Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


The origins of the Religious Right: a Q & A with Neil Young

Neil J. Young traces the interactions among evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons from the 1950s to the present day to recast the story of the emergence of the Religious Right. We sat down with him to find out a bit more about his process researching the book, what role Mormons have in the rise of the Religious Right, and what the Religious Right’s relationship with Ronald Reagan was.

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Harriet Jacobs: the life of a slave girl

In 1861, just prior to the American Civil War, Harriet Jacobs published a famous slave narrative – of her life in slavery and her arduous escape. Two years earlier, in 1859, Harriet Wilson published an autobiographical novel, Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, tracing her life as “free black” farm servant in New England.

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How the South was made

Why study the South? What makes this peculiar region important from the point of views of Americans, or people abroad wanting to know more about the American experience? The South experienced changes and phenomena central to how the United States evolved over time.

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Game on – Episode 28 – The Oxford Comment

Listen closely and you’ll hear the squeak of sneakers on AstroTurf, the crack of a batter’s first hit, and the shrill sound of whistles signaling Game on! Yes, it’s that time of year again.

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How much do you know about Mormon feminists?

No issue in Mormonism has made more headlines than the faith’s distinctive approach to sex and gender. From its polygamous nineteenth-century past to its twentieth-century stand against the Equal Rights Amendment and its twenty-first-century fight against same-sex marriage, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has consistently positioned itself on the frontlines of battles over gender-related identities, roles, and rights.

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“Hotwash,” oral history, and wartime reflection

The military is a total institution and army chaplains are embedded deeply within it. They wear the uniforms and the rank, they salute and are saluted. I was reminded how deeply embedded we are, when I arrived at the US Army Chaplain Center and School at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina about two weeks ago.

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Oxford Dictionaries

George Orwell and the origin of the term ‘cold war’

On 19 October 1945, George Orwell used the term cold war in his essay “You and the Atom Bomb,” speculating on the repercussions of the atomic age which had begun two months before when the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

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In search of Thomas Smith Grimké’s portrait

Most biographers would agree that it is difficult to write about someone whose face you have never seen. When I set out to write a biographical entry on Thomas Smith Grimké (1786-1834) for the American National Biography Online, I confronted that challenge.

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9780199890347 - A Storm of Witchcraft

Pressing Giles Cory

Giles Cory has the dubious distinction of being the only person in American history to be pressed to death by a court of law. It is one of the episodes in the Salem witch trials that has captured the American imagination.

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Rediscovering Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

If you’re a student of African American literature or of the nineteenth century in the United States, you may have already heard about Johanna Ortner’s rediscovery of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s first book, Forest Leaves, which has long been assumed lost – perhaps even apocryphal.

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Landscapes of meaning

This week, we’re bringing you another exciting edition of the Oral History Review podcast, in which Troy Reeves talks to OHR contributor Jessica Taylor.

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No child left inside on the Holy Earth: Liberty Hyde Bailey and the spirituality of nature study

In the United States today there is a great push to get children outside. Children stay indoors more and have less contact with nature and less knowledge of animals and plants than ever before. When children do go outside, our litigious society gives them less freedom to explore. Educators and critics such as Richard Louv and David Sobel express a concern that without a real connection to the natural world, something vital will be lost in the next generation — and that the challenges of climate change may be unsolvable.

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Trick or treat – Episode 27 – The Oxford Comment

From baristas preparing pumpkin spiced lattes to grocery store aisles lined with bags of candy, the season has arrived for all things sweet-toothed and scary. Still, centuries after the holiday known as “Halloween” became cultural phenomenon, little is known to popular culture about its religious, artistic, and linguistic dimensions.

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