Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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ASIL/ILA 2014 retrospective

In early April, the American Society of International Law and the International Law Association held a joint conference around the theme “The Effectiveness of International Law.” We may not have been able to do everything on our wishlist, but there are plenty of round-ups to catch up on all the news and events.

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Oxford University Press during World War I

By Lizzie Shannon-Little and Martin Maw
The very settled life of Oxford University Press was turned upside down at the outbreak of the First World War; 356 of the approximately 700 men that worked for the Press were conscribed, the majority in the first few months. The reduction of half of the workforce and the ever-present uncertainty of the return of friends and colleagues must have made the Press a very difficult place to work.

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A bookish slideshow

From ancient times to the creation of eBooks, books have a long and vast history that spans the globe. Although a book may only seem like a collection of pages with words, they are also an art form that have survived for centuries. In honor of National Library Week, we couldn’t think of a more fitting book to share than The Book: A Global History. The slideshow below highlights the fascinating evolution of the book.

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Overcoming everyday violence [infographic]

The struggle for food, water, and shelter are problems commonly associated with the poor. Not as widely addressed is the violence that surrounds poor communities. Corrupt law enforcement, rape, and slavery (to name a few), separate families, destroys homes, ruins lives, and imprisons the poor in their current situations.

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Pagán’s planarians: the extraordinary world of flatworms

The earth is filled with many types of worms, and the term “planarian” can represent a variety of worms within this diverse bunch of organisms. The slideshow below highlights fun facts about planarians from Oné Pagán’s book, The First Brain: The Neuroscience of Planarians, and provides a glimpse of why scientists like Pagán choose to study these fascinating creatures.

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Colorful spiders?

By Rainer Foelix
Spiders are not exactly renowned for being colorful animals. Admittedly, most of the more than 40,000 spider species are rather drab looking. However, there are certainly several hundred species which are lively colored, e. g. bright red or bright green, and some are very colorful indeed.

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African American demography [infographic]

In celebration of Black History Month, Social Explorer has put together an interactive infographic with statistics from the most recent Census and American Community Survey. Dig into the data to find out about current African American household ownership, employment rates, per capita income, and more demographic information.

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The great Oxford World’s Classics debate

By Kirsty Doole
Last week the Oxford World’s Classics team were at Blackwell Bookshop in Oxford to witness the first Oxford World’s Classics debate. Over three days we invited seven academics who had each edited and written introductions and notes for books in the series to given a short, free talk in the shop. This then culminated in an evening event in Blackwell’s famous Norrington Room where we held a balloon debated, chaired by writer and academic Alexandra Harris.

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The world’s revolutions [infographic]

How many revolutions have there been in the world’s history? Are they all violent? As revolutions around the world continue to make front page news, we asked Jack Goldstone, author of Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction, to help us pull together a timeline of the revolutions that have shaped the world.

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At the launch of Nothing Like a Dame

On Monday, 27 January 2014, the lobby of Oxford University Press’s New York City office was filled with Broadway fans, and a few stars, drinking champagne in celebration of the publication of Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations With the Great Women of Musical Theater by Eddie Shapiro.

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Who shapes the history of the British Isles?

From politicians to psychiatrists, novelists to biologists, and actors to entrepreneurs, the January 2014 update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography adds a further 219 biographies of men and women who’ve made their mark on British history.

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Portraying scientists: Galileo and perceptual portraiture

By Nicholas Wade
Perceptual portraits represent people in an unconventional style. The portraits themselves are not always easy to discern – the viewer needs to apply the power of perception in order to extract the facial features from the design which carries them. The aim is both artistic and historical.

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Soldiers’ experiences of World War I in photographs

The confident grin of an ace fighter pilot, the thousand yard stare of a young soldier taking a smoke break in a subterranean shelter, a howitzer glowing in an open field, sailors framed in moonlight off the deck of a submarine pointed towards an empty horizon — The Great War: A Combat History of the First World War by Peter Hart resurrects in language and photographs the soldiers’ experiences of World War I.

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Historical fashions we’d love to see make a comeback

Fashion weeks became the standard trade fair for the industry in the late 20th century, and the tradition continues biannually. New York Fashion Week has waltzed its way down the runway, and the fashion world is packing up their garment bags to head to Paris to fête the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Ready to Wear collections.

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A virtual journey in the footsteps of Zebulon Pike

By Jared Orsi
Somewhere in the middle of the Great Plains in November 1806, the explorer Zebulon Pike worried that the lateness of the season jeopardized the completion of his expedition. A contemporary of Lewis and Clark, Pike commanded a US military party that was exploring the southwestern reaches of the Louisiana Purchase.

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