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. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)
The recent murders of three young Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, have raised questions about the possible motivation for such crimes as well as about the way that we talk about them after the fact. At Beacon Broadside, Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski argue that, while we like to see violent acts as the acts of disturbed individuals, “this violence is not anathema to respectable society,” and ask whether the recent spate of violence to change the parts of our collective imagination that contributes to these crimes. Meanwhile, From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, ran two posts on the topic this week. Evelyn Alsultany claims that we need a “new paradigm to think about racialized violence,” and Nadine Naber makes the case that the murders were about much more than a parking dispute.
February is Black History Month, and quite a few university presses are running posts or post series honoring the occasion. At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Ethan J. Kytle considers modern portrayals of the abolitionist movement one hundred fifty years after the 13th Amendment. At the Duke University Press blog, Marcia Chatelain remembers the history of black girls’ groups and explains how they presaged current black youth movements. Katharine Capshaw, writing at the University of Minnesota Press blog, discusses the importance of photographs from the Civil Rights movement in helping modern children understand the history of the 1950s and 1960s. The University Press of Mississippi blog examines Mississippi Freedom Schools and provides an excellent video interview with a former Freedom School teacher. Finally, the University of Washington Press Blog offers an excellent guest post from Craig J. Peariso on Black Panther Party doctrine and how it relates to current issues of race in America.
At the Stanford University Press Blog, Alejandro Toledo, the President of Peru from 2001 to 2006, looks back over the Latin American “renaissance” of the past two decades, evaluates current economic and political problems in the region, and looks forward towards “economic independence, growth, and a horizontal relationship power-wise with the rest of the world at the national and regional levels [for Latin America].”
Have recent jihadist attacks throughout the world drawn our collective attention away from the political conditions in the Middle East that helped create them? Writing at the Princeton University Press Blog, John Owen argues that they have, and argues that the “Islamic democracy” that has guided Turkey, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern countries in recent years is in retreat everywhere (other than Tunisia).
In February, 1979, China invaded erstwhile ally and fellow communist nation Vietnam. The reasons for China’s decision to invade are still largely mysterious. In a guest post at the UNC Press Blog, Xiaoming Zhang breaks down what we know about the invasion, with a particular focus on the Chinese leader who was the primary force behind it: Deng Xiaoping.
At the Harvard University Press Blog, Masuda Hajimu makes the case that the social and political forces that drove the Cold War are still at play today, and can be seen in popular and political conceptions of The War on Terror. He argues that in today’s world “we are seeing the recurrence of the politics of “us” and “them” under the banner of public security, with the construction of new walls between communities, among people, and even inside our minds, which, as in the time of the Cold War, often serves to marginalize diverse social conflicts.”
The science behind Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar has generated a great deal of discussion since the film’s release in November. At the OUPblog, Keith Mansfield discusses the film’s emphasis on relativity, some of the debates among the best-known physicists studying the subject, and the treatment that black holes receive in the film’s plot.
We’ll wrap things up this week with a poem, courtesy of the Wake: Up to Poetry blog of Wake Forest University Press. This week, the Wake blog is featuring Brendan Kennelly’s “The Horse’s Head,” a look at “the holy intersection between humanity and nature.”
Thanks for reading! As always, we hope that you enjoyed the links. Please let us know what you think in the comments!