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.

Interested in being a University Press Director? At Fordham ImPRESSions, the Fordham University Press blog, FUP Director Fredric Nachbaur has a detailed and annotated recap of the “So You Want to Be a Director?” panel from the AAUP Annual Meeting 2012 in June.

Maybe you would prefer writing or editing to management. The Harvard University Press Blog has you covered this week, with an excerpt from Helen Sword’s Stylish Academic Writing, in which Sword explains just how much an author can say in a title.

Over at the JHU Press Blog, Peter Filkins reveals his experiences writing poetry. Filkins takes issue with explanations of poetry writing that seem to imbue poets with “special powers of vision or inner knowledge denied the common person,” instead preferring explanations that emphasize finding the right words in the right context.

The Penn State football program has, of course, been in the news a great deal over the course of the last year. At the UPNE (University Press of New England) blog, law professor Roger Abrams claims that the punishments handed down by the NCAA earlier this week were fully justified and appropriate. However, Abrams does not think that the punishments given to Penn State will seriously change the place of athletics in higher education.

On a happier note, the Olympics begin today, and a number of presses featured pieces about the games this week. London Mayor Boris Johnson commissioned an ode in the style of Greek poet Pindar in honor of the games, and the OUPblog has an excerpt from Stephen Instone’s introduction to their collection of Pindar’s actual odes in which he explains the role of poetry in the four panhellenic games in ancient Greece. The Yale Press Log keeps the focus on the ancient Greek games with an excerpt from Neil Faulkner’s A Visitor’s Guide to the Ancient Olympics in which Faulkner explains the brutal Greek version of boxing: “the bloodiest, cruellest and most violent of the Greek sports.”

Moving up to the modern Games, at the University of Nebraska Press blog Kate Buford writes about “the first global sports sensation,” Jim Thorpe, who made his name in Stockholm in the 1912 games, and whose success foreshadowed the days when professional athletes would take the place of amateur athletes in the Olympics. Finally, North Philly Notes has an interview with 1968 Olympic Gold Medal winner Tommie Smith, who became an icon because of his actions on the victory podium as well as his victory.

There has been a lot of celebration and discussion of Woody Guthrie lately, as he would have turned 100 years old this month. At the University of California Press Blog, Peter La Chapelle tells the story of how he uncovered four lost Woody Guthrie tracks, Guthrie’s oldest known recordings.

The Princeton University Press blog continued their excellent Election 101 series this week with a post by John McGinnis arguing that charter schools are important parts of the educational community in the US because they inject necessary “experimental dynamism into democracy.” McGinnis claims that we need to use what tools we have available to evaluate how successful policies really are.

This Side of the Pond, the Cambridge University Press blog, wins the award this week for most eye-catching post title: “Peter Singer is Not the Anti-Christ” by Charles Camosy. Camosy is writing in response to the widely varying reactions to Australia appointing Singer Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia, the highest Australian civic honor.

The documentary The Invisible War highlights the prevalence of sexual crimes committed against the women of the US military. This week, Beacon Broadside featured an in-depth interview with Helen Benedict, whose writing served as an inspiration for the film and who appears in the film as an expert.

At Island Press Field Notes, ecologist Rafe Sagarin discusses a new trend among public-minded young scholars: the need to post findings to influence policy discussions BEFORE they have been peer reviewed. Sagarin thinks that there are both good and bad aspects of this trend, recognizing the bravery of these moves while acknowledging how they are incredibly risky, both for the young scholars themselves and for the policies being discussed.

For our last article, we have a (somewhat worrying) post by Peter Stearns at From the Square, the NYU Press blog, asking whether the Internet is quite literally driving us insane. While Stearns eventually tells us that he thinks “overall, the gains outweigh the downsides,” the mental health issues he raises are undeniably troubling. If you’ve ever imagined that your phone was vibrating in your pocket when in fact nothing of the sort was happening (Phantom Vibration Syndrome), then this article is for you.

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

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