Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

How does chemistry shape evolution?

When people think of evolution, many reflect on the concept as an operation filled with endless random possibilities–a process that arrives at advantageous traits by chance. But is the course of evolution actually random? In A World from Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life, Ben McFarland argues that an understanding of chemistry can both explain and predict the course of evolution.

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Legend of love: the life of Alla Osipenko in images

At age eighty-three, ex-prima ballerina Alla Osipenko is more renowned than ever. Video and youtube allow us to sample a talent that the West would experience live only infrequently during the existence of the Soviet Union. Blunt, courageous, uncompromising Osipenko’s brushes with Communistic and artistic authorities ultimately kept her largely quarantined in Russia.

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Sex, love, and Shakespeare [slideshow]

Whether he fills his scenes with raunchy innuendos, or boldly writes erotic poetry, or frequently reverses the gender norms of the time period, Shakespeare addresses the multifaceted ways in which sex, love, marriage, relationships, gender, and sexuality play an integral part of human life.

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Wrapping up the AALS Annual Meeting 2016

The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) is a nonprofit association of 179 law schools. The association serves as the learned society for over 9,000 law faculty at its member schools, and provides them with extensive professional development opportunities, including the AALS Annual Meeting which draws thousands of professors, deans and administrators each year.

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Portraits of religion in Shakespeare’s time

Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries was marked by years of political and religious turmoil and change. From papal authority to royal supremacy, Reformation to Counter Reformation, and an endless series of persecutions followed by executions, England and its citizens endured division, freedom, and everything in between.

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AAR/SBL 2015 annual meeting wrap-up

From 21-24 November, our religion and Bibles team was in Atlanta attending the joint American Academy of Religion / Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. We had a great time interacting with customers and meeting authors. Here’s a slide show of some of the authors who stopped by the booth with their new books.

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Max Planck and Albert Einstein

There was much more to Max Planck than his work and research as an influential physicist. For example, Planck was an avid musician, and endured many personal hardships under the Nazi regime in his home country of Germany.

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To Savor Gotham: book launch

Food lovers with a soft spot for New York City gastronomy congregated to celebrate the upcoming book Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City, edited by Andrew F. Smith.

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5 academic books that will shape the future

What is the future of academic publishing? We’re celebrating University Press Week and Academic Book Week with a series of blog posts on scholarly publishing from staff and partner presses. Following on from our list of academic books that changed the world, we’re looking to the future and how our current publishing could change lives and attitudes in years to come.

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The OUP Philosophy Festival 2015

The Oxford Philosophy group teamed up with Blackwell’s Bookshop Oxford to celebrate Philosophy in all its diversity. From a philosophical balloon debate (where David Hume blew the audience away with a song about the problem of induction) to panels dealing with the ethics of everyday life, we explored a huge variety of philosophical problems and had fun in the process.

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10 academic books that changed the world

What is the future of academic publishing? We’re celebrating University Press Week (8-14 November 2015) and Academic Book Week (9-16 November) with a series of blog posts on scholarly publishing from staff and partner presses. Today, we present Oxford’s list of ten academic books that changed the world.

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Place of the Year 2015: behind the longlist

You don’t need to follow the news too closely to know that 2015 has been a roller coaster of a year. Last week we announced our longlist for Place of the Year 2015, but since then some of you have been asking, “why is x included?”, or “why is y worth our attention?”

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A history of firsts [slideshow]

We live in a globalized world, but mobility is nothing new. Set on a huge continental stage, By Steppe, Desert and Ocean tells the story how human society evolved across the Eurasian continent from Europe to China.

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Shakespeare’s work: pure genius or imitatio?

William Shakespeare was undoubtedly a literary mastermind, yet several allusions and quotations in his works suggest that he gathered ideas from other texts. Ovid’s Metamorphoses, for example, was alluded to more than any other classical text, and the Bishop’s and Geneva Bibles were quoted numerous times in his works. Shakespeare’s reliance on source material from external literature was a common practice of the time period.

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