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.)

“Our nation’s tax system is badly broken. Everyone knows that.” Writing at Yale Books Unbound, Michael J. Graetz explains how the tax system in the U.S. has gotten so hopelessly complicated and proposes some reform possibilities that would allow the system to more accurately and simply represent financial realities.

The rehabilitation of Gas Works Park in Seattle is one of landscape architect Richard Haag’s most famous projects, and at the University of Washington Press Blog, Thaisa Way tells the story of how Browns Point was transformed from “a toxic wasteland” to a new type of public park.

At the University of Texas Press blog, writer Seamus McGraw uses Senator Jim Inhofe’s (in)famous snowball-throw Senate speech as a way to discuss the impacts of a changing climate on those whose work depends on environmental consistency: farmers and fishermen.

Have you ever wished you could listen in on a conversation between Woody Allen and Walter Benjamin? The Stanford University Press blog has an excerpt from David Kishik’s The Manhattan Project in which Benjamin (who merely faked his death in 1940) interviews Woody Allen in New York in 1985.

“How do violent Muslim groups justify, at least to themselves, their violence against fellow Muslims?” At the OUPblog, Alexander Thurston digs into propoganda and teachings from Nigeria’s Boko Haram, and looks for the historical and religious roots of Boko Haram’s understanding of Islam.

In southwestern Oregon, the thick fir forests have been cut down in a regular checkerboard pattern. As Emily K. Brock explains in a guest post at the Oregon State University Press blog, this checkerboard pattern is a “still-visible remnant of management decisions made in the 1860s.”

The rise of streaming music services like Spotify, Amazon Prime, and the new Tidal, among others, have drastically changed the economics of making music over the past few years. In a fascinating post at the UNC Press Blog, David Gilbert “compares the difficulties of today’s modern music industry with the ‘Manhattan Musical Marketplace’ of the twentieth century, flagging the often disincentivizing disparity between music consumption and artist compensation.”

Can narrative history rescue the past (and what does it even mean to “rescue” the past)? At the UPNEblog, Russell Lawson, author of a narrative history of Captain John Smith, argues that imagining and empathizing with people from the past, and allowing others to do the same through your writing, is a worthwhile and, indeed, crucial endeavor.

We primarily focus on prose in our UP Roundups, but it’s always a treat when UP blogs post mix it up by posting excellent poetry as well! This week, the Duke University Press blog continued their National Poetry Month series of poetry posts with “The Thief,” by Rafael Campo.

Oulipo member Georges Perec is best known for his experimental fiction (A Void, Life A User’s Manual, etc.), but the University of Chicago Press has recently published a translation of Perec’s Portrait of a Man Known as Il Condottiere, a more straightforward novel written before the founding of Oulipo, and only discovered and published. This week, the Chicago Blog ran an excerpt from the novel.

Earth Day is just around the corner, and at fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Prasenjit Duara claims that a “new vision” of the world is necessary if we are to avoid destroying it (urged on by one of “the most fundamental tenets of Enlightenment modernity—the conquest of nature by man”).

This year is the fortieth anniversary of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and, in a guest post at the University of California Press Blog, Kathryn Edin believes that “in the midst of dueling tax proposals from the political right and left, it’s a good time to examine how the EITC is working.”

As most readers will probably already know, the state of California (and much of the rest of the West Coast) is in the midst of a drought of historic proportions. At the Beacon Broadside, Cynthia Barnett looks at the casual relationship most Americans have with water, and thinks about how the drought is changing the way that Californians interact with water.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a guest post from Melissa Morelli Lacroix at There’s a Hole in the Bucket, the blog of The University of Alberta Press. In her post, Lacroix, a UAP author who had great success helping with the promotion and marketing of her book, details what marketing activities really worked for her, and what she learned from the marketing process.

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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