University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles 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. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

In the wake of Charlie Hebdo, how should a liberal society deal with religious fanaticism? At Yale University Press’s blog, Stephen Eric Bronner, author of Modernism at the Barricades, discusses fanaticism and free speech and wrestles with the question of tolerating intolerance. Bronner notes that consistent application of freedom of speech means that a society that allows defamation of Allah or the Prophet must also permit defamation of the Holocaust. A society must permit or prohibit both.

UT Austin blog highlights their heavy hitter for the season We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in Space Program. The book has rightfully been featured everywhere. A thoughtful blogpost by Elizabeth Hodge Freeman, sociologist and author of The Color of Love, muses on Toni Morrison’s newly published novel God Help the Child. She writes about the dialogue of ideas about race between Morrison’s work of fiction and her own scholarship.

MIT Press commemorates the fourth anniversary of the deadly tornado that struck Joplin, MO and how the community embraced civic ecological principles in the aftermath. The effects of civic ecological principles are heartening. The city of Joplin repurposed debarked trees into public art, recreated their community, and more. Leslie Knope couldn’t have done better in Pawnee.

Today, Ireland is voting on a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage. At the OUP blog, Lorenzo Zucca covers how this will set a historic precedent by this culturally Catholic country. How will things change if the referendum passes? “If ‘Yes‘ wins, the following new wording will be added to the Constitution: ‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex’.” Zucca argues in favor. Read his points here.

Can graduate students live by ramen alone? Harvard University Press’ blog features a blogpost by Leonard Casuto, author of The Graduate School Mess. Higher education is in flux in the US, and the main thrust of Casuto’s critique is about the hodgepodge selection of courses. Because the course offerings in today’s universities are specialized inquiries, the onus too often falls on graduate students to create a coherent and comprehensive program of study. Ramen is delicious but not quite nutritious (alone).

That’s all folks for the weekly round up! Thanks for reading! Do make the most of your Memorial Day weekend.

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