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Archive for the 'University Press News' Category

Friday, February 17th, 2017

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.)

Climate change proved to be an important theme to a few presses this week. As efforts continue to organize a Climate March and maintain the recent Paris Agreement, the Island Press has summarized a visit made by their staff to Congressional offices in Washington, promoting The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change (2014) by Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein. Elsewhere, the University of Minnesota Press features a guest post by Caitlin DeSilvey, author of Curated Decay: Heritage Beyond Saving (2017), on potential ways the National Parks Service and other agencies may ethically and productively deal with the potential loss of the territories and monuments under their care due to climate change or human action.

This week’s political entries include Aviva Chomsky blogging about the crucial role undocumented immigrants play in the United States’ economy for Beacon Broadside, and David Williams, author of Milton’s Leveller God (2017), writing at the McGill-Queen’s University Press blog about the historical parallels of many crises of liberal democracy. The Indiana University Press blog also features a lengthy interview with journalist Douglas A. Wissing, author of the recent Hopeless but Optimistic: Journeying through America’s Endless War in Afghanistan.

In other disciplines, Duke University Press celebrated World Anthropology Day on February 16th with a roundup of their titles in that field. The subject of artificial intelligence, which we highlighted briefly last week, was picked up at the Cambridge University Press, where John Suler, author of Psychology of the Digital Age (2016) writes about his recent, startling acquisition of Amazon’s Alexa device. Black History Month is continuing at the Harvard University Press blog with a post by Syd Nathans, author of A Mind to Stay: White Plantation, Black Homeland (2017) about the phenomenon of African-Americans who chose to stay in the American South during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries when so many others were moving north.

Finally, from the grab-bag of the eye-catching and the odd: Oxford University Press lists ‘Ten facts about the accordion‘; Sydney Publishing looks back at the wisecracks of Australian comedian Lennie Lower; and at Johns Hopkins, Steve Huskey, author of The Skeleton Revealed: An Illustrated Tour of the Vertebrates (2017) writes about the joy of hearing his students say “I think of you when I see roadkill.”

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

Friday, February 10th, 2017

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.)

Several presses have this week compiled reading lists for Black History Month. Check out those lists from Temple University, from Princeton University, and from the University Press of Florida. The University Press of Kentucky have also featured a roundup of new releases in African-American studies, and the University of Nebraska Press excerpts the new book Before Jackie Robinson: The Transcendent Role of Black Sporting Pioneers by Gerald R. Gems.

Other reading lists compiled this week which may be of interest include Books By and About Refugees and Immigrants in America, from the University of Nebraska Press, and Six Reads to Celebrate Lincoln’s Legacy, from the University of Kentucky Press, in anticipation of the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth this weekend.

Following up on last week’s mention of a post from the University of Illinois Press on the legacy of George Orwell’s 1984, the Stanford University Press features another take on the classic text’s meaning to the present. Karen Fang, author of Arresting Cinema: Surveillance in Hong Kong Film (2017), posits that Orwell’s book also has renewed relevance to current Sino-American relations because it “explicitly portrays Asia as a bogeyman and a pawn in the militarized rhetoric of fear in which Big Brother traffics.” The general importance of resistance as a fundamental element in American politics is also a topic of note this week: at the University of Minnesota Press blog, Alexis Shotwell, author of Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times (2016), writes against the idea of ‘pure’ politics or ideology, insisting that “we do better to aim for a politics of imperfection.”

At the Harvard University blog a similar theme is taken up by David Moss, author of Democracy: A Case Study (2017), who warns against the dangers that may arise when “students are…left with the impression that a successful democracy is virtually automatic, given the right blueprint.” Rounding off this week’s political entries, Candian author David Johnson also insists on education about government being the bedrock of any political system, writing for the University of Toronto Press about the new edition of his book Thinking Government: Public Administration and Politics in Canada.

Finally this week, a fascinating topic from the Oxford University Press blog: in ‘Was Chaucer really a “writer”?‘, Christopher Cannon, author of the new From Literacy to Literature: England, 1300-1400, unpacks the idea of Chaucer being not a literate writer as we understand the term today, but a late medieval type of poet whose work depended fundamentally on slowly-vanishing oral traditions.

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

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

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.)

Current events continue to inspire university presses to interview and commission pieces from their authors and editors on resonances between contemporary American politics and their work. To start us off, the University of Virginia Press blog features a post by Michael Bérubé, author of an introduction to a new collection of lectures by the commentator and philosopher Richard Rorty, whose 1998 predictions of a ‘strongman’ being elected to the U.S. presidency are being re-investigated. Bérubé looks back at what he thought of Rorty at the time, and at the present for what Rorty might have gotten right.

George Orwell’s 1984 has also been held up around the web as a cautionary tale newly relevant to the times. On the University of Illinois Press blog, Jeffrey Meyers, author of Orwell: Life and Art (2010), writes on the importance of the past and of language to the story Orwell tells in ways which are not explicitly connected to the present, but which nonetheless elicit comparison to how we think of the past and use language today. At the Duke University Press blog, African-American anti-fascist struggles, particularly in the context of the Black Panther movement, are the topic of the day for Robyn C. Spencer, author of The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland. “If the growing resistance movement to Trump’s fascism is to realize its potential for societal transformation,” Spencer writes, “it must draw from the deep well of Black anti-fascist resistance.” Elsewhere, the NYU Press blog has a roundup of essential reading on women’s issues and politics in the wake of the global Women’s March, and the Oregon State University Press has curated a list of books on the history of key women in the politics of the northwest.

Wider topics on how we all live have also been popular this week. At the Cambridge University Press blog, scientist Timothy Dixon, author of the new Curbing Catastrophe: Natural Hazards and Risk Reduction in the Modern World, summarizes some of the devastating known effects of sugar on human bodies in a post entitled, pointedly, ‘Sugar is the New Lead.’ From the Stanford University Press, Bob Kulhan, author of Getting to ‘Yes And:’ The Art of Business Improv (with Chuck Crisafulli, 2017), writes about how the improvisational and fun-seeking habits of millenials are changing the modern workplace. And focusing more particularly on the United States, the University of Pennsylvania blog features a guest post from Vicki Howard, author of From Main Street to Mall (2015), on the slow and occasionally unnerving cultural and financial demise of the American shopping mall.

Various blogs have featured fascinating cultural pieces this week. The Cornell University Press has a post on ‘Poetry to ease the final passage,’ a beautiful meditation by Steve Zeitlin, author of The Poetry of Everyday Life, on the power of words to depict, memorialize, and ease the moment(s) of death. The University of Kentucky Press introduces and excerpts a new book by the Italian director, producer and photographer Gianni Rozzacchi (with Joey Taylor), in which he describes how he came to capture iconic images of Elizabeth Taylor and others. And the Oxford University Press has a post by Gideon Nesbit, one of their editors of their Oxford World Classics series, on the challenges and rewards of translation as a profession and art form.

Finally, an entry not easily categorized: the Princeton University Press introduces, with a bright and artistic trailer, a new book on the color red by Michael Pastoureau (who has already written on Blue, Black, and Green). The book promises a lot to learn about the color red, given that it has variously “conjured courtly love, danger, beauty, power, politics, and hell;” it has “represented many things, so many, in fact, that in several languages, the word means ‘beautiful’ and ‘colorful’ at once.”

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

Friday, January 27th, 2017

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.)

Recent events have proven inspiring for a host of university press blogs around the country and abroad. The Cambridge University Press blog kicks us off with a post by John Suler, author of Psychology of the Digital Age (2015), on the psychology of Twitter. Suler points out how the static textuality of Twitter as a medium can lead to misunderstandings in the absence of a voice or image to help interpret one’s words. It can also foster communications that consist of what one of Suler’s colleagues calls “an emotional hit and run.” Elsewhere, the University of North Carolina Press features a guest post by Gregg A. Brazinsky, author of the forthcoming Winning the Third World: Sino-American Rivalry During the Cold War. He describes the recent history of Chinese-American economic competition in the second half of the twentieth century, and looks ahead to some possible developments in the already-fractured relationship between President D. Trump’s administration and Beijing.

Women’s history is always relevant, and two recent posts are timely support for the global Women’s March this month and the early January release of the film Hidden Figures. First, the Harvard University Press Blog features a post about Red Ellen: The Life of Ellen Wilkinson, Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist (2016) by Laura Beers. Wilkinson was a British MP in the 1930s who was one of the first female delegates to the United Nations, and became famous for making a march of her own with two hundred unemployed shipwrights in 1936. “Beers’s portrait of Wilkinson,” the editor writes, “should reframe our understanding of the British left between the wars and bolster our sense of the possibilities for international social justice coalitions.”

Second, the Princeton University Press features a guest post by David Alan Grier, author of When Computers Were Human (2007). Taking Katherine Goble Johnson and the women of Hidden Figures as his starting point, he runs down other examples of moments when the mathematical skills of “Blacks, women, Irish, Jews and the merely poor” became essential to the everyday discoveries of scientists who later gave them scant credit for their work. The film is welcome and important, Grier writes, “because it reminds us that science is a community endeavor.”

The MIT Press, on the other hand, has looked back this month to celebrate an interesting anniversary. The 12th of January was the ‘birthday’ of the fictional supercomputer and AI presence Hal in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. David G. Stork, editor of the collected volume Hal’s Legacy: 2001′s Computer as Dream and Reality (1996), writes a fascinating post about how Hal “remains the most compelling portrayal of machine intelligence in cinema.” He also provides an overview of newer developments in AI, including a recent move towards provoking ‘deep learning’ by machines rather than relying solely on computation and mathematical reasoning.

And finally, an item of note to those interested in publishing as a profession: the Johns Hopkins University Press has begun a new monthly series of posts on their blog about the technicalities of book distribution! Davida G. Breier, the author of the series, is Manager at Hopkins Fulfillment Services, which distributes books from JHU and many other academic press clients.

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

Friday, December 9th, 2016

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.)

Yale University Press’s blog features a post by Jieun Baek, author of North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society. In this post, Baek seeks to dispel popular misconceptions surrounding North Korea, emphasizing the subtle changes that have influenced North Korean politics and government. For example, Baek addresses the relationship between the North Korean government and the circulation of foreign information and media. “Young people are taking more risks than ever before. People are trusting each other, watching each other’s backs, and building stronger bonds. The widespread grassroots marketization and unprecedented levels of access to foreign information now play a central role in changing the social consciousness of some North Korean citizens and are sparking subtle, yet irreversible, changes inside this country.” With regards to North Koreans themselves, Baek argues that their situation is a lot less hopeless than perceived, calling North Koreans an “extraordinarily resilient people.” “There is hope for positive change to emerge from inside this country. The people are the proof.”

This week, Duke University Press commemorated the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with a post on Memorializing Pearl Harbor: Unfinished Histories and the Work of Remembrance by Geoffrey M. White and A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory by Emily S. Rosenberg. Memorializing Pearl Harbor focuses on the challenges that come with representing the attack on Pearl Harbor, and more broadly, examines public mediums through which history is “re-presented.” This book also considers the effect of the Pearl Harbor memorial on Japanese Americans and veterans. “The memorial has become a place where Japanese veterans have come to seek recognition and reconciliation, where Japanese Americans have sought to correct narratives of racial mistrust, and where Native Hawaiians have challenged their ongoing erasure from their own land.” On the other hand, A Date Which Will Live focuses on Pearl Harbor’s influence on American culture and memory. “In doing so, she discusses the recent “memory boom” in American culture; the movement to exonerate the military commanders at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short; the political mobilization of various groups during the culture and history ‘wars’ of the 1990s, and the spectacle surrounding the movie Pearl Harbor.”

Johns Hopkins University Press’s blog features a post on the origin of the 24-hour news cycle and our “psychological hunger” for the newsworthy stories. Our obsession with the news began with the invention and popularization of the telegraph. “Samuel Morse’s first telegraph message from Washington to Baltimore in 1844 was the celebrated Bible verse, ‘What hath God wrought!’ His lesser-known second message, immediately following, was, ‘Have you any news?’” This craving for current events only intensified during the Civil War, when crowds would gather together to read and discuss the latest telegrams. This post emphasizes the importance of investigating the way in which our attitudes and mindsets change due to innovation. “We have developed sophisticated frameworks for understanding the relationship between technological innovation and social change, but we understand far less about how technological change affects individual perceptions, expectations, and behavior.”

University of Chicago Press’s blog features a question and answer session with the author of Life Breaks In, Mary Cappello. Life Breaks In helps readers understand the concept of “mood” and how different moods are generated by every day experiences. The book is also highly personal, as Cappello takes readers on a journey of her memories. When asked about the relationship between the uncanny and nonfiction, Cappello says that the uncanny is “at the heart” of literary nonfiction. “The places where the real slip-slides with something unrecognizable, where the familiar and the strange switch places. Cognitive dissonance. Home not home. The pleasure and necessity of altered states.” In this question and answer post, Cappello sets the scene of a bike ride in New England and its impact on one’s mood.

Cambridge University Press’s blog features a post by Nicolas Dupont-Bloch, author of Shoot the Moon. In this post, Dupont-Bloch offers a list of tips and tricks in order to successfully capture one of the most fascinating subjects of all, the moon. For example, he states, “The full Moon is widely neglected because craters do not show cast shadows; however ray systems, some volcanic features and differences in the lunar soil are emphasized. But the full Moon is dramatic, don’t overlook it!” We also learn that a red filter should be used when the Moon is low, whereas a green filter should be used to fix chromatism. For more information on that perfect shot, check out Nicolas Dupont-Bloch’s post on Cambridge University Press’s blog.

University of Alabama Press’s blog features a post on the book To Stand Aside or Stand Alone: Southern Reform Rabbis and the Civil Rights Movement, by P. Allen Krause. This book is based off a series of interviews conducted by Krause with twelve Reform rabbis from southern congregations during the civil rights movement. Because interviewees were promised twenty-five years before their interviews would be released, Krause was able to incorporate the unfiltered views and experiences of these Reform rabbis into his book. One must not forget the harsh conditions endured by Reform rabbis during the civil rights movement. “These men functioned within a harsh environment: rabbis’ homes, synagogues, and Jewish community centers were bombed; one rabbi, who had been beaten and threatened, carried a pistol to protect himself and his family.” Despite these adverse situations, Southern Reform rabbis made substantial contributions to the civil rights movement.

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

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

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.)

In a recent post on Cambridge University Press’s blog, Alexander Hill, author of Writing the Red Army and the Second World War, reflects on his writing process. Hill was required to examine a number of memoirs, testimonials, and primary sources in order to gain an all-encompassing perspective on the Soviet period and the collapse of the Soviet Union. In this post, Hill addresses the challenge of incorporating historical voices into one’s original arguments and how he’s grown to appreciate primary sources in a new way. “When used appropriately the human interest material can tell us so much for example about what motivated those involved to do what they did, with patterns starting to emerge when reading many examples even if we have always to be on the lookout for what seems to be retrospective explanation and justification.” Memoirs allowed Hill to better understand the human experience with regards to war and suffering. Engaging with these texts was a “humbling experience” for Hill, who hopes that his publication’s prioritization of memoir literature not only provides historical context for his work, but also engages and excites his readers.

Princeton University Press’s blog features an interview with Eléna Rivera on Scaffolding , her recently published collection of sonnets, inspired by her life in New York City. The title of her collection is influenced by the façade work that affected her building complex. “Scaffolding” gradually grew into a term to explain the sonnet, something that communicates substance and sound. Rivera’s interest in sonnets stems from her fascination with the relationship between form and content and how the inner and outer play off of one another. “I really became fascinated by the fourteen-line form, what such a compact container could give rise to, and once I committed myself to it I felt compelled to continue.” Rivera’s process in composing her poetry is evident in her usage of dates to label many of her sonnets. “Some poems just worked right away and others were more reluctant. Sometimes I liked the new version as much as the old one and kept both. I wanted to track that.” When asked about the inclusion of French and Spanish words in her poems, Rivera points to her family background, as she grew up speaking French and Spanish to her parents. “Sometimes I just can’t think of the word in English, and the word in French or Spanish will emerge — so much more expressive of the emotion or thought than the English word.” Rivera’s relationship with English is “complicated,” but writing poetry gave Rivera a voice. “Writing was always a necessity that helped me to live in the world. Writing was a way out of erasure, the silence that is imposed from the outside. In writing and reading, I found the words that I didn’t have otherwise.” (more…)

Friday, November 18th, 2016

University Press Roundup: #UPWeek 2016 Edition

It’s University Press Week 2016! In celebration of this year’s excellent UP Week Blog Tour, we are happy to present a special University Press Week UP Roundup. You should check out our contribution to the week on the innovative South Asia Across the Disciplines series, and, from a previous year’s UP Week, take a look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do our Roundup posts every Friday.

Northwestern University Press’s blog celebrates its partnership with the Evanston Historical Society through honoring Charles Gates Dawes. Dawes was awarded the 1925 Nobel Peace Prize, served as Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge, and was a proud citizen of Evanston. Charles Gates Dawes: A Life, by Annette Dunlap, was recently published.

Rutgers University Press’s blog commemorates the 250th anniversary of Queen’s College, which would later come to be known as Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press reflects on their eventful year, reminding readers of the publication Rutgers: A 250th Anniversary Portrait, an illustrated survey highlighting Rutgers’ achievements and history, in addition to Rutgers Since 1945: A History of the State University of New Jersey and Scarlet and Black: Slavery and Dispossession in Rutgers History.

Fordham University Press’s blog emphasizes the importance of community through discussing the book Before the Fires: An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930′s to the 1960′s. This book is an extension of the “Bronx African American History Project,” which has recorded over 300 interviews in its 14 years of existence. The experience of writing this book “affirmed our vision of this book as a true community product, one which people whose lives were highlighted in the book could claim as a window into the world they grew up in, and still look back upon with great affection and respect,” says co-author Mark Naison.

University of Toronto Press’s blog celebrates its partnership with the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre. The post focuses on the importance of history and its role in education. “The Higher Education Division at University of Toronto Press believes in sharing knowledge by publishing accessible books for generations of students. The MNJcc believes in providing accessible programming for older generations. Together, these two communities have joined forces to provide accessible programming devoted to the sharing of knowledge.” (more…)

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

The SAAD Series and Collaborative Publishing: A #UPWeek 2016 Blog Tour Post


It’s the penultimate day of University Press Week 2016! All week long university presses have been participating in the UP Week Blog Tour. As always, we are thrilled to participate, and excited about our take on today’s blog post theme, “Throw Back to the Future.” In looking back over the history of the innovative South Asia Across the Disciplines series, a Mellon-funded collaborative project of Columbia University Press, the University of Chicago Press, and the University of California Press, we hope to potentially spark some thought about the future of collaborative projects between university presses in the future.

Make sure you check out the blogs of other presses posting today: Yale University Press, Indiana University Press, Seminary Co-op Bookstores, University of Michigan Press, IPR License, MIT Press, University of Toronto Press Journals, and the University of Georgia Press!

The SAAD Series and Collaborative Publishing

In 2008, Columbia University Press, the University of Chicago Press, and the University of California Press were awarded a grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create a new series of books showcasing exciting scholarship about South Asia across a wide range of fields. The South Asia Across the Disciplines series has published groundbreaking first monographs that aim to raise new questions for the field of South Asian studies for eight years.

While the series’ mission of publishing in an underserved scholarly field is a point of pride for all three of the contributing presses, so too is the unorthodox and innovative way that the series approaches the publication process. Scholars interested in submitting manuscripts for possible inclusion in the series submit their manuscript to the series rather than to any one of the three presses. Projects are considered by an editorial board of scholars from all three member institutions and are then published by the press whose expertise, backlist, and presence in the field will best serve the author and the book. Editors at all three presses help make this determination and then guide the projects through the publication process.

The SAAD series is, unfortunately, at something of a crossroads, as its funding is running short. We thought it would be particularly appropriate, then, to take this opportunity to take a look back at the series from a variety of points of view, including series editorial board members, authors, and editors who worked with books in the series, in order to showcase the way that this innovative project helped foster communities of scholars in the field of South Asian Studies, but also how it helped foster a unique publishing community. In a time when university presses are looking for new and exciting ways to collaborate with each other and with their institutions, the unique experience of publishing books in the SAAD series may provide a direction for presses to explore in their desire to continue to foster scholarly communities.

Sheldon Pollock is a member of the SAAD editorial board, the Arvind Raghunathan Professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia University, and author of many books, including A Rasa Reader: Classical Indian Aesthetics:

South Asia across the Disciplines was designed to address a series of opportunities and challenges specific to the organization, character, and production of knowledge about the subcontinent in American universities.

Organizationally, scholarship on South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) has been cultivated in depth at relatively few universities and has been published by relatively few presses. Combining the faculty resources of three of the strongest programs and presses for identifying outstanding new work, reviewing and editing manuscripts, and bringing them to the public has been one of SAAD’s most prominent innovations.

Conceptually, South Asia as an object of study has been divided up—not always beneficially—between disciplines and area programs for the past fifty years. SAAD has offered a way to transcend this diffurcation, and not only by its very existence as a series. The editors have actively encouraged scholarship that seeks to combine disciplinary and areal approaches, or to move beyond old dichotomies. This conceptual reorientation has been the hallmark of some of our most successful volumes.

Given the nature of academic publishing today, a substantial number of the first books that have appeared in SAAD—especially those in the hardest to publish domain, the non-modern humanistic–might never have received a hearing at these leading publishers in the absence of an endowed series. That several of these books have won major prizes from learned societies shows how justified that hearing has been.

Gauri Viswanathan is also member of the SAAD editorial board, Class of 1933 Professor in the Humanities, and author of several books, including Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India

SAAD represents a unique collaboration between the three major university presses of Columbia, Chicago, and California, and between the South Asian faculty affiliated with them. The series arose out of a concern that the best South Asian scholarship, particularly by first-time authors, was either being marginalized or not getting published at all by a market driven US publishing industry. A generous grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, along with book subventions from the South Asia centers at Columbia, Chicago, and California, helped ensure the ongoing publication of the most outstanding scholarship on South Asia, spanning a wide array of academic fields. “Across the Disciplines” in our series title is not a mere characterization of disciplinary range but prioritizes the ability to speak to disciplines other than one’s own and perhaps even challenge their accepted categories.

A collaboration like SAAD has not been done before, to the best of my knowledge, and it has set the standard for the sharing of scholarly resources among universities. While we three series editors read all the manuscripts and discuss them among ourselves, which includes writing detailed comments for the benefit of the authors, we also solicit readings from our faculty in cases where their expertise bears directly on an author’s specialisation. The intention is to have the strongest possible manuscript in order to ensure press approval, which of course is dependent on outside readers reports. Admittedly, this is a long process, and we’ve struggled to cut down on the time without compromising on quality or rejecting manuscripts out of hand.

Personally, I must say that reading the books for this series has been one of my most rewarding academic experiences. I have learned a lot and been continually impressed with the cutting-edge work of young scholars, who boldly push boundaries to throw unexpected new light on well traversed areas of study. Other young scholars have unlocked new areas of research by turning their gaze on insufficiently studied figures, whose texts enable the writing of an expansive cultural historiography of South Asia. The impressive list of top prizes won by SAAD authors has been one of the crowning achievements of this series.


Monday, November 14th, 2016

Happy University Press Week!

University Press Week

Today kicks off the beginning of University Press Week 2016! The theme for this year’s celebration is Community,” and the week-long focus on university presses includes “How to Publish with a University Press,” an event at BookCulture in Manhattan presented by Columbia University Press and Fordham University Press, in which editors and authors from both presses will give a complete picture of what it takes to be published by a scholarly press; “Serious Books for the Serious Reader,” a webinar on how good books get from author to reader; “Scholars and Editors on Social Media,” which brings together editors and scholars to discuss the communities that form online via social media; a collaborative projects gallery featuring fascinating examples of how AAUP members contribute to many different communities; and a blog tour.

Today, the blog tour centers around “The People in Your Neighborhood,” and it includes posts from the following university presses: Northwestern University Press, Rutgers University Press, Fordham University Press, University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Press Journals, Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Athabasca University Press, and the University of Florida Press.

Friday, November 11th, 2016

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 (or, in this case, Monday).)

University of California Press’s blog features a post by Molly Dragiewicz, co-author of Abusive Endings: Separation and Divorce Violence against Women. This book examines domestic violence and the abuse that persists even after a relationship is dissolved. “One of the most pernicious misconceptions about woman abuse is that it ends when the couple breaks up,” says Dragiewicz. Dangerous attitudes surrounding violence against women can also be attributed to what Dragiewicz calls, “structural failures.” The tendency to blame victims for their role in their assault is often embedded in the perpetuation of language such as “it takes two to tango; she was asking for it; she made me do it.” In this post, Dragiewicz emphasizes the fact that domestic violence not only outlives a relationship, but also often escalates as a result of separation. Dragiewicz seeks to raise awareness of this issue and aims to “help move popular and professional discourse to take the next step on from awareness, recognizing the complexity of woman abuse as well as how it changes across the span of relationships.”

Amacon Book’s blog features an interview with Stephen Wunker, one of the authors of Jobs to Be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation. “What’s great about using Jobs to be Done is that it gives you a common language to help build that culture of innovation, even where one has never existed before,” says Wunker, who seeks to strengthen relationships between companies and customers. Wunker’s advice for achieving a more innovative future is threefold: “First, get outside the office and talk to real customers. That gets overlooked way too often. Second, start thinking about how you might build a process to both understand and respond to customers’ jobs. If success isn’t repeatable, you’re going to waste a lot of resources on failure. Third, drop your industry-specific or product-specific way of looking at things.”

Anne M. Blankenship, author of Christianity, Social Justice, and the Japanese American Incarceration during World War II, recently published a post on the University of North Carolina Press’s blog. In this post, Blankenship writes about the importance of pilgrimage and the way in which it provides us with a connection to both the past and present. “Pilgrimages have become sites of resistance not only by reshaping the memory of an ethnicity’s disenfranchisement, but by employing remembrance in the fight for the civil rights of first themselves and then others.” A perfect example of this conception of pilgrimage is the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, where groups are able to discuss and share memories of the experiences of incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II. Not only is this pilgrimage significant in honoring the communal memory of Japanese American incarceration, but it also serves to support the experiences of other minority groups. According to Bruce Embrey, co-chair of the Manzanar Pilgrimage, “Remembering is not passive. We must act on our memories. We must stand, today, with all those who face civil rights abuses, stand with those who are unjustly accused or persecuted simply because of their faith, their birthplace, or ancestry.” Representatives from local Native American tribes and the Muslim Public Affairs Council have delivered speeches at Manzanar ceremonies, and in 2002, “verses from the Qur’an were read alongside Buddhist and Christian scripture during the 2002 memorial services.” Embrey’s words have been put into action.

University of Michigan Press’s blog recently posted an interview with William Cheng, author of Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good and the recipient of this year’s Philip Brett Award from the American Musicological Society. Cheng is the youngest and the first two-time winner of this award. “My view is that music should be treated as neither a necessary nor sufficient entity for being human and humane. Too often, however, we witness dehumanizing and ableist rhetoric piled upon peers who do not showcase narrow conventions of musical taste, proclivity, or capability.” Cheng challenges us to approach our interactions with others in the way we would sample new music. “The next time you hear someone say something that you think is nonsense or uninformed or inarticulate, listen again, if you’re so inclined. It’s what we’d do with a piece of music or with a poem. Our peers in society deserve no less.”

Coll Thrush, author of Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of the Empire, composed a post on Yale University Press’s blog. In this post, Thrush sheds light on London’s rich Indigenous fabric and discusses the close relationship between London’s Urban and Indigenous histories. John Dee, who gave rise to the term “The Brytish Empyre,” is Thrush’s primary example of the interplay between Urban and Indigenous spheres. “Among [John Dee’s] possessions was an obsidian mirror that somehow found its way from the Aztec Empire to Dee’s London home. From before its inception, London’s colonial project was deeply linked to Indigenous people, places, and things.” Thrush’s post highlights the diverse group of individuals who travelled to London. Some were captives, others were diplomats. Even performers who looked to pursue a career on London’s main stages, contributed to its Indigenous history. “Their stories show how even in a place like London, we can find Indigenous history—past, present, and future—and even rethink the history of one of the world’s great cities.”

Oxford University Press’s blog features a post on the evolution of memory and its relationship to the brain. The cerebral cortex has been the long-standing explanation for our ability to retain memories and form perceptions; however, this post suggests an alternate approach in studying the role of the brain in human memory. “Evolution has led to different parts of the cortex specializing in distinct kinds of neural representations.” These representations “correspond to the information processed and stored by a network of neurons, and they underpin our memories as well as our ability to perceive the world and control our actions.” The authors of this post present a list of representational systems in the brain. This post also highlights the importance of studying evolutionary history in order to understand more about biological function. “By embracing all of our ancestors we can both enlarge our identity and develop a deeper appreciation of how evolution produced our memories, our complex cultures, and the stories of our lives.”

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

Friday, November 4th, 2016

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 (or, in this case, Monday).)

MIT Press’s blog features an interview with Keith E. Stanovich, Richard F. West, and Maggie E. Toplak, authors of the book The Rationality Quotient: Toward a Test of Rational Thinking. This book explores our understanding of cognitive functions in addition to the way in which rational thinking and intelligence can be measured. Stanovich, West, and Toplak clarify their aim in writing this book. “Our goal always has been to give the concept of rationality a fair hearing— almost as if it had been proposed prior to intelligence.” The authors also explain the dangers behind labelling all forms of thought as “intelligent.” “Rational thinking skills vanish under permissive definitions of intelligence. Rationality assessments become part of intelligence if the latter is conceptualized broadly.”

This week, Johns Hopkins University Press published a post by Dinah Miller, instructor in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and co-author of Committed: The Battle over Involuntary Psychiatric Care. While some patients are grateful for involuntary care, others view the experience as restricting, traumatizing, and humiliating. According to Miller, “the issue is not black-and-white and we hope to start a discussion that will not be so polarized and will allow all voices to be heard at the table.” Miller features these voices through the highly personal nature of her book. “I wanted a book about the human beings and their stories– who they are and how forced care touched the lives of patients, family members, doctors, the police officers who brought the patients to the ER and the judges who retained them.” How did she go about compiling all of these experiences? “I cajoled people into talking to me, made call after call which sometimes led to dead ends, trolled message boards, shadowed a variety of psychiatrists, judges and a crisis intervention police officer, attended legislative hearings, and sat in on government work groups,” says Miller. “We finally realized we had to pick a point and just stop writing, knowing that it would be impossible to get the book out completely up to date because the target of involuntary care and its related aspects move every day.”

Oxford University Press’s blog recently published a post by Jon Montgomery and David Bodznick, authors of the book Evolution of the Cerebellar Sense of Self. In this post, Montgomery and Bodznick discuss the cerebellum’s function, in addition to its role in our understanding of human identity. The authors approach the development of the cerebellum from a biological perspective. “Early lineages, like lamprey, have cerebellum-like structures in their hindbrain, but no cerebellum. Sharks and rays have both cerebellum-like structures and a true cerebellum. So cerebellum evolved in concert with jaws and paired fins.” This post also examines the relationship between biological functions and our sense of self. “The idea of ‘cerebellar sense of self’, captures the key elements of distinguishing self and other in our sensory interactions with the world. Both in the way that the shark distinguishes ‘prey’ from ‘self’ in its electrosensory system, but also in the way we distinguish the sensory consequences of what we do, from sensory consequences of what is done to us.”

The University of North Carolina Press’s blog features a post by John Mac Kilgore, the author of Mania for Freedom: American Literatures of Enthusiasm from the Revolution to the Civil War. In this post, Kilgore comments on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular Broadway musical, Hamilton. According to Kilgore, Alexander Hamilton’s portrayal in the musical was skewed. “Hamilton is the voice of ‘the 1%’ par excellence. This is a man who wanted to create a ‘fiscal-military state.’ A man who opposed a Bill of Rights. A man who desired to integrate banking interests, patrician power, and the ‘federal government.’” Kilgore views Hamilton’s portrayal of Alexander Hamilton as one that “relies heavily on the portrait of Hamilton as an immigrant himself, a self-made man of humble origins, as if this bootstrap narrative were crucial to his political identity.”

The life of Arthur Johnson, a sixty-four year old man who spent thirty-seven years in solitary confinement, is the subject of a recent Yale University Press blog post. This post was written by Keramet Reiter, the author of 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement. Reiter begins her post by reminding readers that Johnson’s horrifying experience in solitary confinement “is disturbingly common.” She addresses this issue through highlighting the injustices faced by inmates, like Johnson, who were sentenced to a life in prison at a very young age. “States have only recently began to reconsider whether human brains are fully developed at seventeen or eighteen, and whether kids of that age should be eligible for such long sentences,” she states. Attempts to advocate on behalf of Johnson’s liberation have increased over the years. Bret Grote, an attorney with the Abolitionist Law Center in Pennsylvania, argued on behalf of Johnson’s liberation, on the grounds that “Johnson’s constitutional rights had been violated.” His efforts led to Johnson’s release. Is progress being made? According to Reiter, “the question is whether these reforms will be sustainable in light of the pervasive and persistent practice of solitary confinement across the United States.”

Beacon Broadside Press’s blog features an interview with Adrienne Berard, the author of the book Water Tossing Boulders: How a Family of Chinese Immigrants Led the First Fight to Desegregate Schools in the Jim Crow South. This book recreates the untold story of the Lum family, a family of Chinese immigrants who played a key role in the desegregation of Southern schools during the 1920s. Berard’s connection to this family is highly personal. “My grandmother went to school in the same district as the case I explore in the book,” says Berard. In discussing her methods of research, Berard calls our attention to the limitations of existing historical documents. “Some crucial records were never kept, and the accuracy of the records that exist is questionable. The racism of their time affected how their story was remembered, or in this case, not remembered.” When asked about the Lum family’s relevance to current issues, Berard states, “The rhetoric surrounding immigrants today, the efforts of entire political parties to stoke a fear of immigrants, mirrors the kind of xenophobia and racism the Lum family would have experienced in the 1920s. It would be great to say that the issues brought forward by the Gong Lum v. Rice case have no relevance today, but unfortunately the case is more relevant than ever.”

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

Monday, October 31st, 2016

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 (or, in this case, Monday).)

Tim Dixon, Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of South Florida, recently composed a post on Cambridge University Press’s blog. This post features an excerpt from Dixon’s soon–to-be-published, Curbing Catastrophe, a book that addresses the sewage issues of St. Petersburg, Florida. Dixon analyzes the politics behind these issues. “Large infrastructure projects such as sewage treatment plants and their citywide network of underground pipes are expensive to build or fix, take a long time to build or fix, and tend to result in torn-up streets when they are built or fixed.” Dixon goes on to examine sewage policies in Figueres, a Spanish city that heavily resembles St. Petersburg. He seeks to follow Figueres’s example through implementing an “infrastructure board,” composed of experts and local citizens, who “manage both the planning and subsequent implementation of a city’s critical infrastructure.”

In honor of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, University of Nebraska Press’s Blog features a post by Bruce Smith, author of Stories from Afield: Adventures with Wild Things in Wild Places. In this post, Smith discusses the importance of national parks from an environmental perspective. “Interconnected national parks, wilderness areas, and other wildlands not only nurture large-scale terrestrial migrations, they are bastions of wildness. Wildness demands that native species maintain their freedom to move unimpeded.” Smith’s book focuses on Grand Teton National Park, a part of the Greater Yellowstone Area that plays a crucial role in elk migration. According to Smith, “Grand Teton is one of those wild yet accessible national parks that embody the best of what America once was and still is.” This blog post also includes excerpts from the reflections of University of Nebraska Press authors who write about their favorite National Parks.

Stanford University Press’s Blog discusses the limitations and lasting effects of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. According to this post, “The apartheid past lingers on in today’s South Africa,” and it’s apparent in the rise of protests against educational bias and financial exclusion, led by South African college students. This post compares these protests to the activity of students during the 1976 Soweto uprising. “This and other apartheid-era protests against minority rule are today drawn on as models for current protests.”

Princeton University Press’s blog features an interview with Ben Akers and Matthew Chingos, authors of Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt. This book examines public discussion and perception of student debt issues. In their interview, Akers and Chingos address the media’s tendency to perpetuate misconceptions surrounding student debt. “The typical borrower we hear about in news stories about student loan debt tends to have an enormous balance, is unemployed or working a low-paying job, and lives with his or her parents to save money on living expenses. These struggling borrowers are real, and their problems are troubling, but they are outliers in the broader picture of student borrowing in the United States.” Generalizing the experiences of these outlier situations deters our progress in crafting effective solutions to combat student debt. According to Akers and Chingos, “The problem with allowing an inaccurate narrative to persist is that it prompts policy solutions that solve the fictional problems and do little or nothing to help borrowers who really are in need of assistance.” Akers and Chingos leave us with a piece of advice. “We propose simplifying the system of both borrowing for and repayment of federal loans to alleviate this problem.”

Dr. Janice Wiesman, author of Peripheral Neuropathy, converses with Johns Hopkins University Press in a recent blog post. Peripheral Neuropathy is particularly important in its field, as it is the “only up-to-date, consumer-targeted book about neuropathy written by a neurologist on the market.” In her interview, Dr. Wiesman discusses her inspiration behind writing her book, in addition to the many ways in which the book was able to surprise her and teach her new things. The most significant element of her book is the inspiring takeaway that, “patients who are empowered to control their illness will be more successful in leading the fullest possible life.” Dr. Wiesman also hopes to increase the transparency when it comes to medical procedures, improving the relationship and sense of trust between doctor and patient. “I want patients to know ‘what the doctor is thinking’ at each step of the office visit,” says Dr. Wiesman.

In light of Halloween, Oxford University Press’s blog dedicates a post to the psychology behind our obsession with horror. Even though horror entertainment does not typically evoke pleasant emotions, we still crave our seasonal dose of horror. To address this paradox, the post delves into the scientific relationship between humans and horror. “Horror is crucially dependent on our biological constitution. We evolved to be fearful, to be keenly attuned to—and curious about—dangers around us.” Horror entertainment also provides thrill-seekers with a risk-free way to experience a good scare. “Horror is an important means by which we become equipped to handle a world that is sometimes dangerous and often unpredictable. That’s all the more reason to embrace the fun of fear this Halloween.”

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

Friday, October 21st, 2016

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, Washington University Press’s blog posted an excerpt from Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics, by Darren F. Speece, a history teacher and assistant dean of students at Sidwell Friends School. In this book, Speece examines the historical roots of environmental activism, in addition to the redwood tree’s ability to consistently captivate and inspire individuals of various professions. Scientists, hikers, timber companies, and environmentalists alike, were united by a common interest in one of America’s most valued trees. “The Redwood Wars would determine the fate of the last stands of ancient redwoods: whether they would be turned into quick profits for multinational corporations and short-term wages for workers or remain for humans to enjoy for the long run, for fauna to occupy, and for future ancient redwoods to sprout beneath.”

Princeton University Press’s blog features an interview with Michèle Lamont, author of Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel. In this book, Lamont seeks to investigate, “’everyday’ conceptions of racial inequality,” in addition to examining varying perceptions of racism in different parts of the world. In her interview, she discusses her inspiration behind writing this book and the methods she used to survey the responses of a wide range of different communities. Lamont advises us to, “redefine rules,” in order to bring about social change. “I believe we can create inclusion in the context of the law, through narratives, through social policy, and by using institutional tools and cultural repertoires together to create shared notions of solidarity. In some ways it starts at the top, but then change is also produced by ordinary people responding to racism.”

Ian Burney, director of the University of Manchester’s Centre for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine and Neil Pemperton, a senior Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at CHSTM recently composed a post on Johns Hopkins University Press’s blog, based on their recent publication, Murder and the Making of English CSI. This book focuses on the history of forensic evidence and its role in murder investigations. With few existing publications on this topic, Burney and Pemperton consulted historical evidence from 20th century murder cases, focusing on “details of the investigations themselves, and how they were represented and understood.” The authors challenge readers to examine crime scenes in a new light and to understand the relationship between investigations and forensic evidence. “Murder and the Making of English CSI reveals the compelling and untold story of how one of the most iconic features of our present-day forensic landscape came into being.”

Oxford University Press’s blog features a conversation with Evangeline Benedetti, “one of the few female performers in the New York Philharmonic in the 1960’s.” This post focuses on Benedetti’s recently published book, Cello, Bow and You: Putting it All Together. In her interview, Benedetti discusses the challenges she faced in her early career as a musician, in addition to some of her most meaningful memories from her experience in the New York Philharmonic. Benedetti’s inspiration for her book stemmed from her studies as an Alexander Technique student where she “began to revamp [her] playing to be more in tune with the principles of the technique.” According to Benedetti, “it began a quest for freedom of playing that I so longed for, and it afforded me answers that traditional teaching did not.” When asked about her time at the New York City Philharmonic, Benedetti talks about her experience as one of the few female members. “Finally after a few years and more women came aboard, they built a dressing room for us. I suppose they realised women were here to stay.”

In light of Bob Dylan’s recent Nobel Prize win, University of California Press’s blog features a post on the historical relationship between music and literature. While many individuals question the legitimacy behind a musician winning a Nobel Prize, this blog post encourages readers to examine the role of literature in Ancient Greece, where foundational texts were heavily intertwined with musical performance. “Greek tragedy was essentially musical theater (closer to, say, Hamilton than Strindberg), and it had all the hallmarks we associate with musical performance: meter, rhythm, melody, and instrumental accompaniment. Even dancing,” states the post, later referencing Peter Green’s preservation of Homer’s “fantastic, varied sounds” in his translation of The Iliad. This merging of literature and musical expression is not limited to Greek scholarly tradition; the post includes examples of other regions where text evolved from musical roots. Regardless of one’s views on Bob Dylan, we are left with words of advice. “If you’ve only ever thought of literature as words on a page, maybe it’s time you gave it another listen.”

Yale University Press’s blog features a post by Sasha Handley, senior lecturer in early modern history at the University of Manchester and the author of the recently published, Sleep in Early Modern England. In this post, Handley discusses the history of sleep and its evolving implications, in addition to external features that affect sleeping habits. According to Handley, “In early modern Europe, sleep’s critical importance was deeply rooted within a widely-accepted set of good Christian behaviors and within a preventative culture of healthcare that was dominated by the principles of the six non-natural things – a set of environmental and dietary rules in which well-regulated sleeping and waking patterns were central to long-term physical and mental health.” Handley goes on to trace sleep’s evolution from an essential factor in preserving health and well-being to a limitation that humans seek to overcome. “Sleeping for eight hours each night has become, in the estimation of some, for wimps.”

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

Friday, October 14th, 2016

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.)

MIT Press’s blog features an interview with David Sarokin, an environmental scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency, and Jay Schulkin, Research Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Georgetown University (and author of Sport: A Biological, Philosophical, and Cultural Perspective!). Sarokin and Schulkin are the authors of the recently published, Missed Information, a book that examines the power of information and its ability to shape some of the world’s leading industries. This interview tackles a range of issues, from the role of information and technology in health care to the relationship between social media and law enforcement. According to Sarokin and Schulkin, there is a direct correlation between the dissemination of efficient information and sustainability. “If we add information to that system about human values—information about child labor, environmental protection, worker safety, and more—then those same invisible forces can steer the marketplace, and the world at large, towards a more sustainable future.”

This week, University of Michigan Press’s blog honors author Anne McGuire, winner of the inaugural Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies. This blog post focuses on the field of disability studies, featuring a reflection by David Mitchell, Georgetown University professor and co-editor of the book series Corporealities: Discourses of Disability. This book series, otherwise known as “the longest running academic book series devoted exclusively to disability studies,” has greatly influenced the growth of disability studies in education and its prevalence in the humanities as a whole. “The series has not only been a beacon but also a staple source of research materials for libraries, the general public, teachers, and scholars.”

Will e-books and digital reading overtake print? Naomi S. Baron, professor of Linguistics and Executive Director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning at American University, examines this question in a post on Oxford University Press’s blog. The rise of digital reading can be attributed to multiple factors, as e-books are not only more convenient in transportation, but are also generally cheaper than print versions. According to Baron’s research, however, “92% [of university students] said they concentrated best when reading in print.” Even kids from ages 6-17, who tend to be frequent users of digital devices, are in line with this sentiment. “Scholastic found that 71% of 12-14 year-olds agreed with the statement ‘I’ll always want to read books printed on paper even though there are e-books available,’” references Baron. The verdict? “The jury remains out on the future mix of print and digital media. My bet is that for some time to come, readers will have the chance to follow their own preferences.”

A post by Stephen Kendrick, author of The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America’s First Garden Cemetery, and its Revolutionary and Literary Residents, is currently featured on Beacon Press’s blog. In this post, readers can enjoy a scientific analysis of New England’s “residing glory,” or in other words, the vibrant hue of autumn leaves. The post focuses on the effects of fall on Mount Auburn, a garden cemetery with an ecological approach to horticulture. “The reason the colors are so intense here in New England? It’s all a natural process. The shorter day triggers the reduction of chlorophyll, which produces the green, and when this happens, the yellow pigments that have been there all along are revealed,” says Dr. David Barnett, horticultural specialist and president of Mount Auburn.

An interview with Elizabeth Ann Bartlett, author of Making Waves: Grassroots Feminism in Duluth and Superior, is available on Minnesota Historical Society Press’s blog. Bartlett’s book analyzes the impact of feminist organizing in Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin during the late 1970’s. In her interview, Bartlett speaks about the process behind writing her book in addition to the personal connection she shares with Duluth and its relationship to feminism. “Duluth was coming into its feminist awareness and activism at the same time I was. It was the perfect place to be as a budding feminist,” reflects Bartlett.

With Michel Foucault’s 90th birthday on the horizon, Stanford University Press’s blog celebrates with a compilation of 5 books that “tussle with Foucault’s legacy.” The post delves into Foucault’s accomplishments and his many contributions to multiple academic fields. “Across the humanities and social sciences his work continues to be among the most cited, a distinction proportionate to the number of scholarly hats Foucault wore in life—including that of the philosopher, the historian, the social theorist, the philologist, and the literary critic.” Each book recommendation includes a paragraph on content and context, in addition to a quotation, reflecting praise for each publication.

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

Friday, October 7th, 2016

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.)

Recently, Beacon Press’s blog published an interview with Temple University journalism professor Lori L. Tharps, author of Same Family, Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America’s Diverse Families. In this book, Tharps investigates the politics of skin color through compiling and analyzing the experiences of mixed raced families. Her interview illuminates our understanding of colorism, “the preference for or presumed superiority of people based on the color of their skin,” and highlights its role in different communities. Tharps advises readers to combat colorism not with colorblindness but with an appreciation for the diversity of skin tone. “Different just means different, not better or worse,” says Tharps.

In a Johns Hopkins University Press blog post, Benjamin L. Castleman, assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia and author of The 160-Character Solution: How Text Messaging and Other Behavioral Strategies Can Improve Education, presents creative approaches to increasing the rate of college graduates. According to Castleman, assisting students in dealing with college complexities, such as course requirements and financial aid deadlines, is crucial. To effectively do so, it’s important to communicate through platforms used by the typical college student. Castleman includes text messaging and online orientation as examples of solutions that have clarified the college experience. “To increase student success in college, we need strategic, low-cost interventions that meet students where they are and support them to make active and informed decisions,” he states.

The stigmatization of surrogacy was the topic of a recent Princeton University Press blog post by Katharine Dow, a research associate in the Reproductive Sociology Research Group at the University of Cambridge and author of Making a Good Life. “Surrogate motherhood has a bad rep, as a murky business far removed from everyday experience,” says Dow, who examines surrogacy from a historical lens. Surrogacy’s association with exploitation is contextualized, as Dow recounts the first attempt at commercial surrogacy in 1985. This blog post encourages readers to acknowledge the intense decision-making processes undergone by both parents and surrogate mothers. We must remain critical of surrogacy as a technology; however, Dow warns us against blaming individuals for surrogacy’s flaws.

To honor this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), University of Washington Press’s blog shared an excerpt from Bracero Railroaders: The Forgotten World War II Story of Mexican Workers in the U.S. West, by Erasmo Gamboa, professor of American ethnic studies at the University of Washington. Gamboa’s book speaks to the varying experiences of both men and women in the bracero railroad program, and in doing so, commemorates the history of Hispanic and Latina/o Americans in the United States. The featured portion on University of Washington Press’s blog focuses heavily on the influential role that women played with regards to the bracero program.

In light of Rosh Hashanah taking place this week, an excerpt from the book From the Jewish Heartland: Two Centuries of Midwest Foodways by Ellen F. Steinberg and Jack H. Prost is available on University of Illinois Press’s blog. In this book, Steinberg and Prost discuss the historical roots of Jewish culinary tradition in the Midwest through analyzing recipes. This excerpt focuses on the sweet potato, which is “plentiful and cheap” during Jewish New Year in the month of September. The post also explains the importance of the sweet potato during Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah, as “sweet foods symbolize hope for a sweet new year.” A recipe for Carrot Tzimmes is included.

This week, New York University Press’s blog, From the Square, shared a post offering an inside look into the book After Life Imprisonment: Reentry in the Era of Mass Incarceration, by Marieke Liem, Senior Researcher and chair of the Violence Research Initiative at Leiden University. This post also examines the book Law & Order: The World of Criminal Justice, a recently published work by Jan Banning. Through taking into account the broader implications of these two books, this post discusses the effects of life sentences and the importance of opportunities after incarceration. According to this post, our nation suffers from a lack of support programs and educational resources that will help prisoners lead healthy and productive lives after their release. Although it is often argued that punishment serves the purpose of protecting the greater good of a community, this blog post calls attention to the true “final aim of punishment,” which is rehabilitation. “Providing them a fair chance on the job market, re-entry support in a world long left behind, and adequate programming taking into account the prolonged period of confinement would enable these lifers to start a life beyond bars.”

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

Friday, August 19th, 2016

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.)

Recently, University of California Press’s blog interviewed Arlene Dàvila, author of El Mall: The Spatial and Class Politics of Shopping Malls in Latin America. For this new book, which analyzes the financialization of the developing world, Dàvila studied how shopping malls are seen from the perspective of investors. For these participants in the changing economic and social makeup of Latin America, shopping malls are considered investments and “management concepts” that sell brands and experiences rather than products.

This week, Harvard University Press’s blog shared a few excerpts from the new book Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict, which highlights struggles in maintaining a work-life balance in America and what that means for families today. The author, Heather Boushey, focuses on making people consider work-family policy as a serious economic issue by considering what it would look like if we sought to alleviate family economic insecurity. Boushey encourages people to think about how keeping people fully employed while they care for their children benefits individual families as well as the general economy.

As part of the centennial anniversary of the National Parks Service, Johns Hopkins University Press’ blog shared a post which questions: are national parks for people or for animals? Parks are very popular among people, but high volumes of tourists and nature-lovers can negatively impact the natural environment by damaging animal habitats and the normal patters of animal life. Previous research has demonstrated that wildlife will run away from people using nature trails, however the long term effects of human presence in the wilderness are unknown. This has led to a new project testing the effect of nature trails on wilderness, to see if a true human-animal balance can be achieved.

Zika is here to stay, says Dr. Alan Lockwood, emeritus professor of neurology at the University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY and a senior scientist at Physicians for Social Responsibility, Washington DC. He is also the author of the forthcoming book Heat Advisory, to be published by MIT Press, which draws a correlation between climate change and public health. According to Lockwood, an increase in temperatures and rainfall will result in a heightened number of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, which will spread the virus and increase the risk of transmission. Zika, which was originally confined in the tropical regions in Africa and Asia, has spread across the Pacific Ocean to the Americas, where it has reached epidemic levels particularly in Brazil, where a large number of children were born with microcephaly to women who had been infected by the Zika virus.

A new post on New York University’s From The Square blog highlights the growing trend of Korean immigrants who have returned to South Korea to tour their home country, reunite with birth families, and to live permanently. Since the 1950s, over 200,000 Korean children have been adopted by families in Western nations. Given this amount of time, Korean adoptees are from multiple generations, young adults to older adults, many of whom have founded organizations which provide resources for members of the Korean diaspora. Written by Catherine Ceniza Choy, author of Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America, this post looks at this recent trend and questions what impacts this movement has had on Korea.

This week, Stanford University Press’ blog shared a post about the unconscious racism in sociology. Just as it failed to predict the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, sociology was unprepared for the racial conflict that led to the Black Lives Matter movement. Dominant views in the field held that the U.S. had made “great strides in race relations,” such as was highlighted by the “election of the first black president in 2008.” However, according to Aldon Morris, who recently wrote the book The Scholar Denied, sociologists have unconsciously practiced a white sociology by ignoring important contributions of black sociologists and therefore providing justification for racial hierarchy. The blot post argues that these issues are inherent in sociology, which was “formed within the culture of imperialism and embodied a cultural response to the colonized world.”

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

Friday, August 12th, 2016

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.)

A 2013 Washington Post article featured Jason Trigg, an MIT computer science graduate who had secured a job in finance and decided to continuously donate half of his income to the Against Malaria Foundation. Trigg, along with other recent graduates who work in high-paying fields, are among those described as an emerging class of young professionals who are making enough money to promise a significant portion of their income to charity in an article written by Peter Singer on Yale’s Yale Books Unbound blog. The New York Times columnist David Brooks warned against this, stating that taking a job just to make money could be “corrosive,” even if the money is used towards a greater good. However, most people who have undertaken this commitment say that their decision has made them happier.

A post written by Joshua D. Hendrick on New York University’s From the Square blog analyzes Fethullah Gülen, who leads a transnational social and economic network in Turkey called Hizmet, or the Gülen movement. After a July 15th, 2016 attempted coup d’état in Turkey that killed nearly 300 people, the Turkish government began a massive purge of state, military, and civil institutions in an attempt to remove power from any alleged plotters. Most of the purged are associated in some way to Fethullah Gülen, whose movement is a call away from Turkey’s primary Islamic political establishment and towards secular education and the market economy.

What kind of value does democracy have? Should we value it the way we value hammers, paintings, or persons?
muses Jason Brennan in a post this week on Princeton University Press’ blog. Hammers, according to Brennan, have a functional, instrumental purpose, paintings serve a symbolic function, and people have intrinsic value, as obviously people are important and function with self-dignity. If democracy has an inherent instrumental function, like a hammer, and we are able to identify a better functioning form of government, or “a form of government that better realizes procedure-independent standards of justice,” then we would “happily replace democracy with this better functioning regime.” In Brennan’s new book, Against Democracy, he argues that democracy is nothing more than a “hammer”- not intrinsically just, and if we can find a better hammer, then “we’re obligated to use it.”

In a recent guest post on the University of California Press blog, Harry W. Greene, author of Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art, discusses how humans not only function as participants in, but also spectators of, nature. Greene considers how people can experience nature while still abiding by the “leave only footprints, take only pictures” rule, because “ecology signifies influential, multi-directional relationships among organisms, including us” which can include a person’s role as a spectator as well.

How has the way we read the news changed over the years? A technological shift from print to digital publication is the first answer many come up with, but, as Kevin Barnhurst discusses in a post on the University of Illinois Press’ blog, the form of news-writing has changed as well. The “main culprit”, Barnhurst says in his new book, Mister Pulitzer and the Spider: Modern News from Realism to the Digital, is “modernism from the ‘Mister Pulitzer’ era, which transformed news into an ideology called ‘journalism.’” Throughout the past century, stories have grown much longer and tend to elaborate more on background and context than on key events, locations, and names.

This week, the University of North Carolina Press blog shared a guest post discussing police brutality and racism in a historical context. J. Michael Butler, author of Beyond Integration: The Black Freedom Struggle in Escambia County, Florida, 1960-1980 , demonstrates that while activism during the 1960s eliminated the most visible signs of racial segregation, institutionalized forms of cultural racism still existed in the 1970s and continues to persist today. Drawing on the events surrounding the police killing of a young black man in Pensacola, Florida in 1975, Butler asserts how the recent murders of black people by law enforcement officers embody a much larger–and longer–national fight for racial justice.

North Philly Notes, Temple University Press’ blog, shared a blog post that addresses the theme of public security in Rio during the Olympics. Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes has said on multiple occasions that public security is the most important thing to consider in Rio, which has recently seen “rising street crime” and “newly emboldened gangs.” This is in addition to anti-Olympics protesters who are demonstrating against what they consider public money being misused on the Olympics, rather than used for health, education, and protesters who are fighting against the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. Philip Evanson, author of Living in the Crossfire: Favela Residents, Drug Dealers, and Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro analyzes the safety precautions that Rio took at the beginning of the games.

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

Friday, August 5th, 2016

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.)

Does research into medieval history serve any useful purpose other than the pursuit of scholarship for its own sake? This question serves as an introduction to a recent post on Cambridge University Press’ blog by Bruce M.S. Campbell, author of The Great Transition: Climate, Disease and Society in the Late-Medieval World. Campbell sets the scene for an interdisciplinary approach to considering today’s ecological problems through integrating the study of medieval history, biology, and climatology. In order to understand climate change, for example, it is important to understand what is known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly which around 1000 CE presented the last period of significant northern hemisphere warmth prior to today, which consisted of small changes in global temperatures that resulted in big changes in atmospheric circulation patterns.

This week, University of California Press’ blog shared a post highlighting the increasing popularity of the artist Agnes Martin. Always seen as an “artist’s artist,” Martin had declined for years to have an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art because she did not want a scholarly catalog produced about her work. Now, she has come out of obscurity with a retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which closes on September 11th, and opens at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York on October 7th. This first traveling retrospective of Martin’s work since the early 1990s is, according to Christina Bryan Rosenberger, author of Drawing the Line: The Early Work of Agnes Martin, a part of a critical re-evaluation of Martin’s work and her legacy within the history of art.

In a guest post on The University of North Carolina’s blog, Emily Suzanne Clark, author of A Luminous Brotherhood: Afro-Creole Spiritualism in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans, discusses white-on-black violence in the South and commemorates the anniversary of one of the Reconstruction period’s most notorious massacres. July 30, 2016, marks the 150-year anniversary of the Mechanics’ Institute Riot in New Orleans, Louisiana, which saw the massacre of forty black men who were rallying for suffrage. The reconstruction period was an extremely violent time, and frequently the victims were black. Just three months prior to the Mechanic’s Institute Riot was the Memphis Massacre, in which white mobs, aided by the police, attacked black men, women, and children, leaving 46 African Americans dead and another 75 injured.

Recently, a post on Stanford University Press’ blog questions how business can help reduce income inequality. While conservatives blame inequality on “excessive government” and progressives see capitalist greed as the culprit, Jody Hoffer Gittell, author of Transforming Relationships for High Performance , and Thomas Kochan argue that although capitalist countries experience inequality, we see less inequality and more democratic participation in capitalist economies that are performing the best and have a more “respectful dialogue across business, government, labor, and education sectors.” According to the authors, these countries, including Denmark, are able to work across multiple sectors to produce high quality, innovate solutions to meet their customers’ needs within a capitalist model, while using the same model to support the middle class and democracy.

North Philly Notes, the blog run by Temple University Press, shared a guest post by Philip Evanson, co-author of Living in the Crossfire about what life is like in Rio de Janeiro right as the Olympics are about to begin. In late July, the first delegations of athletes from several countries refused to occupy their apartments, citing apartments where “pipes leaked, toilets might not flush, and electric wires were exposed.” In a rush to be fully prepared for the opening ceremony on August 5th, Rio hastily hired 630 workers to complete these apartment and various other building projects, generally ignoring Brazilian labor law in the process. According to Evanson, workers had not been hired according to the rules of formal sector employment, they were working longer hours than permitted, in one case 23 hours straight, and were not allowed enough time for meals.

New York University’s On the Square blog shared a post by Jennifer A. Reich, author of Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines , about the similarities between the Zika virus and rubella, also known as German measles, which infected twelve million people in the United States between 1964 and 1965. Like Zika, rubella was a virus with relatively minor effects on adults who contracted it, such as a low fever and a distinctive red rash, but most heavily affected fetuses, resulting in birth defects. A vaccine against rubella was developed in 1969 and the virus has since been eradicated in the US; something that cannot be said for Zika nor can be said for the foreseeable near future. Reich analyzes the climate of “a shared responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in a community” that surrounded rubella in contrast with today’s increasing number of parents who are opposed to vaccinations that provide protection to the community, who instead “focus on the risks and benefits to their own children, even as those decisions may place others at greater risk.”

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

Friday, July 29th, 2016

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.)

Recently, The University of Chicago Press’ blog shared a National Geographic article on animal grief, which makes a compelling case for the importance of the scholarship of Barbara J. King, the author of How Animals Grieve. Animal grief, which can be defined as emotional stress coupled with a disruption of unusual behavior, explains why elephants return again and again to the body of a dead companion, or why orcas will carry the body of a dead relative or podmate with them for an extended amount of time.

The University of California Press’ blog shared a guest post by Adam B. Seligman about religious diversity in China and how its government is adapting certain policies to accommodate a growing Muslim population. The author of Living with Difference: How to Build Community in a Divided World, Seligman explains how China is searching for a manageable, “middle-of-the-road” policy that allows for religious expression without leading to religious separatism. Like many other countries, China is learning to engage with difference and shift their focus on how they view the “other and the unfamiliar.”

Last week, Steven M. Nolt, author of A History of the Amish, wrote a guest post for Johns Hopkins University Press’ blog about the nuances and diversity in modern American Amish communities. Among the 300,000 Amish living in more than 500 communities across 31 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces, local contexts and different Amish traditions ensure that no two communities are the same. For example, the Nappanee community in northern Indiana drives horse and buggy, dresses in distinctive Amish clothing, and only send their children to school until eighth grade, in accordance with general characteristics shared by most Amish communities. However, looks can be deceiving, as almost 60 percent of Amish men work factory jobs, producing large mobile homes and other mechanical and electric goods that they themselves do not use in their daily lives. Conversely, the Amish community in Mackinac County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan recently relocated there from southern Michigan and are facing joblessness and economic insecurity. They typically engaged in dairy farming, but their new location, which does not offer work in that industry, has led the Amish community to turn to raising sheep or pursuing work in freelance carpentry.

Stanford University Press’ blog recently shared a post by Susanne Bregnbæk, author of Fragile Elite: The Dilemmas of China’s Top University Students, which discusses the extreme pressure Chinese students face to perform well and score high on standardized tests, which directly correlates to obtaining a high-paying job. According to the author, Chinese young people experience a pressure to be both self-sacrificial by working hard and performing well, while also embracing newer demands to be self-affirming, or to pursue individual interests and self-fulfillment and realization. These contrasting motives create tension and create a double standard, which often creates over-worked youth who crack under the pressure.

This week, Godfrey Hodgson, White House correspondent during the Kennedy and Johnson years, wrote a guest post on Yale University Press’ Yale Books Unbound blog about how the Kennedys were able to pull of an impressive political trick: to present themselves as the friend of the working class while at the same time impressing the country with their wealth, amassed through various commercial corporate endeavors. They are exemplary of a brief moment of residual post-war prosperity between the 1950s and 1970s when Americans were able to convince themselves that there was no such thing as social class in America. In the Great Depression, the working class was at the center of political debate and policy, and after Kennedy and Johnson, it would return. But for a brief intermission, “liberal intellectuals went to rather extraordinary lengths to persuade Americans that there was no such thing as class consciousness in America.

In an interview with Princeton University Press, Mary Jacobus, author of Reading Cy Twombly, discusses how Cy Twombly turned to poetry as a way to expand his painting’s depth of abstraction. Jacobus’s book discusses the extent that line in both drawing as well as poetry, both “abstracted and non-referential”, play a key role in his work, from his early lyrical series Poems to the Sea (1959) to the large-scale “blackboard” paintings at the end of the 1960s. In poetry as in drawing, the use of line connotes a sense of repetition and rhythm in a body of work, concepts that became integral to the definition of his work.

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

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

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, Yale University Press’s Yale Books Unbound blog shared an excerpt from Revolutions without Borders: The Call to Liberty in the Atlantic World by Janet Polasky that highlights printed news’ surge in popularity during the French and American revolutions. Her book, which focuses on the international revolutionary exchange of ideas between 1776 and 1804 across the Atlantic ocean, explains that before the revolutions, newspapers were primarily read by individually wealthy people, and that European politics had generally only been the business of expensive international gazettes. However, circulation exploded during the revolutions, expanding revolutionary discussions and political debate from small pamphlets into the broader realm of printed newspapers.

Princeton University Press’ blog recently discussed Jason Brennan’s new book Against Democracy, which argues against the popular idea that democracy promotes equality and empowers its citizens to be more informed. In the book, Brennan explains that in a democratic society, people differ in many ways regarding what their beliefs are, how they share their beliefs, and how likely their beliefs are to be changed based on how objectively they think about social science and philosophy. According to Brennan, there are three types of democratic archetypes- hobbits, hooligans, and vulcans. Hobbits are “mostly ignorant and apathetic about politics, lack strong, fixed political opinions, and are ignorant of current events and the social science used to evaluate those events” or, according to Brennan, the typical non-voter in the US. Hooligans “possess strong and fixed opinions, are able to present arguments for their beliefs, consume political information in a biased manner, and ignore evidence that does not confirm their preexisting opinions,” which describes typical voters, registered party members, and politicians in the US. Lastly, Vulcans “think scientifically and rationally about politics”, their opinions are “grounded in social science and philosophy,” and they are “able to defend opposing points of view,” which describes a minority of people in the US. but is what supposedly democracy aims for. Thus, democracy is not working.

Johns Hopkins University press’ blog continues its Unexpected Democracy blog series with a post about shaping public opinion during the first World War. One week after the US declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary, President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI). Under the direction of George Creel, this agency aimed to create favor for the war effort by saturating Americans from April 1917 to the end of the war in November 1918 with a deluge of leaflets, pamphlets, news bulletins, schoolroom materials, and films, in “every available medium, including the printed word, the spoken word, the motion picture, the telegraph, the cable, the wireless, the poster, the sign board.” The most significant effort of this period was the “Four Minute Men” campaign, which aimed to utilize strong speakers in communities across the country towards persuading people to support the war. These speakers would enter movie theater during intermission for four minutes, the time it took to change a film reel, to present a patriotic speech and “drum up support for the war effort.” This period of history is an interesting window into how the US government has the capacity to deliberately manipulate the way citizens think, believe, and feel.

Recently, University of North Carolina Press’ blog shared an excerpt from Us Versus Them: The United States, Radical Islam, and the Rise of the Green Threat by Douglass Little. In this important analysis of America’s persistent perception of the ominous “other”, Little explores the shift that led US policy makers to move focus over from the “Red Threat” of international communism to battling the “Green Threat” of radical Islam after the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979. This shift in the “us versus them” mentality that has historically pitted the US against “Native Americans, Mexicans, Asian immigrants, Nazis, and the Soviets” comes from the pervasive “City on a Hill” mentality that American policy has always maintained.

When Christopher Yanov was a substitute teacher at a middle school with a student body that spoke twelve different languages and “gang wannabe’s ruled the courtyard”, he saw that many of the students had the same determination and inherent intelligence and ability as many of the middle-class kids he had grown up with. The only roadblock for them to go on to earn college degrees was the family and social support that middle class students take for granted, an ambitious vision of what they are truly able to accomplish, and a community of peers and adults who help them reach their goals. In a guest post on University of California Press’ blog, Yanov discusses his new book Grit and Hope: A Year with Five Latino Students and the Program that Helped Them Aim for College
, which tells the stories of five Latino students in his Reality Changers program, a college readiness program which aims to support disadvantaged youth in San Diego.

On Stanford University Press’ blog, Renee Ann Cramer, author of Pregnant with the Stars: Watching and Wanting the Celebrity Baby Bump , discusses Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s pregnancy as an act of feminist resistance. As Cramer has observed, “Women, especially women in the public eye, are expected to perform pregnancy and motherhood while men do not have the same demands placed on them to perform their fatherhood. Men are celebrated for their moments of paternal work; women are simply told they are doing as expected-or, where they deviate from expectations, are criticized.” It is expected to publicaly display your pregnancy, because women must conform to their function in the public eye. By refusing to be public in her pregnancy, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists, is making a feminist statement that actively confronts unfair gender expectations by staying out of the public eye.

What does suicide have to do with the first amendment right to free speech? Can a college student be disciplined for sending text messages suggesting that another student commit suicide? Can a young women be prosecuted for repeatedly texting her boyfriend, insisting that he commit suicide? Susan Steffan, author of Rational Suicide, Irrational Laws: Examining Current Approaches to Suicide in Policy and Law, asks these questions, and more, in a blog post on Oxford University Press’ blog.

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