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The garden palaces of Europe and Asia [interactive map]

In 1682, the French court moved from Paris to the former royal hunting lodge of Versailles, which had been transformed under the supervision of Louis XIV into Europe’s most splendid palace, one which moreover was set in a stunning park that stretched all the way to the horizon. Versailles established a fashion for palaces surrounded by ample gardens that most major European courts would soon imitate. These parks provided appropriate backdrops for elaborately spectacles staged to impress visiting diplomats hunts as well as secluded settings for flirting.

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illuminating shakespeare Heavens-sq

How well do you know Shakespeare’s influences? [quiz]

Many Shakespeare fans prefer to imagine him as an untrained genius, but, in reality, Shakespeare drew inspiration from many classical sources for his own writing. His most famous plays, such as Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, and Hamlet, allude to and reference external sources that Shakespeare was already familiar with. How much do you know about the influence of other writers on, what some would call, the greatest English dramatist to date?

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Art across the early Abrahamic religions

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are considered kindred religions–holding ancestral heritages and monotheistic belief in common–but there are definitive distinctions between these “Abrahamic” peoples. The early exchanges of Jews, Christians, and Muslims were dominated by debates over the meanings of certain stories sacred to all three groups.

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OUP Philosophy Creast

Philosopher of the month: Hannah Arendt

The OUP Philosophy team have selected Hannah Arendt (4 October 1906- 4 December 1975) as their September Philosopher of the Month. Born into a Jewish German family, Arendt was widely known for her contributions to the field of political theory, writing on the nature of totalitarian states, as well as the resulting byproducts of violence and revolution.

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Between the stacks – Episode 26 – The Oxford Comment

Aside from announcing the start of another academic semester, September also marks an essential, if lesser-known, national holiday celebrated since 1987: Library Card Sign-up Month. Once a year, the American Library Association (ALA)—working in conjunction with public libraries across the country—makes an effort to spotlight the essential services provided by libraries now and throughout history. But what, exactly, are the origins of the American public library?

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The reptiles of Thailand [interactive map]

Thailand is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world, housing more than 350 different species of reptiles. Learning about these turtles, tortoises, lizards, crocodiles, and snakes is more important than ever in light of recent threats to their extinction due to wildlife trade and loss of habitat for agricultural use of their habitat.

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Prepping for APSA 2015

This year’s American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting takes place September 3-6 in San Francisco, where over 6,000 of the world’s foremost academic political scientists will gather for four days of lectures, sessions, networking, and scholarly discussion. This year’s theme, “Diversities Reconsidered”, promises to ignite intellectual discussion among all participants while still staying grounded in the current state of the nation’s political climate.

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How much do you know about Great Expectations? [quiz]

Do you know your Magwitch from your Miss Havisham? Your Philip Pirrip from your Mr Pumblechook? Perhaps Dickens’s best-loved work, Great Expectations features memorable characters such as the convict Magwitch, the mysterious Miss Havisham and her proud ward Estella, as Pip unravels the mystery of his benefactor and of his own heart.

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How well do you know the James Bond songs? [quiz]

Very soon now, we’ll find out who sings the next James Bond song. SPECTRE, the superspy’s twenty-fifth outing, will be coming out in the fall. But the song will be more like the thirtieth or so, depending on how you count.

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Wine around the world [infographic]

It’s a multi-million dollar global industry. It’s been with us since the dawn of civilization. And it’s constantly developing. The wine business is an intriguing marker of human activity – economic changes, consumer fashions, globalization, social and technological developments.

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OUP Philosophy Creast

How well do you know Lao Tzu? [quiz]

This August we are featuring Lao Tzu, the legendary Chinese thinker and founder of Taoism, as Philosopher of the Month. He is best known as the author of the classic ‘Tao Te Ching’ (‘The Book of the Way and its Power’). Take our quiz to see how much you know about the life and studies of Lao Tzu!

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Oxford Medicine Online

Common infectious diseases contracted by travellers worldwide [infographic]

This summer intrepid travelers everywhere are strapping on backpacks, dousing themselves in mosquito spray, and getting their inoculations — ready to embark on journeys that will take them into contact with some of the most virulent viruses and nastiest bacteria on the planet. Even those of us who aren’t going off the beaten track may end up in close quarters with microbes we’d rather not befriend. Explore some of the most common infectious diseases around the globe and how to identify them in this infographic.

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60 years of Guinness World Records

On 27 August 1955, the first edition of the Guinness Book of Records–now Guinness World Records, was published. Through listing world records of both human achievements and of the natural world, what started as a reference book became an international franchise, gaining popular interest around the globe. In celebration of this anniversary of weird and wonderful world records, we’ve selected a few favourites from talented individuals featured in our online products.

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Space, place, and policing [interactive map]

“For policing scholars, space, places, and the physical and social environment have served as significant contextual backdrops,” state Cynthia Lum and Nicholas Fyfe, Special Editors of the Policing Special Issue. To mark Policing’s new Special Issue on ‘Space, Place, and Policing: Exploring Geographies of Research and Practice’, we’ve put together a map showcasing the global and place-based approaches the journal’s contributors have taken towards policing research.

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How much do you know about the American Revolution? [quiz]

Do you know your George Washingtons from your Thomas Jeffersons? Do you know your British tyrants from your American Patriots? Test your knowledge of the American Revolution with this quiz, based on Robert J. Allison’s The American Revolution: A Very Short Introduction.

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