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.

Remains of Fort San Juan, a fort established by the Spanish in the Appalachian mountains nearly twenty years before the the English began their colonization efforts in the New World, was recently discovered by a team of archaeologists. At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Robin Beck, one of the members of the team that found the fort, has an excellent guest post describing the find.

At Voices in Education, the blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Lawrence Blum writes about his experiences discussing race relations with students in South Africa, a country whose past is full of racial strife, complete with short transcriptions of some of the conversations.

Plagiarism is a major problem in higher education today, and at the Indiana University Press blog, Martin H. Krieger examines some of the more popular types of plagiarism, and warns that “[i]t’s perhaps unlikely that some mosaic plagiarism will lead to your degree being rescinded, but you don’t really want to find out.”

Elmore Leonard passed away earlier this week, and at the JHU Press Blog, Charles J. Rzepka looks back at Leonard’s life and successful career, and argues that, while Leonard has “been referred to as “the Dickens of Detroit,” but it might be more accurate to call him its Homer, and Detroit his Ilium.”

At the University of Minnesota Press Blog, Julie L. Davis talks about the experience of writing her thesis and turning it into a book, and about what it means to write history. She uses quotes from John Arnold (history is a process of telling “true stories about the past”), Jonathan Gottschall (storytelling is “central to the human condition” because our brains consistently “force narrative structure on the chaos of our lives”), and others to frame her essay.

We are huge fans of soul food here at CUP, and the UNC Press Blog has a fascinating interview with Adrian Miller on the development of soul food and the difference between soul food and Southern food.

Last week, Cory Booker easily won the Democratic primary to replace the late Senator Lautenberg. At From the Square, the blog of NYU Press, Andra Gillespie has a guest post looking at the political significance of Booker’s win and examining the dynamics behind the primary vote.

The line between church and state is still one of the most hotly contested legal issues in the US, and this August marks the 10-year anniversary of one of those legal battles: “Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s suspension for refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a display of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court building.” At the OUPblog, Rebecca Sager and Keith Gunnar Bentele discuss the Judge Moore case and other cases of religious displays in government buildings.

The Princeton University Press Blog is running a great series on Edward Snowden, the NSA, and intelligence and security leaks. First, Rahul Sagar explains both his opinion that disclosures like the recent NSA one are necessary checks on executive poser and his skepticism of the self-righteous air of leakers. And next, Gabriella Coleman offers a counterpoint to Professor Sagar’s thoughts, particularly expressing her confusion about the charges of “narcissism” made against Edward Snowden.

Finally, at North Philly Notes, the blog of Temple University Press, Rajini Srikanth has a powerful essay asking, “What if each of us could imagine being a detainee at Guantánamo Bay?” Srikanth ends with a plea to pursue the closing of the prison, arguing that such an action “is our minimum obligation as citizens of a democracy.”

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

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