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Archive for January, 2008

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Herve This Heads West

Herve This, author of Kitchen Mysteries

Considered by many to be the father of the molecular gastronomy movement, Hervé This has been changing the way the world approaches cooking; bringing a scientific sensibility to bear on the common problems all cooks face. His books Molecular Gastronomy and Kitchen Mysteries are written in a charmingly breezy tone and intended for anyone who is daunted by the sheer amount of information in Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking.

We are really excited to announce Hervé This’s first ever visit to the West Coast! He’ll be in San Francisco and Los Angeles to promote Kitchen Mysteries February 24-29th.

We’ve got lots of bonus Kitchen Mysteries material for you on our website, including a quiz to take to see how savvy you are about the mysteries of your kitchen. We’ve also got excerpts from the book in which This dissects the mysteries behind why alcohol makes us drunk and how long tea should steep.

Finally, can’t make it to the West Coast? Check out this video of Hervé This in the kitchen explaining mayonnaise.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Frontline Pakistan

Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant IslamAn October headline in Newsweek magazine declared that the most dangerous nation in the world isn’t Iraq—it’s Pakistan.

Earlier in October the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the social unrest set off by the assassination, and the subsequent state of emergency declared in November, brought the country to the attention of the world. Too bad it took such a dramatic chain of events to bring Pakistan to the forefront of the world’s conscious.

For everyone belatedly learning about the complex politics of Pakistan, Zahid Hussain’s book, Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam is a must-read. Wall Street Journal Asia just named it one of Asia’s best books for 2007. In giving the book the honor the paper called it “a more nuanced view of the political forces at work”. Other coverage of the book includes Foreign Affairs, where Carl Brown in his review says “offers a detailed and persuasive account of the received wisdom on Pakistan since 9/11.”

Watch a video of Zahid Hussain’s talk at The Asia Society.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Mellon Foundation Grant awarded to Columbia University Press

The University Presses of California, Chicago, and Columbia are pleased to announce that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant to commence publication of a major book series covering South Asia. Titled “South Asia across the Disciplines” the new series aims to publish six monographs per year, in a collaborative effort across all three university presses with each press publishing two series books per year.Each press has long-established roots in the field and is based at a university with outstanding South Asia faculty. In recent years, the market for South Asian studies books has declined along with the broader market for academic monographs in many fields, making it increasingly difficult for emerging scholars to get their work published. “South Asia across the Disciplines” will disseminate and promote new scholarship on South Asia by combining the efforts and resources of the three presses.

Jennifer Crewe, associate director and editorial director of Columbia University Press says “Our three presses have all published in the field of South Asian Studies for many years and developed programs reflecting the strengths of their faculties. But lately, as the sales have declined, it has become almost impossible to recover our costs and maintain our previous level of commitment to the field. This new collaborative venture will allow us to publish books we would otherwise have reluctantly declined and achieve a significant level of visibility for them.” Alan Thomas, editorial director for the Humanities and Sciences at the University of Chicago Press, adds that “the Mellon grant will allow our three presses to experiment with a collaborative approach to monograph publishing and at the same time help shape the vital but underserved field of South Asian Studies. By publishing the series jointly, we have the potential to reduce costs and quickly achieve a critical mass of new scholarship.”

Major editorial goals of the series will be to open up new archival material to scholars, to explore new theories and methods, and to develop scholarship that is both deep in expertise and broad in appeal across disciplines. To that end, three prominent scholars have agreed to serve as series editors: Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago, history), Sheldon Pollock (Columbia University, literature), and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (UCLA, history). An additional twelve-member editorial board will include senior faculty at the three universities. They will seek to acquire books for the series that cover history, literary studies, philosophy, religion, social or cultural anthropology, and other fields.

All books in the “South Asia across the Disciplines” series will have a common design but will appear under the imprint of one of the three presses. Acquisitions and marketing costs will be shared among the three presses and supported by the Mellon Foundation grant.

About Columbia University Press
Columbia University Press was founded in 1893. With nearly 115 years of continuous publishing activity, this makes it the fourth oldest university press in America. Notable highlights in its history include the publication of the Columbia Encyclopedia in 1935, the acquisition of the The Columbia Granger’s Index to Poetry in 1945, the introduction of the three Sources anthologies of Chinese, Japanese, and Indian classic works in the 1950s, and, over the years, the publication of numerous eminent thinkers, including Theodor Adorno, Richard Bulliet, Diana Eck, Todd Gitlin, Mikhail Gorbachev, Roald Hoffman, Gareth Stedman Jones, John Rawls, Olivier Roy, Jeffrey Sachs, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Joseph Stiglitz.

About the University of California Press
University of California Press is among the six largest university presses in the United States and, of these, is the only one located in the West and associated with a public university. As the nonprofit publisher of the University of California system, its mission is to disseminate scholarship of enduring value to multiple audiences. Its activities are supported by the UC Press Foundation and by philanthropic contributions from individuals and institutions. UC Press’s international cast of authors includes writers, artists, journalists, and scholars working both within and outside the academy. About one-fourth are affiliated with the University of California. UC Press’s publishing areas include art, music, cinema and media studies, history, classics, literature, anthropology, sociology, archaeology, religious studies, Asian studies, biological and environmental sciences, food and wine studies, natural history, California and the West, and public health. UC Press publishes approximately 200 new books and 35 multi-issue journals annually, keeps approximately 4,000 titles in print, and provides all journals and 2,000 books in digital format.

About the University of Chicago Press
Since its founding in 1891 as one of the three original divisions of the University of Chicago, the University of Chicago Press has embraced the obligation to disseminate scholarship of the highest standard and to publish serious works that promote education, foster public understanding, and enrich cultural life. Through its books and journals programs, the Press seeks not only to advance scholarly conversation within and across traditional disciplines but, in keeping with the University of Chicago’s experimental tradition, to help define new areas of knowledge and intellectual endeavor. The largest American university press, Chicago publishes 230 new books, 70 paperback reprints, and 48 scholarly journals a year. In addition, Chicago’s distribution division provides warehousing and business services for more than 60 publishers. The University of Chicago Press has published the work of twenty Nobel Prize winners, including Enrico Fermi, Subramanyan Chandrasekhar, Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, George J. Stigler, Gary S. Becker, Robert W. Fogel, Ivo Andric, Jean-Paul Sartre, and J.M. Coetzee.

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Donald Prothero: “Evolution: The Fossils Say Yes!”

The following post was written by Donald Prothero, author of Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters.

Back in 2005, “intelligent design” (ID) creationism was all the rage. President Bush endorsed the ID creationists, and they even made the cover of Time magazine. Numerous school boards across the country (especially in Kansas and Pennsylvania) were using it to sneak creationism into the public school science classes. The zenith of this movement was the case of Kitzmiller et alia vs. the Dover, Pennsylvania, School Board, where fundamentalists tried to adopt an ID creationist book, Of Pandas and People. The case went to trial with a judge, John E. Jones III, appointed by none other than President Bush himself. The right-wing Discovery Institute in Seattle was eagerly anticipating a favorable verdict until the testimony began to show the weakness of the ID case. In the end, Judge Jones’ decision slammed the ID creationism, calling their ideas “breathtaking inanity” and pointing to their hypocrisy by pretending in court that ID creationism wasn’t a religious dogma, yet touting their religion in school board meetings. Most observers believe that this decision will preclude any further attempts to sneak ID creationism into public schools by legal means. Ironically, the point is now moot in Dover, Pennsylvania, because in November 2005 the voters threw the fundamentalists out of office and elected a new school board favorable to evolution. (more…)

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

CUP Blog

Welcome to Columbia University Press Blog. We encourage you to visit the blog to find out more about Columbia University Press titles and to hear from its authors. We welcome your comments and look forward to hearing from you.