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Archive for the 'University Press News' Category

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!

Friday, July 15th, 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 Chicago’s blog shared an excerpt from an article by Natasha Kumar Warikoo, author of The Diversity Bargain and Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities. This book, which publishes this fall and examines how both white students and students of color understand race and privilege at three top-tier universities, explains “the diversity bargain”, in which white students approve of affirmative action as long as they can see how they can personally benefit from it. In her article written in The Boston Globe, she explains, “The sole emphasis on benefits to themselves also leads many white students to fear that affirmative action may in the future limit their opportunities. Affirmative action becomes an easy scapegoat when they fail in competitive processes like graduate school admission, summer internships, and jobs.”

Earlier this year, Harvard University Press published Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. This week, Harvard University Press’ blog shared additional findings that Kirschenbaum has uncovered since publication of the book. 1981, an important year for word processing, saw the debut of the Osborne 1 and IBM PC and when Isaac Asimov had his first home computer delivered to him. It was also the year that Gay Courter published her best selling novel, The Midwife, which she wrote on an $18,000 IBM System 6 word processor. Kirschenbaum’s post examines the significance of one of the first female author’s contribution to the history of word processing and how she influenced other authors to write using a word processor as well.

As part of Johns Hopkins University Press’ blog series Unexpected America, The Perils of Overpromising: Boosterism in the Twenties and Now links patterns of turmoil within the Republican party in the United States and in the United Kingdom following the Brexit vote to patterns seen in the response to the New Economy of the 1920s and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Phillip G. Payne, author of Crash!: How the Economic Boom and Bust of the 1920s Worked, shares how during the 1930s, it is “easy to find victims of a poor economy, but before that not everyone won in the New Era economy of the twenties, regardless of the bullish promises of boosters and technocrats. Similarly, the bullish promises of globalization and free trade have not included all, and those who were left behind have demonstrated their discontent at the ballot.”

Between 1819 and 1845, as veterans of the Revolutionary War were filing applications to receive pensions for their service, the newly-formed government learned that many of the soldiers were not men, but boys, many of whom were under the age of sixteen, and some even as young as nine. This week, University of North Carolina Press’ blog shared an excerpt from Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution by Caroline Cox, which explores the life of a boy soldier and considers how “a strong desire to enlist” led him to join the army at the age of sixteen.

On From The Square, New York University Press’ blog, Derek W. Black, author of Ending Zero Tolerance: The Crisis of Absolute School Discipline explains a new position taken by the National Education Association (NEA) about school discipline and the school-to-prison pipeline. The school-to-prison pipeline disproportionately places minority students, those with disabilities, and those who are English language learners into the criminal justice system for minor disciplinary infractions that could easily be dealt with by school administrators, subjecting them to harsher punishments than their white peers would receive for the same behaviors. Overall, the school-to-prison pipeline drastically diminishes students’ educational opportunities and positive outlook about their futures. The new policy, which aims to end this trajectory, will focus on five major points: “Eliminating Disparities in Discipline Practices; Creating a Supportive and Nurturing School Climate; Professional Training and Development; Partnerships and Community Engagement; and Student and Family Engagement.”

Stanford University Press’ blog shares a post about redefining what “organic” food means through the USDA’s current proposal to transform the treatment of poultry and livestock on organic farms. Michael A. Haedicke, author of Organizing Organic: Conflict and Compromise in an Emerging Market, shares how the proposed rules would include increasing the minimum size of dairy cow pens, require farmers to allow chickens to roam free-range, and prohibit physically altering animals, such as poultry de-beaking. These changes, according to Haedicke, are a double-edged sword. He thinks that these actions could move large-scale food production businesses in a positive direction, while at the same time the marketing techniques of large companies may eclipse the efforts of small, local farms. “If a consumer who is concerned about farm animal treatment believes that the chickens who produce conventional eggs for Wal-Mart are treated as well as (or even better than) organically-raised chickens,” he writes, “why would she buy pricier organic eggs?”

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

Friday, July 8th, 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, University of California Press interviewed Miriam Cherry, Marion Crain, and Winifred Poster, editors of Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World. This new book
tackles the idea of “invisible labor” from a technological and global perspective, through examples such as how technology is erasing the identity of some workers by making customers believe they are interacting with a computer instead of a real person, as well as how orange juice commercials contribute to invisible labor by systematically eliminating the migrant workers who actually grew the fruit.

Johns Hopkins University Press shared a review of an article published in the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine that solves a mystery behind the life of Mary Lincoln. Known as the erratic and mentally unstable wife of Abraham Lincoln, John Sotos’ article “What an Affliction” diagnoses her with pernicious anemia, a type of Vitamin B-12 deficiency, consistent with her irritability, delusions, and hallucinations. Due to stories of how Mary Lincoln’s mental state affected Abraham Lincoln’s public life, according to Sotos, “This diagnosis will change scholarship about her by providing a new view of primary influences on her actions.”

An excerpt from Inventing American History by William Hogeland, was published on MIT Press’ blog just in time for the Fourth of July. Hogeland’s book is a call to make the commemorating and celebration of America’s past more honest. He argues that only when we ground our national history in the brutal and unjust events of the time can we truly be able to learn from them.

The United States is a country where only 17% of K-12 public school teachers identify as minorities. Fordham Impressions, Fordham University Press’ blog, shared an interview with Pamela Lewis, a black teacher from the North Bronx and author of Teaching while Black: A New Voice on Race and Education in New York City. Lewis believes she has a valuable insight into the issues of teaching a diverse classroom, and argues that educators should always consider their students’ racial backgrounds. Her new book calls for a more culturally sensitive curriculum and takes the reader through Lewis’ own experiences in classrooms where students are often underrepresented in curriculum and uncomfortable in their own skin.

Dr. Esther Sternberg, author of Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being published by Harvard University Press, explores how one’s immediate physical surroundings can affect their mood, immune system, neural functioning, and their general health. Recently, Harvard University Press’ blog shared a post about how the Susan Sebastian Foundation was inspired by the book and has completed a multi-year project of installing original works of art in each of Vermont’s roughly 400 inpatient hospital rooms.

The new words we find in our lexicon represent our place and time in the digital age. Princeton University Press talked with Benjamin Peters, author of Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture about how people’s linguistic capacities connect us to our cultural, social, and political lives. According to Peters, a word is a “key” word because it does meaningful social work in our lives. Composed of contributions by linguistic scholars, his new book reclaims, reconsiders and re-contextualizes such words as “community”, “gaming”, “information”, and “forum” to reflect our place in the current age.

North Philly Notes, Temple University Press’ blog, features a discussion with American Dunkirk co-authors James Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf about the boat evacuations from Manhattan that took place on 9/11. Both authors, who refer to themselves as “disaster researchers”, are interested in the human response to and experience of disaster. Their new book analyzes how about 500,000 people were evacuated successfully by boat without any direct plan, and how such evacuation improvisation has been seen during other large-scale disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina. According to the authors, before 9/11, officials and policy makers emphasized “command and control” for emergency preparation. However, large-scale disasters are always characterized by unplanned activities that are “better coordinated than controlled.”

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

Friday, June 24th, 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, Cornell University Press sat down with William J. Kennedy to discuss his new book Petrarchism at Work: Contextual Economies in the Age of Shakespere. Part One of this interview discusses how the development of print technology changed the canons of Shakespeare and Pierre de Ronsard by allowing them to publish multiple revised editions of their works. As a mercantile economy based on increased production became more prevalent, writing became monetized and writers and playwrights were able profit from their works, such as Shakespeare who, according to the author, was able to buy his way into the Gentlemen class as discussed in Part Two.

At Johns Hopkins University Press’ blog, Bernard Golden, PhD discusses ways to cultivate healthy anger, anger that is rooted in compassion for oneself and others. In his new book Overcoming Destructive Anger, Golden differentiates between healthy anger, which is constructive, and destructive anger, which is what one exhibits when they don’t feel a sense of self-compassion. Ultimately, by being more self-aware of one’s anger, we can “harness our energy and live a more fulfilling life.” (more…)

Friday, April 8th, 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.)

At Yale University Press’ blog, James Q. Whitman reconsiders two pillars of the American criminal justice system—“due process” and “beyond reasonable doubt.” He argues that the “beyond reasonable doubt” principle was invented for Christian jurors who wanted to be ensured that if they wrongfully convicted someone as guilty, they would not be condemned. The principle encouraged swift decisions and even promoted convictions. “Due process,” while ostensibly protecting defendant’s rights, made bringing someone to court so time and cost-effective that 95% of criminal cases result in a plea conviction. Ultimately, says Whiteman, we must re-examine the aspects of our justice system that we consider so indispensable.

This week on the Stanford University Press blog, Charles O’Reilly and Michael Tushman discuss the rise of Amazon as the “Everything Store.” After founder Jeff Bezos incorporated Amazon in 1994, it began its rise, surpassing bookselling staples Barnes and Noble and Borders. Bezos leveraged consumer choice and also made sure to make reviews and customer feedback integral to the company. With a physical bookstore in the works, what will future innovation spurred by Amazon entail?

This week, University of Georgia Press’ Walter Biggins discusses the genesis of Charleston Syllabus. Almost a year ago, Dylann Roof walked into Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and after being invited in, opened fire. This tragedy reinvigorated national debates about white supremacy and, on June 19, three Professors decided to put it in conversation with America’s history with race by creating the #CharlestonSyllabus hashtag. Now, in book form, the Charleston Syllabus speaks to the necessity of scholarship in grappling with pressing societal issues.

Recently, The University of Pennsylvania Press featured a post by Robert Deam Tobin about the television show Transparent—in particular, its second season, in which the subplot of Maura’s mother and grandmother fleeing Nazi Germany is introduced by director Jill Solloway. Maura’s daughter, Ali, researches Berlin’s little-known history of homosexual and transsexual subculture. Touching on the notion of “epigenetics,” or how historical trauma is inherited across generations and the historical implications of queer Germany, Transparent reveals an important aspect of 20th century gender and sexuality studies.

The Panama Papers and the various shell companies (and other financial ploys) they reveal have been everywhere in the news lately. But what actually are shell companies? In a timely post, Sage House News, the Cornell University Press blog, has posted an excerpt from J. C. Sharman’s The Money Laundry, in which Sharman explains the concept, purpose, and uses of anonymous shell companies in a global economic context.

How much does it cost to publish a monograph, and where should that money come from? At the UNC Press Blog, Press Director John Sherer claims that, while the recently released Ithaka S&R study does an admirable job of estimating the answer to the first question, the way people are interpreting these estimates and answering the second worry him. Argues Sherer: “The danger with the numbers in this report is that they describe how much it costs presses to put a book into the marketplace using our conventional model. But in order to produce an edition that is openly available in digital format, our activities would look very different. Or they should look very different.”

At the Harvard University Press Blog, Nadia Urbinati (author of our forthcoming The Antiegalitarian Mutation!) looks closely at the idea of populism, which she does not see as the kind of necessarily positive, transformative political force that it’s often portrayed as in the U.S. media, particularly. She warns that “a populist movement that succeeds in securing an electoral majority of a democratic society tends to move toward institutional forms that change, and even shatter, constitutional democracy for the sake of a further, more intense majority.”

As November draws ever closer, the Princeton University Press Blog is running a series of posts on the presidential election: “PUP Authors on Election 2016 Hot Button Issues.” In the latest installment, George C. Edwards III examines what we actually want in a President. While it’s easy enough to come up with a laundry list of vague qualities that an ideal President would have, breaking down what specific knowledge and personality traits a President should have is much more difficult. In his post, Edwards delves into the potential effects of different decision-making styles, temperaments, and general worldviews in a POTUS.

Roger Ebert passed away three years ago on April 4, and in memory of the film critic, The Chicago Blog of the University of Chicago Press asked their film studies editor, Rodney Powell, to consider Ebert’s legacy. Powell hopes that, “as the celebrity status [Ebert] attained fades from memory, he will be recognized for the brilliant writer he was. Within the confines of the shorter forms in which he wrote, he was an absolute master.”

Who are Nones? As Elizabeth Drescher, writing at the OUPblog, puts it, they are “people who answer ‘none’ when asked with what religious group they most identify or to which they belong.” In her post, Drescher challenges three common misconceptions about Nones. She argues that most of them actually aren’t “unbelievers,” that many are looking for spiritual community, and that they are far from inarticulate about religion and spirituality. (For additional proof of all three of Drescher’s points, read A None’s Story: Searching for Meaning Inside Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam, by Corinna Nicolaou!)

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

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Announcing the Addition of Harvard University Press to the Columbia University Press Sales Consortium

Harvard University Press

Columbia University Press is pleased to announce that Harvard University Press is joining the Columbia Sales Consortium for sales representation in the United States and Canada beginning September 1, 2016.

The Columbia Sales Consortium has represented the finest university and scholarly presses to the book trade in the United States for more than 25 years. With the inclusion of Harvard University Press, the group will expand its sales representation services into Canada. This move builds upon a relationship between the two publishers which began in 2011 when our sales force first started to represent Harvard University Press in only the Southeastern United States. Order fulfillment and customer service for Harvard University Press will remain with Triliteral.

The Columbia Sales Consortium team consists of Brad Hebel, Director of Operations and Sales for Columbia University Press; Catherine Hobbs, Consortium Sales Manager and Sales Representative for the Mid-Atlantic and Southern United States; Conor Broughan, Sales Representative for the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada; Kevin Kurtz, Sales Representative for the Midwestern United States and Central Canada; and William Gawronski, Sales Representative for the Western United States and Western Canada.

The Columbia Sales Consortium also includes: University of California Press, Duke University Press, Fernwood Publishing, Georgetown University Press, ISD, McGill-Queens University Press, NYU Press, University of Alabama Press, University of Massachusetts Press, University of South Carolina Press, University of Virginia Press, and University of Washington Press. (more…)

Thursday, March 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.)

This week on Cambridge University Press’ blog, Iris Berger wrote about the representation of women in political offices throughout Africa. While many are expecting Hillary’s Democratic nomination, if she were to win this year’s general election, she would be following in the footsteps of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia since 2006, who was the first elected female president in any African country and the first female leader awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Ellen’s position of leadership, as well as the high percentage of women in lower offices in places such as Rwanda, Senegal, and Mozambique, is a stark reminder of the under-representation of women in the U.S.’ Senate and House of Representatives.

At the Yale University Press blog, Jonathan H. Ebel explores how displays of devotion and awe towards the men and women who serve in the military are central to American civil religion. In short, as we gather up individual soldiers and pack them into a singular symbol of “the military,” which we then worship with narratives of triumphalism and sacrificial heroism, we are, in truth, glorifying American militarism. Ultimately, these symbolic soldiers are part and parcel of our national myth-making.

Recently at the University of Washington Press, Sylvanna M. Falcon was interviewed about her book Power Interrupted: Antiracist and Feminist Activism inside the United Nations. After attending the 1995 U.N. World Conference on Women in Beijing, Sylvanna became interested in transnational feminism and realized that if the U.N. was to advance women’s rights, its masculinized and racialized power had to be challenged. In her book as well as the interview, she discusses the importance of considering race and gender together in feminist activism.

At the University of Texas Press blog, Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher Gonzalez explore the importance of Latin@ comic books as a way of crafting national literary imaginaries. The Latin@ comic landscape began in earnest with Los Bros Hernandez’ publication of Love & Rockets in the 1980’s, and has since expanded and become more inclusive. As Frederick and Christopher put it, Latin@s are the majority minority, and the form of comic books will only continue to grow as an expression and archive of Latin@ history and culture.

In the wake of Easter, Princeton University Press blog’s Eoghan Barry wrote about the formidable life of Countess Markievicz, née Constance Gore-Booth, who fought for Irish independence from Britain in the 1916 Rising. Although born into a family of landed gentry, she became a socialist and was eventually imprisoned for her role in the Rising. Although frequently hailed as a nationalist icon, her radical socialist past, including her work with the poor and her involvement in a militant woman’s organization, are often forgotten.

At Beacon Broadside, Fred Pearce examines who will deliver food to the world’s hungry in the age of climate change. El Niño inspired weather has led to severe droughts in places like India and South Africa, and it will only continue to threaten the food stability of nations around the globe. Yet, Fred warns against the pat assumption that large-scale and single-commodity commercial farming can feed the world and argues that it is many small family farms that have the potential to rescue us from the threat of hunger.

In the Blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Shayla Reese Griffin uses an anecdote of hearing her friend’s biracial daughter explain how she was excited that she will never have to experience segregation like Ruby Bridges did. Yet, when Shayla asked about the makeup of her classroom, she learned that it was racially homogeneous: there were only black students. While segregation was made illegal years ago, de facto segregation persists in education from an early age, perpetuating racial bias and failing to bring diversity to the social environment of children.

In From the Square, Tanya Golash-Boza evaluates the American deportation machine. With the precedent of large-scale deportations enacted under Bill Clinton and George Bush as backdrop, Obama has overseen record deportations since he first took office. Now, with 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States, Republicans like Trump and Cruz want them all gone. Tanya argues how such “proposals” are nothing but fantasy.

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

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Announcing the Columbia University Press Holiday Sale!

Columbia University Press Holiday Sale

Happy Holidays! We are pleased to announce that all books on the Columbia University Press website are on sale at 40% off their list price* from December 7, 2015 through January 6, 2016. The discount will apply automatically on checkout; just find and order the books you like and save 40%!

*Customers in Europe and the Middle East who would like to receive the discount please contact customer@wiley.com

Friday, November 13th, 2015

The Russian Library Series: A #UPWeek 2015 Blog Tour Post


It’s the final day of University Press Week 2015! 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. Rather than interviewing an author about a book, we are interviewing Christine Dunbar about an exciting new venture for Columbia University Press: the Russian Library. While you may have read about the Russian Library in articles in the New York Times and elsewhere, we are happy for a chance to explain a bit more about what the project means for Columbia UP.

Make sure you check out the other presses posting today: Temple University Press, University of Virginia Press, Beacon Press, University of Illinois Press, Southern Illinois University Press, Oregon State University Press, Liverpool University Press, University of Toronto Press Journals, and Manchester University Press!

The Russian Library Series
An Interview with Christine Dunbar

What is the Russian Library?

Christine Dunbar: The Russian Library is a new series at Columbia University Press, which will publish ten books of Russian literature a year in English translation. While a few will be republications of excellent translations that have sadly gone out of print, most will be new translations—either of works that have never been translated or works that need updated translations. Publishing ten books a year allows the series to highlight the scope of Russian literature, both in terms of genre and time period. My academic background is in the study of Russian poetry, so I am particularly excited about the prospect of publishing poetry translations, but we are also looking at drama, short stories, novels, and the creative, literary non-fiction that Russians do so well. The bulk of the translations will be of 20th works, which are currently underrepresented in translation, with some slots reserved for books from the 19th century and earlier and some for contemporary literature. The series will not replicate existing excellent translations: publishing another Anna Karenina when in 2014 Yale University Press published Marion Schwartz’s translation and Oxford University Press published Rosamund Bartlett’s (both of which are superb) would be just plain silly. But there are some classics that deserve updates, and there are many, many books that Anglophone audiences don’t know at all. One of the particularly fun things about the selection process has been finding some treasures that are not well-known in Russia either. This is often the case with émigré literature, which may have been published in France or Germany or the States but never made it back to the land of the mother tongue.

How are the books being chosen?

CD: It’s a process, as you can imagine. The series has an advisory board of eminent scholars from the US, Great Britain, and Russia. Picking the first books is a particular challenge, because you want to be able to signal all of the things the series will be able to do. There’s a temptation to make a game out of it. If you have one little known modernist adventure story, do you have to balance it out with a 19th century serious novel? But the biggest problem, of course, is that when you are planning a publishing program, ten seems like a huge number of books. And when you are choosing titles from the vast expanse of the Russian literary past and present, it seems—and rightly so—like a minuscule speck. So, we have lists. I keep a spreadsheet, shared with the board members, of all of the authors and titles that are under consideration. Not surprisingly, some of the most exciting ideas have come from translators.

Speaking of translators, won’t this be expensive?

CD:Yes! The series receives funding from the Institute of Literary Translation in Moscow, and CUP will work closely with Read Russia to promote the books. New York City readers should be on the lookout for Read Russia events during Russian Literature Week; I’m definitely looking forward to Eugene Vodolazkin’s visit.

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

University Press Week 2015 Blog Tour Roundup, Day 4


The 2015 University Press Week blog tour is off to a great start, with more presses participating than ever before! As in previous years, a theme is selected for each weekday and various university presses sign up to post on the theme of their choice (catch up with our earlier roundups: days one and two and day three). Today’s theme is one that has been popular each year on the UP Week blog tour: #TBT (Throwback Thursday)!

Over at the University of Chicago blog, we get a punctuated history of publishing from UChicago Press, starting with its days as a printer in 1890 and leaping to its digital revolution in 1991, the year the PDF was established!

The University of Manitoba Press grounds its #tbt in place, that is the Canadian prairies north of the Dakotas. Their office searched through file cabinets and cupboards to produce snapshots of first books published in their series–Iceland, Native History, Studies in Immigration and Culture, among others. They also uncovered an unsearchable title, from their Publications of the Algonquian Text Society series: wâskahikaniwiyiniw-âcimowina Stories of the House People, edited and translated by Freda Ahenakew.

How have academic journal covers evolved through the years? University of Toronto gives us something old and something new.

Duke University Press blog similarly highlights its most surprising journal issue covers from the past several years. Highlights include Social Atlantic Quarterly’s “Racial Americana” issue as well as Transgender Studies Quarterly’s “Tranimalities” issue.

University of Texas Press spotlights photographer Mark Cohen’s street images on their blog, harkening to a time before Instagram. Author of Frame, Cohen shares six short written pieces about his iconic street photographs taken and developed in 1970s Pennsylvania.

University of Minnesota Press features a massive, detailed timeline of Publishers and their founding dates in infographic form. Fun fact: We, Columbia University Press, share our birth year of 1893 with University of California and Northwestern.

Project Muse, founded in 1995, includes a year by year roundup of university press digital content on its blog. Useful for gaining a quick view of significant journal articles and books.

The University Press of Kansas blog checks in to the significance of this day in 1999 when “President Bill Clinton signed a sweeping measure knocking down Depression-era barriers and allowing banks, investment firms and insurance companies to sell each other’s product.” They tie it to a forthcoming UPK book by Patrick Maney Bill Clinton: New Gilded Age President.

Lastly, Fordham University Press shares a fascinating post on subway history by Joseph Raskin, author of The Routes Not Taken, on New York City’s unbuilt subway system. Were there ever plans for an uptown crosstown subway or more subway lines in Brooklyn? Look at the post to find out. Raskin gives an erudite overview of why subway plans were ended–the reasons range from budgetary issues, the Great Depression, to political factors. Also, did you know? The G line was originally proposed as an elevated line in the 1870s!

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

University Press Week 2015 Blog Tour Roundup, Day 3


The 2015 University Press Week blog tour continues today discussing Design in UP and Scholarly Publishing.

Princeton University Press’s Design department launched a design tumblr highlighting notable projects with commentary by the book’s respective designer. This behind-the-scenes look reveals thoughts, challenges, and compromises the designers faced throughout their creative processes. Of note: the blog features a look at the Press Room at Princeton University Press in 1910.

MIT Press’s “Design Through the Decades at The MIT Press” is essentially a compressed history of graphic design from the mid-twentieth century to the present. This exciting video (accompanied by a Talking Heads song) takes a look at how book design has evolved over several decades using the human brain image as a case study. It presents a fascinating look at how typographic trends, printing technology, and popular culture have shaped book design over the last 60+ years. (more…)

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

University Press Week 2015 Blog Tour Roundup, Days 1 and 2


The 2015 University Press Week blog tour is off to a great start, with more presses participating than ever before! As in previous years, a theme is selected for each weekday and various university presses sign up to post on the theme of their choice. Each of the first two days have gone off without a hitch, and there have been a ton of fascinating posts so far on both the Monday’s theme (Surprising!) and Tuesday’s (The Future of Scholarly Publishing). We’ve collected all the posts from the first two days below, so you can #ReadUP!

Monday: Surprising!

At The Florida Bookshelf, the University Press of Florida takes us on a food tour of Florida through seven of their exciting (and surprising!) cookbooks.

At the University Press of New England’s UPNEblog, Marketing Manager Tom Haushalter tells the story of the remarkable experience of marketing Marc Solomon’s Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits—and Won while “marriage equality had ascended to being the most important social movement of its time.”

Steve Yates, the Marketing Director of the University Press of Mississippi also has a surprising story to tell: how UPM collaborated with Mississippi booksellers and newspapers to create a “Mississippi Bestsellers List” that would feature writing by Mississippians about Mississippi. (more…)

Friday, October 30th, 2015

University Press Week 2015 – Online Panels


“My work as a journalist has been richly and continuously informed by the world of ideas offered by university presses over the years. I can’t imagine the life of the mind in America today without them.” —Bill Moyers

Fourth Annual University Press Week Highlights the Most Surprising Aspects of Scholarly Presses

This year the Association of American University Presses gathers both online and on campuses around the world for University Press Week from November 8-14, 2015. The AAUP is celebrating scholarly publishing concurrent with the first annual Academic Book Week (Nov. 9-16, 2015), a program of the UK-based Academic Book of the Future project.

University presses are full of surprises each year and this year we didn’t have to look hard to find the unique and special ways that these presses make their mark on the world. From University Texas Press’s James Beard winner Yucatán to Princeton University Press’s 150th Anniversary Edition of Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali and Ohio University Press’s illustrated, YA novel Trampoline, this has been a year of outstanding publishing from university presses. All the while, university presses continue to publish the best scholarship from the foremost thinkers working today and continue to garner awards and media attention in vast numbers for their work. University presses worldwide are proud to create these varied, often surprising, and always incredibly well researched publications for students as well as armchair scholars, librarians, journalists, booksellers, and general readers alike. (more…)

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

University Press Roundup

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

This week on the Beacon Press blog, Kay Whitlock discusses five myths about violence in America in an attempt to highlight the distinction between the widespread perception of hate crimes in America as isolated and individually-motivated incidents, and the idea of a culturally-perpetuated, structural violence that she believes more accurately characterizes these events.

Duke University Press has posted an article, “How to Start a New Journal,” that brings attention to five new journals, including the Transgender Studies Quarterly, that have been founded in response to new pressing issues, calling attention to the merits of the academic journal as a versatile, accessible medium for discussion about ideas that demand attention.

In a post on the Harvard Education Publishing Group blog, Shayla Reese Griffin discusses the discrepancy between the belief in segregation as a problem of the past and the alarming reality of what many U.S. classrooms today still look like. Her solution is a recommitment to the active practice of integration, beginning with a collective and mindful undoing of unconscious fears, biases, and prejudices.

In light of International Translation Day, Helen Constantine discusses the implications of widespread translation practices in a post on the Oxford University Press blog. It isn’t considered strange, for example, for a writer from Gaza to write his novel in English, but there are very few English writers who would write a novel in Arabic. Constantine brings up fascinating questions about translation, building up barriers, and breaking them down. (For further information about this fascinating topic, check out two Columbia UP books: The Fall of Language in the Age of English, by Minae Mizumura, and Born Translated, by Rebecca Walkowitz!)

This past week was Banned Books Week (September 27 through October 3), and the University of Texas Press has announced that it will be launching a new comic book studies series called the World Comics and Graphic Nonfiction Series, which will publish books that bring an analytical and interdisciplinary approach to defining the comic book studies field. The blog has included an excerpt of the recent issue of The Velvet Light Trap dealing with censorship in the comic book industry.

A recent post on the Yale University Press blog discusses an trend in state-level justice reforms in many southern states as well as Utah, Pennsylvania, and California that make it easier for those incarcerated to gain access to education and training that can greatly improve their prospects in post-incarcerated life. This has given rise to the hopes of a shift of penal reform in a less punitive direction.

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

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Announcing the winner of the first annual Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award

Columbia University Press, in conjunction with the Office of the Provost of Columbia University, is pleased to announce that Wael B. Hallaq is the winner of the first annual Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award for his book The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament.

Wael B. Hallaq is Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University.

Ellen Lukens, Sylvia D. & Mose J. Firestone Centennial Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia School of Social Work and Co-Chair of the Columbia University Press faculty publication committee says Hallaq’s exceptional work was chosen because “in this powerful critical reflection on our times, Hallaq draws on historical and religious narratives to examine the limits of both Islamic and Western concepts of the modern state in light of the often misunderstood moral demands of Shari’ah. His writing illuminates the need for dialogue between Islamic and Western thought in an effort to confront the forces that threaten ecological sustainability and moral and communal prosperity in a global setting.”

The Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award is given to the Columbia University faculty member with a book published by the Press in the two years prior that brings the highest distinction to Columbia University and Columbia University Press for its outstanding contribution to academic and public discourse. The winner is selected by a jury composed of the current members of the Press’s faculty publication committee.

A ceremony to honor the winner will be held on September 24, 2015, at the Casa Italiana at Columbia University. The author of the winning book receives a certificate and a cash award of $10,000.

You can find more information about the award here.

Friday, September 18th, 2015

University Press Roundup

Welcome back to our (sometimes) 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 (nearly) every Friday.)

This month on the University Of California Press blog, Susan Sered, co-author of Can’t Catch a Break: Gender, Jail, Drugs, and the Limits of Personal Responsibility, opens up an ongoing dialogue about our current notions of education and power, and the underlying systems of poverty, racism and gendered violence that surround them. In this article, Sered calls us to examine the ways in which our ideas of knowledge and education are used to simultaneously disempower those individuals belonging to marginalized groups, and to point responsibility for systematic disenfranchisement back onto its victims.

James C. Kaufman, a frequent contributor to Cambridge University Press, writes on their blog this month about the phenomenon of creativity and the mechanisms and motivations behind creative people. Having backgrounds in both cognitive psychology and playwriting, Kaufman offers a unique perspective on the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of creative people, as well as anecdotes about his own experiences in both the scholarly and productive arenas regarding creative work.

This month the University of Chicago Press blog features an excerpt from an interview with Jessa Crispin, author of The Dead Ladies Project, a memoir about a thirty-something-year-old female expatriate and her experiences walking the line between a lifestyle that fits neither the category of full detachment nor traditional stability. In a voice that is at once unmistakably recognizable and immediately intimate, Crispin speaks about loneliness, place, and the ex-pat experience.

On the Georgetown University Press blog this month comes a two-part post about renewing the Catholic understanding of the sexual person by Todd A. Salman and Michael G. Lawler, authors of Sexual Ethics. Salzman and Lawler put forward a fascinating proposition for a new understanding of the sexual individual within the context of Catholicism, urging a conception of sexual personhood as one that is both wholly holistic and subjective, facilitating a less fragmented and more intimate relationship with one’s body, partner, and God.

From Harvard University Press comes a dialogue between noted atheist and neuroscientist Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz, former Islamist and chairman of global thinktank Quilliam, an international project focused on facilitating discussion on religious freedom, extremism, and citizenship. Sparked from an inauspicious comment made by Harris towards Nawaz following the 2010 Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, Islam and the Future of Tolerance nevertheless turns out an engaging, nuanced, and generous exchange of ideas surrounding Islam, extremism, and the role of scripture and history in the modern political landscape.

In a recent post on the Stanford University Press blog, Cedric de Leon and Manali Desai take on the almost humorously bewildering recent phenomenon of Donald Trump’s rocketing ascent to prominence in the upcoming election, conjecturing that the cause of such a confounding occurrence lies not so much in any particular competence or brilliance of the man himself, but rather a festering detachment and alienation that has been growing steadily in many Americans these past few years, resulting in the almost paradoxically understandable attraction to this strange image of the outsider spouting extreme and even nonsensical views that Trump has embodied in such a timely way.

Finally, to close this weeks roundup, here’s a short piece from the Princeton University Press blog sporting the charming title Kierkegaard in Space. We will leave the reader of this blog with the image of the first Danish astronaut, Andreas Mogensen, upon being obliged to select a ten-minute selection from a Danish work to read to his fellow astronauts on board the first Danish spacecraft bound for the International Space Station, reading a selection from the melancholy Dane’s The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air to his rapt and choice audience, floating noiselessly above a tiny blue earth.

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