University Press Roundup

Welcome back to our (sometimes) 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 (nearly) every Friday.)

This month on the University Of California Press blog, Susan Sered, co-author of Can’t Catch a Break: Gender, Jail, Drugs, and the Limits of Personal Responsibility, opens up an ongoing dialogue about our current notions of education and power, and the underlying systems of poverty, racism and gendered violence that surround them. In this article, Sered calls us to examine the ways in which our ideas of knowledge and education are used to simultaneously disempower those individuals belonging to marginalized groups, and to point responsibility for systematic disenfranchisement back onto its victims.

James C. Kaufman, a frequent contributor to Cambridge University Press, writes on their blog this month about the phenomenon of creativity and the mechanisms and motivations behind creative people. Having backgrounds in both cognitive psychology and playwriting, Kaufman offers a unique perspective on the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of creative people, as well as anecdotes about his own experiences in both the scholarly and productive arenas regarding creative work.

This month the University of Chicago Press blog features an excerpt from an interview with Jessa Crispin, author of The Dead Ladies Project, a memoir about a thirty-something-year-old female expatriate and her experiences walking the line between a lifestyle that fits neither the category of full detachment nor traditional stability. In a voice that is at once unmistakably recognizable and immediately intimate, Crispin speaks about loneliness, place, and the ex-pat experience.

On the Georgetown University Press blog this month comes a two-part post about renewing the Catholic understanding of the sexual person by Todd A. Salman and Michael G. Lawler, authors of Sexual Ethics. Salzman and Lawler put forward a fascinating proposition for a new understanding of the sexual individual within the context of Catholicism, urging a conception of sexual personhood as one that is both wholly holistic and subjective, facilitating a less fragmented and more intimate relationship with one’s body, partner, and God.

From Harvard University Press comes a dialogue between noted atheist and neuroscientist Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz, former Islamist and chairman of global thinktank Quilliam, an international project focused on facilitating discussion on religious freedom, extremism, and citizenship. Sparked from an inauspicious comment made by Harris towards Nawaz following the 2010 Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, Islam and the Future of Tolerance nevertheless turns out an engaging, nuanced, and generous exchange of ideas surrounding Islam, extremism, and the role of scripture and history in the modern political landscape.

In a recent post on the Stanford University Press blog, Cedric de Leon and Manali Desai take on the almost humorously bewildering recent phenomenon of Donald Trump’s rocketing ascent to prominence in the upcoming election, conjecturing that the cause of such a confounding occurrence lies not so much in any particular competence or brilliance of the man himself, but rather a festering detachment and alienation that has been growing steadily in many Americans these past few years, resulting in the almost paradoxically understandable attraction to this strange image of the outsider spouting extreme and even nonsensical views that Trump has embodied in such a timely way.

Finally, to close this weeks roundup, here’s a short piece from the Princeton University Press blog sporting the charming title Kierkegaard in Space. We will leave the reader of this blog with the image of the first Danish astronaut, Andreas Mogensen, upon being obliged to select a ten-minute selection from a Danish work to read to his fellow astronauts on board the first Danish spacecraft bound for the International Space Station, reading a selection from the melancholy Dane’s The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air to his rapt and choice audience, floating noiselessly above a tiny blue earth.

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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