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.)

MIT Press’s blog features an interview with David Sarokin, an environmental scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency, and Jay Schulkin, Research Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Georgetown University (and author of Sport: A Biological, Philosophical, and Cultural Perspective!). Sarokin and Schulkin are the authors of the recently published, Missed Information, a book that examines the power of information and its ability to shape some of the world’s leading industries. This interview tackles a range of issues, from the role of information and technology in health care to the relationship between social media and law enforcement. According to Sarokin and Schulkin, there is a direct correlation between the dissemination of efficient information and sustainability. “If we add information to that system about human values—information about child labor, environmental protection, worker safety, and more—then those same invisible forces can steer the marketplace, and the world at large, towards a more sustainable future.”

This week, University of Michigan Press’s blog honors author Anne McGuire, winner of the inaugural Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies. This blog post focuses on the field of disability studies, featuring a reflection by David Mitchell, Georgetown University professor and co-editor of the book series Corporealities: Discourses of Disability. This book series, otherwise known as “the longest running academic book series devoted exclusively to disability studies,” has greatly influenced the growth of disability studies in education and its prevalence in the humanities as a whole. “The series has not only been a beacon but also a staple source of research materials for libraries, the general public, teachers, and scholars.”

Will e-books and digital reading overtake print? Naomi S. Baron, professor of Linguistics and Executive Director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning at American University, examines this question in a post on Oxford University Press’s blog. The rise of digital reading can be attributed to multiple factors, as e-books are not only more convenient in transportation, but are also generally cheaper than print versions. According to Baron’s research, however, “92% [of university students] said they concentrated best when reading in print.” Even kids from ages 6-17, who tend to be frequent users of digital devices, are in line with this sentiment. “Scholastic found that 71% of 12-14 year-olds agreed with the statement ‘I’ll always want to read books printed on paper even though there are e-books available,’” references Baron. The verdict? “The jury remains out on the future mix of print and digital media. My bet is that for some time to come, readers will have the chance to follow their own preferences.”

A post by Stephen Kendrick, author of The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America’s First Garden Cemetery, and its Revolutionary and Literary Residents, is currently featured on Beacon Press’s blog. In this post, readers can enjoy a scientific analysis of New England’s “residing glory,” or in other words, the vibrant hue of autumn leaves. The post focuses on the effects of fall on Mount Auburn, a garden cemetery with an ecological approach to horticulture. “The reason the colors are so intense here in New England? It’s all a natural process. The shorter day triggers the reduction of chlorophyll, which produces the green, and when this happens, the yellow pigments that have been there all along are revealed,” says Dr. David Barnett, horticultural specialist and president of Mount Auburn.

An interview with Elizabeth Ann Bartlett, author of Making Waves: Grassroots Feminism in Duluth and Superior, is available on Minnesota Historical Society Press’s blog. Bartlett’s book analyzes the impact of feminist organizing in Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin during the late 1970’s. In her interview, Bartlett speaks about the process behind writing her book in addition to the personal connection she shares with Duluth and its relationship to feminism. “Duluth was coming into its feminist awareness and activism at the same time I was. It was the perfect place to be as a budding feminist,” reflects Bartlett.

With Michel Foucault’s 90th birthday on the horizon, Stanford University Press’s blog celebrates with a compilation of 5 books that “tussle with Foucault’s legacy.” The post delves into Foucault’s accomplishments and his many contributions to multiple academic fields. “Across the humanities and social sciences his work continues to be among the most cited, a distinction proportionate to the number of scholarly hats Foucault wore in life—including that of the philosopher, the historian, the social theorist, the philologist, and the literary critic.” Each book recommendation includes a paragraph on content and context, in addition to a quotation, reflecting praise for each publication.

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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