Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Ten surprising facts about the violin

By Ayana Young
As one of the most renowned and recognizable instruments in the modern orchestra, the violin’s petite shape and magnified sound charms listeners, players and dreamers alike. Beyond the aesthetic and captivating sound, the history of the violin is just as enticing.

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Very Short Introductions go online

By Luciana O’Flaherty
All those who have read and loved a Very Short Introduction know that they offer a short but sophisticated route into a new or slightly familiar topic. The series was launched in 1995 and has continued to offer new books each year (around 30 a year, at the last count) for students, scholars, and the avidly curious.

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Middle East food security after the Arab Spring

By Eckart Woertz
Syria and Egypt paradigmatically highlight the perils of food security in the Middle East. Oil exports of Egypt, the largest wheat importer of the world, ceased at the end of the 2000’s. Generating enough foreign exchange for food procurement became more difficult and plans for more self-sufficiency have failed in the face of limited water and land resources.

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Francesca Caccini, the composer

By Meghann Wilhoite
In my last post I wrote about little known composer Sophie Elisabeth. Today’s subject, Francesca Caccini, is somewhat better known. The last decade or so has seen a renewed interest in her work.

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Back to (art) school

By Kandice Rawlings
Summer is over, and it’s back-to-school season. Art students are heading back to their classrooms and studios, receiving a course of training that will help them become professional artists.

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National Grandparents Day Tribute

By Georgia Mierswa
Oxford University Press would like to take a moment to honor all grandparents, great-grandparents, and beyond, acknowledging the often extraordinary efforts (more are primary caregivers than ever before in history!) required to build and sustain a family. The information and statistics below have been drawn from numerous articles on the significance of grandparents in Encyclopedia of Social Work.

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The thylacine

On the 7th of September each year, Australia observes National Threatened Species Day, so we thought this would be a good time to look at a species we couldn’t save. The following is an extract from the Encyclopedia of Mammals on the extinct thylacine (or Tasmanian tiger).

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Buddhism or buddhisms: mirrored reflections

By Richard Payne Of late, scholars have increasingly called into question the utility of the nation-state as the default category for the study of Buddhism. In terms of the way Buddhism is academically apprehended, the implication of Johan Elverskog’s argument in “The Buddhist Exchange: Irrigation, Crops and the Spread of the Dharma” — that Buddhism […]

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Cops and Robbers Redux

By Michael Weiner
The activity has many names: “rough and tumble,” “boy,” “physical,” “aggressive.” We see it everywhere, on playgrounds, in homes, at schools. With early childhood education literature rife with new research, we recognize that this type of play activity is developmentally essential for children.

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Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

By Elizabeth Keenan
In 1971, when Representative Bella Abzug introduced a joint resolution to Congress creating Women’s Equality Day, she wasn’t likely thinking about women in popular music. After all, the subject is seemingly silly compared to what Women’s Equality Day commemorates.

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10 facts about Galileo Galilei

By Matt Dorville
One of the most prolific scientists of all time, Galileo’s life and accomplishments has been studied and written about in detail for centuries. From his discovery of the moons of Jupiter to his fight with Pope Urban VIII, noted authors and playwrights have been fascinated with both Galileo’s life and contributions.

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Ten facts about toasts

By Jessica Harris
On 4 August 1693, Dom Perignon invented champagne, or so the story goes. The date is no doubt made up, sparkling wines had existed long before the 17th century, and the treasurer of the Abbey of Hautvilliers actually did everything he could to prevent wine from refermenting. But who wouldn’t mind a glass of bubbly to celebrate?

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A Who’s Who of the Edinburgh Festival

By Daniel Parker
It’s that time of year again; Edinburgh is ablaze with art, theatre and music from around the world. For the month of August, Edinburgh is the culture capital of the world, as thousands of musicians, street-performers, actors, comedians, authors, and artists demonstrate their art at various venues across the city. Listed in Who’s Who and Who Was Who are some of the most famous names to have performed at the festival since its inception in 1947.

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Who were the Carlisle Commissioners? Part two: Jeremy Bentham

By Daniel Parker
Jeremy Bentham wanted to become a Carlisle Peace Commissioner but his application was wilfully ignored by Governor Johnstone. The Carlisle Peace Commissioners set out to the United States in 1778, three years into the American Revolutionary War, to negotiate a peace treaty.

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The 1812 Overture: an attempted narration

By Jessica Barbour
I was a sophomore in college, sitting in my morning music history course on the Romantic period, and my professor was discussing the concept of program music, which Grove Music Online defines as “Music of a narrative or descriptive kind; the term is often extended to all music that attempts to represent extra-musical concepts without resort to sung words.”

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Celebrating Coco Chanel (1883-1971)

By Audrey Ingerson
“I, who love women, wanted to give her clothes in which she could drive a car, yet at the same time clothes that emphasized her femininity, clothes that flowed with her body. A woman is closest to being naked when she is well dressed.”

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