University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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 out this week with a couple of excellent posts this week considering the history and role of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8). At the Stanford University Press Blog, Myra Marx Ferree has a guest post looking at the roots of International Women’s Day. And at From the Square, the NYU Press blog, Alison Piepmeier explains why she’s “a bit skeptical” of Women’s History Month.’

It’s now been over a month since US Secretary of State for Defense Leon Panetta announced that in 2016, combat roles in the US military would be open to female service personnel. At the OUPblog, Anthony King looks at the question that has been raised by critics of the decision to open combat roles to women: Can women fight? Using examples from the Canadian Army and the UK, he argues that “[i]t is empirically false to claim that women cannot serve on the frontline or that they necessarily undermine cohesion.”

Throughout the month of March, the University of Georgia Press blog will be hosting “30 Days of the Flannery O’Connor Award,” a series of guest posts from winners of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The first of these posts, by Jessica Treadway, discusses Hester Kaplan’s The Edge of Marriage.

Meanwhile, the JHU Press Blog is running a series of posts called “Kill Your Darlings,” in which authors are asked “What poem, line, stanza, or piece of brilliant work have you sacrificed for the greater good?” So far, X. J. Kennedy and Peter Filkins have written very interesting posts attempting to answer that question.

Michael Sadowski made a couple of appearances in the blogs of academic presses this week. First, at Voices in Education, the blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Sadowski discusses the powerful role parents can play in setting goals for students. Then, at North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Sadowski delves into the experiences that went into his new book, In a Queer Voice.

This week, Beacon Broadside, the blog of Beacon Press, has a Q&A with David Chura, author of I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine. Over the course of the interview Chura explains what inspired him to write about incarcerated youth, why he decide to ask other teachers to tell stories from their careers, and how he and other teachers find the strength to deal with the additional challenges involved in teaching at-risk kids.

In honor of their centennial year, the Harvard University Press Blog is running a series of posts on 100 significant HUP titles. This week, Executive Editor-at-large Elizabeth Knoll looks back at Jerome Bruner’s The Process of Education, originally published in 1960. In her post, Knoll discusses how spectacular best-sellers from academic publishers often come from unexpected sources, and how, “in 1960, no one expected the report of a Woods Hole conference of eminent scientists and psychologists, spurred by the political shock of Sputnik to imagine reforms in American schools, to fascinate and inspire book reviewers, university students, neighborhood book groups, and school teachers for decades.”

While a majority of the time and effort spent on editing a book focuses on what goes between the covers (and rightfully so), at the University of Nebraska Press blog, UNP marketing manager Martyn Beeny argues that the value of the marketing copy written about the book should not be underrated: “Writing copy for a catalog or the back cover of a book is not to be confused with writing the book in the first place or editing it into shape in the second, but it is an authorial and editorial challenge in its own right.”

This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, has recently been posting a series of fascinating essays on paternalism. This week, Sarah Conley has a guest post arguing that, while paternalism has a bad name, “[m]uch of our traditional dislike of paternalism is based on a false picture of human nature.” She asks why we accept so readily paternalistic interventions in a few cases (like being required by law to wear a seatbelt) and not in others with similar effects.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up for this week’s Roundup with a Q&A with Patrick McGilligan at the University of Minnesota Press Blog about the Hollywood Blacklist of 1947. In a story that is often forgotten today, 36 members of the Hollywood community were blacklisted due to their alleged involvement with the Communist Party.

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

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