Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Sofia Gubaidulina, light and darkness

Today is the birthday of a composer who writes in a radically different musical style than many of us are accustomed to hearing on a day-to-day basis, as we sit on hold with the doctor’s office or hum along with the music piped into the aisles of the grocery store.

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Interview with Charles Hiroshi Garrett

By Anna-Lise Santella
After nearly a decade of work, the second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music—often called AmeriGrove—is finished. In September 2013, shortly before publication, I talked with Editor in Chief Charles Hiroshi Garrett about the project.

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The golden wings of the bicentennial: Giuseppe Verdi at 200

It is finally here. The big anniversary. The bicentennial. Today, Giuseppe Verdi turns 200. There has been excitement in the air for quite some time—leading opera houses presenting new productions and outreach initiatives to honor the great composer, publishing companies rushing to release a host of new books for all sorts of readerships, and public and private organizations around the world (governments and municipalities, research centers and fan clubs) working to celebrate the occasion as it deserves.

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Pragmatic preservation and the Vanderbilt Hotel

By Alodie Larson
As Grand Central Terminal celebrates its centennial this year, I have found myself admiring other accomplishments of the firm responsible for a significant part of its design, Warren & Wetmore. In my first days in the New York office of Oxford University Press, I noticed an imposing cadre of busts from the southeast windows of the building.

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Ten constitutional preambles you may not know

How do nations across the globe declare their intent in the formation of a new government? To celebrate the launch of the innovative, new platform Oxford Constitutions of the World, we have highlighted a broad range of preambles from several jurisdictions below and the full constitutions freely available on the Oxford Constitutions of the World site for a limited time.

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A medieval saint in modern times

By Kandice Rawlings
Saint Francis of Assisi died on this day in 1226, and when he was canonized just two years later, the fourth of October became his feast day. Even before his sainthood was official, St Francis was a popular figure among the faithful, and the religious order he had founded already had chapters throughout Europe.

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Will young invincibles buy into the ACA?

By Stephen Gorin, PhD, MSW
Since its enactment in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has been the focus of controversy and heated debate. As the date for implementing the health exchanges approaches, the war of words has intensified. It is perhaps not surprising that in a recent poll for the Kaiser Family Foundation, 51% of respondents said that they lacked enough information to understand how the ACA would affect them and their families, and 44% were unsure whether the ACA was even law.

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Breaking Bad’s Faustian Cast

In a Reddit AMA session a few months ago, Bryan Cranston was asked when he thought his character on Breaking Bad broke bad. His response: “My feeling is that Walt broke bad in the very first episode. It was very subtle but he did because that’s when he decided to become someone that he’s not in order to gain financially. He made the Faustian deal at that point and everything else was a slippery slope.”

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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

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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