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Archive for the 'University Press News' Category

Friday, April 18th, 2014

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. (Unfortunate note: while we were researching and writing this post, Typepad blogs were not loading, so we weren’t able to include them in the roundup this week.)

April is National Poetry Month, and many university press blogs have been putting up poetry posts in honor of the occasion. This week, the JHU Press Blog posted Daniel Anderson’s “Easter Sundays,” along with a quick explanation of the poem written by Anderson. Wake: Up to Poetry, the blog of Wake Forest University Press, continued their Poem of the Day series, including “Hotel,” by Medbh McGuckian.

At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Shaun Lovejoy argues that new studies have shown that the IPCC report is right that it is “extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” Lovejoy rejects the idea that the warming climate is caused by natural temperature fluctuations, and explains the methods used in the new study.

The MIT Press Blog ran a fascinating interview with Fox Harrell this week in which Harrell discusses his use of the cognitive science term “phantasm” (“a combination of imagery (mental or sensory) and ideas”) and argues that the media can create and use cultural phantasms, phantasms based on a shared worldview, to both oppress and empower.

One of the most famous clashes between proponents of creationism and evolution was the 1925 Scopes trial, in which John Scopes, a teacher in Tennessee, was accused of having taught evolution in a state-funded school. At the UNC Press Blog, Angie Maxwell looks back at the trial and argues that many of the same battles that were fought in the Scopes trial are still being fought today. (more…)

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

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.

April is National Poetry Month, and a number of university press blogs have been putting up excellent poetry-themed posts in honor of the occasion. Wake Forest University Press has been taking advantage of their wonderful backlist of Irish poetry to post a poem a day throughout the month of April at their blog, Wake: Up to Poetry, including “Be Someone,” by Rita Ann Higgins. At Beacon Broadside, you can watch a video of Mary Oliver reading her poem “Night and the River.” The UPNEblog introduces the Sestina Arena, as Tom Haushalter challenges Adam L. Dressler to a sestina writing contest (providing some good information on what a sestina is and how you can write one along the way). And, if you are interested in reading about poetry as well as reading it, Andrew Epstein has a fascinating article at the OUPblog on one of Roberto Bolaño’s major influences: the New York School of poetry.

After nearly eight years spent pursuing individual projects, Big Boi and Andre 3000 are reuniting as Outkast at this year’s Coachella festival. From Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, their 1994 debut, until the duo’s hiatus following their film/soundtrack Idlewild in 2006, Outkast helped to redefine the sound of hip-hop and helped to bring rap music from the South into the mainstream music industry. At the UNC Press Blog, Zandria F. Robinson discusses Outkast’s colorful history and explains why Big Boi and Andre’s rise into national prominence was such a big deal in the late 1990s. Go on and marinate on that for a minute. (more…)

Friday, April 4th, 2014

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.

Climate change has been in the news lately (more even than usual) with the release of the most recent IPCC report. At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Robert McLeman takes on an important result of climate change: how it will affect the way that people move around the world. He argues that, while a rapidly changing climate will certainly prompt greater levels of global migration, it’s not the most worrying aspect of the situation.

Meanwhile, at Island Press Field Notes, Emily Monosson ponders the possibility (and implications) of rapid human evolution in response to pollution, in particular, industrial age chemicals. She offers some worrying ways that industrial chemicals might affect the way that we reproduce, for instance, and, while she also wonders whether chemicals just aren’t relevant to human evolution, asks “what if the pressure was pervasive, reaching across large swaths of a population? And what if it hit us where it really hurt, reproduction?”

On Saturday, March 22, a major mudslide occurred a few miles outside of Oso, Washington, causing widespread damage and killing at least thirty people. At the JHU Press Blog, Donald R. Prothero has a long article explaining the mechanisms that caused the slide, and discussing why, when another major slide in the region was predicted, houses continued to be built in the area near the Steelhead Drive neighborhood where the slide occurred.

Jane Goodall turned 80 this week, and, in honor of the occasion, Nancy Merrick has a guest post at Beacon Broadside giving some of the most important lessons that she has learned from working with Dr. Goodall. Some examples: “You cannot get through even a single day without having an impact. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” “Solving problems of chimps and forests requires addressing human issues as well.” And, “rules are made to be broken—as long as you proceed in a manner respectful of others.”

Why should we study the history of philosophy? After all, as Graham Priest points out at the OUPblog, “[i]f you go into a mathematics class of any university, it’s unlikely that you will find students reading Euclid. If you go into any physics class, it’s unlikely you’ll find students reading Newton. If you go into any economics class, you probably won’t find students reading Keynes. But if you go a philosophy class, it is not unusual to find students reading Plato, Kant, or Wittgenstein. Why?” (more…)

Friday, March 28th, 2014

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.

We’ll start the Roundup off this week with an excellent article at the University of Wisconsin Press Blog by UWP Editorial Director Gwen Walker. In her post, Walker describes ways that scholars can help the editors at academic presses “discover” their work. She points out the crucial role of conferences and conference papers in the academic book business, argues that professors need a robust faculty page, and gives helpful advice on what to do when an editor expresses interest in a project.

The JHU Press Blog has been running a series on the constantly rising cost of higher education, and, in the most recent post, John V. Lombardi argues that the popular narrative of “college as an out-of-control expense machine” is not backed up by a close examination of data. Instead, he ties the rising costs to changes in the sources of funding for public higher education. “Government, from Washington to the state houses across the country, want to shift the conversation to the campuses and demand that they provide a cheaper education that does not require as much expenditure of either public money or personal income.”

“Who owns a country?” With the debates over the fate of Crimea dominating the media over the past few weeks, Cecil Foster, writing at the McGill-Queen’s University Press blog, believes that this is a perfect moment to discuss a question that rarely gets airtime, even though “[i]t is a question that is never far below the surface in any discussion, among others, about Quebec, Scotland, Catalonia, Sri Lanka, England, Germany….” He argues that consideration of this question should lead us to what he calls “Genuine Multiculturalism,” which will create space for true democracy. (more…)

Friday, March 21st, 2014

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.

University Presses in Space! Before we get started with blog posts, we just want to point out the brand new UP in Space website, devoted to showcasing books on space and space exploration published by university presses. It’s an excellent list, and features two Columbia UP books: Crowded Orbits: Conflict and Cooperation in Space, by James Clay Moltz, and Mankind Beyond Earth: The History, Science, and Future of Human Space Exploration, by Claude A. Piantadosi!

Moving back to earth, we’ll get the Roundup rolling with an interview with Jeff Williamson and Larry Neal on the long, complicated history of capitalism, posted on fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press. Williamson and Neal discuss ancient economic records from Babylon, claim that the the corporation started to appear in medieval Italy, consider the role of wars in 20th-century capitalism, and wonder if recent levels of economic growth can be sustained throughout the 21st century.

The national dialogue on gun violence that followed the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary last year seems to have faded into the background without any major changes in gun policy. At the JHU Press Blog, Beth McGinty and Colleen Barry have a guest post examining why, despite “polls [that] showed that the overwhelming majority of Americans supported many gun policy options,” Congress did not end up passing any relevant legislation. In particular, they are interested in why “Congress failed to strengthen the background check system for gun sales, despite our polling data showing that 89% of Americans overall, 86% of Republicans, 84% of gun owners, and 74% of National Rifle Association members supported requiring background checks for all gun sales.”

The US invasion of Iraq began eleven years ago this month, and at the OUP blog, Geoffrey S. Corn looks back at “the most significant strategic debacle of the war”: the abuse of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison. Corn emphasizes that the repeated emphasis from US leaders, both civilian and military, that the enemy in Iraq and more broadly in the Middle East was made up of “‘unlawful’ combatants” played a significant role in the scandal by creating a double-standard for how prisoners should be seen by their guards: “lawful” combatants one way and “unlawful” combatants another. (more…)

Friday, March 14th, 2014

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.

We’ll start things off this week with a great article by Alice Northover in the OUPblog on the use of video marketing in academic publishing. Northover claims that it’s misleading to consider videos in isolation. Instead, she explains that by putting in a great deal of effort in designing the videos to be interesting, enlightening, and easily found, OUP and their authors see a variety of benefits that more than make up for the time involved in creating the videos, and “most importantly, these videos disseminate Oxford scholarship around the globe, and even help the occasional student pass their final exam.”

Albert Einstein was born on the 14th of March in 1879, and in honor of his birth the Princeton University Press Blog featured a great “Pi Day” excerpt from Charles Adler’s Wizards, Aliens, and Starships. In the excerpt, Adler looks at popular conceptions of one of the weirder aspects of Einstein’s famous theory of relativity–the prediction that “clocks run more slowly when traveling close to light speed”–and asks whether this idea of Einstein’s was crazy.

The situation in Ukraine has been on the front pages of news websites for months, now, and at the Indiana University Press blog, cultural anthropologist Sarah D. Phillips tries to provide a view of the ongoing events from the perspective of “regular people” in Ukraine. She has been running an informal project on Facebook, where she encourages people in Ukraine and Russia to complete the sentence, “I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW….” While she “makes no claims to a representative sample,” her answers do provide a number of interesting common threads that she shares in her post.

March is Women’s History Month, and both the University of Illinois Press blog and From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, ran excellent posts in honor of the occasion this week. First, Trisha Franzen, writing at the University of Illinois Press blog, looks back at the life of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, a suffragette in the early twentieth century. Shaw, a leader in the National American Woman Suffrage, raised money to support the Susan B. Anthony amendment by asking married women to donate their wedding rings and other personal jewelry items to the cause. As Franzen explains, “exploring who Shaw was, how she lived her life, and what arguments she made for women’s rights, challenge much what we think we know about women in this era and the suffrage movement.” Meanwhile, at From the Square, Priscilla Pope-Levison notes and discusses the lack of coverage of women in conventional histories of the evangelical movements in the Americas, despite the fact that letters and papers by women who played critical roles in many of the most important religious movements in American history exist in great profusion in dusty archives around the country. (more…)

Friday, February 14th, 2014

University Press Roundup

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

We’ll kick things off this week with some romantic Valentine’s Day advice, courtesy of Glenn Geher and Gökçe Sancak at the OUPblog: “This Valentines’ Day, display some of the core elements of human mating intelligence.” If you are looking for the science behind romance, this is the post for you. Geher and Sancak claim that “[b]ased on extensive past research on the nature of human mating, it turns out that the sexes are more similar than portrayals of the recent research in this area often suggests. So in thinking about how to woo your partner this year, you may first want to think about what people across the globe want in long-term mates.” Meanwhile, the MIT Press blog offers a more romantic (or Romantic) take on love in celebration of Valentine’s day. They’ve provided an excerpt from Irving Singer’s Philosophy of Love, in which Singer discusses love as “the idea of merging with another person.” He claims that “[n]owadays when people treat Romantic love as the only kind of love, they tend to assume that passionate attachment alone makes life worth living. That is a wholly Romantic idea.”

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are in full swing this week, and a couple of academic blogs have excellent posts looking at different aspects of the Games. First, at the Indiana University Press blog, Stephen M. Norris points out that, while “everyone who watched the London opening ceremony knew that Danny Boyle was behind it, just as NBC highlighted Zhang Yimou’s widely-praised direction in Beijing, no one watching NBC’s coverage learned that Sochi also had a director and that he too was involved with the film industry.” Norris describes the film career of director Konstantin Ernst leading up to his direction of the Opening Ceremonies. While Norris is interested in the Games as an event, the science behind the sports themselves come under the microscope in Mark Denny’s post at the JHU Press Blog. He claims that, “unlike summer sports, the physics of athlete movement in winter sports is actually quite simple…. There are three basic forces that dominate the movement of athletes: the force of gravity acting down; aerodynamic drag, which acts opposite to the direction in which the athlete is heading; and, in many sports, the centrifugal force that acts on athletes, such as bobsledders, who are moving around a curve.”

February is Black History Month, and several presses are continuing series of posts in honor of the occasion. From the Square, the NYU Press blog, kept their Black History Month series this week with a couple of fascinating posts. First, Dorceta E. Taylor argues that industrial pollution and other environmental issues in cities have combined with the displacement of African Americans to create a system in American urban areas where African American communities end up in “the most hazard-prone areas of cities.” Second, Catherine R. Squires believes that we should move past the study of just the “Firsts” of Black History. She claims that by focusing on milestones and ignoring gaps between them, “we fail to see the ways that other individuals, institutions, and social practices worked—often quite deliberately—to crush the spirit of those Firsts, and to make it plain that Black people who wanted to follow in their footsteps would be met with massive resistance.” Stephen Colbert often jokes that he doesn’t see color when looking at people. And at the Stanford University Press Blog, Osagie K. Obasogie examines race and “color-blindness” from a unique angle: how do people who are actually blind think about race and skin color? It turns out that blind people “see” race “[j]ust like everybody else. More often than not, blind respondents talked about race in terms of skin color, facial features, and other visual cues—just like sighted people.”
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Friday, February 7th, 2014

University Press Roundup

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

February is African American History Month, and at the University of Washington Press Blog, Lorraine McConaghy and Judy Bentley honor the occasion by telling the story behind their account of Charles Mitchell, a slave brought to the Washington Territory in the 1850s. They also discuss the difficulties in solving the “mysteries [that] abound in African American history, especially in the Pacific Northwest,” noting the great disparity in the historical materials documenting the lives of slave owners and the lives of slaves. Meanwhile, at From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Andra Gillespie takes a critical look at the Republican National Committee’s recent Black History Month advertisements. Gillespie argues that the RNC’s ads attempt to paper over real differences in the types of political views espoused by the Republican party and those commonly held by black Americans.

Many of us in the publishing industry have a special love for bookstores, and AMACOM Managing Editor Andy Ambraziejus is no exception. In a guest post at the AMACOM Books Blog, Ambraziejus explains why “browsing in a bookstore offers some things that online browsing can’t replicate – at least so far.”

The Winter Olympics in Sochi have officially begun, with figure skating prominently featured as one of the events beginning the Games. At the Duke University Press blog, Erica Rand discusses her love of figure skating and her hatred of the way that Olympic athletes generally and figure skaters in particular are expected to conform to race and gender norms.

The Sochi Olympics have put the spotlight on LGBT rights (or the lack thereof) in Russia. At the UNC Press blog, Anne Balay argues that celebrations of gay and lesbian rights victories in select areas can overshadow the very real struggles of people outside of those areas, and can even increase the hardships these people have to live with every day.

President Obama gave his annual State of the Union address last week, and at The Chicago Blog, the blog of the University of Chicago Press, Sandra M. Gustafson analyzes Obama’s speech, “providing thematic context for the president’s speeches and scrutinizing his use of rhetoric within larger social and political frameworks.”

Facebook has just turned ten years old (as Facebook members may have noticed from the many “Facebook look back” videos shared on the social media site), and at the OUPblog, José van Dijck looks at the future of the world’s largest social network. Despite the fact that Facebook is still growing in users and in activity, it is reportedly losing popularity among teenagers. Van Dijck asks whether “this a sign of decline or is it merely a temporary hitch in the company’s extraordinary development—a teenager’s growing pains on its way to adulthood?”

“Why are we so imaginative? What possible use is there in passing through the looking-glass with Alice or supposing that the moon is inhabited by creatures with aerials growing out of their heads?” In a guest post at fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Clive Gamble discusses the important role that imagination played in the global expansion of the human species.

The Nymphaea thermarum, or pygmy Rwandan water lily, is one of the world’s rarest flowers: originally it only grew in one area in Rwanda, but now only exists in the Kew Gardens in London. However, last month, one of the flowers at Kew was “wrenched or dug out of its shallow pond in the Prince of Wales Conservatory” and stolen. At the Florida Bookshelf, the blog of the University Press of Florida, Craig Pittman describes this most unusual crime.

The MIT Press Blog has begun running a series of posts called “Lunch BITS” in honor of the launch of their new MIT Press BITS ebook program. The Lunch BITS will have excerpts from some of the most popular and important books on the MIT Press book list, like Janet Abbate’s Gender in Academic Computing.

What happens when criminal charges are brought against a major company? In an interview with the Harvard University Press Blog, Brandon L. Garrett breaks down the dizzyingly complex system of corporate crime prosecution in the US, and raises “‘too big to jail’ concerns extending far beyond the Wall Street banks.” He claims that the increasingly popular “deferred prosecution agreements” compromise many of the most important corporate criminal cases in America.

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

Friday, January 31st, 2014

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! It’s been a few weeks since our last installment so we have quite a bit of catching up to do. Our list of links is quite a bit longer than usual! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

The University of Washington Press has a beautiful new blog, and one of their first posts is a fascinating Q&A with Peter Berkery, the Executive Director of the AAUP. Berkery discusses his “Listening Tour” of the AAUP member presses, saying that his “initial goal was to embrace more aggressively my own learning curve; I knew from prior association management experience that there’s no substitute for meeting with members in their own offices to quickly and fully grasp the challenges and opportunities they—and by extension their association—face.” His conclusion from the tour thus far? “I think the most important thing the LT has done is reinforce the need for AAUP to devote more resources to advocating within the academy on behalf of its members. This need was articulated before I arrived—indeed it was a critical conversation in the vetting process—but being on campus and seeing where administrators “get it” and where they don’t really drives home the challenge.”

Many university presses are now active on various social media platforms. In his column at the University of Nebraska Press Blog, UNP Marketing Manager Martyn Beeny argues that “the symbiosis between marketing and acquisitions seems most relevant to the overall social media presence of a university press.” He endorses a unified strategy that incorporates individual and press-wide accounts while allowing room for individuality in each account, and claims that “collaboration is key to the success of this aligned social media presence.”

It’s now been over two years since the beginning of the popular uprising against Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Over the past two weeks, the Stanford University Press Blog has been posting an excellent series of articles and interviews looking back at the Egyptian uprising. All are well worth reading, starting with an excerpt from Samer Soliman’s The Autumn of Dictatorship, written after the protests began but before Mubarak was forced out of office, and ending with Joel Beinin’s examination of the current state of the Egyptian revolution.
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Friday, November 15th, 2013

University Press Roundup: Special UPWeek Edition

#UPWeek

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

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

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

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Friday, November 15th, 2013

#UPWeek Blog Tour: Columbia University Press and Global Publishing

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

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

#UPWeek

Columbia University Press and Global Publishing

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

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

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

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

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Friday, November 8th, 2013

University Press Roundup

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

Ever wondered what makes a terrific book, a classic for generations to come? Author Ankhi Mukerjee aspires to address that question through his book titled, “What is a Classic?” and Stanford University Press highlights Mukherjee’s new book in a recent post by stating that “Mukherjee’s concise prose doesn’t pull any punches. In her first chapter she asserts that the “classic” can be deployed as a hierarchical apparatus, shoring up power for some while marginalizing the voices of others.”

This week, Yale University Press writes a post about Nigel Simeone’s recently published editorial venture “The Leonard Berstein Letters” which are a compilation of written exchanges between Bernstein and other noted artists as well as his own personal relationships. Yale recognizes the achievements of Mr. Bernstein as “a charismatic and versatile musician – a brilliant conductor who attained international super-star status, a gifted composer of Broadway musicals (West Side Story), symphonies (Age of Anxiety), choral works (Chichester Psalms), film scores (On the Waterfront), and much more. He was also an enthusiastic letter writer, and this book is the first to present a wide-ranging selection of his correspondence.”

Harvard University Press commemorates the centennial anniversary of the passing of Alfred Russel Wallace with a recent post that includes a “beautifully produced facsimile edition of Wallace’s “Species Notebook” of 1855-1859, a never-before-published document that helps to reestablish Wallace as Darwin’s equal among the pioneers of evolution.” Since his death in 1913, Wallace has been recognized as one of the most famous naturalists in the world.

Fan of Hemingway? Cambridge University Press catered to all those who want to know how to write like the acclaimed author with tips from Hemingway himself. As Heminway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, Volume 2 (1923-1925) show that Hemingway had quite a few more tips on his craft, and Cambridge has made these tips available in an easily readable and creative format in a recent blog post.

Duke University Press recently published a post about joining hands with the Center for Documentary Studies to celebrate author Gerard H. Gaskin’s success with his forthcoming book “Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene”, which was the 2012 winner of the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. According to Duke Press, “The book’s color and black-and-white photographs document the world of house balls, underground pageants where gay and transgender men and women, mostly African American and Latino, celebrate their most vibrant, spectacular selves as they walk, competing for trophies based on costume, attitude, dance moves, and realness.”

Princeton University Press recently posted about the 50th anniversary celebration of the New York Review of Books, which is widely recognized as a premier source of articles and reviews of the best books by the best critics in the industry. Princeton noted that all in attendance received a wonderful parting gift–a copy of the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine and a facsimile of the very first issue and mentioned that “it was delightful to thumb through Issue #1 with articles by W.H. Auden, Nathan Glazer, Elizabeth Hardwick, Irving Howe, Normal Mailer, Adrienne Rich, Susan Sontag, and Gore Vidal, to mention just a few of the illustrious contributors.”

MIT Press rounds up its Classic Reissue series with Roger Lewis’s well-loved “Architect?: A Candid Guide to the Profession”, now in its third edition. In their recent post, MIT Press shares the thoughts of Executive Editor Roger Conover “on the need for such a book in the market and the careful considerations for the revision.”

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a post by Harvard University Press. HUP paid a special tribute to Norman Mailer who is described as the “most celebrated and most reviled” of American writers, even years after his death. To highlight Mailer’s recent limelight with a new biography and special edition of selected essays, Harvard has posted “a most Mailerish of excerpts from his “First Advertisement for Myself,” from his 1959 book.

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

Friday, November 1st, 2013

University Press Roundup

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

Halloween is over and done with for another year, but we here at the Columbia UP blog aren’t quite ready to let it go yet, so we’ll start off this Roundup with a quick selection of Halloween-themed posts from the OUPblog and fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press. First of all, get back into the Halloween spirit with a spooky Halloween playlist, courtesy of the staff at Oxford University Press. Once you are good and scared, it’s time to learn more about famous Halloween icons: ghosts and witches. Why do we love ghosts? At fifteeneightyfour, Martin Bridgstock attempts to explain our fascination with ghost stories, while at the OUPblog, Roger Luckhurst looks back at the history of the Victorian-era “Ghost Club.” The standard medieval text for identifying and dealing with witches was the Malleus Maleficarum, and at fifteeneightyfour, Christopher Mackay has a post on studying The Hammer of Witches today. Finally, at the OUPblog, Owen Davies explains why Halloween is so associated with witches.

And now, on to the non-Halloween posts.

Beacon Broadside has a post up of Carole Joffe’s remarks upon “accepting the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Family Planning” on October 7. She discusses the “social status” of abortion providers, and in particular how the status of many providers has changed from the time of Roe v. Wade.

The severe damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy on the NYC subway system revealed the difficulties faced by the MTA in attempting to keep water out of the subway tunnels in the case of large storms. Fordham Impressions, the blog of Fordham University Press, has an interesting post up about the problems caused by Sandy and the future of preventing flooding in the subway.
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Friday, October 25th, 2013

University Press Roundup

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

The 2013 gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia are fast approaching, and, in a guest post at the UNC Press Blog, Jaime Amanda Martinez argues that the absence of other political races means that these state elections will be viewed as “indicators of where the Republican Party, and indeed the entire country, will head in 2014 and beyond.” Martinez compares this year’s gubernatorial races to the North Carolina election in 1864, though she thinks it’s unlikely that “the 2013 the 2013 gubernatorial elections will provide such a clear signal.”

It’s Open Access Week, and the MIT Press Blog is running a short series of posts in honor of the occasion, two of which are currently up. First of all, Charles Schweik has a guest post in which he discusses data that shows how open source software projects succeed. Second, Peter Suber has a post about his experiences writing and publishing a book that actually became open access.

The New York Times recently ran an article on the growing practice of authors accepting the censorship of the Chinese government in order to sell their books in China. At the Harvard University Press Blog, Ezra Vogel, whose recent book on Deng Xiaoping’s role in modern Chinese history was mentioned in the article, takes issue with the idea that his accepting censorship to get his book in the hands of Chinese readers was done for commercial reasons.

Want to learn more about penguins? Of course you do. Gerald L. Kooyman’s recent post on penguins as a part of the JHU Press Blog’s Wild Thing series is a fascinating look at the author’s experiences studying the majestic Sphenisciformes. As Kooyman notes, “[w]e are truly blessed to be able to observe and learn about such a hybrid group that lives at the interface of land and sea.”
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Friday, October 11th, 2013

University Press Roundup

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

Many publishing professionals are in Frankfurt this week for the Frankfurt Book Fair. Many less fortunate publishing professionals are going to the office as usual. For those of us who weren’t able to get to Germany for the fair, Fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press has an excellent series of blog posts on the book fair so you can keep up to date on all the action.

The government shutdown continues, and so do the posts about the National Park System and how it’s been effected by the stalemate in Washington. This week, Robert B. Keiter, writing at Island Press Field Notes, looks at our national parks and wonders what it is about them that provokes so much media scrutiny.

We tend to look at modern vegetarianism as a new phenomenon. However, at the UNC Press Blog, Adam D. Shprintzen has a guest post explaining that vegetarianism has been a social reform issue throughout the history of the United States, and looking in particular at the history of “faux meats.”

China’s economy is constantly growing and likely to surpass that of the US at some point in the next century. However, as John Knight argues in a post at the OUPblog, sheer size is not why China’s economy is interesting. Instead, he points to five other factors, highlighting challenges overcome and challenges yet to be faced, that make China’s economy fascinating.

The JHU Press Blog had a number of thought-provoking posts this week (notably including a piece by Charles J. Rzepka on Elmore Leonard), but Peter L. Beilenson’s post “Explaining the Affordable Care Act in 800 Worlds” is particularly topical, as debates about Obamacare continue to rage.

At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, UMP director Doug Armato has posted the text of a talk he gave at “The Future of Academic Scholarship and Publishing” conference on Sept. 19, 2013, at Indiana University. In his speech, Armato argues that the “revolution in scholarly communication” is actually a chance to reevaluate where all the parts of scholarly publishing fit together:

Though we have become accustomed to thinking of ourselves as involved in, or confronted by, a revolution in scholarly communication, I see this moment as more akin to the emergence of a new cosmology of scholarly communication—a time not so much of economic reallocation or technological transformation (though both of those are surely forces) as much as a dramatic expansion and realignment of the megacosm and where all of us—scholars, students, librarians, publishers, tenure and promotion committees, administrators—locate ourselves in it.

At North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Elaine Bell Kaplan explains the “photovoice methodology” she uses in her new book. By allowing inner-city black and Latino children to chronicle the challenges they face with photography, she hopes to help them change societal stereotypes.

In 1980, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay collapsed when hit by a ship, a tragedy that was overshadowed by the eruption of Mt. St. Helens just nine days later. At the Florida Bookshelf, Bill DeYoung, author of a new book about the collapse of the bridge, discusses the event and his process in researching it.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up with a post from the (newly and stylishly redesigned!) Yale Press blog, Yale Books Unbound. Italian artist Giuseppe Penone’s exhibition in Madison Square Park here in NYC just opened, and in honor of the occasion, Yale Books Unbound has an excerpt from an interview with Penone.

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

Friday, October 4th, 2013

University Press Roundup

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

E.O. Wilson defines biophilia as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms.” At Island Press Field Notes, Timothy Beatley argues for increasing the integration of plant and animal life into our cities, a process he calls “biophilic urbanism.” Citing research that shows that people are “likely to be more resilient and more creative when we live and work in the presence of nature” and that “we are more likely to exhibit generosity when nature is near,” Beatley points out successful biophilic experiments in cities around the world but claims that it’s clear that, even in cities, “nature is not optional but essential.”

What role should ideology play in foreign and domestic policy-making? At the OUPblog, Richard S. Grossman looks into this hotly contested question, and argues that, while “ideology is damaging in the economic sphere when policymakers adopt one key idea as the centerpiece of their policy and cling to it under any and all circumstances, whether or not this approach is supported by evidence,” the same is not necessarily true for foreign policy, primarily because what counts as “evidence” is more nebulous in foreign policy than in economics.

The government shutdown has had wide-ranging implications, but one of the most noticeable has been the temporary closure of the National Park System. At Beacon Broadside, Michael Lanza describes what it was like to have to cancel a family vacation to Utah’s Zion National Park due to the situation in Washington.

Frustrated with dealing with “a know-it-all, bully, brownnoser, slacker, whiner, or a boss who is abusive, controlling, incompetent, or overly reactive”? At the AMACOM Books Blog, Renée Evenson has a five-step plan for dealing with “difficult people” in a productive and healthy way. (Note: we here at Columbia UP are lucky in that we don’t work with anybody who could fit Evenson’s descriptions.)

October 2nd was the 134th anniversary of Wallace Steven’s birth, and at the JHU Press Blog, Thomas G. Sowders has a post in honor of the occasion. The central question Sowders tries to address in his essay is a simple one: “Why do we keep turning to this poet?”

It’s tempting to look at the Civil War through the lens of large, general, united groups. However, in a fascinating guest post at the UNC Press Blog, David T. Gleeson offers a reminder that the war took place in a nation made up of subtle divisions and smaller groups as well. In particular, Gleeson looks at how Irish Americans in the South experienced the war, and argues that “the conflict and its aftermath were crucial to the assimilation of Irish Americans in the region.”

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is coming up in just over a month, and a new movie about the events surrounding the assassination, Parkland, is being released today. At North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Gary Kramer reviews Parkland and concludes that “Parkland is an earnest effort that is more leaden than solemn.”

This week at fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Randall Hansen and Desmond King offer a fairly horrifying but fascinating and highly informative post about eugenics policies in the United States in the 20th century. “Over 70,000 Americans coercively sterilized under state sterilization laws. The original justification for the law was eugenic, meaning that the sterilizations were designed to ward off a decline in national intelligence through excessive fertility among the ‘feebleminded.’” For more information, they also have created an interactive slideshow.

Vidar Sundstøl is a Norwegian writer, but his latest work has been based on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Sundstøl explains how the unique landscape and people of the North Shore inspired his Minnesota Trilogy.

We’ll wrap things up this week with a post from the Harvard University Press Blog on Sunil Amrith’s research on “centuries of forgotten interconnection that can help us better to understand our modern age.” Amrith studies the connections and migrations between the lands surrounding the Bay of Bengal, “Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia,” and explains how the shared history of the region has shaped the way that those countries are today.

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

Monday, September 30th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! These are just a few of our favorite posts from last week, since we didn’t have a chance to fill you in on Friday (sorry if you missed us!). As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

Since we’ve seen the conclusion of Banned Books Week, we look first to Beacon Broadside, where they’ve surveyed and interviewed members of their staff to compile a brief list of recommendations for those who’ve got a taste for historically subversive or disruptive texts.

University of Texas Press keeps the dialogue of banned books alive with a roundup of their own, cataloging 11 links to informational blogs, sites, videos, and social media elements aimed at generating awareness of the ongoing issue of banned books.

But of course, it’s not only the banning of books that hinders public learning and academic pursuit. Wilfrid Laurier University Press discusses the implications surrounding a recent “breaking point reached after years of funding cuts” to scientific research facilities in Canada. After protests on Parliament Hill and a New York Times op-ed on the growing difficulties in Canada for “publicly financed scientists to communicate with the public and with other scientists,” WLU weighs in on the problem and remarks, “There’s more than one way to burn a book, after all.”

On an unrelated note, we couldn’t help but include Princeton University Press’s Raptor Round-Up, in which they provide a rundown of their titles specializing in migrant raptors. From identification guides to full-color photographic books, PUP boasts a backlist replete with raptors. “[T]he sight of a raptor in the sky is an impressive image.” We couldn’t agree more.

After the recent–and needless–controversy regarding race in selecting a Miss America of Indian descent, NYU Press author Megan Seely questions the notion that crowning a Miss America is beneficial for woman in the first place. Examining the perhaps tacit requirements for success in the pageant–among them being thinness, tallness, heteronormativity, and, historically, whiteness–Seely argues that despite the good such pageants engender, they also do harm in alienating those individuals whose “races, ethnicities, cultural identities, body sizes, genders, sexualities, ages and abilities” are consistently not represented in what is a culturally accepted assertion of what it means to be an American woman.

And lastly, now that we’ve reached the denouement of Walter White’s transformation into sinister drug kingpin, the University of Minnesota Press features a rigorous blog post by author Curtis Marez on the role and treatment of Latinos on the hit television series Breaking Bad, both within the fictional narrative and the development of the show itself. Marez argues that the show demonstrates well “racial capitalism,” a theory positing that the fabrication of racial inferiority was “integral to the historical development of capitalism.” The discussion begins with the perceived symbolism of protagonist Walter White’s initial decision to shave his head. Be sure to read the original post here.

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

Friday, September 20th, 2013

University Press Roundup

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

How can a university press remain relevant in the rapidly changing world of publishing? An Akronism, the blog of the University of Akron Press, looks at the recent grant given to the University of North Carolina Press by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and offers five ways that the University of Akron Press can continue to thrive.

How quickly is the “‘takeover,’ if you will, of text-messaging and similar technology” changing scholarly communication? At the AMACOM Books Blog, Associate Editor Michael Sivilli talks about the role of new words in the creation of the new AMA Dictionary of Business and Management.

At Beacon Broadside, guest blogger David Chura asks “the question that daily confronts every teacher who works with hard to reach students…. ‘How do I do this?’” Chura’s recipe for longevity in teaching is simple: “Don’t take it personally.”

Ronald Reagan first became a national political figure in 1964, while campaigning for Barry Goldwater. However, Goldwater’s candidacy for the presidency met with serious opposition in Reagan’s home state of California. At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Donald T. Critchlow tells the story of the division between moderate and hard-right Republicans in California that provided the launching pad for Reagan’s political career. (And for those who prefer Ernest Hemingway and food to politics, fifteeneightyfour also has a post of recipes mentioned in Hemingway’s letters from Paris in the 1920s.)

September 19th would have been the 81st birthday of Mike Royko, a familiar columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner in the Chicago news scene. In honor of the occasion, The Chicago Blog has an excerpt from one of Royko’s articles, “written just after Rodney King’s beating at the hands of the LAPD.”

Do bullying laws work? At Voices in Education, the blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Elizabeth Kandel Englander looks at the debate over the many new state laws concerning bullying. As she puts it, “if bullying isn’t typically a crime, does it hurt or help to enact laws designed to reduce it?”
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Friday, September 13th, 2013

University Press Roundup

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

Do words matter? And if so, how do they shape our world? In this Cambridge University Press post titled Language of Contention, Sidney Tarrow discovers that “new words for contention diffuse across social and territorial boundaries, they affect how people behave as well as how they describe what they do. Take the recent evolution of the term ‘occupy’: it not only described what a group of protesters did near Wall Street in 2011; it also inspired people around the United States and abroad to imitate what they had done, to innovate new forms of occupation, and to force the concept of ‘the 99 percent’ onto the political agenda.”

Enjoy watching Sherlock Holmes and his unique detective skills? Oxford University Press published a post by James O’s Brien, author of The Scientific Sherlock Holmes. Brien writes an interesting take on the methods of detection used in Sherlock Holmes, ranging from fingerprint evidence to handwriting to footprints and even dogs.

Remember the Chilean Coup of 1973? Duke University Press published a post to mark the 40th anniversary the coup that took place on Sept 11th, 1973. “Before 9/11 (2001), September 11 was remembered most often as the day of the Chilean coup of 1973. Today marks the fortieth anniversary of that day. On September 11, 1973, Chile’s three armies launched an attack on the government of President Salvador Allende, the first democratically-elected socialist president of Chile.”

MIT Press talks about a new age of protest in two rising economies, namely Brazil and Turkey, in their post titled Turkey and Brazil: A New Age of Protest?. What do protests in both countries have in common. New age communication. “An ocean apart, what did the protests in Brazil have in common with the outcry in Turkey? Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and other online platforms, which enable speedy communication at very low costs, potential allies were reached and mobilized quickly.”

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Friday, August 30th, 2013

University Press Roundup

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

Wednesday, August 28th, marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, a pivotal event in the Civil Rights Movement in the US highlighted by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Naturally, there were many excellent blog posts written on the March this week in honor of the occasion. From the Square, the NYU Press blog, has been running a series of posts on the March all week, and Cynthia Taylor’s post on the oft-forgotten strategic planners of the March, A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin is especially fascinating in light of the constant media focus on Dr. King. The Harvard University Press Blog has an excerpt from Johnathan Rieder’s The Word of the Lord is Upon Me that discusses the brilliance of Dr. King’s speech in directing an “intimate black voice” at white Americans. The OUPblog has a post collecting images from the March and quotes about the events and impact of what happened in Washington DC that day. And, finally, the Penn Press Log has an excerpt from from Thomas F. Jackson’s examination of the media reaction to the March in 1963 (“Journalists most consistently reported the violence that did not happen”).

On a more modern note, this week the Princeton University Press Blog continued its excellent series on the “moral and political issues surrounding Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks.” Rahul Sagar and Gabriella Coleman each have new articles responding to points raised in the debate.

The US is considering intervening in the situation in Syria (CUP authors have offered words of caution), and in the interest of providing a full background of the ongoing uprising the University of Minnesota Press Blog has provided an excerpt from Paulo Gabriel Hilu Pinto’s essay “Syria,” which appears in Dispatches from the Arab Spring, and which shows the deep roots of the conflict.
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