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.

We are happy that the last few days of April spilled over into the beginning of this week, since that means we get to squeeze in one final (half) week of National Poetry Month posts in the Roundup! The University of California Press blog featured an article by Andrew Joron on 20th century American poet Philip Lamantia’s poetic development and the sources of his inspiration. At the University of Georgia Press Blog (congratulations on the new logo!), Clarence Major shares his poem “Evening Newspaper” and describes the experiences that inspired it. And finally, Wake: Up to Poetry, the blog of Wake Forest University Press, has a beautiful reflection on what a poem can do in “Down,” by Brendan Kennelly.

This week was also Holocaust Remembrance week, and the Indiana University Press blog has posted a series of excerpts from their titles on the Holocaust. Each post is meant to “further your understanding of the history of the Holocaust,” and many of them cast new light on aspects and characters of the story of the Holocaust that are not frequently discussed.

fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, is celebrating the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare this week. First, to get you into a Shakespearean mood, they provide a Youtube playlist of various songs, from operas to pop songs, inspired by the Bard and his plays. Then, with the unlikely duo of Heath Ledger and Benjamin Britten providing the soundtrack for your reading, you can move on to “Shakespeare with Chinese Characteristics?,” a fascinating article by Julie Sanders on Chinese adaptations of some of the most famous Shakespeare plays.

Donald Sterling, the owner (at least for the moment) of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers has made headlines recently for racist comments. Adam Silver, the new commissioner of the NBA, came down hard on Sterling, fining him $2.5 million dollars, banning him for life from involvement in the NBA, and attempting to force the sale of the Clippers. While the incentive for this punishment (and the sale of the team in particular) have been cast as a moral decision, at the OUPblog, Adam Grossman claims that replacing Sterling as the Clippers owner is an important financial move for the league, as well.

The 140th Kentucky Derby is right around the corner, and the University Press of Kentucky Blog is celebrating the occasion with a guest post from James C. Nicholson. In his post, Nicholson discusses early Derby favorite California Chrome, and discusses how narratives in horseracing have to be constructed around the peripheral figures in the race (the owner, the trainer, the jockey), since the horses actually doing the racing obviously don’t create stories in the same ways that human athletes do.

At the JHU Press Blog, Renée C. Fox has a guest post looking back at her experiences working with Doctors Without Borders, and, in particular, focusing on the communications the program puts out in response to political, military, and health crises around the world over the last few years.

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban of affirmative action in Michigan’s public university admissions. At From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, F. Michael Higginbotham examines the decision and the arguments for income-based affirmative action to replace race-based affirmative action, and finds both wanting. As he puts it, “race-based preference is still vital in the United States given the country’s history of slavery and its continuing, pervasive racial discrimination. To think otherwise is selective memory loss.”

A much discussed but often misunderstood aspect of military deployment is the effect that the deployment of a family member has on the rest of his or her family at home. At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Lisa Leitz has a powerful post discussing the difficulties she and her family faced when her husband was deployed for the fourth time.

The First World War began one hundred years ago this year, and at the LSU Press Blog, Rachel Chrastil explains some of the motivations behind the French war effort in an attempt to answer Jean-Jacques Becker’s question, “Why were the French so ready to make sacrifices in 1914 when they had been so unprepared for them in the past?” In doing so, she offers a warning: “democracy and a robust civil society do not in themselves prevent war. In France one hundred years ago, they helped to sustain it.”

Saving for retirement is becoming an increasingly complicated and frightening process, particularly after the 2008 recession. Beacon Broadside has collected some information on and dispelled some myths about the politics behind retirement from James W. Russell’s Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis in the hope that they can make the process a little less complicated, if no less frightening.

Finally, before we sign off, we’d like to congratulate the folks at the University of Pennsylvania Press for their new design at The Penn Press Log! Looks great!

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

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