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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Human Rights Awareness Month case map

To mark Human Rights Day, we have produced a map of 50 landmark human rights cases, each with a brief description and a link to a free article or report on the case. The cases were chosen … to showcase the variety of international, regional, and national mechanisms and fora for adjudicating human rights claims, and the range of rights that have been recognized.

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Soldiers, sources, and serendipity

Like much historical research, my chapter in the Britain’s Soldiers collection came about more or less by accident. It relates to an incident that I discovered in the War Office papers at in 2007. I was taking a group of History students from Northampton University to The National Archives in Kew, to help them with their undergraduate dissertations.

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The lake ecosystems of the Antarctic

Antarctica is a polar desert almost entirely covered by a vast ice sheet up to 4 km in thickness. The great white continent is a very apt description. The ice free areas, often referred to as oases, carry obvious life in lakes and occasional small patches of lichen and mosses where there is sufficient seasonal melt water to support them.

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The hand and the machine

Two hundred years ago last Friday the owner of the London Times, John Walter II, is said to have surprised a room full of printers who were preparing hand presses for the production of that day’s paper. He showed them an already completed copy of the paper and announced, “The Times is already printed – by steam.”

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Charting events in international security in 2013

The world today is a very complex place. Events such as the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the devastating conflict erupting in Syria, and the often-fraught relations between the world’s superpowers highlight an intricate and interconnecting web of international relations and national interests.

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Anna Freud’s life

In celebration of would would have been Anna Freud’s 119th birthday, we have compiled a timeline of important events, her influences and her most celebrated publications. From her education and love of learning, to her role as a teacher, children and child psychoanalysis always played a large part in the life of Anna Freud.

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Is your commute normal?

Ever wonder how Americans are getting to work? In this short video, Andrew Beveridge, Co-Founder and CEO of census data mapping program Social Explorer, discusses the demographics of American commuting patterns for workers ages sixteen and above.

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How has World War I impacted United States immigration trends?

Where did the first Chinatown originate, and how many exist across the country? Where do the majority of the country’s immigrant populations currently reside? Andrew Beveridge, Co-Founder and CEO of census data mapping program Social Explorer, discusses the effects of the First World War on American nativity demographics.

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Income inequality in the United States

How has the average American income shifted since the US Census bureau began collecting data in the 1950s? Are median wages rising or falling? Andrew Beveridge, Co-Founder and CEO of census data mapping program Social Explorer, discusses income inequality in the United States in the short video below.

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The history of the newspaper

On 28th November 1814 The Times in London was printed by automatic, steam powered presses for the first time. These presses, built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, meant that newspapers were now available to a new mass audience, and by 1815 The Times had a circulation of approximately 5,000 people.

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Band Aid (an infographic)

On this day in 1984 musical aficionados from the worlds of pop and rock came together to record the iconic ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ single for Band Aid. The single has gone down in history as an example of the power of music to help right the wrongs in the world.

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Peanut butter: the vegetarian conspiracy

There is something quintessentially American about peanut butter. While people in other parts of the world eat it, nowhere is it devoured with the same gusto as in the United States, where peanut butter is ensconced in an estimated 85% of home kitchens. Who exactly invented peanut butter is unknown.

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Keytar Appreciation 101

What is a keytar, anyway? Well, along with being (to me) the coolest electronic instrument ever, it’s a midi controller-sometimes-synthesizer that you can wear over your shoulder like a guitar.

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Windows on the past: how places get their names

Standing underneath the monstrous Soviet statue of “Motherland Calls” looking out over the mighty Volga River, I could understand why the city should have been renamed, rather unimaginatively, Volgograd “City on the Volga”. Between 1925 and 1961 it had been called Stalingrad, and was site of one of the most ferocious battles in the Second World War.

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Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Bae’ sonnets

In continuation of our Word of the Year celebrations, I’m presenting my annual butchering of Shakespeare (previous victims include MacBeth and Hamlet). Of the many terms of endearment the Bard used — from lambkin to mouse — babe was not among them.

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