Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Music and spirituality at the end of life

Music and spirituality are two mediums frequently – almost ubiquitously – partnered in cultures around the world with the intention of enhancing engagement with the divine. Spiritual practices are infused with music to intensify the transpersonal components of worship, meditation, and ritual. Correspondingly, musical encounters are infused with spiritually-based beliefs and practices to provide individuals […]

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The long trauma of revenge porn

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the intersection of sexual violence and technology has become an invisible tidal wave heading for the shores of our smart phones. Revenge porn – academically known as image-based abuse, non-consensual pornography, or the non-consensual sharing of intimate images – is one of a host of cyber-sexual violations clustered […]

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Why hurricanes are deadly for older people

Meteorologists have pinpointed 10 September as the peak of hurricane season. September is the most active month of the year for Atlantic hurricane season, and 2019 is no exception. In early September, Dorian devastated the Bahamas, and wreaked havoc on the southeastern United States. Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017, just weeks after Harvey […]

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Cancer patient or cancer survivor? Understanding illness identity.

The good news is that many people now survive their cancer. They are either cured or live with cancer as a chronic illness. However, life after cancer can vary between cancer survivors. Some are almost symptom free and return to a normal life after completion of treatment, while others could experience persistent side effects of cancer and treatment long after treatment has ended.

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#MeToo and Mental Health: Gender Parity in the Field of Psychiatry

Psychiatry is not the only space in which women are silenced or burdened, but as a discipline it’s one lens through which we can analyse a larger phenomenon. Now more than ever, it’s essential to discuss, in real time, women’s experiences as health professionals and as patients in mental health services.

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When narcolepsy makes you more creative

At night, the surrealist poet Saint-Pol-Roux used to hang a sign on his bedroom’s door that read: “Do not disturb: poet at work.” Indeed, may sleep increase our creativity? The link between creativity and sleep has been a topic of intense speculation, mainly based on anecdotal reports of artistic and scientific discoveries people have made while dreaming.

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Explaining Freud’s concept of the uncanny

According to his friend and biographer Ernest Jones Sigmund Freud was fond regaling him with “strange or uncanny experiences with patients.” Freud had a “particular relish” for such stories. 2019 marks the centenary of the publication of Freud’s essay, “The ‘Uncanny.’” Although much has been written on the essay during that time, Freud’s concept of the uncanny is often not well understood.

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Warning: music therapy comes with risks

Bob Marley sings, “One good thing about music—when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Although this may be the case for some people and in some circumstances, we dispute this statement as a global truth.

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Theranos and the cult of personality in science and tech

Elizabeth Holmes was a chemical engineering student who dropped out of Stanford to found Theranos: a silicon-valley start-up company that, at one point, was valued at US$9 billion. Her plan was to be another Steve Jobs. Today, she is facing fraud and other criminal charges.

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Schizophrenia and ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky

Schizophrenia is the most iconic of all mental illnesses but both its conceptualization and causes remain elusive. The popular image portrays patients convinced of being persecuted and hearing voices that nobody else can hear.

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A bull-session with bacteria

Arthur S. Reber’s new book argues that consciousness was present in the first living cells, and that even the simplest of organisms, the prokaryotes like bacteria, are sentient. In this piece, he imagines what it would be like to sit down with two bacteria and hear their opinions on consciousness, and how their sentience helps them keep alive despite the best efforts of humans.

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Philosopher of The Month: William James (timeline)

This January the OUP Philosophy team honours William James (1842-1910) as their Philosopher of the Month. James was the founder of pragmatism, an influential Harvard philosopher and scholar on religion and was arguably considered one of the dominant figures in psychology of his day, before Sigmund Freud.

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What do you value most in life? [quiz]

Everyday choices are guided by a person’s strongest character virtue, and show what they value most in life. This personality quiz,based on a psychometrically validated personality test developed by expert psychologists, will help you discover what your defining character virtue is and how it can help guide your future life choices.

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