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’ll kick things off this week with a discussion of the causes of prison recidivism by David Chura at Beacon Broadside (a big congrats to Beacon Press on their new space!). In his post, Chura talks about his mistrust of contextless statistics about the prison system, and claims that the problem is not actually that big of a mystery: “How you treat people is how they will act. Living under present day prison conditions, day after day, for years, can only foster more bitterness, anger, and despair; can only result in more crime fueled by vengeful feelings upon release.”

Many college students are currently making their way home for the summer, and the abrupt shift of living situation can sometimes lead to tensions between students and parents. At the JHU Press Blog, Doris Iarovici discusses the difficulties of parenting a son or daughter who is home briefly from college, and offers some helpful advice to parents in uncomfortable situations.

Qatar has ruffled feathers among its Middle Eastern neighbors recently with their accepting attitude towards members of the Muslim Brotherhood. At the Stanford University Press Blog, Lawrence P. Rubin explains the situation, and looks into the reasons that deeply Islamic Saudi Arabia opposes the Brotherhood and that much larger states in the Middle East feel threatened by the actions of a small country like Qatar.

We’ve highlighted the University of Minnesota Press Blog’s #MALcasestudies series of posts for the last few weeks, and the series continues this week with a fascinating post by Matthew Kirschenbaum on WorldStar software. WorldStar has been in the news recently, as George R. R. Martin, author of the popular Song of Fire and Ice novels, has said on late night TV that he prefers to write using WorldStar. In his post, Kirschenbaum explains what WorldStar is, and explains why Martin might not be a luddite for preferring older software when he writes.

At From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Judy Y. Chu breaks down what we mean when we say that “boys will be boys” in response to the behavior of children. She points out that this phrase is generally used in response to behavior that lines up with cultural norms of masculinity; we “rarely, if ever, hear people remark that ‘Boys will be boys’ when boys are calm, quiet, gentle, kind, thoughtful, generous, and considerate,” even though boys can exhibit those tendencies, as well.

While the basic design of two in-line wheels has remained constant, nearly every other aspect of the design of bicycles has changed since the creation of the 1817 Drasine. In honor of National Bike Month, the MIT Press Blog has a Q&A with Tony Hadland and Hans-Erhard Lessing about the history and the future of the bicycle (complete with some excellent illustrations).

The collapse of the housing market was one of the major causes/results of the financial crisis of 2008, but it’s one that is still widely misunderstood. At Yale Books Unbound, Jennifer Taub tries to sort out some common sources of confusion about the housing market’s collapse. Notably, she drives home the point that homeowners taking out mortgages beyond their means have been “unfairly scapegoated” in the popular stories about the collapse: “If every single subprime mortgage had defaulted, as author and former investment banker Nomi Prins has noted, the total unpaid principal would have been a fraction of what was committed by the Fed, Treasury, and FDIC in the financial crisis.”

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the UNC Press Blog has a guest post from Sonia Song-Ha Lee on the coalitions that developed between Puerto Rican and African American civil rights activists in New York City. In her post, she particularly focuses on the many and varied forces that helped unify the two groups, despite some major disagreements that threatened to drive them apart.

The Indiana University Press Blog has a nice tribute to three IUP employees who are retiring at the end of May: each retiree is featured in a blog post with a Q&A about their time in publishing and at Indiana University Press in particular. It’s interesting to see the very different paths that Manager of Electronic and Serials Publishing Joy Andreakis, Director of Electronic and Serials Publishing Kate Caras, and sales manager Mary Beth Haas have taken in their journeys through academic publishing.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a really cool sequence of posts from the OUPblog showing different stories from classical history through pictures. Ian Worthington has curated a slideshow on the rise and fall of the Macedonian Empire. Robin Waterfield has curated a slideshow on the Roman conquest of Greece. Finally, Peter Heather has done the same for two separate posts: a slideshow on “ten moments that shook the Roman world,” and a slideshow on the period between the fall of Rome and the rise of the Catholic Church.

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

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