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.

As designers show off their latest haute couture at Fashion Week here in New York, Cambridge University Press’s fifteeneightyfour gives a nod to the fashion world of classical antiquity as author Ioannis Ziogas considers Ovid’s own forward-thinking philosophies about women’s style. Ziogas compares the ways in which fashion and art can be synonymous concepts, and posits Ovid’s ideas of beauty as outstripping the restrictive fashion guidelines of both his contemporaries and our own.

Also in current events, MIT Press authors Katrina Kimport and Jennifer Earl take a look at some of the ways information and communication technologies have transformed not only the ways in which we organize and mobilize protests, but also the ways in which governments respond to them. Using the recent uprisings in Turkey and Brazil as models of the ways in which these technologies “super-size” protest–that is, execute familiar forms of demonstration and repression in novel ways via new media–Kimport and Earl contend that such digital activism requires a more rigorous theoretical framework for study in our constantly changing digital landscape.

UNC author Adam C. Schprintzen wants to know: “Are you ready for some vegetarian football?” As college football and the NFL seasons are now underway, Schprintzen looks to vegetarianism and veganism among successful American football players as a rebuttal to widely held assumptions of the diets’ mutual incompatibility with the the sport. In addition, Schprintzen recounts the success of University of Chicago football’s 1908 team, whose storied coach, Amos Alonzo Stagg, enforced a strict vegetarian policy to promote improved performance on the gridiron, and, more importantly, to emphasize his belief that sports could be used to “encourage moral behavior.”

Over at NYU Press’s From the Square, the perennially hot topic of cloning and, more specifically, de-extinction, is explored by author Carrie Friese as she considers the misconception that the de-extinction debate is markedly different from longstanding (and largely ongoing) dialogues surrounding the ethical, technological, and environmental considerations of other assisted reproductive technologies.

Oxford University Press opens a more somber conversation this week as author William Doyle, remembering the September 5th 220-year anniversary of the French Revolution’s Grande Terreur, recounts events leading up to and surrounding the Terror, both those historical and popularly inspired by the imagination of artists. In his post, Doyle not only explains a few of the inaccuracies associated with the latter, but also underscores the grim historical basis for the former. “In war nobody can opt out: you are on our side or on theirs, and if you’re on theirs, you’re a traitor.”

Though hype for the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black reached a fever pitch this summer, garnering less attention is the current state of the U.S. prison system, widely criticized as being in dire need of reform. Princeton University Press takes a brief look at the success of the show and its autobiographical literary basis, particularly where their portrayals coincide with Attorney General Eric Holder’s description of our prison system as being “both ineffective and unsustainable.”

In a twist to the much-publicized Manning case, Bradley Manning announced her identity as a transgender woman and requested to be henceforth known as Chelsea Manning. Temple University Press author A. Finn Enke examines the implications and societal repercussions of this action–not just for Chelsea, but for transgender individuals in general–particularly in the way it disrupts basic assumptions of identity in traditional frameworks of thought and policy that fail to account for transgender people. Challenging even the rudimentary linguistic structures that frame our thinking (such as gendered pronouns), Enke asserts Manning as “making most of us have to work a little harder, finally” to learn exactly what’s in a name.

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

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