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Archive for the 'University Press News' Category

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!

Friday, October 24th, 2014

University Press Blog Roundup: From Antarctic Cuisine to Zombies

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our roundup of posts from the world of university press blogs:

Jefferey A. Krames discusses his new book Lead with Humility: Lessons from Pope Francis. (AMACOM Books Blog)

Michael Patrick McDonald, author of All Souls: A Family Story from Southie, on Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation. (Beacon Press)

The University of California Press announces plans to roll out two open access products. (University of California Press)

… And another university press announces the creation of a unit dedicated to Open Access publishing. (Cambridge University Press)

Meanwhile, Matthew Cockerill asks has open access failed? (Oxford University Press)

The Carrot and the Candy Bar, an excerpt from Packaged Pleasures: How Technology and Marketing Revolutionized Desire, by Gary Cross and Robert N. Proctor. (The University of Chicago Press)

An interview with the new editors of French Historical Studies. (Duke University Press)

Why wait? A holiday gift guide. (University Press of Florida)

A symposium on the future of publishing in the humanities and social sciences. (Georgetown University Press)

An appreciation of the monarch butterfly and restoring the monarchy to Cabin John. (Island Press)

Zombie Week will include Edward Comentale and Aaron Jaffe discussing The Year’s Work at the Zombie Research Center. (Indiana University Press)

(more…)

Friday, September 19th, 2014

University Press Roundup: Zombies, Domestic Violence, Blimps, Big Pharma, David Lynch, and More from UP Blogs!

University Press Roundup

Behind the Book with Ummni Khan: The author of Vicarious Kinks: S/M in the Socio-Legal Imaginary discusses the book and its challenge to the myth of law as an objective adjudicator of sexual truth. (University of Toronto Press)

Your Rugged Preamble: The nation’s founding document, as imagined by the midcentury American imagination. (Stanford University Press)

Under the knife with a zombie: Tim Verstynen and Bradley Voytek authors of Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain explain the nature of the relationship between the brain and emotions in the following video (Princeton University Press):

(more…)

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Fracking, The Wire, Zombies, Why It’s Good to Be Good and More from University Presses

University Press Round Up

Our weekly round up of some of the best posts from the world of university press blogs:

Andrew Cuomo and the Future of Fracking: Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary in New York state was, in part, a referendum on Andrew Cuomo’s policy on fracking. (Beacon Broadside)

The Crossroads of Fate and Character: An interview with Mark Richardson, author of Robert Frost in Context. Richardson argues says there will always be a place in this world for poetry as long as humans continue to be their imperfect selves. (Cambridge University Press)

Linda Williams on The Wire: While some celebrate the novelistic quality of The Wire, Williams argues that it’s necessary to appreciate the show’s more conventional characteristics: seriality, televisuality and melodrama. (Duke University Press)

Beyond the White Negro: An interview with Kimberly Chabot Davis, author of Beyond the White Negro: Empathy and Anti-Racist Reading. (University of Illinois Press)

From Paper Piles to Pages: On being an intern in the production department (Island Press)

(more…)

Friday, September 5th, 2014

University Press Blog Round Up: Rock n Roll, Cooking with Publishers, the Surprisingly Funny Middle Ages, and More!

University Press Roundup

Our weekly list of some of the most compelling posts (and videos!) from the wide world of university press blogs:

Greil Marcus on the ten songs that define rock n roll history. (Yale University Press)

Natalie Fingerhut, history editor at the University of Toronto Press, on what she learned while editing The Assassination of Europe, 1918-1942: A Political History and why reading history matters.

Stanford University Press provides a very inventive and handy flowchart to navigate their Fall 2014 offerings.

Back in the Day! Princeton University Press continues its excellent Throwback Thursday with a look back at The Munich Secession: Art and Artists in Turn-of-the-Century Munich by Martha Makela.

Rebecca J. Cook, editor of Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, outlines the book’s contents in which legal scholars from different parts of the world analyze recent cases and controversies and how ideas are changing the way abortion is legally advocated, regulated, and adjudicated.

John H. McWhorter asks, How does color affect our way of seeing the world? (Oxford University Press)

(more…)

Friday, August 29th, 2014

University Press Blog Round Up: Ferguson, Social Networking, The Physics of Cocktails, and More!

University Press Round Up

Before heading off to the beach, read up on some of the excellent posts from university press blogs from the week that was:

Jeanne Theoharis explores the connection between the recent protests in Ferguson and the history and legacy of Rosa Parks. (Beacon Broadside)

While, Eric Allen Hall considers the protests in light of the life of Arthur Ashe in his essay Open Tennis and Open Minds: What Arthur Ashe Can Teach Us All. (Johns Hopkins University Press)

Jelani Cobb’s offers an impassioned and thoughtful essay on Ferguson in light of the history of lynching. (NYU Press)

In an interview with Tony Hay, author of The Computing Universe: A Journey Through a Revolution, discusses a variety of issues including artificial intelligence, cyberwarfare, and the uncertain future of our increasingly digital world. (Cambridge University Press)

Five minutes with Branden Hookway, in which he answers questions about his book, Interface and the interfaces we encounter daily. (MIT Press)

Is Facebook for friends or is it for marketers? Robert Gehl, author of Reverse Engineering Social Media, writes about the alternatives to Facebook. (Temple University Press)

Allan Barsky explores the ethics of social networking in social work. (Oxford University Press)

A celebration of the just-announced Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction winners. (University of Georgia Press)

(more…)

Friday, August 15th, 2014

University Press Roundup: Ferguson, Unshark Week, Fighting Inequality and More!

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 Americans, or at least this American, tend not to think of Canada as a bellicose nation but as the University of Toronto Press Publishing Blog points out, the Canadian Army did join forces with the rest of the British Empire during World War I.

The decline of the Protestant establishment in Philadelphia is discussed on North Philly Notes (Temple University Press) in their interview with Dan Rottenberg, author of The Outsider: Albert M. Greenfield and the Fall of the Protestant Establishment.

David Grusky takes a closer look at the inequality research machine on the Stanford University Press blog.

Sure, shark week gets all the attention but there is also unshark week. Never heard of it? Well, head over to the Princeton University Press blog and let Steve and Tony Palumbi, authors of The Extreme Life of the Sea explain.

In her essay “Externalizing Internal Explosions” on the University of Pennsylvania Press blog, Cathy Lisa Schneider, author of Police Power and Race Riots: Urban Unrest in Paris and New York, examines recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.

What are the role of families in fighting poverty? In this excellent video, Clare Huntington, author of Failure to Flourish published by Oxford University Press, discusses the importance of investing in families as a strategy for fighting poverty.

Colum Kenny explains how he came to write An Irish-American Odyssey: The Remarkable Rise of the O’Shaughnessy Brothers, just published by the University of Missouri Press.

(more…)

Friday, August 1st, 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.

The Association of American University Presses released a statement this week in support of net neutrality. Citing the mission of scholarly presses everywhere toward the preservation, advancement, and dissemination of scholarship, the AAUP asserts a principle reliance on the Internet and “open, neutral public network access to the online content and services of libraries, institutions of higher learning, and publishers small and large.”
At The Beacon Broadside, Frederick Lane examines the growing presence of “nullification” in American politics. He cites resistance to federal gun laws in some states as well as the recent Supreme Court case involving Hobby Lobby and the company’s protest of a requirement under the Affordable Care Act that female employees be given access to certain contraceptives that the owners believe act as abortifacients.

The University of California Press blog has a great video about the history of theatrical reissues of films in the age before television and video. The video features Eric Hoyt, author of Hollywood Vault: Film Libraries before Home Video.

The surprisingly important role that Italy played in the Cold War is considered in an interview with Kaeten Mistry, author of The United States, Italy and the Origins of Cold War: Waging Political Warfare on the Cambridge University Press blog.

On the one hundredth anniversary of Word War I, the University of Chicago Press blog features an excerpt from their book War’s Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America by Beth Linker. The excerpt contextualizes the relationship between rehabilitation and the progressive reformers who pushed for it as a means to “rebuild” the disabled and regenerate the American medical industry.

In another WW-I related post, Marian Moser Jones, author of The American Red Cross from Clara Barton to the New Deal, asks the more basic question why should Americans care at all about the World War I Centennial? (via the Johns Hopkins University Press blog)

Speaking of one hundredth anniversaries, the Duke University Press blog features a post by Robert A. Hill, editor-in-chief of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, who looks back at the 100-year anniversary of the founding of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League.

The Harvard University Press blog examines the American Association of University Press’s recent statement in support of net neutrality.

(more…)

Friday, July 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.

The issue of tenure for teachers has been hotly contested recently. Writing at the Voices in Education blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Dale S. Rose argues that improving teacher hiring processes is a better bet for improving education quality than is eliminating teacher tenure.

Jacques Derrida would have turned 84 this past Tuesday, and in honor of the occasion, Cary Wolfe has an article up at the University of Minnesota Press Blog reflecting on Derrida’s legacy and the continuing resonance of his work.

Is new film Maleficent a feminist fairy tale? At From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Jessie Klein and Meredith Finnerty argue that the movie attempts to “reverse the damage of the common fairy tale motif.”

The 2014 World Cup is now over (congratulations to our German readers), and at the University of Toronto Press Blog, Kirk Bowman provides a post-tournament summary of the politics and identity issues at play in the world’s most popular sporting event.

This week, the OUPblog is running a fascinating four-part series of posts on the epistemology of Christianity, by John G. Stackhouse, Jr. Stackhouse is particularly interested in the interplay between radical faith and radical doubt in the modern “Information Age.”

At the Harvard University Press Blog, Daniel Matlin looks back at a key figure in the attempts by African American intellectuals to help white America understand and appreciate black urban life: psychologist Kenneth B. Clark.

How should we view the place of religion in Rembrandt’s art? At Mercer University Press News, John I. Durham has a guest post explaining the role of faith in Rembrandt’s life and work, and argues that for Rembrandt, The Bible was “a real book more than it was a holy book.”

World War I had a profound impact on literary culture, and in particular on poetry. At the temporarily renamed nineteenfourteen blog of Cambridge University Press (usually fifteeneightyfour), Paul Sheehan looks at the role of pity and pathos in World War I poetry.

Most people view Harvey Milk’s lasting political influence primarily through the lens of his work with LGBT progress. However, at North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Miriam Frank claims that this ignores a significant part of Milk’s platform: his vision was one of connected union involvement and LGBT activism.

Those who love air conditioning in the summer take note: July 17 marks the birthday of air conditioning! At the Fordham Impressions blog, Salvatore Basile has a guest post looking at the early history of air conditioning and questioning its future in a “green” society.

Want to write an epitaph but just don’t know how? Fear not! Michael Wolfe, writing at the JHU Press Blog, has broken the epitaph-writing process down to it’s simplest components. Once you’ve mastered the art of the epitaph, he invites you to enter his “epitaph writing contest” on Goodreads!

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a guest post by essayist Sam Pickering (perhaps best known for being the inspiration for Robin Williams’ innovative teacher character in the film Dead Poets Society) at the University of Missouri Press blog. In his post, Pickering ruminates about a life of writing essays about life.

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

Friday, July 11th, 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.

Religious freedom and what it entails has been at the forefront of the American consciousness over the last few weeks, as the Supreme Court has considered two important religious freedom cases. In both Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College v. Burwell, the Supreme Court decided “in favor of conservative Christian plaintiffs seeking exemptions from the contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.” This week, the Chicago Blog of the University of Chicago Press featured an article by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan on the “rotten core at the heart of all religious freedom laws”: what she calls the difference between “small ‘r’ religion” and “big ‘R’ Religion.” In explaining this difference, Sullivan demands that we consider what religious freedom is really designed to protect.

Another important recent Supreme Court case was Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, in which the Court upheld Michigan’s ban on race- and sex-based affirmative action in public hiring and education. Writing at the UNC Press Blog, Marc Stein discusses the case, and in particular the divide between the opinions written by Associate Justice Sonya Sotomayor and Chief Justice John Roberts.

The World Cup is drawing to a close, with only the third place game and the Final still to be played. Duke University Press has continued their series on the Cup with a couple of fascinating posts from Orin Starn and Marc Hertzman. Starn is watching the games from “a shantytown in desert Peru,” and he explains how the World Cup both isn’t (“There’s little pan-Latin American solidarity in football fandom”) and is (the Neymar-style haircuts of some of the children, for example) a big deal in the poor areas of Peru. Meanwhile, Hertzman focuses instead on the gender issues at play in Brazil at the moment. One notable example: while the aforementioned Neymar got the great majority of the press as the best Brazilian player, Hertzman points out that the most decorated current Brazilian player has not been mentioned much at all. Marta is the star of Brazil’s women’s team, and has “on or finished second as FIFA’s women’s Player of the Year an amazing nine times.”

While the World Cup has, once again, been a wildly popular spectacle, Susan Kneebone points out that it has also put the spotlight firmly on the problematic preparations for the 2022 World Cup scheduled to take place in Qatar. Writing at the OUPblog, Kneebone looks at the plight and frequent mistreatment of the estimated 500,000 migrant workers Qatar is depending on to build the infrastructure necessary for the World Cup to take place. She is particularly careful to point out that this dependency on migrant workers is not unique to Qatar during their preparations, but that it is a fairly common practice throughout the Gulf States region, and, indeed, throughout the world.

At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Eric Avila argues that, while “freeway and the automobile, after all, were built upon a uniquely American premise of freedom,” the ways that freeways were planned and constructed in cities in the 1950s and 1960s sometimes divided and hurt poor, nonwhite communities, even while offering convenient and ostensibly democratic means of transportation.

How far can ISIS go? At the JHU Press Blog, Mark N. Katz takes a close look at the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, pointing out that, while nobody saw them expanding so quickly, they are encountering three problems common to most revolutionary movements (and these problems are exacerbated by the fact that they did expand so quickly): “1.) regional opposition; 2.) reaction to repression; and 3.) rifts among the radicals.”

“In India’s recent national elections, a single party gained the majority of the seats in the lower house of parliament for the first time since 1984.” The Bharatiya Janata Party that controls that majority, is a consistently Hindu nationalist party, and, at the Stanford University Press Blog, Narendra Subramanian believes that the BJP is likely to “vigorously promote Hindu hegemony” and support unequal economic growth at the expense of the poorer elements of the population, and that these policies “may damage democratic citizenship that much more as the constraints they face are rather weak.”

How did the tradition of sports teams with names referencing Native American culture begin? Using the current furor over the name of the Washington Redskins as a jumping-off point, Kate Buford, in a post at the University of Nebraska Press Blog, looks at the history of Native Americans as team names and mascots. She traces the practice back to the famous football coach Glenn S. “Pop” Warner, whose Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team (the Indians) was hugely successful in the early 1900s, led by Jim Thorpe. Buford also, however, looks at the history of the fight against demeaning sports team names, and in particular the successful 1972 petition by Native American students at Stanford that led to the university changing its mascot from the Indians to the Cardinal.

In 1991, Mount Pinatubo, a volcano located about 90 kilometers from Manila in the Philippines that had not been thought of as active, produced the largest volcanic eruption in living memory–the ash from the explosion formed a mushroom cloud that grew to an area the size of France. At the nineteenfourteen blog (the temporarily renamed version of Cambridge University Press’s fifteeneightyfour blog), Clive Oppenheimer writes about the immense eruption and about what its aftermath can teach us about disaster management and climate change.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with an article from Beacon Broadside Press about a very different kind of ecological disaster. Instead of looking at a single moment of environmental trauma like the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Brad Tyer looks at the history of the Clark Fork, “one of the most badly abused rivers in the United States.” Tyer walks readers through the river’s history, from the harm done by copper mining to the strange industrial accidents that have damaged the river (including multiple Boeing airplane fuselages and harmful collections of chemicals), and warns of the potential for enormous environmental disaster if the contaminated waters of the “Yankee Doodle tailings” above the river were allowed to escape into the river.

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

Friday, June 27th, 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.

Last weekend, university presses from around the country convened in New Orleans for AAUP—the yearly conference of the Association of American University Presses. John Hopkins University Press editorial Director Greg Britton shares his thoughts on the event, and provides a few links to additional resources and social media for those curious to know more.

With “football”—or “soccer” in American English—mania now sweeping the nations, Cambridge University Press’s blogpost on the global sport may teach readers a little something about it. From the first international encounter in 1872 Scotland-England to the Brazil 2014 stadiums, football maintains steady position as world’s most popular sport. Evidently the 2010 South African World Cup attracted viewership of 46.4 per cent of the whole world’s population, and with the spike in interest from the USA , who knows how much this percentage has increased for this 2014 Brazil World Cup? (Our chunk of the world population pie is clearly BIGGER and BETTER. USA!) The excerpt celebrates the local tribalism of the sport, its drama, its elegant simplicity, and its international appeal. Take a look here.

Speaking of soccer, tribalism, and the World Cup, Duke University Press’s Seth Garfield, author of Indigenous Struggle at the Heart of Brazil, reflects on his last experience in Brazil during a World Cup. He’s writing, of course, about 1994, during which he found himself a welcomed participant in a native Xavante song and dance celebration. Garfield juxtaposes the past with the present—indigenous history with globalization and industrialization—citing the cultural preservation of Xavante life against a backdrop of abandoned agribusiness offices. His recollection is somewhat bittersweet, complicated further by the natives’ cause for celebration—a Brazilian victory in the World Cup.

In an instance of academic publishing getting the “scoop” before newspaper headlines, Beacon Broadside’s blogpost by Fran Hawthorne on the founder and CEO of American Apparel Dov Charney reveals that his ethical misconduct was known long before the story made newspaper headlines. In her book Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of Companies We Think We Love (March 2013), Hawthorne argued, “To earn a social-responsibility badge, American Apparel would have to take a major step: dump Charney.” Thankfully, the company heeded her recommendation.

Contrary to Barbara Tuchman’s claim that August 1914 was the formative month in First World War history, historian Gordon Martel pushes the date earlier to July 1914 in his book The Month That Changed the World: July 1914. His blog post, however, narrates the events of Saturday, 27 June 1914, the day preceding Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination and provide s grounding historical context. Archduke Ferdinand paid visit to Sarajevo with his wife Sophie meant to glorify Austrian rule. Hindsight colors the narration with irony: “The royal couple remained blissfully unaware that they had almost come face-to-face with the young Serb who was planning to kill the archduke the next day.”

On a historical note, Yale University Press’s post on public speaking master class from Winston Churchill divulges the key ingredients for great oration: Diction, rhythm, accumulation, analogy, and extravagance are all necessary. Jonathan Rose translates Churchill as a literary figure, who was an inspirational and hugely charismatic rhetorician. Who better to take oration lessons from?

“At the end of the day, oral history is complimented by technology,” says OUP author Juliana Nykolaiszyn. Besides her status as a self-proclaimed technology geek, Nykolaiszyn also works as an oral historian, interviewing subjects and recording the exchange for preservation and research. Google Glass, she reveals, may be the next remarkable technology to emerge in the evolution of the field. In her post, Nykolaiszyn details some of the draws of Google Glass and other products that promote more seamless interaction between people, and also touches their potential drawbacks.

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

Friday, June 20th, 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’d like to open this week’s Roundup by saying congratulations to our neighbors Fordham University Press, new FUP Editorial Director Richard Morrison, and new FUP Editor Thomas Lay! Best of luck moving forward!

The University of Nebraska Press blog has a couple of fascinating posts up this week: one by C. Richard King on the future of the team name of the Washington Redskins, and one by UNP Marketing Manager Martyn Beeny discussing whether BEA is a worthwhile investment for University Presses. In King’s post, he looks at the recent ruling by the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office Trademark Trial Appeal Board voiding trademarks associated with the Redskins NFL franchise on the grounds that the name is “disparaging,” calls out the media for burying the actual Native Americans involved in the issue behind the intricacies of the legal case, and predicts where the saga might go in the future. Meanwhile, Beeny takes a hard look at the ever-increasing costs of setting up a booth at BEA, mourns the demise of the true “University Press Row,” and calls for UPs and the BEA to work together to allow all university presses to once again take advantage of the intrinsic benefits of attending the trade show in the Javits Center.

The sectarian violence that has erupted throughout north and west Iraq recently has set off a new round of questions in the media about American responsibility for the reemergence of civil war, and about America’s role in the region going forward. The Harvard University Blog has an excellent excerpt from the as-yet-unpublished Overreach: Delusions of Regime Change in Iraq, in which author Michael MacDonald “details how America’s fallacious equation of its ideals with its interests—and global projection of each—led to this unleashing of chaos with no end in sight.” (Also, HUP made a Thomas Piketty cake, which we can’t help but mention here, apropos of nothing.)

The World Cup is in full swing, and at the JHU Press blog, John Eric Goff takes on one of the most fundamental parts of the game: the makeup of the ball itself. After Adidas, the company responsible for providing the balls for the Cup, was inundated with player complaints about Jabulani ball used four years ago in South Africa, there has been much less backlash against the new Brazuca ball. Goff explains that the ball behaves more normally due to the intentional texturing of the ball and the 68% longer “total seam length,” which gives the ball a “more stable trajectory” than that of the Jabulani.

Do tenure laws protect bad teachers at the expense of poor and minority students? Judge Rolf M. Treu of Los Angeles recently ruled that they do in the case Vergara v. California, but Fran Hawthorne, writing at Beacon Broadside, argues that Treu “is trying to use a sledgehammer to repair a broken necklace. No, even worse: He has aimed his sledgehammer at a necklace, when it’s really a bracelet, brooch, and earrings that are broken.” She argues that tenure is crucial for attracting and keeping inspiring teachers, who are increasingly getting left out in the cold in the war against the phantom of “bad” teachers.

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Thursday, June 12th, 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.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIL), “probably the scariest of the many radical Islamist groups to surface in Iraq since 2003″ jumped into headlines this week after the group took Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, this week, putting the Iraqi army to flight and capturing hundreds of millions of dollars in bank deposits as well as a good deal of American-made military equipment. At the Stanford University Press Blog, Ariel I. Ahram has a guest post looking at the current “quasi-statehood” of ISIL. He argues that ISIL’s program of expansion “will likely provoke a re-alignment of political coalitions to resist or even crush it.”

The World Cup began yesterday in Brazil, but resentment against FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, has become widespread in Brazil and elsewhere around the world. At the Duke University Press blog, Bryan McCann explains this growing antipathy towards the organizers of the world’s most popular sporting event in Brazil, starting with the fact that “It has been clear from the start that the games are being put on for international tourists and the executive class.”

At the OUPblog, Dale Jamieson looks at the future of climate change from a worrying angle: are we evolutionarily equipped to cope with the global changes that a warmer climate will bring, or even to be able to understand the problem in a holistic way? Jamieson argues that the answer to both questions is, simply, that we aren’t. In order to “overcome our natural frailties in addressing climate change,” we have to “design institutions and policies” that will allow us to frame the problems convincingly, and to limit our ability to make disastrously short-sighted choices.

TIAA-CREF, a non-profit company that provides retirement planning for many academics and educators, has largely been excluded from debates concerning the 401(k)-type plans run by for-profit companies. However, at Beacon Broadside, James W. Russell asks whether this exclusion from criticism is fair. He points out that TIAA-CREF, despite its non-profit status, runs its business in many of the same ways that the 401(k) for-profit companies do, and that it suffers from many of the same difficulties that prompt the critiques of those for-profit companies.

At the Harvard University Press Blog, HUP Editorial Assistant Shan Wang discusses how a recent HUP title on the Chinese Cultural Revolution explains the confusing events surrounding an episode in Wang’s family’s history. Wang’s grandfather, Wan Laiming, was a director and the head of the Shanghai Animation Film Studio, and his final film was Havoc in Heaven, released in two parts just before the Cultural Revolution. Wang writes that reading The Cultural Revolution at the Marchins, by Yiching Wu, helped to put the film (and the Chinese government’s subsequent closing of the country’s animation industry) into political context.

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Friday, June 6th, 2014

University Press Round-Up: From Hamlet’s Texts to Bumble Bees

Our usual, fearless rounder-upper is taking a well-deserved vacation but here is a slightly condensed version of our university press round-up. As always, let us know if we’ve left anything off. Enjoy and have a great weekend!:

What is the legacy of Dr. George Tiller five years after his assassination? Carol Joffe, author of Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients, and the Rest of Us examines this question on the Beacon Broadside blog. She argues that as abortion rights are increasingly threatened by legislation, Tiller’s commitment to not only a woman’s right to choose but also his care for his patients is a crucial legacy to hold on to.

Facebook posts from Julius Caesar? Text messages from Hamlet? Cambridge University Press’s blog offers a series of amusing and insightful imaginings of a digital Shakespeare.

On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the University of Chicago Blog offers a fascinating interview with Mary Louise Roberts, author of D-Day Through French Eyes.

A book made of ice? Yes. Really. Check out this great video, via the Georgetown University Press blog, of the work of ecology artist Basia Irland.

“This French fried fraud is attacking our way of life from atop the bestseller list.” Many publishers hope to get their authors of Stephen Colbert but few succeed. So, congratulations to Harvard University Press and their author Thomas Piketty, whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century has generated important discussions about inequality in the United State and the West and earned him a spot on The Colbert Report.

Ah, Chicago. The Lake, the great neighborhoods, the food, the Seminary Co-op Bookstore, the White Sox, and let’s not forget the amazing world-class architecture. The University of Illinois Press has produced a fantastic video for the AIA Guide to Chicago.

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Friday, May 30th, 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 kick things off this week with a discussion of the causes of prison recidivism by David Chura at Beacon Broadside (a big congrats to Beacon Press on their new space!). In his post, Chura talks about his mistrust of contextless statistics about the prison system, and claims that the problem is not actually that big of a mystery: “How you treat people is how they will act. Living under present day prison conditions, day after day, for years, can only foster more bitterness, anger, and despair; can only result in more crime fueled by vengeful feelings upon release.”

Many college students are currently making their way home for the summer, and the abrupt shift of living situation can sometimes lead to tensions between students and parents. At the JHU Press Blog, Doris Iarovici discusses the difficulties of parenting a son or daughter who is home briefly from college, and offers some helpful advice to parents in uncomfortable situations.

Qatar has ruffled feathers among its Middle Eastern neighbors recently with their accepting attitude towards members of the Muslim Brotherhood. At the Stanford University Press Blog, Lawrence P. Rubin explains the situation, and looks into the reasons that deeply Islamic Saudi Arabia opposes the Brotherhood and that much larger states in the Middle East feel threatened by the actions of a small country like Qatar.

We’ve highlighted the University of Minnesota Press Blog’s #MALcasestudies series of posts for the last few weeks, and the series continues this week with a fascinating post by Matthew Kirschenbaum on WorldStar software. WorldStar has been in the news recently, as George R. R. Martin, author of the popular Song of Fire and Ice novels, has said on late night TV that he prefers to write using WorldStar. In his post, Kirschenbaum explains what WorldStar is, and explains why Martin might not be a luddite for preferring older software when he writes.

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Friday, May 23rd, 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 post by Matthew W. Hughey and Gregory S. Parks at From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, examining Fox News’ strategic use of race. Hughey and Parks look back at various ways that they see Fox News “cater[ing] to ethnocentric assumptions,” and argue that Fox “constantly constructed the average white viewer as a hard-working American who is, at base, frightened by the unfair and racialized agenda of Obama.”

A controversial law has recently passed in Belgium allowing child euthanasia in certain carefully defined situations. At the OUPblog, Tony Hope discusses the underlying moral principles and empirical assumptions in the debate, and discusses the way that “rhetoric [can] ride roughshod over reason” in political debates about such charged issues.

The Shanghai Catholic Church has been divided between a “patriotic” Church that works closely with the CCP and an “underground” Church that maintains closer ties with the Vatican since the late 1970s, when Deng Xiaoping reversed some of Mao’s anti-religious policies and attempted to tie the Catholic Church to the CCP. At the Harvard University Press Blog, Paul Mariani tells the story of the long-time faces of these two churches: Aloysius Jin Luxian and Joseph Fan Zhongliang, each recognized as the bishop of Shanghai by one of the two factions.

The University of Minnesota Press Blog featured another post by Lori Emerson in her series of case studies from the Media Archaeology Lab at the University of Colorado at Boulder this week. The subject? The Vectrex Gaming Console, from 1982. Emerson uses the Vectrex as a way to “explain the unreality of technological progress while pointing to the inanity of warnings against technological determinism.”

The coati is a member of the raccoon family native to South and Central America, and is decidedly not a type of aardvark. A few years ago, however, a rogue Wikipedia edit described the coati as a “Brazilian aardvark,” and led to a long tangle of consequences, with a number of journal articles and even a book referring to the coati as an aardvark, citing Wikipedia, which itself in turn added cited those sources in the coati article. The Stanford University Press Blog uses the curious case of the coati to discuss the unique and oft-criticized model of uncredentialed authors on Wikipedia.

“Why would a Yankee study the South?” At the UNC Press Blog, K. Stephen Prince explains why, despite his New England upbringing, was interested in writing about the South. Interestingly, he cites the very fact that southerners and northerners alike seem to feel that “the South is (or can be, or should be) of interest solely to southerners” as a driving force behind his fascination with the region.

At the University of Illinois Press Blog, Jordynn Jack has a Q&A about autism, and, in particular, the way that public opinion about the disorder tends to be driven by storytelling and inaccurate “stock characters” rather than by scientific research. She points out that autism is seen as a disorder that affects young boys and computer geeks rather than girls, and notes the way that parents with autistic children are seen as likely to divorce.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a post from the University of Virginia Press Blog highlighting a little-known but important building in Farmville, Virginia. The Robert Russa Moton Museum (formerly the Moton High School), was a crucial site in the beginning of the civil rights movement, when Barbara R. Johns led a strike to protest the terrible conditions in the African American “separate but equal” high school in 1951.

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

Thursday, May 15th, 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.

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been everywhere recently, and the Harvard University Press Blog has a guest post from HUP sales rep John Eklund on the experience of getting Piketty into bookstores across the countries. He notes that many booksellers were skeptical of their ability of sell “a $40 book on economic inequality,” and wonders whether the success of Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a fluke or whether it’s a sign that people actually will buy good, important, relatively expensive nonfiction books generally when given the opportunity.

Another figure who has loomed large in the media recently is embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Much has been made of the potential actions that NBA players, particularly those on Sterling’s team, and other NBA owners should take in regards to Sterling’s recent racist comments and more disturbing history of racist actions, but little time has been given to a discussion of what Clippers fans should do. At Beacon Broadside, Fran Hawthorne has a guest post on “the role of an ethical consumer in this kind of situation.”

“What is our global future? The science is in, and the prospect is not great.” John L. Brooke introduces his post on the history and future of human existence on earth with these cheery words, and things don’t get more hopeful from there. Brooke attempts to explain the inability of the American public to accept the scientific consensus on global warming, arguing that a combination of “self-interest in an era of economic uncertainty” and the problem of visualizing a process operating on a time-frame that exceeds the average human life make it difficult to convince people of the changing climate.

May is Jewish American Heritage Month, and at the Duke University Press Blog, Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine, discusses the complicated history of Judaism in America and looks at the current state of the Jewish community in the United States: “So this is the conflict that remains the enduring heritage of American Jews: an internal tension over whether to adopt mainstream values and a celebration of “that which is,” thereby fitting in with the cultural assumptions of the world’s largest imperial power, or to challenge those values, a challenge which not only leads to “speaking truth to power” in the larger society but also to challenging the Jewish community’s blind loyalty to an Israeli state that itself is committed to being “a nation like all other nations,” with its blindness to the suffering of the Palestinian people and its arrogance and hypocrisy as it attempts to turn Judaism into a cheerleader for immoral policies.”

“[T]oday Latinos are the largest ethnic/racial minority in the country, with some 57 million Latinos (or 17% of the total population),” but, as Mario T. Garcia argues in a post at the UNC Press Blog, “Latinos are still a very poorly understood group.” In his post, Garcia attempts to provide a brief history of Latino immigration to the United States and to correct some of the common myths and misunderstandings that characterize the way that many Americans see Latinos.

How should governments treat distinct minority groups? At the OUPblog, Federico Lenzerini has a guest post looking back at the history of multiculturalism in human rights law, from the 1935 advisory opinion of the Permanent Court of International Justice to the League of Nations on. In particular, Lenzerini discusses the complicated situation of indigenous peoples “who, due to their cultural specificity and vision of life, actually need a differentiated treatment in the context of human rights adjudication and enforcement” as a way to understand the many issues complicating human rights law.

Last week, the University of Minnesota Press Blog began a series of posts by Lori Emerson looking at case studies from the University of Colorado’s Media Archaeology Lab, starting with the Apple Lisa from 1983. This week, Emerson takes on the Altair 8800b from 1976, a computer that was a catalyst for the “personal computer revolution” despite the fact that only around one thousand of them were ever made.

It’s not often that incest makes an appearance on the University Press Roundup, but this week Brian Connolly, writing at The Penn Press Log, has a fascinating post looking at the various ways that incest was defined and prohibited throughout the nineteenth century. Using Jeremy Irons’ statements equating same sex marriage and incest as a starting point, Connolly notes that such statements “presume that incest has always been prohibited, that it is a universal taboo that has never changed. Yet, this is a presumption with little basis in history.”

“Alimony has a nasty reputation as a device that enslaves men and demeans women—preventing divorced men from beginning new lives, and perpetuating female dependence on men.” At From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Cynthia Lee Starnes takes a fresh look at alimony and dispelling some of the myths that have led it to be such a commonly reviled idea.

This year marks the 50th birthday of the National Museum of American History, and so we’ll wrap things up this week with Robert C. Post’s history in brief of the MAH at the JHU Press Blog. Post looks back at the initial criticism of the museum’s architecture, the varied exhibits that drew people to the MAH, and the changes that the museum has made in the past few decades.

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