University Press Roundup

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. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

This week the University of California Press Blog continued their Behind the Scenes post series with a look at the challenges that Susan Sered faced in writing Can’t Catch a Break, her in-depth study of “how marginalized women navigate an unforgiving world.” The post explains the methodology that Sered and coauthor Maureen Norton-Hawk followed in conducting their long-term study, and delves into the ways that Sered and Norton-Hawk were able to maintain contact and build trust with the marginalized and traumatized women with whom they worked.

At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, abortion politics get a close look in two separate posts. First, Douglas Walton and Fabrizio Macagno finish their series on Emotive Language in Argumentation with an examination of how “carefully constructed argumentative language influences the debate over abortion.” Then, Deana A. Rohlinger looks at political and social trends and concludes that, while the public debate over abortion is certainly different now than it was in the early 2010s, it certainly hasn’t gone away.

What does it mean to discuss intellectual disability, or to label someone as intellectually disabled? At Voices in Education, the blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Chris Kliewer, Doug Biklen, and Amy J. Petersen argue that, far from being a science, intellectual disability is “a culturally agreed upon lens that insidiously Photoshops select scenes of an individual’s life, the dataset so to speak, into a particular frame.” They argue that metaphors can be helpful, but that we need to be aware of whose interests are served in their use.

How will climate change and the measures we may need to take to mitigate its effects affect our economic systems? This question is the focus of Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability, a new three-part blog post series at Island Press Field Notes (quick plug: it is also the focus of The Age of Sustainable Development, by Jeffrey Sachs). In the first post of the series, the Worldwatch Institute discusses the cost of clean energy, the danger of never-ending economic growth, and how we can separate investments from unsustainable economic activities.

With the 2015 SCMS conference just beginning, the JHU Press Blog has a fascinating film-themed guest post up this week from Sheri Chinen Biesen. Biesen discusses the close connection between jazz music and “musical” noir films, “distinctive for showing smoke, shadows, and bluesy nightclub performers.”

Continuing on the music theme, this week the UNC Press Blog featured an interview with Charles L. Hughes on what he’s dubbed the “country-soul triangle,” the “network of recording studios in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama.” Hughes focuses on the importance of the talented session musicians at these studios in shaping the distinctive sounds that came to be representative of entire regions and musical genres. Hughes finishes up his interview by mentioning Spotify and Youtube playlists he made while researching the topic for those who are interested in exploring the music from the country-soul triangle!

NYU Press’s Library of Arabic Literature recently published blind poet and writer Abū l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī’s The Epistle of Forgiveness, and this week From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, ran an excellent interview with sociologist Tom Shakespeare on his work looking at al-Maʿarrī’s writing through the lens of disability studies. As Shakespeare says, “[i]mmediately you’re using a visual metaphor, ‘looking at his work through that lens.’ That’s an example of the way that all our language is taken up with visual metaphors. I think it’s an interesting question: What does it do to us?”

How do courts determine that a musician has infringed upon the copyright of another musician in writing a song? At the OUPblog, Matthew D. Morrison uses the recent case in which Marvin Gaye’s estate was awarded $7.4 million in damages for copyright infringement from the song “Blurred Lines,” by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams as a jumping-off point to discuss the complicated system of copyright and intellectual property law more generally.

The 2015 Association for Asian Studies meeting begins today, and the Stanford University Press blog is celebrating the occasion by featuring a series of posts running the full gamut of their Asian Studies list, with posts on China’s rise, South Korean business and politics, modern changes in South Asia, and how to write vividly in a scholarly context.

Finally, we’ll wrap up this week’s Roundup with a post by Mil Duncan at the Yale Books Unbound blog. In his guest post, Duncan discusses the the political dimensions of poverty, particularly visible in poor rural communities, “where the haves and have-nots live worlds apart, and a few powerful families control jobs and politics.”

Thanks for reading! As always, we hope that you enjoyed the links. Please let us know what you think in the comments!

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