Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

January 2011

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Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Sells Out the Pink to Get the Green

By Gayle A. Sulik

In response to increased publicity surrounding Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s questionable trademark and marketing activities, the organization published an official statement on its website, titled: “Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Sees Trademark Protection as Responsible Stewardship of Donor Funds.”

According to the statement, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has never sued other charities or put other non-profits out of business, and the organization does not have plans to do so in the future. Apparently knitters, sandwich makers, and kite fliers who want to raise money for breast cancer or other causes should breathe easier now!

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Ourselves Unborn: The Legacy of Roe v. Wade

This Saturday is the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Believe me when I say that I could write for days on the significance of the decision, and even more about recent news and the current state of reproductive rights. If I tried, I could probably recount verbatim the conversation I once had with Sarah Weddington (the lawyer who argued Roe at the young age of 26!). But I won’t. For now, I will simply offer the following excerpts from Ourselves Unborn: A History of the Fetus in Modern America by Sara Dubow. To those of you who celebrate it, I wish you the happiest of Roe Days.

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A War & Peace podcast

Amy Mandelker has taught at UCLA, University of Southern California, Columbia, Brown, and Princeton Universities. Her books include Framing ‘Anna Karenina’: Tolstoy, the Woman Question & the Victorian Novel and Approaches to World Literature: Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’. She has revised the acclaimed Maude translation of War and Peace and recently sat down with Podularity to talk about it. (Read the audio guide breakdown here, where you can also get excerpts from this podcast.) Once you’re done, we welcome you to look back at Amy Mandelker’s blog posts and discover why Nick thinks you should read Tolstoy.

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Ask not what your country can do for you…

Tweet It’s inauguration day here in the US, and also the 50th anniversary of JFK’s famous inaugural address. (“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”) So today, the American National Biography is proud to spotlight the life of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Kennedy, John Fitzgerald […]

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Meet the Author: Tariq Ramadan

Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Islamic Studies on the Faculty of Theology at Oxford University, Visiting Professor at Erasmus University (Netherlands), Senior Research Fellow at St Antony’s College (Oxford), Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan), and the President of the European think tank European Muslim Network (EMN) in Brussels. He is the author of many books on Islam and the West, including Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, Radical Reform, and What I Believe.

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Sixties British Pop in the Classroom

By Gordon Thompson

Baby boomers have not only fundamentally shaped our modern world, but also how their children (and grandchildren) perceive that world. The generation that gyrated with hula hoops and rock ‘n’ roll also embraced British pop music (among other things) and have bequeathed this aesthetic to today’s college students. On campuses across North America, students amble to classes with “Beatles” patches on their book bags while their college radio programs often include music by the Rolling Stones, the Who, and the Kinks. At Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York a few years ago, a Facebook survey identified the Beatles as the favorite campus musical artists, followed closely by Bob Dylan. Given the continuing importance of a band that dissolved in acrimony over forty years ago, a question arises: does this subject merit inclusion in the college curriculum? The answer is clearly, yes.

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9780195387070

On nuts, spoons, and the metaphors borrowed from sex & food

By Anatoly Liberman

Last week I mentioned the idiom to be (dead) nuts on ‘to be in love with’ and the verb spoon ‘to make love’ and promised to say something about both. After such a promise our readers must have spent the middle of January in awful suspense. So here goes. The semantic range of many slang words is often broad, but the multitude of senses attested for Engl. nut (see the OED) is amazing. I will reproduce some of them, both obsolete and current: “a source of pleasure or delight” (“To see me here would be simply nuts to her”), nuts in the phrases to be (dead) nuts on “to be in love of, fond of, or delighted with,”

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Philosophy Bites Scientists’ Ankles

By Dave Edmonds and Nigel Warburton
Doctors have long been able to heal the body: now scientists are developing radical ways of altering the mind. Governments must determine what practices to permit – and for this they need rational arguments to draw relevant distinctions. Time to call on the philosophers…?

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Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy: Phenomenon and Enigma

By Jeanne Munn Bracken

Move over, Stephen King and Mary Higgins Clark. For the year 2010, the hottest buzz in popular literature was Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Released over the past couple of years, the three novels are available in a wide array of formats: hardcover and paperback books, e-books, audiobooks, and now in Swedish films with English subtitles. Millions of books in dozens of countries and languages have brought the late author immense fame and fortune, although he did not live to enjoy it.

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Conservative Anger and Liberal Condescension

By Elvin Lim
The vitriol that liberals and conservatives perceive in each other is only the symptom of a larger cause. There is something rooted in the two ideologies that generates anger and condescension respectively, and that is why a simple call by the President for participants to be more civil will find few adherents.

Liberals are thinking, what is it about conservatism that it can produce its own antithesis, radicalism? Whether these be conservatives of the anti-government variety, such as Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bomber) or Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), or conservatives of the anti-abortion variety such as Clayton Waagner, Eric Rudolph, or

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Martin Luther King Jr., Standing with Lincoln

Martin Luther King, Jr., had helped organize the SCLC (the Southern Christian Leadership Conference). Its appeal was to the mass of moderate churchgoing blacks; most of its leaders were ministers. But many young people were impatient with both of these approaches, which seemed too slow-moving. They formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), known as SNICK. SNCC and the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) organized many of the sit-ins in college communities. Some black groups wanted to fight with fists, weapons, and anger. Everyone knew that if they got their way, much of the high purpose of the civil rights movement would be lost. Leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., had made civil rights a cause for all Americans. It was about quality. It was about justice and freedom for all. It wasn’t just for blacks—although most of the leadership was black.

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Linked Up: Flooding, Caves, Basketball

Tweet I just wanted to extend a hello to our new readers, many of whom I had the pleasure of meeting at ALA in San Diego earlier this week. As always, if you have suggestions, questions, ideas about/for OUPblog, I more than welcome them. You can email me at blog[at]oup[dot]com. And now, I present the […]

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Defending the Language with Bullets

By Dennis Baron
The bumper sticker on the back of a construction worker’s pickup truck caught my eye: “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”

This homage to education wasn’t what I expected from someone whose bitterness typically manifests itself in vehicle art celebrating guns and religion, but there was more: “If you can read this in English, thank a soldier.”
It was a “support our troops” bumper sticker that takes language and literacy out of the classroom and puts them squarely in the hands of the military.

It’s one thing to say that we owe our national security and the survival of the free world to military might. It’s something else again to be told that we need soldiers to protect the English language.

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One Minute Word Histories

Historical lexicographer Elizabeth Knowles introduces her new book, How to Read a Word, which aims to introduce anyone with an interest in language to the pleasures of researching word histories. Yesterday I brought you an interview filmed by George Miller of Podularity, in which she suggested some ways to get started with word research. In the following three videos, Elizabeth gives us three one minute word histories.

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