University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts 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.

With the new movie version of The Great Gatsby coming out soon, This Side of the Pond, the blog of Cambridge University Press, has caught Fitzgerald Fever. They’ve collected a great playlist of Roaring Twenties tunes. Check it out if you’d like a fun University Press Roundup soundtrack!

Earlier this week, Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete in major American professional sports. At From the Square, the NYU Press blog, Mark Neal, while acknowledging that Collins’ decision to come out publicly was a brave one, points out that “the attention that Jason Collins is getting is really about the need of our society to pat ourselves on the collective back for being open and tolerant enough to allow a veteran basketball player, close to the end of his career, to tell us that he is Black and Gay.”

A devastating fire recently broke out in a clothing factory in Bangladesh, killing over 100 workers. At Beacon Broadside, the blog of Beacon Press, David Bacon decries the system in which unsafe factories in developing countries continue to oppress their workers. The story of the Tazreen factory in particular is horrifying: “At Tazreen the owners didn’t build fire escapes. They’d locked the doors on the upper floors “to prevent theft,” trapping workers in the flames. At Rana Plaza, factory owners refused to evacuate the building after huge cracks appeared in the walls, even after safety engineers told them not to let workers inside.”

Sunday, May 5, will be the 200th birthday of Søren Kierkegaard, a towering figure in the history of philosophy and theology. At the OUPblog, Daphne Hampson looks at Kierkegaard’s legacy and asks how we should judge him in today’s world.

May 2 was the National Day of Prayer. At the University of Virginia Press blog, John Ragosta looks at the occasion from the point of view of Thomas Jefferson, in hopes of reconciling the “debate between those demanding its end in the name of separation of church and state, and others who will complain that government is censoring prayers in the name of political correctness.”

Graduation is fast approaching for most colleges, and at the AMACOM Books Blog, Rights and International Sales Associate Lynsey Major offers some great advice to new graduates and prospective publishing job hunters.

Speaking of publishing jobs, have you ever wondered what production staffs think about typos? If so, you’ll find your answer at the University of Toronto Press Blog, where Production Editor Beate Schwirtlich discusses the “age-old tyranny of the typo and the impact of digital technology on the search for the perfect book.”

At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Shona Jackson, the author of a book on the Creoles in Guyana and the Caribbean, delves into her deeply personal relationship with the material she studies. Jackson was born in Guyana herself, and, as she explains in her post, her struggles with how she saw and defined her cultural identity helped to shape her scholarship.

In the Civil War, the US Military Telegraph (USMT) network was run by around 1200 operators and linemen, of whom around 200 were killed, wounded or captured. At the JHU Press Blog, David Hochfelder tells the little-known story of the USMT and the men who ran it.

The Harvard University Press Blog is continuing their ongoing series on 100 of the most significant HUP titles in honor of their centennial. This week, sales representative John Eklund looks back at the enormous success of Empire, the bestseller by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a guest post from the WLU Press blog. “Memoir, Ethics, and Shame: the reaction to Drunk Mom,” a post by Julie Rak, looks at the big business of memoirs today, and, in particular, what happens when a memoir is seen to go TOO far in telling truths about the memoirist’s life, using the reaction to Jowita Bydlowska’s tell-all memoir Drunk Mom as an example.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

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