Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

The Louvre and its environs

What is the origin of the name Louvre? Dictionaries and websites say unanimously that the sought-for etymology is unknown or uncertain. Perhaps so, but we will see.

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Black History Month square

Ten empowering books to read in celebration of Black History Month

In observance of Black History Month, we are celebrating our prize-winning authors and empowering scholarship spanning a variety of topics across African American history, the civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the Harlem Renaissance, jazz, and more. Explore our reading list and update your bookshelf with the most recent titles from these eminent authors.

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Live after gravity

Isaac Newton’s London life: a quiz

Isaac Newton is known as the scientist who discovered gravity, but less well-known are the many years he spent in metropolitan London, and what precisely he got up to in that time…

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The skin of etymological teeth

Is English “skin” related to Greek “skēnē”? The story of “skin” and some other words, partly synonymous with it, is worthy of attention.

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Shakespeare and East Asia

Five themes in Asian Shakespeare adaptations

Since the 19th century, stage and film directors have mounted hundreds of adaptations of Shakespeare drawn on East Asian motifs, and by the late 20th century, Shakespeare had become one of the most frequently performed playwrights in East Asia.

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Cultural Psychology

What role does culture play in shaping children’s school experiences?

With increasing migration and the movement of people in the 21st century, many children are attending school in formal settings where cultural norms and practices at home may conflict with those children encounter at school. This experience places children in the position of having to navigate two different social worlds—home and school. In this blog post, Professor Robyn M. Holmes explores three key areas of cultural impact on children’s school experiences: parental beliefs and socialization practices, teacher perceptions, and school curricula and children’s learning.

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Love Lives

The evolution of women’s love lives: a timeline

Reaching from the middle of the twentieth century, when little girls dreamed of Prince Charming and Disney’s “Cinderella” graced movie screens, Carol Dyhouse charts the transformation of women’s love lives against radical social changes such as the passage of the Equal Pay Act, the acceleration of technological advancement, and improved access to contraception, bringing us up to the 2013 release of “Frozen.”

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The ruins of the post-Covid city—and the essential task of rebuilding

We are in the midst of a Covid economy that has decimated the cities of America. It’s essential for us all to recognize that we’re in this together and to support local and national efforts to rebuild, on the basis of a unified public consciousness that has been markedly absent from our divided nation in recent years.

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“Gig” and its kin

I received a query from my colleague, who asked me what I think about a possible tie between “Sheela na gig” and the English word “gig.” Therefore, I decided to devote a special post to it.

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Naturally speaking

The label “natural” connotes a certain imagery: freshly grown food, pure water, safe consumption. Things described as “natural” are portrayed as being simple and lacking the intervention of culture, industry, and artificiality. Let’s take a closer look.

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