Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Soldiers’ experiences of World War I in photographs

The confident grin of an ace fighter pilot, the thousand yard stare of a young soldier taking a smoke break in a subterranean shelter, a howitzer glowing in an open field, sailors framed in moonlight off the deck of a submarine pointed towards an empty horizon — The Great War: A Combat History of the First World War by Peter Hart resurrects in language and photographs the soldiers’ experiences of World War I.

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Historical fashions we’d love to see make a comeback

Fashion weeks became the standard trade fair for the industry in the late 20th century, and the tradition continues biannually. New York Fashion Week has waltzed its way down the runway, and the fashion world is packing up their garment bags to head to Paris to fête the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Ready to Wear collections.

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A virtual journey in the footsteps of Zebulon Pike

By Jared Orsi
Somewhere in the middle of the Great Plains in November 1806, the explorer Zebulon Pike worried that the lateness of the season jeopardized the completion of his expedition. A contemporary of Lewis and Clark, Pike commanded a US military party that was exploring the southwestern reaches of the Louisiana Purchase.

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Scenes of Ovid’s love stories in art

The poet Ovid plays a central role in Roman literary history and culture. Best known for his Metamorphoses, a 15-book mythological epic, and his collections of love poetry, particularly Amores and Ars Amatoria, Ovid’s poetry has greatly influenced Western art, and his works remain some of the most important sources of classical mythology.

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A world in fear [infographic]

For billions around the world, poverty translates not only into a struggle for food, shelter, health, and education. No, poverty exposes them to a vast spectrum of human rights abuses on a daily basis. Safety and freedom from fear do not exist for those living in underdeveloped areas. Ill-equipped judicial systems, under-trained and corrupt law enforcement agencies, and despotic housing complexes are just a few of the challenges the impoverished face.

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A brief and incomplete history of astronomy

By Ayana Young and Georgia Mierswa


NASA posted an update in the last week of December that the international space station would be visible from the New York City area—and therefore the Oxford New York office—on the night of 28 December 2013. While there were certainly a vast number of NASA super fans rushed outside that particularly clear night (this writer included), it’s difficult for recent generations to recall a time when space observations and achievements like this contributed significantly to the cultural zeitgeist.

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Fractal shapes and the natural world

By Kenneth Falconer
Fractal shapes, as visualizations of mathematical equations, are astounding to look at. But fractals look even more amazing in their natural element—and that happens to be in more places than you might think.

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A voyage in letters [infographic]

The 17th century saw great, heroic voyages of discovery — voyages into the unknown, voyages potentially into the abyss. The 18th century saw a slow transformation in travel — if for no other reason than the incremental improvement and progress in the methods of travel.

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AHA 2014 in review

By Elyse Turr
Oxford had a great time at American Historical Association Annual Meeting this past weekend — even the storm couldn’t slow us down! We had an especially wonderful time meeting so many of our authors. Take a look at our slideshow to see who stopped by the booth.

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Oxford University Press holiday trimmings around the globe

Season’s Greetings from Oxford University Press! Here’s some holiday decorations from our different offices around the world, including a great book ‘Christmas tree’ from our Australian colleagues, some ‘green’ decorations in the South Africa branch (all hand made!), and some festive trimmings in Oxford and New York.

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Scenes from The Iliad in ancient art

Given its central role in Ancient Greek culture, various poignant moments in Homer’s The Iliad can be found on the drinking cups, water jars, mixing bowls, vases, plates, jugs, friezes, mosaics, and frescoes of ancient art. Each depiction dramatizes an event in the epic poem in a different way (sometimes inaccurately).

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Maps of the world

With Google maps and GPS instructions at the ready, it isn’t often that we step back to look at maps of the wider world. Long gone are the days when you had to flip open a physical map on your cross-country trip, to say nothing of the wealth of maps that exist today, from satellite imagery to geographic surveys, cityscapes to political maps.

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Gods and mythological creatures in The Iliad in ancient art

Homer’s The Iliad is filled with references to the gods and other creatures in Greek mythology. The gods regularly interfere with the Trojan War and the fate of various Achaean and Trojan warriors. In the following slideshow, images from Barry B. Powell’s new free verse translation of The Iliad by Homer illustrate the gods’ various appearances and roles throughout the epic poem.

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The gold standard and the world economy [infographic]

By Richard S. Grossman
Britain operated under the gold standard for nearly 100 years before World War I forced Britain — and many other countries — to abandon it. During that century, Britain was the world’s military, financial, and industrial superpower.

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Who’s Who in 2014 [infographics]

December sees the annual update of Who’s Who, the essential directory of the noteworthy and influential in all walks of life, in the United Kingdom and worldwide. This year, over 1,000 new lives have been added to the resource. Who’s made it in in 2014? From actors to authors, and presenters to politicians, discover the entries of a vast selection of past and present influential figures, written by the individual themselves.

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