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Alice’s top 10 OUPblog posts of 2012

By Alice Northover

One of the great advantages of being OUPblog editor is that I read practically everything that was published on the blog in 2012: the 1,088 articles, Q&As, quizzes, slideshows, podcasts, videos, and more from the smartest minds in the scholarly world. When I first attempted the list, I had 30 articles bookmarked and I’d only made it six months back. I’m sure I’ll hate myself for missing a piece tomorrow.

Let’s start off with a recent one: Space law! “Mars, grubby hands, and international law” by Gérardine Goh Escolar, which was part of our Place of the Year series.

It was Alan Turing’s 100th birthday this year and everyone at OUP knows that we (mainly me) struggled to scrape together a full week of blogs posts on Turing to celebrate it. My favorite: “Turing : the irruption of Materialism into thought” by Paul Cockshott.

Just when you think our authors are predictable, one writes about what if you met Jesus and had an iPhone:
“eResurrection?” by Reverend John Piderit, S.J.

One of the great joys of joining OUP this year was learning the press’s history. The first of I hope many posts from our archivist: “Sir Robert Dudley, midwife of Oxford University Press” by Martin Maw.

A regular contributor to the OUPblog, Gordon Thompson wrote a piece on the pre-British invasion back in August: “A British ante-invasion: “Telstar,” 17 August 1962.” An introduction to strange, new music. Who could ask for more?

I cannot possibly pass by our weekly etymology columnist Anatoly Liberman, but choosing a single piece from him is quite difficult. I’ve selected “A lovable bully” without which I’d never have learned of Shakespeare’s love of Dutch slang.

Robert Morrison deserves some kind of award for patience and being one of the loveliest authors to work with (image permissions!). His article on John William Polidori (“Vampyre Rising”) also deserves a few more reads.

I felt Nick Hayes’s piece on the attitude towards the National Health Service just before and after its inception deserved more recognition this year. “Did we really want a National Health Service?” asks questions that people think they have answers to, all wrong. Perhaps that’s why it didn’t get the recognition it deserves.

We had many articles on politics (it was an election year after all), but the one that has really stayed with me is Stephanie Li’s “Opposing narratives of success in politics.” Li captured not only the making of candidates but the reflection of ideologies.

Finally, we had so many fine articles from Oxford World’s Classics editors, but Emily Wilson’s “Seneca in Spring-Time” took me by surprise and made me realize what a poor state my Latin was in.

Bonus blog post:

I can’t possibly include a blog post I composed in my round-up, but I can’t look back on 2012 without thinking of the hours put into “The Oxford Companion to the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.” I never did get round to one on the closing ceremony. Perhaps I can face it in 2013!

Alice Northover joined Oxford University Press as Social Media Manager in January 2012. She is editor of the OUPblog, constant tweeter @OUPAcademic, daily Facebooker at Oxford Academic, and Google Plus updater of Oxford Academic, amongst other things. You can learn more about her bizarre habits on the blog.

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  1. […] I already gave my opinion of the best OUPblog posts of the year, it’s only fair to see what you the reader decided. Here’s our top ten […]

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