Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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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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Why we love libraries: the Aussie way

This week is National Library and Information Week in Australia — a week-long celebration of library and information professionals across the country. To celebrate the wonderful work of Australian libraries and librarians, here are a few thoughts on why libraries are so important, from those at the very heart of them.

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Celebrating Victoria Day

Monday, 19 May is Victoria Day in Canada, which celebrates the 195th birthday of Queen Victoria on 24 May 1819. On 20 June 1837, at the age of 18, Queen Victoria took the throne as Monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as the Empire was called at that point.

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Ros Bandt, Grove Music Online

The Biography of Ros Brandt, from Grove Music Online. An interest in experimental music is apparent from her earliest compositions, many of which involve performance in specific places, improvisation, electronics, graphic notation, and the use of self-built and specially built instruments. These include Improvisations in Acoustic Chambers, 1981, and Soft and Fragile: Music in Glass and Clay, 1982.

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Ricky Swallow, Grove Art Online

Ricky Swallow from Grove Art Online. Australian conceptual artist, active also in the USA. Swallow came to prominence only a few years after completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, by winning the prestigious Contempora 5 art prize in 1999

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Photography and social change in the Central American civil wars

By Erina Duganne
Many hope, even count on, photography to function as an agent of social change. In his 1998 book, Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Icons of Outrage in International Crises, communications scholar David Perlmutter argues, however, that while photographs “may stir controversy, accolades, and emotion,” they “achieve absolutely nothing.”

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Brian Eno, the influential “non-musician” at 66

By Cecilia Sun
Brian Eno turns 66 today. It has become a cliché to start every profile of Eno by noting the eclecticism and longevity of his musical career. After all, here is a man who made his performance debut smashing a piece of wood against an open piano frame (La Monte Young, X (Any Integer) for Henry Flynt) and went on to produce award-winning albums for chart-topping bands.

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“There Is Hope for Europe” – The ESC 2014 and the return to Europe

By Philip V. Bohlman
4–10 May 2014. The annual Eurovision week offers Europeans a chance to put aside their differences and celebrate, nation against nation, the many ways in which music unites them. Each nation has the same opportunity—a “Eurosong” of exactly three minutes, performed by no more than six musicians or dancers, in the language of their choice, national or international—to represent Europe for a year.

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Unknown facts about five great Hollywood directors

Today, 11 May, marks the anniversary of the founding of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1927. It wouldn’t be until 1928 until the award selection and nomination process was established, but this elite group of actors, directors, writers, technicians, and producers were leaders in the early film industry.

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10 facts about the saxophone and its players

The saxophones invention in the 1840′s created a whole new pathway for jazz. Its simple key pattern and covered keys, made the saxophone easier to handle than the popular clarinet. Soon the tenor and alto saxophones would overtake jazz, creating new avenues for musicians.

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Getting to know Sir Philip Sidney

By Roger Kuin
What does Sir Philip Sidney’s correspondence teach us about the man and his world? You have to realise what letters were, what they were like, and what they were for. Some of them were like our e-mails: brief and to the point. Other letters are long and more like a personal form of news media: meant to inform the recipient (often Sidney himself) about what is happening in the world of politics.

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An intriguing, utterly incomplete history of Louis Armstrong

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, honoring an original American art form. Across the United States and the world, jazz lovers are introducing people to the history and heritage of jazz as well as extraordinary contemporary acts. To celebrate, here are eight songs from renowned jazz singer and trumpeter Louis Armstrong’s catalog, along with some lesser-known facts about the artist.

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