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.

The weather has been on everyone’s mind quite a bit here at the Press so far this summer. At This Side of the Pond, the Cambridge University Press Blog, Stephen Burt (also author of a number of books with Columbia, most recently The Forms of Youth) argues that obsession with weather is even more common in America than in Britain.

The hot summer has also made many people increasingly aware of water supply, as much of the US is threatened by potential droughts. At the OUPblog, William deBuys delves into the “water problem” and explains how water conservation in the US isn’t as useful as we might think it is. His rather chilling opening sentence: “The dirty little secret about water in the West is that water conservation is a hoax.”

On a more hopeful note, at Beacon Broadside, Philip Warburg comes to the defense of wind power as an economically viable way to make the US more environmentally sustainable. In particular, Warburg takes issue with the fact that Mitt Romney recently dismissed windmills as not being “real energy.”

Mitt Romney has been fundraising at a record-breaking rate so far; in June, he raised over $100 million for his campaign. As Elizabeth Currid-Halkett points out in the Princeton University Press blog’s Election 101 series, Romney and Obama appeal to “two different groups of donors—the very, very rich and the rich and famous” respectively. In her post, Currid-Halkett discusses whether either of these groups is more politically useful than the other.

The 5th Annual Conference on Ethics and Publishing just took place at George Washington University. At the Georgetown University Press Blog, John Warren, GUP’s Marketing & Sales Director, provides an overview of the discussions at various of the panels at the conference.

Looking for parenting advice for National Parents’ Day (this Sunday)? The MITPressLog has you covered! Joshua Gans, a dad and an economist, offers up three economics-based pieces of advice that all parents should know. For instance, one can “[s]olve sleep issues with the economics of property rights.”

At the University Press of North Georgia blog, Matt Pardue continues his series of posts on the under-appreciated world of webcomics. This week, he focuses on an over-the-top but endlessly entertaining comic that details the bizarre adventures of one Dr. McNinja (yes, he’s both a doctor and a ninja, and yes, he wears a white coat, a ninja mask, and a sword).

The publication and interpretation of the posthumous works of Roland Barthes (we’ve published a couple of his famous lectures ourselves–How to Live Together is coming out this year) is an issue that provokes heated disputes. At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Nicholas de Villiers joins the discussion and tries to apply Barthes’ own conception of the “amicable return of the author” to Barthes’ own posthumous existence.

The story of baseball’s popularity in Japan is a fascinating one, and at the UNC Press Blog they are featuring an excerpt from Sayuri Guthrie-Shimizu’s Transpacific Field of Dreams. In the excerpt, Guthrie-Shimizu discusses the early days of baseball in America and Japan.

At the OSU Press Blog, Zoltán Grossman and Alan Parker, editors of Asserting Native Resilience, discuss how climate change will affect indigenous nations around the Pacific Rim. They bring up many aspects of climate change that usually are passed over in the public imagination. For instance: “We are more likely to hear about an endangered polar bear than we are about the Inuit people living nearby, whose villages are slipping into the sea due to coastal erosion.”

At the Baylor University Press blog, Scott Poole, horror expert extraordinaire, reveals why he thinks that the movie adaptation of Abraham Lincoln: Zombie Killer was not up to the book’s high standards. They also feature an excerpt from Poole’s book, Monsters in America, in which he discusses “Undead Americans.”

Finally, we’ll wrap up this week’s Roundup with a post on The Chicago Blog on the phenomenon of utopian home movies pioneered by Robbins Barstow in his 1956 Disneyland Dream. The post highlights the fact that, while Disneyland Dream is, in fact, scripted, it’s only scripted through “a sort of “real time” script that (again) precurses reality television.”

We hope you enjoyed the Roundup this week and we hope that you have a great weekend! Thanks for reading.

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