Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! The holidays are fast approaching, but the blogs of academic publishers are as active as ever. As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.
As Superstorm Sandy came ashore in New Jersey and New York, people used social media to tell the story of what was happening around them. At the OUPblog, oral historian Caitlin Tyler-Richards talks about this new phenomenon: multi-media documentation of natural disasters taking place in real time and viewable all over the world.
Chinese writer Mo Yan recently accepted his Nobel prize in literature, and in his acceptance speech he argued that some level of censorship is necessary, which did not endear him to those (including Salmon Rushdie, Ai Weiwei, and Liu Xiaobo, among others) who had already accused Mo of being, among other things, a “patsy of the régime.” However, the Harvard University Press Blog looks at Perry Link’s discussion of the award and Mo’s career, and finds that his critics might be missing part of the story.
At the JHU Press Blog this Wednesday, Janine Barchas celebrates the 237th birthday of Jane Austen, but also wonders whether “the new Cult of Jane challenging the iconic status that The Bard has long held in our culture.” Contrasting Austen’s anonymity in her life with the Hollywood star status her works enjoy today, Barchas marvels at the twists of fate that turn writers into one-name legends. (Also worth checking out on the JHU Press Blog: the ongoing The Doctor Is In series, where JHU Press authors discuss the latest developments in health and medicine. This week, the topic is epidurals.)
It’s now been over a year since the Occupy Wall Street movement first started to make headlines. The MIT Press blog has collected a year’s worth of articles from TDR, October, and The Baffler on OWS. Taken together, these pieces help clarify and explain the deeds, causes, and effects of the Occupy movement.
At North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Jocelyn Boryczka argues that, despite the growing political power of women (as shown by the decisive role of women voters in the 2012 elections), the “endless cycles of backlash politics against women” are likely to continue.
The film “Zero Dark Thirty” tells the story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the years after 9/11. The Princeton University Press blog claims that the film may offer tacit evidence in favor of the effectiveness of torture. However, they provide an excerpt from Darius Rejali’s Torture and Democracy in which Rejali argues that “[f]or harvesting information, torture is the clumsiest method available to organizations, even clumsier in some cases than flipping coins or shooting randomly into crowds.”
The life of Charles Dickens provides a story as fascinating as any of the great novelists inventions. At the Yale Press Log, John Sutherland digs into Dickens’ relationship with Ellen Ternan, “the young actress that stole his heart and changed his writing.” Sutherland finds Nelly Ternan’s mother a fascinating and confusing figure, as well, about whom little is known.
While young people used to learn citizenship at school, today, the world of social media has radically changed this process, claims Linda Herrera, writing at Harvard Education Publishing’s blog, Voices in Education. Harrera found that Egyptian youths were “more influenced and empowered by media than by schools. The media youth engaged with spanned a wide spectrum ranging from print, radio, and television to social network sites and other Internet-based tools.”
Finally, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without a good dose of holiday food! Luckily for us, the University of Minnesota Press blog has been compiling lists of delicious holiday recipes. The latest entry? Cranberry tart and apple sesame kanten from Brenda Langton.
We hope that you enjoyed this week’s installment. As always, please post any thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!