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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Every 90 Seconds by Anne P. DePrince

The possibility of a world without intimate violence

Today, stopping violence against women falls to few. The criminal legal system is charged with enforcing laws. A school delivers prevention programming to the children in attendance that day. A doctor privately addresses a survivor’s pain.

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Unexpected Prosperity: How Spain Escaped the Middle Income Trap

Beyond the Anna Karenina principle in economic development

The opening sentence of Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina–All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way–is popular among development practitioners, who often offer their own version as follows: All rich economies are alike; each poor economy is poor in its own way. This idea, which we can call the Anna Karenina principle of economic development, is meant as a recognition of the value of context and local knowledge.

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A long look at the origin of idioms

Idioms are a thankful subject: one needs no etymological algebra or linguistic preparation for suggesting the origin of phrases. And yet it may be useful to explain how a professional goes about studying idioms.

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A Florence Price mystery solved (part two)

To my knowledge, Price’s Boston address remained inconclusive until I visited Special Collections at the University of Arkansas Mullins Library this past January to find new leads for the Price biography I am co-authoring with Samantha Ege, the Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow in Music at Lincoln College, Oxford. The recovery of this information fills a void in a life story for which “the necessary evidence to write a detailed biography,” as preeminent Price scholar Rae Linda Brown once put it, “is surprisingly scant.”

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A Concise Guide to Communication in Science and Engineering

The curious popularity of “however” in research articles

There are many ways to signal a change of direction in a piece of text, but the most common is by inserting a “but.” Alternatives such as “although,” “though,” “however,” “yet,” and “nevertheless” generally run a poor second. In research articles, though, the prevalence of “however” increases—especially in some disciplines.

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The sour milk of etymology

The time has come to write something about the etymology of the word milk. Don’t hold your breath: “origin unknown,” that is, no one can say why milk is called milk, but then no one can say why water is called water either.

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A Florence Price mystery solved (part one)

To my knowledge, Price’s Boston address remained inconclusive until I visited Special Collections at the University of Arkansas Mullins Library this past January to find new leads for the Price biography I am co-authoring with Samantha Ege, the Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow in Music at Lincoln College, Oxford. The recovery of this information fills a void in a life story for which “the necessary evidence to write a detailed biography,” as preeminent Price scholar Rae Linda Brown once put it, “is surprisingly scant.”

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Before the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is another tragic setback in our efforts at building a sustainable future

To say that wars cause disruption and hardship is stating the painfully obvious. Regardless of attempts—real or professed—at limiting civilian casualties, military conflict always unleashes suffering on the civilian population. History also shows us that the disruptive effect of war also runs deeper and far beyond the geographic limits of fighting with far-reaching consequences for sustainability.

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Social Workers' Desk Reference

Social work in the anti-science era: how to build trust in science-based practice

Over the past five to seven years, there has been an increase in anti-science rhetoric and ideas which look to replace the reliance on science with misleading theories and discredit scientific experts. Unfortunately, non-scientific beliefs gained traction during the pandemic and show no signs of slowing. This post-truth and anti-science movement places the field of social work at an important crossroads.

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The Silken Thread

Rough Walkers: the true story of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders

The recent controversy over a statue of Theodore Roosevelt reveals a larger story: one about the Rough Riders, the first United States Volunteer Cavalry. Although their victory at the Battle for the San Juan Heights is well-known, the Riders’ real enemy was not the Spanish they fought but the deadly yellow fever and malaria carried by mosquitoes.

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From the ridiculous to the sublime: from “monkey” to “elephant”

Recently I have reread August Pott’s essay on the word “elephant” and decided to write something about this word. I have nothing original to say about it and depend on two works: an excellent book in Italian and a detailed essay in English. Not everybody may have read them; hence my inroad on this convoluted problem.

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Choreomania: Dance and Disorder

Dance “crazes” and plagues: a precedented phenomenon

Lockdown raves, dodging people in the street, no more hugs, confinement within the home worthy of house arrest—and the language of self-isolation, shelter, safety… all the makings of a sci-fi horror film depicting the world at an end. Or a history book, which is what this pandemic has felt like to me at times, having spent well over a decade thinking about historical epidemiology, specifically in relation to ideas about dance.

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America's Book: The Rise and Decline of a Bible Civilization, 1794-1911

The Bible and American history

The recent American presidency illustrates why Scripture has been both a polarizing and a constructive force in the nation’s history. On 1 June 2020, Donald Trump made an overtly political point when he cleared peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square, who were protesting police violence against unarmed Black men, so that he could pose for a […]

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