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April 27th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

University Press Roundup

Our weekly roundup of recent blog posts and features from other academic presses:

We’ll start things off this week with Harvard University Press’s tribute to Levon Helm. Helm was, of course, the drummer and one of the vocalists of The Band, and Harvard’s post reflects on “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” the most famous song featuring Helm’s voice.

April 23 was Shakespeare’s 448th birthday, and Cambridge University Press celebrated in style on their blog with this excellently titled post: “I Thumb My Nose at Thee! A Modern Appreciation of Shakespearean Jabs.” They even highlighted my favorite Shakespearean insult: “Thou art like a toad; ugly and venomous,” from As You Like It.

We continue to be fascinated by Yale Press Log’s ongoing posts on the art of translation. This week they featured an interview with poet and translator Fady Joudah on his recent translation of Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan’s Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me.

The University of Minnesota Press Blog tackled a very tricky issue this week in a guest post by Roland Bleiker: what exactly should be done about North Korea? Bleiker believes that the best approach we can take in encouraging political, economic, or cultural change in North Korea is “information diplomacy.”

At the LSU Press blog, guest blogger John M. Sacher looks back at Louisiana’s secession from the United States in 1861. Louisiana has (and had in 1860) a very unique cultural identity, different from other Southern states like Mississippi or Alabama. Sacher tries to reconcile this cultural difference with Louisiana’s quick secession.

April 23 was World Book Night! Beacon Broadside and the UNC Press Blog both ran excellent posts describing their efforts and experiences giving books out (in one case, via surfboard!). Really great stuff (and really fun blog post reads)!

UNC Press also featured a guest post from Steven I. Levine and Michael H. Hunt on civilian casualties through history and in today’s military conflicts, comparing US reactions to civilian deaths caused by organized military action and by unsanctioned acts of individual soldiers.

Our Manhattan neighbors, NYU Press, ran a controversial article by Ronald Weitzer that originally appeared on CNN. In the wake of the Secret Service scandal in Colombia (not Columbia), Weitzer argues that prostitution should be legal, as it is in many countries around the world.

As one can see from a quick look at our philosophy booklist, we here at CUP love cogent explanations of the complicated issues raised by Continental Philosophy. This week, the OUPblog provided a great explanation of Jacques Derrida‘s feelings about the idea of “Europe” and his hope transcend the simplistic categories of Eurocentrism or anti-Eurocentrism.

Continuing the European theme, Princeton University Press has a guest post by Richard Kuisel comparing the elections in France and America. The post is a continuation of their Election 101 series, which we (again) cannot recommend highly enough.

Finally, we’ll end this week’s Roundup with a fascinating and hopeful post from the MITPressLog: “Can Robotic Dogs Help Socialize Children with Autism?” Apparently, there is evidence that robotic toys can help children with autism communicate more effectively with adults. Peter Kahn suggests that the lack of repetition in the way these toys behave might be behind this effect.

As always, if you particularly like something or think we left something important off our list, let us know in the comments!

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