Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


Sex, death, booze, and mung bean sandwiches

How do opera and philosophy intersect? At first glance, this might seem like a strange question, for opera and philosophy are unlikely bedfellows. To speak of philosophy conjures up images of dry abstraction and bookish head-scratching, whereas to talk of opera is to call to mind cacophonous spectacles of colours and voices, of multitudinous audiences enthralled by impassioned song.

Read More

Connecting with Law Short Film Competition 2015 winners

The ‘Connecting with Law Short Film Competition’ is an annual event run by Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand. Now in its seventh year, the ‘Connecting with Law Short Film Competition’ runs from March to July and is open to all students currently enrolled in an Australian law school. Over the years, the competition has proven to be a unique way to encourage students to connect with the law and make a contribution to legal education in Australia.

Read More
9780199313396 - Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Why do we prefer eating sweet things?

Is the “sweet tooth” real? The answer may surprise you. Humans vary in their preference towards sweet things; some of us dislike them while others may as well be addicted. But for those of us who have a tendency towards sweetness, why do we like what we like? We are hardly limited by type; our preference spans across both food and drinks, including candy, desserts, fruits, sodas, and even alcoholic beverages.

Read More
9780199313396 - Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Darra Goldstein on the history of sugar

Sugar has had an important hand in many facets of history, not all of it fun and games (but certainly not all of it dreary, either). Did you know fudge played a huge part in American women’s college education? or that slavery in sugar plantations was rampant? We asked Darra Goldstein a number of questions on sugar and its history, unearthing the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Read More
Jonas Salk Book

Who was Jonas Salk?

Most revered for his work on the polio vaccine, Jonas Salk was praised by the mainstream media but still struggled to earn the respect and adoration of the medical community. Accused of abusing the spotlight and giving little credit to fellow researchers, he arguably become more of an outcast than a “knight in a white coat.” Even so, Salk continued to make strides in the medical community, ultimately leaving behind a legacy larger than the criticism that had always threatened to overshadow his career.

Read More

Did the League of Nations ultimately fail?

The First World War threw the imperial order into crisis. New states emerged, while German and Ottoman territories fell to the allies who wanted to keep their acquisitions. In the following three videos Susan Pedersen, author of The Guardians, discusses the emegence of the League of Nations and its role in imperial politics.

Read More
9780199535651 - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Capturing the essence of Madame Bovary

The tragic story of Madame Bovary has been told and retold in a number of adaptations since the text’s original publication in 1856 in serial form. But what differences from the text should we expect in the film adaptation? Will there be any astounding plot points left out or added to the mix?

Read More

Book vs. Movie: Far From the Madding Crowd

A new film adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy was recently released, starring Carey Mulligan as the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene and Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, and Michael Sheen as her suitors.

Read More
9780199313396 - Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Darra Goldstein on food scholarship

What do Russians poets eat? When does food heritage become international politics? How has sugar been used as medicine? Darra Goldstein, the editor-in-chief to The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, shares her insights on how a three-year project transformed into the lively compendium of all things sweet. She takes us through the process of what it was like to oversee 265 contributors and over 600 entries, and the journey she took to get where she is today.

Read More

Sexual deception in orchids

“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson), but he could have said the same for insects too. Male insects will be following the scent of females, looking for a partner, but not every female is what she seems to be. It might look like the orchid is getting some unwanted attention in the video below, but it’s actually the bee that’s the victim. The orchid has released complex scents to fool the bee into thinking it’s meeting a female.

Read More

A behind-the-scenes look at OUP’s recording sessions of new choral music for 2015

Bob Chilcott, as conductor, and John Rutter, as producer and engineer, join forces with some talented freelance professional singers in a church in Highgate, London every February. For three days these singers become The Oxford Choir, formed to record Oxford University Press’s latest choral publications so that choral directors worldwide can discover new repertoire.

Read More

An overview of the UNIDROIT PICC, with Stefan Vogenauer

The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, or PICC, were created in 1994 after decades of preparation, against what Oxford author Stephan Vogenauer calls a “romantic background” of a global commercial law, or lex mercatoria. While the UNIDROIT PICC offer a harmonizing global contract law, some objectors may say that as “principles”, they are too vague. Stefan tackles this objection in the video below, and also highlights how some practitioners may be surprised by the contents of the Principles.

Read More

Nasra Gathoni: an unsung hero

Recently, Research4Life and its partners, including Oxford University Press, have embarked on a campaign, “Unsung Heroes: Stories from the Library,” to raise awareness about the heroic and life-saving work being done by librarians in the developing world. In this new video, we follow a day in the life of Nasra Gathoni, Head Librarian at the Aga Khan University hospital in Kenya.

Read More

When is it Fiddle time?

How do you create a repertoire for all levels of learning in music education? Kathy and David Blackwell’s repertoire for beginner to intermediate string players covers a huge range of styles whilst introducing new technical points in a step by step way. Their Fiddle Time, Viola Time, and Cello Time series offer attractive tunes that are fun to learn and provide quality teaching material. Find out how and why they wrote their very first tunes for young string players:

Read More

Interpreting the laws of the US Congress

The laws of US Congress—federal statutes—often contain ambiguous or even contradictory wording, creating a problem for the judges tasked with interpreting them. Should they only examine the text or can judges consult sources beyond the statutes themselves? Is it relevant to consider the purposes of lawmakers in writing law?

Read More