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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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An eventful weekend at the 2016 Society for American Music conference

The 2016 Society for American Music (SAM) conference was held in Boston, where scholars and institutions from around the globe gathered together in a supportive and uplifting five-day meeting that consisted of panels, presentations, discussions, field trips, musical performances, receptions, and the celebration of books and authors.

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Art of the Ice Age [slideshow]

In 2003 Paul Bahn led the team that discovered the first Ice Age cave art at Creswell Crags in Britain. In recent years, many more discoveries have been made including the expanding phenomenon of ‘open-air Ice Age art’. In the slideshow below, you can see some of the earliest examples of art on the planet, and take a tour of prehistoric art throughout the world.

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Local opera houses through the ages

Nineteenth and twentieth Century opera houses are finding new lives today. Opera houses were once the center of art, culture, and entertainment for rural American towns–when there was much less competition for our collective attention.

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Washington D.C. civil rights slideshow

Brown v. Board of Education is one of the most identifiable civil rights cases in our nation’s history. While most scholarship begins with this case, Just Another Southern Town by Joan Quigley recounts the battle for civil rights beginning with the case of District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co. In this slideshow, Joan Quigley weaves together the success of this case with other landmark civil rights moments in Washington, DC, creating a timeline of the struggle for racial justice in our nation’s capital.

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How does chemistry shape evolution?

When people think of evolution, many reflect on the concept as an operation filled with endless random possibilities–a process that arrives at advantageous traits by chance. But is the course of evolution actually random? In A World from Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life, Ben McFarland argues that an understanding of chemistry can both explain and predict the course of evolution.

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Legend of love: the life of Alla Osipenko in images

At age eighty-three, ex-prima ballerina Alla Osipenko is more renowned than ever. Video and youtube allow us to sample a talent that the West would experience live only infrequently during the existence of the Soviet Union. Blunt, courageous, uncompromising Osipenko’s brushes with Communistic and artistic authorities ultimately kept her largely quarantined in Russia.

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Illuminating Shakespeare

Sex, love, and Shakespeare [slideshow]

Whether he fills his scenes with raunchy innuendos, or boldly writes erotic poetry, or frequently reverses the gender norms of the time period, Shakespeare addresses the multifaceted ways in which sex, love, marriage, relationships, gender, and sexuality play an integral part of human life.

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Wrapping up the AALS Annual Meeting 2016

The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) is a nonprofit association of 179 law schools. The association serves as the learned society for over 9,000 law faculty at its member schools, and provides them with extensive professional development opportunities, including the AALS Annual Meeting which draws thousands of professors, deans and administrators each year.

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Illuminating Shakespeare

Portraits of religion in Shakespeare’s time

Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries was marked by years of political and religious turmoil and change. From papal authority to royal supremacy, Reformation to Counter Reformation, and an endless series of persecutions followed by executions, England and its citizens endured division, freedom, and everything in between.

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AAR/SBL 2015 annual meeting wrap-up

From 21-24 November, our religion and Bibles team was in Atlanta attending the joint American Academy of Religion / Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. We had a great time interacting with customers and meeting authors. Here’s a slide show of some of the authors who stopped by the booth with their new books.

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Max Planck and Albert Einstein

There was much more to Max Planck than his work and research as an influential physicist. For example, Planck was an avid musician, and endured many personal hardships under the Nazi regime in his home country of Germany.

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To Savor Gotham: book launch

Food lovers with a soft spot for New York City gastronomy congregated to celebrate the upcoming book Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City, edited by Andrew F. Smith.

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5 academic books that will shape the future

What is the future of academic publishing? We’re celebrating University Press Week and Academic Book Week with a series of blog posts on scholarly publishing from staff and partner presses. Following on from our list of academic books that changed the world, we’re looking to the future and how our current publishing could change lives and attitudes in years to come.

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The OUP Philosophy Festival 2015

The Oxford Philosophy group teamed up with Blackwell’s Bookshop Oxford to celebrate Philosophy in all its diversity. From a philosophical balloon debate (where David Hume blew the audience away with a song about the problem of induction) to panels dealing with the ethics of everyday life, we explored a huge variety of philosophical problems and had fun in the process.

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