University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! There were a ton of great posts this week, so as always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

Bradley Manning was recently found not guilty of aiding the enemy, but guilty of Espionage Act offenses. From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, has an article by Marjorie Cohn in which she discusses the verdict and the moral facts of Manning’s case. She argues that “[t]raditionally the Espionage Act has been used only against spies and traitors, not whistle-blowers. Yet President Obama has used the Espionage Act to prosecute more whistle-blowers than all prior administrations combined.”

Harvard University Press Blog’s discussion of the AHA statement on dissertation embargoes offers a publisher’s perspective on the issue. They explain that “when we at HUP take on a young scholar’s first book, whether in history or other disciplines, we expect that the final product will be so broadened, deepened, reconsidered, and restructured that the availability of the dissertation is irrelevant,” though they do concede that “from a business perspective this position is at least in part a function of our size.”

Reza Aslan has been in the spotlight lately due to a Fox News interview that went viral in which “the host repeatedly and outrageously questioned why a Muslim would be writing a book about Jesus.” At Beacon Broadside, Susan Katz Miller has a guest post discussing the interview and talking about her experience writing about Aslan’s interfaith family.

The gentrification of ethnic, working-class neighborhoods is a big issue in New York City, and, as Tomas F. Summers Sandoval Jr. explains in a guest post at the UNC Press Blog, is equally prevalent and controversial in cities across the country. He begins his post by asking, “Are communities of color an endangered species in the 21st-century American city?”

The Bank of England has announced that Jane Austen will be featured on the new 10-pound note. However, while Janine Barchas, writing at the JHU Press blog, loves the idea of the famous author on the bill, she has a number of problems with the BoE’s execution of that idea. “As Austen wrote, “an artist cannot do anything slovenly.” What she meant was that they should not. This great idea deserves a better execution.”

For those interested in marketing, the AMACOM Books Blog has a very interesting excerpt from “Design a Sense of Fun and Adventure,” the sixth chapter of their new title, Marketing to Millennials, by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton. They advise offering a sense of adventure: “So when it comes to winning over Millennial consumers—nonparents and parents alike—seek ways to offer them a sense of adventure and fun through your brand experience. They will reward you with increased loyalty and will even bring friends to the party!”

The National Eisteddfod of Wales, a cultural festival that can be traced back to 1176, starts today near Denbigh in northern Wales, and in honor of the occasion, the OUPblog has an excerpt from “The First Branch of the Mabinogi,” one of the eleven tales that make up The Mabinogion, a collection of stories from medieval Wales.

The OUPblog also had an interesting pair of posts taking stock of the reaction to the DSM-5, now that the initial shouting matches have seemingly died down a little. First, Edward Shorter looks over the actual DSM-5 and weighs some of the pluses and minuses of the way it was put together. Then, Joel Paris breaks down the reactions to the DSM-5, and hopes to offer the point of view of a “moderate critic,” a group whom he thinks has been drowned out by the shriller voices offering more extreme takes on the new volume.

At North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Jeffrey Brune discusses his experiences with learning how to deal with his stutter, his time teaching at Gallaudet University, a federally chartered university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing, and how even well-meaning people try to force him “into one part or the other of the disability/nondisability binary.”

Should economists take emotions more into account when telling their stories of how society works? At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Paul Frijters and Gigi Foster argue that they should, and talk about how they tried to do just that in their latest book.

Early in July, prisoners in the California prison system launched a widespread hunger strike. At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Lisa Guenther looks at the strike, its motivations, and the methods the the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has used against the strike.

Finally, The Chicago Blog of the University of Chicago Press has a post looking back at the life of Milton Friedman. Friedman would have been 101 on July 31.

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

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