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Top OUPblog posts of 2013: Editor’s picks

By Alice Northover


As editor of the OUPblog, I’m probably one of only a handful who read everything we publish over the course of the year. Even those posts which are coded and edited by our Deputy Editors I carefully read through in the hopes of catching any errors (some always make it through). So it’s wonderful to reflect on the amazing work that our authors, editors, and staff have created in 2013. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorites from the past year…

“Scenes from The Iliad in ancient art” : A slideshow of images from Barry B. Powell’s new translation of Homer’s The Iliad. I’ve been working with so many passionate OUP staff members who want to get the word out on this book, that I had to include at least one blog post on it.

“Doctor Who at fifty” by Matthew Kilburn : Even Whovians can learn more about the show and the people behind it in this piece.

“Violet-blue chrysanthemums” by Naonobu Noda and Yoshikazu Tanaka : I’m routinely impressed by the amazing work coming out of our science journals and it was wonderful to learn about the ground-breaking (and beautiful) work of genetic engineering these teams of scientists are undertaking.

“Oxford University Press and the Making of a Book” : A 1925 silent film by the Federation of British Industry on the workings of Oxford University Press. We’ve had this film around for a while (I’ve had the files for over a year), but it was wonderful to receive permission to share it with the world with the publication of the new History of Oxford University Press.

“The first ray gun” by Stephen R. Wilk : A fascinating examination of where fiction and science fiction interweave, as well as learning about Washington Irving as viral marketer.

“Heaney, the Wordsworths, and wonders of the everyday” by Lucy Newlyn : A poem by Dorothy Wordsworth, published here for the first time, by kind permission of the Wordsworth Trust.

“Booksellers in revolution” by Trevor Naylor : During yet another tumultous year in Egypt, our friends at the American University in Cairo Press sent us updates from Tahrir Square.

“Wrenching an etymology out of a monkey” by Anatoly Liberman : It’s a pleasure to read Anatoly’s work every week, and I always love to learn about the complex history of many words I’ve never thought twice about — monkey included.

“What happens when Walmart comes to Nicaragua?” by Hope Michelson : A fascinating set of questions — and results — when examining the impact of major supermarkets in local agricultural supply chains. (I made that sound boring — it isn’t.)

“Eating horse in austerity Britain” by Mark Roodhouse : When the horsemeat scandal erupted in Britain earlier this year, we were surprised to find it wasn’t the first one.

“The Oi! movement and British punk” by Matthew Worley : The association of certain punk music with skinhead activism is much more complex than it is often portrayed. I found the blog post and journal article very enlightening — breaking down what, how, and when these ideas became associated.

“Whose Odyssey is it anyway?” by Justine McConnell : Reclaiming the classics in a post-colonial world!

“The lark ascends for the Last Night” by Robyn Elton : I must reveal a certain jealousy of staff who work on our music products. They have a more intimate understanding of how music works than I can ever hope to achieve — and such warmth and generosity in sharing that knowledge.

“When are bridges public art?” by David Blockley : Blockley’s four criteria to judge whether a bridge is a piece of public art raise great questions about engineering, architecture, and the function of art itself.

“Crawling leaves: photosynthesis in sacoglossan sea slugs” by Sónia Cruz : You had me at “solar-powered sea slugs”.

And I must cut off the list here, or it will extend far too long — despite my urge to share more about dark matter, photosynthesis, and…

Alice Northover is editor of the OUPblog and Social Media Manager at Oxford University Press.

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