University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! We hope you are all staying nice and warm in this cold snap. As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision. A couple of academic blogs had excellent posts in honor of the occasion. First of all, the UNC Press Blog has a post from Marc Stein in which he breaks down and discusses five of the most significant myths about the contents and meanings of the decision. At Beacon Broadside, Carole Joffe discusses initial feelings about the decisions and then examines the “rapid rise of an anti-abortion movement after the Roe decision.”

The sad death of Aaron Swartz has raised questions about “the doggedness with which federal prosecutors were pursuing [Swartz],” as well as questions about the morality of copyright law in research. This week, the Harvard University Press Blog takes a look at the nature of prosecutorial discretion through the lens of Swartz’s case.

Publishing a book is almost always a long process, particularly in the world of academic publishing where peer review is a crucial part of the publishing system. However, at the JHU Press Blog, JHU Press editorial director Greg Britton tells the story of a recent JHU Press book that was deemed important and timely enough to be published as an “instant book.” Coming from the Johns Hopkins Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America, the book, Reducing Gun Violence in America, had to be published in a mere fourteen days!

At the OUPblog, Karen Schiltz asks a frightening question that many parents around the country are forced to confront in the wake of the recent tragic school shootings: “Could my child be responsible for the next tragedy?” In her sobering post, Schiltz addresses problems with the diagnoses of mental conditions in children and offers advice on how best to seek help for a child.

The University of California Press Blog has a post in memory of former UC Press director James H. Clark, who passed away last week. Clark led the UC Press for twenty five years, and had been in the publishing industry since 1960.

The use of art in determining and defining who was and who was not a Nazi perpetrator after World War II is a fascinating and complicated subject, and it’s the topic of a guest post by Paul B. Jaskot at the University of Minnesota Press Blog. Jaskot believes that the role of art history in “highlighting the political function of art and architecture” is an important one.

Tonight is the debut of the latest film featuring the “master heister” Parker. Yesterday, the Chicago Blog, the blog of the University of Chicago Press, ran an article delving into the fascinating and somewhat checkered past of Parker films. More importantly, they provide a handy list of ways to avoid being robbed by Parker. Best piece of advice: “Don’t have anything he wants. We recommend possessing only books. He’s not much of a reader, that Parker.”

Today is Virginia Woolf’s birthday! In honor of the occasion, the MIT Press blog has an excerpt from Rosalind Krauss’s work on modernism, The Optical Unconscious. Naturally, the excerpt focuses on Woolf, and, in particular, on her thoughts on Roger Fry and chess.

In the election in November, thousands of people were willing to wait in line out of a sense of civic duty to vote. At From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson asks why people are willing to wait so proudly for their chance to vote in an election but not so willing to wait for their chance to serve in the judicial system on a jury.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a post from the University of Virginia Press blog in which Jeffrey Greene examines the strange and interesting life of oysters as a suggestive artistic symbol in the paintings of the 16th and 17th century Dutch masters. Interestingly enough, Greene finds that these painted oysters “don’t look anything like the ones my father, brother, and I collected and ate during the years I grew up in New England, nor do they look like the most common oysters in France, a country famed since Roman times as Europe’s greatest oyster producer. Clearly, the seventh-century oysters in the paintings were rounder and flatter than the typical creuses, oysters with a cupped shell that are consumed worldwide.”

Well, that will do it for this week! We hope that you enjoyed this edition of our UP Roundup. As always, please post any thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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