University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! Everybody is back from break, and we’ve got a ton of great posts this week! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

We’ll get things kicked off this week with a guest post by Christopher Kuner at the OUPblog on an important topic: the politics of data privacy. Due to the ever-changing nature of the field and the necessarily international nature of any regulation or law, coming up with an acceptable and effective system of data privacy is a tricky process. As Kuner puts it, “Part of the problem is that while data protection and privacy issues have global ramifications, the legal framework for them is still very much a matter of local or, at best, regional regulation.”

This week there were a couple of posts touching on different aspects of environmentalism. At Island Press Field Notes, Charles C. Chester has a guest post thinking about “the conservation toolbox,” how it’s changed over time, and how we need to reconceive the idea of a “toolbox” altogether. Over at This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, William M. Alley and Rosemarie Alley have a guest post about the ongoing problem of how to deal with nuclear waste now that President Obama has ended the work at Yucca Mountain.

Immigration was also a hot topic this week. At the Stanford University Press Blog, Jody Agius Vallejo has a post examining the recent immigration reform plans from President Obama and the “Gang of Eight” senators. Vallejo claims that if “Republicans want to charm the Latino population, and do what is best for America’s future, they must support a rapid citizenship pathway that does not include contingencies that are impossible to meet.” Meanwhile, at the UNC Press Blog, Lara Putnam is glad that immigration reform is finally in the national political conversation, and she argues that family should play a crucial role in discussions of immigration reform moving forward. “Some of the deepest costs of our prohibitionist immigration system have to do with family. And they’re not just emotional costs—they’re economic costs as well.”

Transnational adoptions, and, in particular, the assumptions made by non-adopted people about the process of adoption, are the topic of the moment for Kristi Brian at North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press. Brian starts by examining the recent protests in Moscow against the “adoption ban that prevents U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children,” and argues that “the fact of the matter is, as much as we hate to admit it, transnational adoption is a marketplace driven by and reflective of capitalist modes of production.”

Congrats to Princeton University Press on their shiny new blog! It looks great! Check it out in this repost of a fascinating Huffington Post article by Eric J. Heller on the age-old phenomenon of unexplainable booms. “Oddly, the surface does not need to move very far nor very fast to launch exceedingly loud sound resembling cannon fire or a sonic boom. What it does need is a lot of acceleration. But how can something have huge acceleration, yet not wind up moving very far or very fast?”

Science and literature are not commonly seen as complimentary disciplines (quite the opposite, in many cases), but at the JHU Press Blog, Theresa M. Kelley has a guest post discussing “how literature meets, or sidles up to, science.” Kelley focuses in particular on 18th and 19th century literature and the life sciences of the time, which is a combination which seems even less likely than science and literature generally.

Over at the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Steve Baker looks at a similar topic, but from a very different angle. Baker examines the use of animals in art, but focuses on the ethical implications of this use. As he puts it, his “key concern was to articulate the “voice” of these artists, and to show how they think and how they work.”

This week, the Penn Press Log has a post in their “Medieval Monday” series that shows how animals were used in art even in the ninth century. The post looks at an Old Irish lyric poem called “Pangur Bán” or “The Monk and His Cat.” As Susan Crane puts it in a passage quoted in the post, “Anthropomorphism can cut in many directions, but in “Pangur Bán” the consistent strategy is to strike analogies that reinforce the scholar’s bemused admiration for Pangur with his self-deprecating account of his own efforts to work well.”

We’ll wrap up this week’s Roundup with a couple of posts on Hall of Fame baseball stars. At the University of Missouri Press blog, they’ve got a Q&A with James N. Giglio on his book Musial, as well as his experiences researching and writing about Stan the Man’s life. And over at Beacon Brooadside, they have a guest post from Howard Bryant looking back at a relatively unknown part of the career of Jackie Robinson: a tryout with the Boston Red Sox. As one might guess, the tryout did not go particularly well: “Robinson himself was satisfied with his performance, although by the time he left Fenway he was smoldering about what he felt to be a humiliating charade.”

Well, that will do it for this week! We hope that you enjoyed this edition of our UP Roundup. As always, please post any thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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