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, University of California Press interviewed Miriam Cherry, Marion Crain, and Winifred Poster, editors of Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World. This new book
tackles the idea of “invisible labor” from a technological and global perspective, through examples such as how technology is erasing the identity of some workers by making customers believe they are interacting with a computer instead of a real person, as well as how orange juice commercials contribute to invisible labor by systematically eliminating the migrant workers who actually grew the fruit.

Johns Hopkins University Press shared a review of an article published in the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine that solves a mystery behind the life of Mary Lincoln. Known as the erratic and mentally unstable wife of Abraham Lincoln, John Sotos’ article “What an Affliction” diagnoses her with pernicious anemia, a type of Vitamin B-12 deficiency, consistent with her irritability, delusions, and hallucinations. Due to stories of how Mary Lincoln’s mental state affected Abraham Lincoln’s public life, according to Sotos, “This diagnosis will change scholarship about her by providing a new view of primary influences on her actions.”

An excerpt from Inventing American History by William Hogeland, was published on MIT Press’ blog just in time for the Fourth of July. Hogeland’s book is a call to make the commemorating and celebration of America’s past more honest. He argues that only when we ground our national history in the brutal and unjust events of the time can we truly be able to learn from them.

The United States is a country where only 17% of K-12 public school teachers identify as minorities. Fordham Impressions, Fordham University Press’ blog, shared an interview with Pamela Lewis, a black teacher from the North Bronx and author of Teaching while Black: A New Voice on Race and Education in New York City. Lewis believes she has a valuable insight into the issues of teaching a diverse classroom, and argues that educators should always consider their students’ racial backgrounds. Her new book calls for a more culturally sensitive curriculum and takes the reader through Lewis’ own experiences in classrooms where students are often underrepresented in curriculum and uncomfortable in their own skin.

Dr. Esther Sternberg, author of Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being published by Harvard University Press, explores how one’s immediate physical surroundings can affect their mood, immune system, neural functioning, and their general health. Recently, Harvard University Press’ blog shared a post about how the Susan Sebastian Foundation was inspired by the book and has completed a multi-year project of installing original works of art in each of Vermont’s roughly 400 inpatient hospital rooms.

The new words we find in our lexicon represent our place and time in the digital age. Princeton University Press talked with Benjamin Peters, author of Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture about how people’s linguistic capacities connect us to our cultural, social, and political lives. According to Peters, a word is a “key” word because it does meaningful social work in our lives. Composed of contributions by linguistic scholars, his new book reclaims, reconsiders and re-contextualizes such words as “community”, “gaming”, “information”, and “forum” to reflect our place in the current age.

North Philly Notes, Temple University Press’ blog, features a discussion with American Dunkirk co-authors James Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf about the boat evacuations from Manhattan that took place on 9/11. Both authors, who refer to themselves as “disaster researchers”, are interested in the human response to and experience of disaster. Their new book analyzes how about 500,000 people were evacuated successfully by boat without any direct plan, and how such evacuation improvisation has been seen during other large-scale disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina. According to the authors, before 9/11, officials and policy makers emphasized “command and control” for emergency preparation. However, large-scale disasters are always characterized by unplanned activities that are “better coordinated than controlled.”

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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