and indirectly, a great number of musicians, among them Miles Davis, Frank Foster, Benny Golson, Quincy Jones, Charlie Rouse, and Horace Silver.”

“Inspirational” can be a tricky compliment. At North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Harilyn Rousso explains that being told she was “inspirational” for dealing with her cerebral palsy made her wonder why people “expected so little of me that even my most modest achievements could inspire [them].”

Pope Benedict XVI’s abdication continues to inspire thoughtful blog posts, the latest written by George E. Demacopoulos for the Penn Press Log. In his post, Demacopoulos looks at the Pope’s decision through the lens of St. Peter’s connection to the See of Rome.

This week is National Engineers Week. In honor of the occasion, the MIT Press blog has a Q&A with Matthew Wisnioski on what it means and will mean to be an engineer in the 21st century. Wisnioski is particularly interested in the role that engineering can and should play in politics and social justice.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a post on the University of Nebraska Press blog from UNP’s new marketing manager, Martyn Beeny. In his post, Beeny discusses the challenges of taking on a new job, and of cooking an exotic recipe–designed to be made in the Antarctic with penguin–with more reasonable ingredients.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Friday, February 15th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

Authors, read this post! The AMACOM Books Blog has a great post this week on how authors can have a great relationship with their publicists. Among many other pieces of advice, the post asks that authors, quite simply, be available: “They check e-mail and voicemail frequently, and get back quickly with all the information requested. They don’t go on vacation the week their book is published. If they take a short vacation in the months leading to pub date, they let their publicist know, and they make sure they are reachable for interviews.”

Last week, the Harvard University Press Blog ran the first of a pair of essays by John Burt on the historical allusions (particularly to Abraham Lincoln) in President Obama’s second inaugural address. This week, they have the second of the pair, in which Burt takes a closer look at what Obama’s historical allusions say about the ever-changing ideal of freedom in America.

Pope Benedict XVI abdicated earlier this week. At the OUPblog, Gerald O’Collins has a guest post arguing that the Pope’s decision to step down to allow a younger person to take his place is a brave one, and is, in fact, “the defining moment of his papacy.”

Martin Luther King Jr. is often seen as a uniquely American hero, but at Beacon Broadside, Lewis V. Baldwin claims that MLK described himself as “a citizen of the world” and should get more credit for his global thought and influence. Baldwin claims that we must look at King as “a leader who moved beyond the particularities of the African American and the American experiences to speak and act on behalf of a world fragmented by bigotry, injustice, intolerance, and war.”
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Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Design Awards for Let the Meatballs Rest and LoveKnowledge

Congratulations to our design department for being selected by jurors of Association of American University Press’s Book, Jacket, and Journal Show as the very best examples … of excellent design.”

The winners included Let the Meatballs Rest: And Other Stories About Food and Culture by Massimo Montanari; translated by Beth A. Brombert for scholarly typographic and LoveKnowledge: The Life Philosophy from Socrates to Derrida, by Roy Brand for its jacket. The book’s jacket (see below) also won an award in the 2013 New York Book Show in the category of Professional and Scholarly Books:

LoveKnowledge, Roy Brand

Monday, February 4th, 2013

James Jordan Retires as Director and President of Columbia University Press

He’ll still be with us for a few months but here is the official announcement regarding our director’s impending retirement:

James D. Jordan today announced his retirement as President and Director of Columbia University Press, effective September 1, 2013. Jordan came to Columbia in January 2004 from Johns Hopkins University Press where he served as Director and from W. W. Norton where he ran college publishing.

During his term at Columbia, Jordan led a new strategic effort to deepen the Press’s connections to the faculty to bring more of Columbia’s intellectual efforts to readers around the world. By launching the Columbia Business School Publishing imprint, reinvesting in life science publishing, economics, recent American history, and international affairs, and developing new book series with the Columbia Journalism Review, the Press added new strengths to its longtime strengths in the humanities, grew significantly, and greatly improved its visibility among the top Presses. Adjusting to increasing demand for digital products, Jordan also led the Press through the recent economic downturn by implementing a new e-publishing and print distribution strategy that brings Columbia authors to English readers simultaneously on publication around the world.

“Jim has been a very effective steward at the Press during the last nine years,” said Columbia Provost John Coatsworth, “We are truly indebted to him for the professionalism and vigor that he brought to the table, both as an editor and as a colleague who helped guide so many authors, bringing their ideas and words to life on the printed page and beyond.”

Concurrent with his Columbia position, Jordan also served on the Board of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers. Under Jordan’s guidance, the Press evolved its prior local warehousing operation into a collaborative fulfillment model with Perseus Distribution which continues to serve itself and its distribution partners in North America. In addition, he strengthened faculty investment in the quality of the program through close collaboration with the Faculty publication committee.

The Provost will be working with the Board of the Press to ensure a smooth transition to fill this position.