Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Changes in the DSM-5: what social workers need to know

By Cynthia Franklin
Social workers that provide therapeutic and other services to children and adolescents can expect to find some major changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition: in their placement within the DSM-5, the conceptualization of the disorders, the criteria for the disorders, the elimination of disorders, and the inclusion of some new diagnoses.

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Jane Austen and the art of letter writing

By Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade
Letter writing manuals were popular throughout Jane Austen’s lifetime, and it’s possible then that Jane Austen might have had access to one. Letter writing manuals contained “familiar letters on the most common occasions in life”, and showed examples of what a letter might look like to people who needed to learn the art of letter writing.

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International Women’s Day: a time for action

By Janet Veitch
On Saturday, 8 March, we celebrate International Women’s Day. But is there really anything to celebrate? Last year, the United Nations declared its theme for International Women’s Day to be: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.”

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Five things 300: Rise of an Empire gets wrong

By Paul Cartledge
Let’s be clear of one thing right from the word go: this is not in any useful sense a historical movie. It references a couple of major historical events but is not interested in ‘getting them right’. It uses historical characters but abuses them for its own dramatic, largely techno-visual ends.

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A record-breaking lunar impact

By Jose M. Madiedo
On 11 September 2013, an unusually long and bright impact flash was observed on the Moon. Its peak luminosity was equivalent to a stellar magnitude of around 2.9. What happened? A meteorite with a mass of around 400 kg hit the lunar surface at a speed of over 61,000 kilometres per hour.

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How much could 19th century nonfiction authors earn?

By Simon Eliot and John Feather
In the 1860s, the introduction of its first named series of education books, the ‘Clarendon Press Series’ (CPS), encouraged the Press to standardize its payments to authors. Most of them were offered a very generous deal: 50 or 60% of net profits. These payments were made annually and were recorded in the minutes of the Press’ newly-established Finance Committee. The list of payments lengthened every year, as new titles were published and very few were ever allowed to go out of print.

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“You’ll be mine forever”: A reading of Ovid’s Amores

Amores was Ovid’s first complete work of poetry, and is one of his most famous. The poems in Amores document the shifting passions and emotions of a narrator who shares Ovid’s name, and who is in love with a woman he calls Corinna. In these excerpts, we see two sides of the affair — a declaration of love, and a hot afternoon spent with Corinna. Our poet here is Jane Alison, author of Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid, a new translation of Ovid’s love poetry.

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Whole life imprisonment reconsidered

By Dirk van Zyl Smit
The sentences of those who murder more than one person, or who kill in particularly gruesome circumstances are naturally the stuff of headlines. So it was again on 18 February when a specially constituted bench of the Court of Appeal, headed by the Lord Chief Justice, ruled that there is no legal bar on whole life orders for particularly heinous offences.

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‘Before he lived it, he wrote it’? Final thoughts on Fleming

By Nicholas Rankin
The real Ian Fleming died on 12 August 1964, just two weeks before the release of the second Bond film, From Russia With Love. Ian’s thrillers, and the films based on them, were already rising towards their phenomenal world-wide success, although they were still sniffed at by the snootier members of his wife Ann’s circle.

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How we all kill whales

By Michael Moore
My first job after veterinary school in 1983 was for the International Whaling Commission examining the efficacy of explosive harpoons for killing fin whales on an Icelandic whaling vessel. Later, I encountered a very different way of killing whales.

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Madness, rationality, and epistemic innocence

Lisa Bartolotti
Madness and irrationality may seem inextricably related. “You are crazy!” we say, when someone tells us about their risk-taking behaviour or their self-defeating actions). The International Classification of Diseases (ICD 10) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) describe people with depression, autism, schizophrenia, dementia, and personality disorders as people who infringe norms of rationality.

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How electronic publishing is changing academia for the better

By Hannah Skoda
When I started in my current post, one of my students, off to a nightclub, very cheekily asked me whether when I was young, they were still called discos. The same sorts of feelings are coming to characterize attitudes towards books – our students find it hard to imagine a time when nothing was available electronically.

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Dona nobis pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams

By Hugh Cobbe
The cantata Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams was written at a time when the country was slowly awakening to the possibility of a second European conflict. When invited to provide a work for the centenary of the Huddersfield Choral Society in October 1936, Vaughan Williams remembered that he had in his drawer an unpublished setting of Walt Whitman’s ‘Dirge for Two Veterans’.

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A day in the life of the Music Hire Library

By Miriam Higgins
My friends always ask me: what do you do all day?!
Well, every day Bethan, new manager Guy, and I make sure orders for music are present and correct to be sent around the world. We also update the website, look at which titles need re-engraving next, work with our agents (who are worldwide), and answer customer enquiries either over the phone or by email.

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The Beatles and New York, February 1964

By Gordon R. Thompson
When Pan Am flight 101, the “Jet Clipper Defiance,” touched down at the recently renamed John F. Kennedy Airport on 7 February 1964, the grieving angst that had gripped the Western world lifted, if just a little. What emerged from the darkness of the Boeing 707’s doorway was something so joyful, so deliciously irreverent that we forgot for a moment the tensions of the Berlin wall, the Cuban missile crisis, and the assassination of a young president. The sigh that North America released felt so deep that it sounded as one big exuberant scream of delight.

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