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Archive for the 'University Press News' Category

Friday, May 1st, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 24th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 17th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 27th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

Friday, March 20th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 13th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 27th, 2015

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 20th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

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

Friday, February 13th, 2015

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 6th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 30th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

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

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

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

This week started off with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so it’s only fitting that this week’s University Press Roundup should start with posts from a number of blogs in honor of the occasion. First of all, at the Florida Bookshelf, the blog of the University Press of Florida, W. Jason Miller explains how the poetry of Langston Hughes inspired Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermons. Jennifer J. Yanco, writing at the Indiana University Press blog, looks at the recently released film Selma, and wonders whether the movie could be a turning point in how people see Dr. King, while Hasan Kwame Jeffries looks at the actual events of Selma in 1965 at From the Square, the blog of NYU Press. Finally, at the SUP blog, Vincent J. Intondi uncovers a less frequently discussed aspect of Dr. King’s politics: his stance against the use and creation of nuclear weapons.

At the University of Washington Press Blog, Laura Kina discusses “the emerging discipline of mixed race studies,” how it has been affected by recent racially charged events (particularly those at Ferguson), and what it can offer to the public dialogues about race in America.

“In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, the Islamophobia pervading Western democracies is the best recruitment tool for violent extremists.” Writing at the OUPblog, Justin Gest makes the case that violent and/or oppressive backlash against Muslims in Western countries following terrorist attacks (France is the most recent example), is a major part of the plan for Islamic extremists who are behind such attacks. Meanwhile, at fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Emile Chabal asks whether crises like the Charlie Hebdo attack actually serve to unite France, rather than divide it.

Thursday was the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, and in honor of the occasion, the Harvard University Press Blog is featuring an adapted excerpt from the Foreword to Mary Ziegler’s After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate. Ziegler argues that “by paying attention so exclusively to the Supreme Court we have lost a much richer story about the evolution of abortion politics.”

This week, the Penn Press Log introduced an exciting new addition to the academic publishing blogosphere: the JHIBlog of the Journal of the History of Ideas. They also featured the first JHIBlog post, which explains what the new blog hopes to accomplish.

(more…)

Friday, January 16th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

We’ll start things off this week with a post at the JHU Press Blog written by Keith Brock of the John’s Hopkins University Press staff. Brock discusses the JHUP Diversity Committee, and tells the story of how he helped to create it. Some of the work that the JHUP Diversity Committee does: “I can proudly say that we have started our process through volunteer activities, community collaborations (both internal and external), diversity training, creating mission statements, and increasing awareness.”

Professor Juan Flores, a well-known and widely respected scholar of Puerto Rican identity and culture, passed away in late 2014. At the UNC Press Blog, Christina D. Abreu honors Flores and discusses the ongoing importance of his work in a guest post.

Stanford University Press is launching a “novel publishing initiative for scholars in the digital humanities and computational social sciences” with grant funding from the Mellon Foundation. This week, the SUP blog is hosting a series of posts on what it means to publish digital scholarship, with articles explaining the new program, explaining their reasoning behind the move to a new publishing paradigm, and explaining how the new digital-born scholarship will aid researchers.

The attack on the Charlie Hebdo office has prompted a wide range of responses, and several scholarly publishing blogs have posted interesting takes on the situation. At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Ritu Gairola Khanduri looks at the reaction to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons through the lens of her work on similarly provocative cartoons in India, with a focus on how “[c]artoons show us that politics is sensory.” At the OUPblog, Christopher Hill argues that these attacks mark the end of the “French exception,” a term describing the relative freedom from terrorist attack that France has enjoyed over the past fifteen years, particularly in comparison to European neighbors like Spain and Britain. And at Beacon Broadside, Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski worry that “the reaction to these tragic killings seamlessly moves forward within an easily manipulated narrative. This story is compellingly shaped by the twin themes of terrorism and destruction of freedom of speech. Because this narrative is framed by the politics of fear, resentment, and vengeance, it has become as volatile and potentially incendiary as the actions that produced it.” (more…)

Friday, January 9th, 2015

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

Congratulations to the University of North Carolina Press! As detailed on the UNC Press Blog, the press has just been awarded “a $998,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York to support the development of capacities at university presses for the publication of high-quality digital monographs.” This news is, needless to say, very exciting, as are the plans the press has for the money: “The funding will be used to create a scaled platform where university presses will collaborate to achieve cost efficiencies on a broad range of digital publishing activities, including copyediting, composition, production, operations, and marketing services.”

On from one form of digital innovation in scholarship to another: the University of Toronto Press Publishing Blog has a fascinating post up this week about a “digital humanities project” undertaken by a professor using a UTP history title. An instructor at Wifrid Laurier University, Alicia McKenzie, taught a class on the Viking Age using The Viking Age: A Reader as the primary text. In order to prompt in-depth interaction with the primary texts contain in the reader, McKenzie had her students annotate one or more documents from the Viking Age and then create a digital exhibit based on the annotations. In her post, McKenzie describes how successful these projects were, and details some of the lessons she learned in the process.

The Imitation Game, a recently released film based on Alan Turing and the German Enigma code, has received generally glowing reviews, but at the Yale Books Unbound blog, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne argues that, while it’s a “good yarn,” the movie is “a gross distortion of Turing’s character,” with most of the changes made in the interest of making a potboiler at the expense of accuracy. (more…)

Friday, December 19th, 2014

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

Wilfred Laurier University Press has recently been told that WLU will be withdrawing the support that the press had previously received from the university, as WLUP is “not essential to the vision and mission of the University. There’s a Hole in the Bucket, the blog of the University of Alberta Press, has more information on this situation, and provides a link to a petition to reverse the decision.

Hunting for a job is always frightening, and writing résumés and cover letters is a particularly intimidating part of the process. At the AMACOM Books Blog, Scott Bennett has a two part interview in which he offers his expertise in résumé styling in order to make this one part of finding a job a bit more palatable.

The “Swedish model” of reducing prostitution, sex trafficking, and violence against sex workers has been much discussed recently online. However, at Beacon Broadside, Melinda Chateauvert is less than sanguine about the often-lauded strategies that Sweden has employed. She argues that “the violence and stigma against people in the sex industry must be understood from sex workers’ points of view, not a “female POV,” whatever that is.”

A great deal of information concerning the use of torture by United States military and intelligence organizations has come out recently with releasing of the Feinstein Report. At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, David P. Forsythe attempts to use the new data to add details to the general story of the US actions following September 11, 2001.

When Amy L. Stone wrote Gay Rights at the Ballot Box, which discussed the period between 1974 and 2009, it seemed that there would continue to be marriage bans voted into law for some time. In a post at the University of Minnesota Blog, however, she writes about the flurry of court cases overturning these laws that have happened over the past several years, and about the future of gay rights at the ballot box.

The UNC Press Blog has posted a fascinating excerpt from Shabana Mir’s Muslim American Women on Campus, in which Mir looks at Muslim American students engage in various types of leisure practices common at colleges around the US, particularly those involving the consumption of alcohol.

Should different ways of giving birth (in this case, C-sections and vaginal births) be treated as “being the same”? Theresa Morris argues that, while she understands the urge to do so, these two methods of giving birth should absolutely not be treated as being equivalent, as doing so can reinforce the mistaken notion that women are in control of their birth process in today’s world.

The aforementioned Feinstein report was not the only recently released report on the United States’ use of torture. At the OUPblog, Rebecca Gordon discusses the report issued by the UN Committee Against Torture, explaining some key points and arguing that a large part of the problem lies in American law, rather than just in the action of military and intelligence agencies.

In celebration of the holidays, the Princeton University Press Blog is running a 12-post series of The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas, in which they are posting a story a day from their new translation of the first edition of the famous fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. One fun example: the seventh story is the story of a farmer’s son who happens to be born as a hedgehog rather than a human.

Finally, the University of Washington Press Blog has a interesting post up by David B. Williams about Bertha, the tunnel-borer that has been stuck under Seattle for a year. As the blog describes the problem at hand: “New reports indicate that Pioneer Square has sunk an inch since Thanksgiving and that a number of historic buildings and roadways are newly compromised by the beleaguered tunnel project.”

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

Friday, December 12th, 2014

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

December 10th was Human Rights Day. In honor of the occasion, the Stanford University Press Blog and the OUPblog both have great posts looking at the history and current status of the idea of “human rights” around the world. At the SUP blog, Mark Goodale looks at the history of what it means to have a “right to rights,” while Boaventura de Sousa Santos finds troubling problems in the history of human rights thinking and advocates “a counter-hegemonic conception of human rights.” At the OUPblog, Kenneth Roth identifies the difficulties in instituting changes to combat human rights abuses carried out by governments.

Questions about the rights and limitations of both people interacting with police officers and the police themselves have been widely discussed recently, following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. At Beacon Broadside, Noliwe M. Rooks attempts to bring the Kerner Commission Report, first published in 1968 in response to clashes between the civil rights movement and police, into the conversation. She argues that it’s hard to imagine that any new report “will be more prescient than the Kerner Commission, which ends its report by acknowledging, ‘We have provided an honest beginning. We have learned much. But we have uncovered no startling truths, no unique insights, no simple solutions. The destruction and the bitterness of racial disorder, the harsh polemics of black revolt and white repression have been seen and heard before in this country. It is time now to end the destruction and the violence, not only in the streets of the ghetto but in the lives of people.’” Meanwhile, at fifteeneightyfour, David Krugler takes the opportunity of the current protests to take a detailed look at the history of racial tension and violence in America. By placing today’s situation side by side with racial issues from the past hundred years, he hopes to provide new insight into the sources of recent events. (more…)

Friday, November 21st, 2014

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

While there were two high-profile accidents in the private space industry over the past few months, Chris Dubbs and Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom, writing at the University of Nebraska Press Blog, argue that “private industry can operate space services better and more cheaply than a government agency.” They believe that NASA would do better to focus on the parts of space exploration for which there is no commercial market, leaving typical launch services to private companies like Virgin Galactic, Orbital Sciences, and SpaceX.

One of the most difficult parts of academic publishing is knowing how to classify, market, and price different book projects. At the Sydney Publishing blog of The University of Sydney Press, Agata Mrva-Montoya has a post in which she takes on difficult issues publishing issues, from commissioning trade nonfiction to distinguishing between monographs and trade books.

At the JHU Press Blog, Annemarie Goldstein Jutel claims that one of the most important parts of combating a disease like Ebola is generating reasonable and informed discourse. She points out that discussions of Ebola have often used military language: “We have a war to win against Ebola and an Ebola Czar to help us do so. We try to bring the outbreak under full control to neutralize the virus,” and argues that this way of talking about the disease actually hurts the public goal of eradicating the virus.

It’s now been over two years since Hurricane Sandy came through New Jersey, New York, and other Eastern seaboard states, doing a stupendous amount of damage. At the Princeton University Press Blog, Stuart Schwartz writes that in the course of looking back at public reaction to the storm, he found something both interesting and unexpected: in his post-storm public speeches over the past two years, NJ Governor Chris Christie has been echoing those of Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the aftermath of Hurricane Flora, which devastated Cuba in 1963.

Ancient libraries, and the Library of Alexandria in particular, have long occupied near-mythic places in the public imagination as repositories of lost knowledge. However, as George W. Houston notes at the UNC Press Blog, only recently have there been serious scholarly attempts to discover traces of that lost knowledge and to reconstruct what an ancient library might have actually contained.

One of the biggest problems in regions that have been struck by disasters of any kind is reestablishing (or establishing for the first time) clean and effective systems of sanitation, a problem exacerbated in regions that are already struggling with poverty. At From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Sara Fanning and Rob Curran discuss a possible solution to the sanitation problem in Haiti in a post honoring World Toilet Day.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and at the OSU Press Blog, Penelope S. Easton has a moving guest post in which she looks back at her time visiting remote hospitals in Alaska. In particular, she talks about her discovery of the mismanagement of the food supply to the Kanakanak Hospital, and how the staff and patients had to be creative in coming up with a Thanksgiving meal.

In more temperate parts of the United States, the approach of Thanksgiving means the onset of Christmas decorations, Christmas music, and Christmas sales. In a post at the Florida Bookshelf of the University Press of Florida, Ronald D. Lankford, Jr. talks about the ever-lengthening Christmas season and wonders whether the whole process is a good or a bad thing.

There have been a number of high-profile cases in which athletes have committed crimes involving domestic violence on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years. At the OUPblog, Mike Cronin looks at the case of Ched Evans, who was convicted of rape, served a prison term, and is now looking to get back into professional football (soccer), prompting widespread debate about whether teams should offer him a contract. Cronin argues that “[t]hose who govern the world of male professional sport have to realise that they administer not simply their games, but they are also responsible for the meaningful creation of men with positive values who can act, in the best ways, as role models.”

Ever wonder who had the idea for creating a Top 40 radio station? Want to learn more about how the Top 40 has changed over time? The Chicago Blog of the University of Chicago Press has a fascinating excerpt from Eric Weisbard’s Top 40 Democracy: The Rival Mainstreams of American Music in which Weisbard takes a closer look at what “Top 40″ has actually meant over the years.

John Brown’s attempt to try to violently overthrow the institution of slavery in 1859 has long been a hot topic in American history. As Ted Smith points out at the Stanford University Press Blog, Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry has been used by such diverse figures as Langston Hughes, Malcolm X, Eugene V. Debs, the Weather Underground, Timothy McVeigh, Christopher Hitchens, and Cornel West in comparisons for good or bad with current events.

Finally, wine is commonly associated with France; sugar, perhaps not so much. However, at fifteeneightfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Elizabeth Heath argues that the way that both commodities have been treated over the years by French government officials can tell us a great deal about French domestic and colonial policy. Heath looks at recently discovered documents from colonial Guadaloupe to reach some surprising conclusions about what the French thought about citizenship and colony in the Third Republic.

Friday, November 14th, 2014

The University Press Roundup Manifesto: A #UPWeek 2014 Blog Tour Post

It’s the final day of University Press Week 2014! 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: Follow Friday.

Make sure you check out the other presses posting today: University of Illinois Press, University of Minnesota Press, University of Nebraska Press, NYU Press, and Island Press!

The University Press Roundup Manifesto

One of the most popular and longest-running series of posts on the Columbia University Press blog is our weekly University Press Roundup, a list of links to interesting posts from the blogs of other academic publishers. The Roundup is also an exceptionally enjoyable post to write. It’s hard to go wrong with a morning spent reading through articles from our ever-growing list of scholarly publishing blogs and explaining the most interesting ones. But in addition to the fun we have writing it (and, we hope, that others have reading it), the Roundup has a more serious raison d’etre: by showing the diversity and quality of posts on academic publishing blogs, we hope to help demonstrate the role of university presses in bringing scholarly conversations into the public sphere, and to show that this facilitation happens through the blogs of scholarly publishers as well as through our books. (more…)

Monday, November 10th, 2014

University Press Week Begins!

University Press Week

Today kicks off the beginning of University Press Week! The slogan for this year’s celebration is “Great Minds Don’t Think Alike,” and the week-long focus on university presses includes book giveaways; an online discussion about the future of scholarly publishing; a collaborative projects gallery featuring 79 fascinating examples of how collaboration can succeed in scholarly communications; and a blog tour.

Today’s blog posts focus on the theme of collaboration and include posts from the following university presses: University of California Press, University of Chicago Press, University Press of Colorado, Duke University Press, University of Georgia Press, Project MUSE/Johns Hopkins University Press, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Texas A&M University Press, University of Virginia Press, Yale University Press.

Friday, November 7th, 2014

University Press Roundup

University Press Roundup

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

Ebola has dominated the public discourse about public health of late, but as Emily Monosson explains in a post at Island Press Field Notes, we shouldn’t let immediate concerns about that particular virus blind us to the lessons that other illnesses can teach us about vaccination and disease control.

The claim that a country must defend itself from an enemy using mercenary troops is one of the most effective ways to take the moral high ground and to win popular support for military action, as we’ve seen in the recent conflict in Ukraine, where both sides have accused the other of employing mercenaries. In a fascinating post at the OUPblog, James Pattison takes a close look at the morality of employing mercenaries and of actually being a mercenary.

At the UNC Press Blog, Michael Barkun discusses “reverse transparency” in America. He argues that, due primarily to “the pressure of homeland security concerns,” transparency increasingly applies to individuals rather than to large organizations.

Are the very wealthy wielding an undue amount of influence in today’s political landscape? In an Election Day post at Beacon Broadside, Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks claim that, through campaign financing, lobbying groups, and media campaigns, billionaires have dictated a large portion of American domestic policies in recent years.

At the University of Nebraska Press Blog, Yaakov Lappin discusses the importance of the internet to the continuation, organization, and growth of the Islamist-jihad movement in the 21st century. In particular, he claims that the internet played a crucial role in “[t]he dramatic and rapid takeover of large swaths of Iraq and Syria by Islamic State forces.”

Cindy I-Fen Cheng argues in a post at From the Square, the blog of NYU Press that, while much has been made of the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, much less has been written about one of the most troubling aspects of this problem: “wage disparities [in the tech industry] based on race and gender.” Though Asian Americans are well-represented in most tech firms, they are paid significantly less on average for doing similar jobs.

“Empty labor,” according to Roland Paulsen, refers to the hours each day modern office workers spend on private internet use during working hours. In a Q&A at fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Paulsen discusses different kinds of empty labor, talks about why he studies it, and claims that “empty labor should be analyzed in the light of the enormous gains in productivity that we’ve seen since the industrialization.”

“Understanding criticism, whether as a giver or receiver, can become a significant asset toward your personal success as a manager or an employee in just about any field or organization.” At the AMACOM Books Blog, Deb Bright has a helpful two-part post on the best ways to give and take criticism in a work environment.

Going to the beach is a much-loved summer pastime in America, but, as Orrin Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper explain in a Q&A at the Duke University Press Blog, the very existence of beaches in many parts of the country (particularly in Florida) is threatened by a combination of pollution, beach mining and coastal engineering, and climate change.

“In only four decades, Phoenix, Arizona, grew from a town of sixty-five thousand to the sixth largest city in America.” At the Princeton University Press Blog, Andrew Needham tells the story of how his book on changes in the electric and natural resource needs of Phoenix during that period of growth turned into a story of the underlying history of climate change.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a fun post from the Stanford University Press Blog: “7 Things You Didn’t Know About ¡Tequila!” Marie Sarita Gaytán explains that worms do not belong in tequila bottles, that Pancho Villa did not drink tequila, and that salt and lime were originally used to mask the taste of bad tequila, among other fun facts.

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