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.

For Black History month, the OUP blog unearthed four remarkable black lives forgotten or neglected by history. These are William Shorey, known as “Black Ahab” in the late 19th century, Gladys Bentley, a 1920s blues singer of the Harlem Renaissance, Marie Laveuz, Voodoo queen of New Orleans, and Charles Caldwell, a Mississippi Reconstruction politician. Read more brief bios about them here.

The mathematicians over at Princeton UP are using calculus to predict MORE snow for Boston. Will winter never end? Wellesley (!) professor Oscar Fernandez rephrases the question to: What’s the probability that Boston will get at least s more inches of snow this month? Here is his answer.

Over at Cambridge UP’s blog, Jordi Diez discusses the recent expansion of gay rights in Chile and the country’s relative laggardness compared to other Latin American countries. This January 28th, Chile’s Congress allowed civil unions between two individuals regardless of gender. The passage of this bill has been a long time coming—it was first introduced to Chile’s parliament eleven years ago. There is still legal progress to be made: Gay couples still cannot adopt children in Chile or be married. Diez concludes that Chile will continue to be ‘a laggard on gay rights.’

Masuda Hajimu explores the Korean conflict as a kind of ‘crucible’ for the Cold War at the Harvard UP blog. He is keen to have us reassess our Cold War lenses and realities, asking us, “Instead of formulating another imagined reality, we can keep raising questions about stereotypical narratives that tend to simplify complex stories and prevent us from thinking further. How real is our “reality”? How and for whom are the images of threats composed and circulated? What are the social needs—or self-sustaining dynamics—of such imagined realities? Who creates walls and for what purposes?”

Down south at Duke UP, Marcia Chatelain relays the history of black girls’ groups such as the Campfire Girls. She argues that ‘delving into the dynamics and definition of black girlhood is key to understanding various dimensions of the Great Migration.’ These groups proved formative in forging ‘an image of a black girl as an active citizen.’

At the Stanford UP blog, Andrew Hoffman discusses how climate change has become an issue of ideology rather in the US at the Stanford UP blog. No longer a scientific debate, one’s position on climate change is intrinsically tied to one’s cultural identity. As such, the topic has been tabled in the US from polite dinner conversation along with ‘sex, religion, and politics’.

Suzanna Danuta Walters at NYU Press argues that the recent decision of Mt. Holyoke, one of the original Seven-Sisters colleges, to ban the performance of The Vagina Monologues in order to be more ‘inclusive’ is misguided.

That’s all folks. Thanks for reading your Superior CUP blog! Please let us know what you think in the comments!

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