Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Book thumbnail image

Shakespeare’s hand in the additional passages to Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy

By Douglas Bruster
Why should we think that Shakespeare wrote lines first published in the 1602 quarto of The Spanish Tragedy, a then-classic play by his deceased contemporary Thomas Kyd? Our answer starts 180 years ago, when Samuel Taylor Coleridge—author of ‘Kubla Khan’ and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner—said he heard Shakespeare in this material.

Read More

The ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum

The historic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 may have buried Pompeii and Herculaneum under a thick carpet of volcanic ash, but it preserved what is surely our most valuable archaeological record of daily life in Ancient Rome to date.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The Beatles and “She Loves You”: 23 August 1963

By Gordon R. Thompson
As the summer of 1963 drew to a close and students prepared to return to school, the Beatles released what may have been their most successful single. “She Loves You” would top the British charts twice that year, remain near the top for months, and help to launch the band into the American consciousness.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Cross-border suspicions and law enforcement at US-Mexico border

By Jay Albanese
We’ve divided our planet into nearly 200 countries with sovereign borders and laws designed to preserve mutual self-interest. It is not surprising, therefore, that many countries are suspicious of their cross-border neighbors and sometimes outwardly hostile to them. Simply put, the adage “good fences make good neighbors” applies on the international scene as well.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Whose Odyssey is it anyway?

By Justine McConnell
The death of Martin Bernal in June attracted less media attention than one might have hoped for the man who brought an unprecedented attention to the contemporary study of Classics. His 1987 work, Black Athena, was not the first to argue for a strong, pervasive African influence on the culture of ancient Greece, but it was the first to receive widespread notice.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

What’s your favorite Back to School memory?

Compiled by Sonia Tsuruoka
Fading tans and falling temperatures mean it’s that time of year again. As the new academic term approaches, the annual Back to School frenzy has kicked into high-gear, with parents and students of all ages rushing to complete last-minute mall runs and Staples trips in preparation.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Breaking Bad: masculinity as tragedy

By Scott Trudell
In the opening shots of Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad, a pair of khaki pants is suspended, for a tranquil moment, in the desert air. The pants are then unceremoniously run over by an RV methamphetamine lab with two murdered bodies in back. When the camper crashes into a ditch, the driver Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) gets out.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Honouring treaty and gender equality

By Rosemary Nagy
In Canada, there are almost 600 documented cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women over the last twenty years. The Canadian government has continuously refused to hold a national public inquiry into the missing and murdered women, despite mounting international and domestic pressure to do so.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Oxford authors and the British Academy Medals 2013

We don’t often discuss book awards on the OUPblog, but this year the inaugural British Academy Medals were awarded to three authors and their titles published by Oxford University Press: Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan, edited by Noel Malcolm; The Organisation of Mind by Tim Shallice and Rick Cooper; and The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean by David Abulafia (USA only).

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The fall of Mussolini

Seventy years ago today, in the late afternoon of Sunday 25 July 1943, the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini went for what he imagined was a fairly routine audience with the Italian king. The war had been going badly for Italy: two weeks earlier US, Canadian and British forces had landed in Sicily, and met with little resistance. And the previous evening a number of senior fascists had passed a motion calling on the king to assume full military command.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Why do women struggle to achieve work-life balance?

By Heidi Moawad
Is work-life balance consistent with professional ambition? A recent study concludes that young women are now proclaiming that they don’t want to be leaders. Does this data suggest that young women who do want to be leaders should not bother to ‘lean in’ by acquiring expert level knowledge, attaining specialized skills and pursuing experience-building work projects when they have the opportunity?

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The coming of age of international criminal justice

By Julia Geneuss and Florian Jessberger
Fifteen years ago, on 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), was adopted, creating the first permanent international forum to try and punish perpetrators of mass atrocities.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Le 14 juillet

By Sanja Perovic
Le 14 juillet, as Bastille Day is known in France, is the only national festival that commemorates the French Revolution. According to revolutionary gospel, it marks the day when the ‘people’ stormed the state prison that once stood on today’s Place de la Bastille, thereby heralding the end of despotism and an era of freedom. 

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Suspicious young men, then and now

By Kenneth R. Johnston
What do Edward Snowden and Samuel Taylor Coleridge have in common? Both were upset by government snooping into private communications on the pretext of national security. Snowden exposed the US National Security Agency’s vast programs of electronic surveillance to the Guardian and the Washington Post, Coleridge belittled the spy system of William Pitt the Younger in his autobiography, Biographia Literaria (1817).

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Superhero essay competition: tell us your favorite superpower

It’s the summer of the superhero here at Oxford University Press. We’re publishing two essay collections on the real powers superheroes hold — on our imagination and our understanding of the world. Our Superheroes, Ourselves, edited by Robin S. Rosenberg, PhD, and What is a Superhero?, edited by Robin S. Rosenberg, PhD and Peter Coogan, PhD, look at some of our greatest superheroes (and supervillains) and explore what exactly makes them “super”.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

An Oxford Companion to Superman

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it another Superman-related blogpost to tie in with today’s release of Man of Steel? Hold on to the bulging blue bicep of Oxford University Press and prepare to gaze below in wonder as we take you on a ride over the past 80 years of Superman.

Read More