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Who shapes the history of the British Isles?

From politicians to psychiatrists, novelists to biologists, and actors to entrepreneurs, the January 2014 update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography adds a further 219 biographies of men and women who’ve made their mark on British history.

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Portraying scientists: Galileo and perceptual portraiture

By Nicholas Wade
Perceptual portraits represent people in an unconventional style. The portraits themselves are not always easy to discern – the viewer needs to apply the power of perception in order to extract the facial features from the design which carries them. The aim is both artistic and historical.

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Soldiers’ experiences of World War I in photographs

The confident grin of an ace fighter pilot, the thousand yard stare of a young soldier taking a smoke break in a subterranean shelter, a howitzer glowing in an open field, sailors framed in moonlight off the deck of a submarine pointed towards an empty horizon — The Great War: A Combat History of the First World War by Peter Hart resurrects in language and photographs the soldiers’ experiences of World War I.

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Contradictions in Cold War-era higher education

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
This week, managing editor Troy Reeves wears his Badgers pride proudly in an interview with historian Matthew Levin. Levin, who received his PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the author of Cold War University: Madison and the New Left in the Sixties (UW Press, 2013).

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An anti-Valentine’s Day playlist

Complied by Taylor Coe
Feeling angsty about Valentine’s Day? The OUP staff is here to help! We have pulled together a wide-ranging list of “anti-Valentine’s Day” music – exactly opposite the treacly, mincing pop that you may encounter otherwise on this most-exclusive of holidays.

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Historical fashions we’d love to see make a comeback

Fashion weeks became the standard trade fair for the industry in the late 20th century, and the tradition continues biannually. New York Fashion Week has waltzed its way down the runway, and the fashion world is packing up their garment bags to head to Paris to fête the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Ready to Wear collections.

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Advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine

Each year cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes over 4 million deaths in Europe and 1.9 million deaths in the European Union (EU). Although the rates of death attributed to CVD have declined over the years, the burden of the disease remains high and on-going research into cardiovascular medicine remains vital. Through clinical and scientific research, we […]

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A virtual journey in the footsteps of Zebulon Pike

By Jared Orsi
Somewhere in the middle of the Great Plains in November 1806, the explorer Zebulon Pike worried that the lateness of the season jeopardized the completion of his expedition. A contemporary of Lewis and Clark, Pike commanded a US military party that was exploring the southwestern reaches of the Louisiana Purchase.

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Scenes of Ovid’s love stories in art

The poet Ovid plays a central role in Roman literary history and culture. Best known for his Metamorphoses, a 15-book mythological epic, and his collections of love poetry, particularly Amores and Ars Amatoria, Ovid’s poetry has greatly influenced Western art, and his works remain some of the most important sources of classical mythology.

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Why we should change the way we look at chronic pain

Is undiagnosed and untreated chronic pain a nationwide epidemic? Does the American legal system’s treatment of the pharmaceutical and medical fields impedes citizens’ struggles to heal themselves? Has the media egregiously focused on the abuses of pain medication rather than extolling its virtues?

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Have you ever wondered how snakes work?

Have you ever wondered how a snake slithers up a tree, captures prey far larger than the size of its jaw, or sheds all of its skin? Not many people give these reptiles a second thought. But Dr. Harvey Lillywhite, herpetologist and Professor of Biology at the University of Florida, gives them a great deal of thought.

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A world in fear [infographic]

For billions around the world, poverty translates not only into a struggle for food, shelter, health, and education. No, poverty exposes them to a vast spectrum of human rights abuses on a daily basis. Safety and freedom from fear do not exist for those living in underdeveloped areas. Ill-equipped judicial systems, under-trained and corrupt law enforcement agencies, and despotic housing complexes are just a few of the challenges the impoverished face.

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Hal Gladfelder on The Beggar’s Opera and Polly

With The Beggar’s Opera, Gay invented a new form, the ballad opera, and the daring mixture of caustic political satire, well-loved popular tunes, and a story of crime and betrayal set in the urban underworld of prostitutes and thieves was an overnight sensation.

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A brief and incomplete history of astronomy

By Ayana Young and Georgia Mierswa


NASA posted an update in the last week of December that the international space station would be visible from the New York City area—and therefore the Oxford New York office—on the night of 28 December 2013. While there were certainly a vast number of NASA super fans rushed outside that particularly clear night (this writer included), it’s difficult for recent generations to recall a time when space observations and achievements like this contributed significantly to the cultural zeitgeist.

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How secure are you?

The internet has come a long way since the first “electronic mail” was sent back in 1971… but with its rapid advancement come challenges to cybersecurity and the increasing threat of cyberterrorism, both on an individual level as well as on a larger global scale. In their new book, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know, experts P.W. Singer and Allan Friedman warn us that we may not be as secure online as we think we are.

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Protecting yourself from the threat of cyberwarfare

With over 30,000 media reports and academic studies on the dangers of cyberterrorism, surely the threat today could not be greater? But as P.W. Singer, author of the bestselling Wired for War and co-author of Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know, points out — not a single person has died in a cyberterror attack.

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