Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Book thumbnail image

Great Expectations: an audio guide

Perhaps Dickens’s best-loved work, Great Expectations tells the story of young Pip, who lives with his sister and her husband the blacksmith. He has few prospects for advancement until a mysterious benefaction takes him from the Kent marshes to London. Pip is haunted by figures from his past — the escaped convict Magwitch, the time-withered Miss Havisham and her proud and beautiful ward, Estella — and in time uncovers not just the origins of his great expectations but the mystery of his own heart. Here is a sequence of podcasts with Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, editor of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of Great Expectations.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Oral history students as narrators

For this week’s contribution to OUPblog, we’ve gone audio — we are the Oral History Review, after all. In our first podcast, our guest Stephen Sloan elaborates on “On the Other Foot: Oral History Students as Narrators,” a piece he wrote for the most recent issue of the OHR (volume 39, issue 2). This post represents another first: an effort to give current and future OHR contributors room to discuss their articles further.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Marian Stamp Dawkins on why animals matter

There is an urgent argument for the need to rethink animal welfare, untinged by anthropomorphism and claims of animal consciousness, which lack firm empirical evidence and are often freighted with controversy and high emotions. With growing concern over such issues as climate change and food shortages, how we treat those animals on which we depend for survival needs to be put squarely on the public agenda. Marian Stamp Dawkins seeks to do this by offering a more complete understanding of how animals help us.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Music we’re thankful for

Thanksgiving is upon us in the US. Before the OUP Music team headed home for some turkey and stuffing, we compiled a list of what we are most thankful for, musically speaking. Read on for our thoughts, and leave your own in the comments. Happy Thanksgiving!

Read More
Book thumbnail image

An interview with Emanuel Tov

In this interview conducted for Oxford Biblical Studies Online (OBSO), Professor Marc Brettler (Brandeis University) discusses with Professor Tov his early days as a scholar of Biblical studies, his research into the Qumran scrolls, and the legacy of his work — most notably his landmark book Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, which continues to set the standard for his field.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

In praise of the podcast

PB. The initials are not exactly as familiar as, say, BBC, or NPR, but we’re not operating in a massively different environment. PB: Philosophy Bites. Time was when to broadcast on the radio (or the ‘wireless’) you’d have to seek a license for permission to use a teeny weeny portion of the radio frequency spectrum. Broadcasting was time-consuming, bureaucratic, and above all expensive. It required staff and costly equipment and it was possible only with the support of highly-trained studio technicians and engineers. No longer

Read More
Book thumbnail image

New Atlantis at Voodoo Fest

I had the great thrill over the week to perform as part of the Paul Sanchez Rolling Road Show at the Voodoo Experience in New Orleans. The three day music extravaganza takes place under the live oaks in beautiful City Park. Sanchez asked me to read from New Atlantis: Musicians Battle for the Future of New Orleans at the beginning of his set on the Preservation Hall stage. I read about my return to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina as the band played the melodic swells of “At the Foot of Canal Street” behind me.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Howard Skempton on composing

Composer Howard Skempton is one of the mainstays of British contemporary classical music. He is an experimental composer who writes in a style completely his own, un-deflected by trends in composition or performance. Having developed, under the tutelage of Cornelius Cardew, a musical style characterised by its elegance and simplicity, Skempton’s catalogue of compositions is now extensive and diverse.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Pasqua Rosee and the coffee shop

Coffee shops are in the news, but where did it all begin? Perhaps with this man, Pasqua Rosee (fl 1651-6), who opened London’s first coffee-house at St Michael Cornhill. Rosee’s coffee-house was a shed in St Michael’s churchyard. Here served “two or three dishes” of coffee “at a time twice or thrice a day.” Rosee’s coffee-house was a shed in St Michael’s churchyard.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The point of no return

If a theater noob polled a group of theater fans on what classic musicals she must see to jumpstart her theater education, you would be hard pressed to find a fan without The Phantom of the Opera on their list. The show, which opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London on 9 October 1986, has left an undeniable impact on London’s West End, Broadway, and theater in general.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

50 years of James Bond in music

Few characters in the history of cinema, if any, are more iconic than Ian Fleming’s debonair super-spy, James Bond; few, too, can boast of any comparison to the equally iconic music which accompanies the intrepid agent 007’s exploits. Since the series’ beginning, the Bond films have been marked by exceptional music, including contributions from Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, Louis Armstrong and Madonna, and, of course, John Barry’s instantly recognizable “James Bond Theme.”

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Tariq Ramadan on the Arab Spring

News broke of the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya followed by numerous protests throughout the Arab World while Tariq Ramadan was in the United States to discuss one of the most important developments in the modern history of the Middle East, the so-called Arab Spring. One of the world’s leading Islamic thinkers, Tariq Ramadan, he has won global renown for his reflections on Islam and the contemporary challenges in both the Muslim majority societies and the West.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

How the social brain creates identity

Who we are is a story of our self–a narrative that our brain creates. Like the science fiction movie, we are living in a matrix that is our mind. But though the self is an illusion, it is an illusion we must continue to embrace to live happily in human society. In The Self Illusion, Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The science behind drugs in sport

What is cheating? What drug compounds for performance enhancement are legal and why? Why do the sports drug classification systems change all the time? If all the chemical were legal, what effect would this have on sport? Biochemist and author Chris Cooper explores the biological, moral, political, and ethical issues involved in controlling drug use in sports.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams talk four billion years of climate change

Climate change is a major topic of concern today, scientifically, socially, and politically. But the Earth’s climate has continuously altered over its 4.5 billion-year history. Geologists are becoming ever more ingenious at interrogating this baffling, puzzling, infuriating, tantalizing, and seemingly contradictory evidence. The story of the Earth’s climate is now being reconstructed in ever-greater detail — maybe even providing us with clues to the future of contemporary climate change. Below, you can listen to Dr Jan Zalasiewicz and Dr Mark Williams talk about the topics raised in their book The Goldilocks Planet: The four billion year story of Earths Climate.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The future for lawyers?

What does the future hold for those in the law profession? In this interview, Martin Partington talks to fellow OUP author Richard Susskind OBE about how the legal profession will develop over the next few years, addressing the changes and challenges that could affect lawyers in the future.

Read More