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.)

Many university presses are celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing poems or poetry collections. One such post, for example, from the Cambridge University Press blog, showcases the Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, which is edited by Gerry Dawe. The MIT Press marked National Library Week with an excerpt from Fantasies of the Library (2016), a book edited by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin. And in anticipation of Easter this weekend, the Harvard University Press blog hosted an excerpt of Robin Jensen’s new book The Cross: History, Art, and Controversy.

Current affairs articles from this past week included a reading list from the Duke University Press’s #ReadtoRespond series which compiled resources for student activists. The Beacon Broadside Press reposted a piece by Carole Joffe, professor of reproductive health and sociology, on the deeply concerning prospect that the potential re-criminalization of abortion under a remade Supreme Court would lead to disastrous consequences for women nationwide, including a surge in self-administered procedures and jail sentences. At the Stanford University Press blog Vikash Singh, author of Uprising of the Fools: Pilgrimage as Moral Protest in Contemporary India (2017), warned in a guest post of the dangers and fundamental misunderstanding involved in the belief that we live in a ‘secular age’ in which religion can only be destructive.

In cultural commentary, the University of California Press blog hosted an excerpt of an article by Lyra D. Monteiro (American Studies, Rutgers-Newark) which pushes back against some of the near-universal acclaim given to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton by asking for new consideration of the fact that very few African-American historical actors are depicted in the show, despite its diversity in casting. And at the University of Minnesota Press blog, Adair Rounthwaite, author of Asking the Audience: Participatory Art in 1980s New York (2017), wrote about the surprising bi-partisan agreement in Washington D.C. to protect the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts.

From the grab-bag of the eye-catching and the odd: the University of Illinois Press encouraged us to ’embrace the psychology of mycology’ (i.e. mushroom-gathering). In a similar vein, the University Press of Kentucky shared some classic state recipes for burgoo, barbecue, and whiskey cake. The Minnesota Historical Society Press posted a Q&A with Klas Bergman, author of Scandinavians in the State House: How Nordic Immigrants Shaped Minnesota Politics (2017). And the Johns Hopkins University Press posted a brief Q&A with Professor Claudia Nelson, editor of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, about some of the recent fascinating changes in children’s and YA literature.

Finally, there has been fun and exciting news about university press work in the last few weeks. The Temple University Press and Fordham University Press both received National Endowment for the Humanities’ Open Book Program – Temple to make out-of-print titles on labor studies digitally available, and Fordham to put a selection of their prominent philosophy list online. The Cornell University Press shared the first episode of their brand-new press podcast, ‘1869.’ And the University of Missouri Press recently announced that, for environmental and budgetary reasons, they are switching from printing on industry-standard paper to printing on seaweed paper.

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