Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • *Featured

9780190205003

Smuggling for Christ the King

Guns, ammunition, bootlegged liquor, illegal drugs, counterfeit cash—these are the most common objects that generations of smugglers have carried across the US-Mexico border. Historians of the borderlands, as well as residents of the area, know that government agents on both sides of the line have never been able to gain complete control over this type of trafficking, despite their best efforts. And so, from the late nineteenth century to the present day, the borderlands have been portrayed in popular culture as a site of sin and dissolution, contraband and illicit trade.

Read More
9780199324644

Salsa or tango: which Latin dance is right for you?

Partnered social dancing has enjoyed a steady rise in popularity over the past decade as more and more people recognize its social, physical, and emotional benefits. Because “touch” dancing never fell out of fashion in Latin America, Latin dances have evolved to respond to the sensibilities of their contemporary practitioners without loosing their deep connection to a historical legacy. Two of the most popular Latin dances worldwide are salsa, with roots in the Spanish Caribbean, and the Argentine tango.

Read More
9780199913787

Persecuted Christians in America

Are Christians persecuted in America? For most of us this seems like a preposterous question; a question that could only be asked by someone ginning up anger with ulterior motives. No doubt some leaders do intentionally foster this persecution narrative for their own purposes, and it’s easy to dismiss the rhetoric as hyperbole or demagoguery, yet there are conservative Christians all across the country who genuinely believe they experience such persecution.

Read More
9780199670000_450

Beauty and the brain

Can you imagine a concert hall full of chimpanzees sitting, concentrated, and feeling ‘transported’ by the beauty of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony? Even harder would be to imagine a chimpanzee feeling a certain pleasure when standing in front of a beautiful sculpture. The appreciation of beauty and its qualities, according to Aristotle’s definition, from his Poetics (order, symmetry, and clear delineation and definiteness), is uniquely human.

Read More
9780199313396 - Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Down the doughnut hole: fried dough in art

Fried dough has been enjoyed for centuries in various forms, from the celebratory zeppole of St. Joseph’s Day to the doughnuts the Salvation Army distributed to soldiers during World War I. So important were doughnuts for boosting troop morale that when World War II came around, the Red Cross followed closely behind the US Army as it advanced across Europe, offering doughnuts from trucks specially outfitted with vats for deep-frying.

Read More
9780195387070

Praising a cat to sell a horse

For a long time the etymology of the word bad has been at the center of my attention (four essays bear ample witness to this fact), and the latest post ended with a cautious reference to the idea that Middle Engl. bad ~ badde, a noun that occurred only once in 1350 and whose meaning seems to have been “cat,” is, from an etymological point of view, identical with the adjective bad.

Read More
800-oupblogbookcover

“a rather unexpected start”: Alice Northover on the OUPblog

I had a rather unexpected start for the OUPblog. I spent my first day getting to grips with all the customizations and plugins of the blogging platform. I was armed with quite possibly the most amazing exit memo ever written (thank you Lauren). I was fully confident that a smooth transition was underway.

Read More
OWC Reading Group

All the Year Round, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations, 1859–1861

When, in 1859, Dickens decided to publish a statement in the press about his personal affairs he expected that Bradbury and Evans would run it in Punch, which they also published. He was furious when they, very reasonably, declined to insert ‘statements on a domestic and painful subject in the inappropriate columns of a comic miscellany’ (Patten, 262). He therefore determined to break with them completely and to return to his old publishers Chapman and Hall.

Read More
1464374X

The Urgenda decision: balanced constitutionalism in the face of climate change?

Over the coming months and years, much will undoubtedly be written about Urgenda v Netherlands, the decision by a District Court in the Hague ordering the Dutch Government to ‘limit or have limited’ national greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 compared to the level emitted in 1990. A full analysis of the decision is due to appear in the Journal of Environmental Law before the end of the year, but given the myriad of legal issues thrown up by the case, it deserves the close and immediate attention of a wide community of scholars and practitioners.

Read More
Wickstead-Aid and Development

The future of development – aid and beyond

Just over a year ago, in March 2014, UNU-WIDER published a Report called: ‘What do we know about aid as we approach 2015?’ It notes the many successes of aid in a variety of sectors, and that in order to remain relevant and effective beyond 2015 it must learn to deal with, amongst other things, the new geography of poverty; the challenge of fragile states; and the provision of global public goods, including environmental protection.

Read More
800-oupblogbookcover

Ten years of social media at OUP [infographic]

The creation of the OUPblog in 2005 marked our first foray into the world of social media. A decade later, more than 8,000 articles have been published and we’ve evolved into one of the most widely-read academic blogs today, offering daily commentary from authors, staff, and friends of Oxford University Press on everything from data privacy to the science of love. While eagerly anticipating our next chapter, we would be remiss in not taking a moment to reflect on our own story.

Read More
9780195314038 (2)

What Happened, Miss Simone? : Liz Garbus’ documentary in review

Award-winning director Liz Garbus has made a compelling, if sometimes troubling, documentary about a compelling and troubling figure—the talented and increasingly iconic performer, Nina Simone. The title, What Happened, Miss Simone?, comes from an essay that Maya Angelou wrote in 1970. In the opening seconds of the film, excerpts from Angelou’s words appear: “Miss Simone, you are idolized, even loved, by millions now. But what happened, Miss Simone?”

Read More
Police9.1

Policing – the new graduate career path?

As anyone who has experienced the very best of the British policing profession could attest, high quality policing can contribute to the transformation of a community, laying the foundations for flourishing neighbourhoods and the lives of those who live there. It is Police Now’s overarching aim to contribute to the creation and development of safe, confident communities in which people can thrive. Our Theory of Change is that by attracting Britain’s best graduates to a policing career, training them intensively as community leaders, and then deploying them as police officers in those communities who need us most, we can have a disproportionate impact.

Read More

What’s your go-to summer concert?

It’s that time of year again! Summer concerts are warming up and festivals are in full swing. Cities around the world are putting on some of the best shows for locals and tourists to enjoy. Check out what concerts Oxford University Press employees love attending every year. You just might stumble upon your new favorite band.

Read More
Journal of Antitrust Enforcement

The curious case of competition and quality

Why should firms compete? The belief is that through competition society benefits with lower prices, better quality and services, and more innovation. Indeed, anyone who frequents restaurants or hotels protected from competition can recount the inferior meal, poor service, and high price. By contrast, in a competitive environment we expect more quality, for less.

Read More