Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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John Calvin’s prophetic calling and the memory

By Jon Balserak
What is the self, and how is it formed? In the case of Calvin, we might be given a glimpse at an answer if we consider the context from which he came. Calvin was part of a society that was still profoundly memorial in character; he lived with the vestiges of that medieval culture that’s discussed so brilliantly by Frances Yates and Mary Carruthers — a society which committed classical and Christian corpora to remembrance and whose self-identity was, in a large part, shaped and informed by memory.

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10 fun facts about the banjo

By Sarah Rahman
The four-, five-, six- stringed instrument that we call a ‘banjo’ today has a fascinating history tracing back to as early as the 1600s, while precursors to the banjo appeared in West Africa long before it was in use in America. Explore these fun facts about the banjo through a journey back in time.

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Getting to know Grove Music Associate Editor Meghann Wilhoite

Since joining the Grove Music editorial team, Meghann Wilhoite has been a consistent contributor to the OUPblog. Over the years she has shared her knowledge and insights on topics ranging from football and opera to Monteverdi and Bob Dylan, so we thought it was about time to get to know her a bit better.

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Scoring independent film music

Ever wondered what goes into scoring film music? Is the music written during filming? Or is it all added after the film is finished? Regular OUPblog contributor Scott Huntington recently spoke with film composer Joe Kraemer about his compositional process, providing an inside look at what it’s like to score music for an independent film.

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LGBT Pride Month Reading List

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated each year in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. This commemorative month recognizes the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

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How much do you know about the First World War?

Who’s Who highlights the individuals who had an impact on the events of World War One. Looking through Who’s Who, we are able to gain a snapshot of the talents and achievements of these individuals, and how they went on to influence World War One history. Find out how well you know the figures of the First World War.

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English convent lives in exile, 1540-1800

By Victoria Van Hyning
In the two and a half centuries following the dissolution of the monasteries in England in the 1530s, women who wanted to become nuns first needed to become exiles. The practice of Catholicism in England was illegal, as was undertaking exile for the sake of religious freedom.

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Songs of the Alaskan Inuit

Music today is usually categorized by the genre to which it most stylistically relates. A quick scroll through the iTunes genres sections reveals the familiar categories, among them Rock, Pop, R&B/Soul, Country, Classical, and Alternative. Songs or musical compilations today seem to have a readily apparent identity.

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1914-1918: the paradox of semi-modern war

By Dennis Showalter
The looming centennial of the Great War has inspired a predicable abundance of conferences, books, articles, and blog posts. Most are built on a familiar meme: the war as a symbol of futility. Soldiers and societies alike are presented as victims of flawed intentions and defective methods, which in turn reflected inability or unwillingness to adapt to the spectrum of innovations (material, intellectual, and emotional), that made the Great War the first modern conflict.

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Josephine Baker, the most sensational woman anybody ever saw

By Melanie Zeck
Perhaps Ernest Hemingway knew best when he claimed that Josephine Baker was the “most sensational woman anybody ever saw. Or ever will.” Indeed, Josephine Baker was sensational–as an African American coming of age in the 1920s, she took Paris by storm in La Revue Nègre and relished a career in entertainment that spanned fifty years. On what would be her 108th birthday, Baker’s fans on both sides of the Atlantic still celebrate her legendary charisma.

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Football arrives in Brazil

By Matthew Brown
Charles Miller claimed to have brought the first footballs to Brazil, stepping off the boat in the port of Santos with a serious expression, his boots, balls and a copy of the FA regulations, ready to change the course of Brazilian history. There are no documents to record the event, only Miller’s own account of a conversation, in which historians have picked numerous holes.

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Mary Lou Williams, jazz legend

Wednesday, 28 May marks the 33rd anniversary of Mary Lou William’s death. Mary Lou Williams, an African-American keyboardist, composer, arranger, and contemporary of both Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne, is often overlooked as a key contributor to the jazz movement of the 20th century.

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Make your own percussion instruments

By Scott Huntington
You’d probably be lying if you said that you didn’t spend at least a moderate amount of time during your childhood banging on various and sundry items that happened to be within reach. If we’re being honest, this particular sort of self-expression doesn’t seem to lessen with age; thankfully, our methods tend to get more sophisticated over time.

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Consequences of the Truman Doctrine

By Christopher McKnight Nichols
On 22 May 1947, President Harry Truman signed the formal “Agreements on Aid to Greece and Turkey,” the central pillars of what became known as the “Truman Doctrine.” Though the principles of the policy were first articulated in a speech to a joint session of Congress on 12 March 1947, it took two months for Truman to line up the funding for Greece and Turkey and get the legislation passed through Congress.

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