University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles 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.

This Tuesday, April 22, was Earth Day. At the Indiana University Press Blog, Wendy Read Wertz celebrates the occasion by telling the story of Lynton Keith Caldwell, Gaylord Nelson, the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and the creation of Earth Day. Island Press Field Notes took the opportunity to look forward to future Earth Days: they asked a range of Island Press authors to identify specific progress on environmental issues that could be achieved in the next year. Another environmental holiday, Arbor Day, takes place on the final Friday of every April, and at the JHU Press blog, Angela Sorby has a guest post looking at the tree-related poetry of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

National Poetry Month is nearly over, but UP blogs are still putting out great poetry posts. At the University of Washington Press Blog, Heather Inwood has a fascinating post looking at the role of poetry in today’s rapidly evolving Chinese society, using a Chinese proverb, “when the state is unfortunate, poets are fortunate,” as a starting point. And Wake: Up to Poetry, the blog of Wake Forest University Press, continues to post an excellent selection of poems. Kerry Hardie’s “Ship of Death” is just the most recent example.

While a common view of Vladimir Putin in the West is that of a Machiavellian tyrant, Mark D. Steinberg, writing at the OUPblog, points out that “Putin often speaks quite openly of his motives and values—and opinion polls suggest he is strongly in sync with widespread popular sentiments.” In his post, Steinberg examines Putin’s language in public speeches and compares that language to Russian political action.

The South Street Seaport is a popular tourist destination, thanks to the South Street Seaport Museum preservationists, who have “assembled the nation’s largest museum fleet of historic ships.” At From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, James M. Lindgren tells the story of the preservation of “the city’s first world trade center,” and argues that “it’s a treasure we must protect.”

April is also Autism Awareness Month. At Beacon Broadside, Dr. Enrico Gnaulati speaks about the history of Autism Spectrum Disorder, particularly focusing on the explosion of autism diagnoses over the past twenty years. He points out that, given the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, autism diagnoses have risen by 30% in just the past two years. He argues that misdiagnoses are the cause of this statistical leap.

At the JHU Press Blog, Janine Barchas has a fascinating guest post about texts of Jane Austen novels that made it to the front lines of trenches in the First World War, and about the powerful Rudyard Kipling short story, “The Janeites,” that tells the story of those soldiers who read Austen in the war.

C. Reilly Snorton’s recent book on modern black male sexuality had a somewhat unlikely muse: two characters in R. Kelly’s multi-part hip hopera, “Trapped in the Closet.” At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Snorton explains the genesis of his project, and describes aspects of black sexuality using the metaphor of a “glass closet.”

The struggle for control of Chattanooga, Tennessee in the Civil War is not as present in the public imagination as, say, the battle of Gettysburg, but, as Evan C. Jones explains at the LSU Press Blog, the loss of Chattanooga was such a drastic blow to the Confederacy that “one of the Confederate army’s high-ranking commanders, Major General Patrick Cleburne, actually implored his colleagues to pursue a program of incorporating slaves into the South’s military service.”

We’ll end this week’s roundup with a guest post at the University of Nebraska Press Blog by UNP Assistant Project Editor Kathryn Owens. Owens tells the story of her entry into academic publishing, emphasizing that, while she wasn’t a bookworm for most of her life, “[r]eading … has become my career and passion.”

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

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