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.
The United Nations’ most recent report on Syria was published on June 13, and the MIT Press blog has an excerpt from an essay on the Syrian government’s increasingly close relationship with Hezbollah in the years after Bashar Al-Assad took over the presidency in 2000. This relationship is particularly important now, as Hezbollah leadership has confirmed that Hezbollah forces will join the fighting in Syria in support of Al-Assad.
Alexander the Great died on June 10, 323 BC. The OUPblog looked back at the reign and legacy of one of the best-known leaders of the ancient world with an excerpt from John Atkinson’s introduction to Arrian’s Alexander the Great. Elsewhere on the OUPblog, Deborah Sims has an entertaining and informative history of Superman for those who want to brush up on their Man of Steel knowledge before seeing Man of Steel.
At the JHU Press Blog, Donald R. Prothero (also a CUP author and editor several times over) addresses the “litany of bad climate news” that has come out over the past year, explains how the new climate studies reinforce the message that man-made climate change is very real, and gives our title The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars a shoutout along the way.
What is a “trash animal”? At the University of Minnesota Press blog, Kelsi Nagy discusses how the phrase “trash animal” has been used in different contexts to denigrate various species of animals deemed undesirable for any number of reasons. Nagy claims, however, that “we can’t call an animal “trash” without implicating ourselves.”
“Are young people aspiring to creative careers just a bunch of whiny trust fund brats?” At the McGill-Queen’s University Press blog, Miranda Campbell looks at the messages put forward in a new advertising campaign designed to “persuade youth to consider a career in the skilled trades” by the government of British Columbia.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have made waves with the popularity of “Same Love,” a “a “conscious” rap about rejecting gay stereotypes in support of same-sex marriage.” However, at From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Karen Tongson talks about the problems she sees with the song, pointing out that it “unwittingly plays upon the classical tropes of homosexual narcissism, while also trotting out the newer rhetoric of equivalency.”
At the UNC Press Blog, Andrew Cayton has a fascinating post about how the personal letters of historical figures (in this particular case, nineteenth-century intellectuals Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, and Gilbert Imlay) can elucidate the thoughts and feelings of long-dead people, allowing readers to “[meet] these people as interlocutors more than as subjects.”
This week, the University of California Press Blog put up “God in Proof,” the latest episode of their UC Press Podcast featuring Nathan Schneider, who takes listeners on a philosophical tour of proofs of the existence of God.
At The Florida Bookshelf, the blog of the University Press of Florida, Kathleen Kaska continues her ongoing series on the whooping cranes’ battle for survival as a species. This week, she discusses how habitat destruction, the Keystone XL pipeline in particular, impacts the future of the whooping crane.
Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a guest post by John Haddad at North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press. In his post, Haddad looks at the Hong Kong Reperatory Theater’s staging of a play about the first commercial voyage taken to China by an American ship.
Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!