Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Subtopics

The mystery behind Frances Coke Villiers [extract]

Frances Coke Villiers was raised in a world which demanded women to be obedient, silent, and chaste. At the age of fifteen, Frances was forced to marry John Villiers, the elder brother of the Duke of Buckingham, as a means to secure her father’s political status. Defying both social and religious convention, Frances had an affair with Sir Robert Howard, and soon became pregnant with his child. The aftermath of their affair set Frances against some of the most influential people in seventeenth century England.

Read More

A conversation with ALSCW President Ernest Suarez- part 1

We seldom have opportunity to get the inside-scoop on a journal from those who work so hard to make it possible. We caught up with Ernest Suarez, president of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers (ALSCW), the society who publishes Literary Imagination.

Read More

The switch to electric cars

Much has been written about autonomous, driverless vehicles. Though they will undoubtedly have a huge impact as artificial intelligence (AI) develops, the shift to electric cars is equally important, and will have all sorts of consequences for the United Kingdom. The carbon dioxide emissions from petrol and diesel cars account for about 10% of the global energy-related CO2 emissions

Read More

Trump, trans, and threat

On 26 July, 2017, President Trump tweeted his plan to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. Besides the “tremendous medical costs” that he cited (which is actually less than a thousandth of 1% of the Defense Department’s annual budget), Trump referenced the idea of “disruption.” When I read the tweet, a thought crossed my mind: What exactly is being disrupted?

Read More

Smile like you mean it

“With a camera you can go into the stomach of a kangaroo,” mused Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. “But to look at the human face, I think, is the most fascinating.” It is hard to contest Bergman’s claim that “the great gift of cinematography is the human face” – or at least that it is one such gift.

Read More

Love and hate politics

‘Love versus hate’ has become a standard frame for describing today’s primary political divide. In the face of the world-wide rise of right-wing movements and governments, and especially since the demonstration of fascist and white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, it is generally taken for granted that hatred is the prime motivation for the most horrible and destructive political forces.

Read More

Erich von Stroheim, the child of his own loins

Even though Erich von Stroheim passed away 60 years ago, it is clear that his persona is still very much alive. His silhouette and his name are enough to evoke an emblematic figure that is at once Teutonic, aristocratic and military.

Read More

America’s darkest hour: a timeline of the My Lai Massacre

On the morning of 16 March 1968, soldiers from three platoons of Charlie Company entered a group of hamlets located in the Son Tinh district of South Vietnam on a search-and-destroy mission. Although no Viet Cong were present, the GIs proceeded to murder more than five hundred unarmed villagers.

Read More

Seven reasons to get your memory evaluated

A question that I am often asked by family members, friends, and even by other physicians and nurses that I work with, is “Should I get my memory evaluated?” Partly, the question is asked because they have noticed memory problems, and are struggling to sort out whether theses lapses are an inevitable part of normal aging versus the start of something more ominous, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Read More

A Q&A with oncologist Pamela Goodwin

Like many oncologists, Dr. Pamela Goodwin first developed an interest in oncology following seeing a family member affected by cancer. Today, she leads JNCI Cancer Spectrum as Editor-in-Chief, publishing cancer research in an array of topics. Recently, we interviewed Dr. Goodwin, who shared her thoughts about the journal, the field of oncology, and her visions for the future.

Read More

Trashing Thurse, an international giant

While working on my previous post (“What do we call our children?”), which, among several other words, featured imp, I realized how often I had discussed various unclean spirits in this blog. There was once an entire series titled “Etymological Devilry.” Over the years, I have dealt with Old Nick, grimalkin, gremlin, bogey, goblin, and […]

Read More

Invasion: Edwardian Britain’s nightmare

mages of future war were a prominent feature of British popular culture in the half century before the First World War. Writers like H.G. Wells thrilled their readers with tales of an extra-terrestrial attack in his 1897 The War of the Worlds, and numerous others wrote of French, German, or Russian invasions of Britain.

Read More

Tolkien trivia: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit”

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” – the opening line of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is among the most famous first lines in literature, and introduces readers to the most homely fantasy creatures ever invented: the Hobbits. Hobbits are a race of half-sized people, very similar to humans except for their […]

Read More

Cultural shifts in protest groups

Protest and counterculture in America have evolved over time. From the era of civil rights to Black Lives Matter, gatherings of initially small groups growing to become powerful voices of revolution have changed the way we define contemporary cultural movements. In this excerpt from Assembly, authors Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri examine how some minority protest groups have adapted over time to be more inclusive in their organizational models without having a sole defined leader.

Read More

Nikolai Trubetzkoy’s road to history

A century ago, the Russian Revolution broke out in November of 1917, followed by a bloody civil war lasting until the early 1920s. Millions of families were displaced, fleeing to Europe and Asia. One of the many emigrant stories was that of Prince Nikolai Trubetzkoy. Trubetzkoy was from a well-known aristocratic family in tsarist Russia, […]

Read More

Q&A with editors Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler

“Jews are becoming increasingly familiar with the New Testament as a source of Jewish history.” Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler are the editors of the new second edition of The Jewish Annotated New Testament. We caught up with them to discuss and ask questions related to the editing process, biblical studies, and the status and importance of Jewish-Christian relations.

Read More