Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Michelle Rafferty

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Forbidden images

The world recoiled when the gay community started receiving credit for its influence in fashion and culture, but at least, according to Christopher Reed, they were being acknowledged. In his new book Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas, Reed argues that for some time, the professional art world plain ignored the gay presence.

We had the chance to speak with Reed a few weeks back at his Williams Club talk, where he laid out the tumultuous relationship between art and activism. Below we present a few of the controversial things we learned.

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The Oxford Comment Challenge

Are you capable of listening to a podcast? Are you also capable of taking a quiz? Great. That means you have a chance to win a copy of Elizabeth Knowles’ How to Read a Word.

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John Swenson on Treme

How real is the HBO series Treme? Here John Swenson reflects on what it was like watching the first season as a resident of New Orleans (he has yet to comment on the second, which premiered last night), as well as what the culture of the city means to its people. As a writer for OffBeat Swenson has written about the musicians returning to NOLA after Katrina, and in his forthcoming book New Atlantis: Musicians Battle for the Survival of New Orleans he talks about their crusade to save the endangered city. Swenson himself suggested the song in the video,”Dogs Chase Cats,” from Andy J. Forest’s NOtown Story (2010).

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Five dresses for Kate

The Royal Wedding is days away and every detail – from the regal breakfast to the honeymoon – is under scrutiny. But we think there’s only one thing that really matters: the dress. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to select a few options for Miss Kate. In the off-chance she turns us down, we’ve paired up other celebrity brides-to-be with these charming gowns. Pictures and historical facts courtesy of The Berg Fashion Library.

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To have been a muppet in that nightclub…

What made Louis Armstrong embarrassed? Why was Cab Calloway on Sesame Street? To learn a little more about these two legends check out the podcast below with BBC Producer Alyn Shipton and the talented interviewer Annie Shipton (yes that would be Alyn’s daughter).

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You’ve Been McGuggenized!

When my friend sent me a link with the subject line: Carmel in WSJ! I clicked with trepidation. The last time my hometown made national news it involved a sodomy hazing incident and the high school basketball team. Phew. It was only a minor dispute over an expensive new piece of suburban architecture:

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Why the President Got Sexified

When did the commander-in-chief become a sex icon? That was the question I pursued this Presidents’ Day. And of course the more people I spoke with, the more complex the question became. By the end of the investigation I learned some Americans continue to preserve a “pure” image of presidents past, while many find their sex lives highly relevant to our political history. Check out the slideshow below to see exactly what our authors had to say!

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Here’s Looking at You, New York

This month Oxford celebrated the publication of the newest edition of the landmark AIA Guide to New York City with a launch party in the largest architectural exhibit in the world─The Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art. Where can you find an apartment for $50 in New York City? The ego of Robert Moses?

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