Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Messy, messy masculinity: The politics of eccentric men in the early United States

For every weirdo one finds while researching the past’s forgotten personalities, there are probably two or three more just a stone’s throw away whom time did not preserve. Ben Bascom (Feeling Singular: Queer Masculinities in the Early United States) assembles a collection of once neglected but now deeply curious stories that offer the underside to more popular narratives about the founding of the U.S and what it meant—and means—to be masculine.

Read More

Is it democratic to disqualify a popular candidate from the ballot?

That a popular candidate could be disqualified from running and removed from the ballot might, at first glance, seem at odds with the very idea of democracy. For that reason, despite his evident role in instigating an insurrection, many Republican senators demurred and chose not to impeach former President Donald J. Trump on 13 January 2021.

Read More

Awkward? We’d better own it

We live in a golden age of awkwardness. Or so we’re told, by everyone from The Washington Post to Modern Dog Magazine. But we always have. A 1929 Life Magazine contributor writes, “These are awkward times, and I sympathize with the teashop waitress who approached a customer from behind and said brightly, ‘Anything more sir, I mean madam; I beg your pardon sir.’” What’s new isn’t awkwardness itself, but our upbeat attitude towards it; headlines tell us that post-Covid, “We’re all socially awkward now,” and public health campaigns urge us to “embrace the awkward” and talk openly about issues like mental health.

Read More

Living Black in Lakewood: rewriting the history and future of an iconic suburb [Long Read]

In the annals of American suburban history, Lakewood stands as an icon of the postwar suburb, alongside Levittown, NY, and Park Forest, Ill. Noted not only for its rapid-fire construction—17,500 homes built from 1950-1953—it was also critiqued for its architectural monotony, alarming writers at the time who feared that uniform homes would spit out uniform people. That worry quickly faded when the demography of Lakewood began to change.

Read More
cover image of Durers Lost Masterpiece

Albrecht Dürer and the commercialization of art

Dürer´s “Praying Hands” are so iconic, but most people know little or nothing about the painting for which it partly served as a study. Looking at the story of that painting shows us a different Dürer from the arrogant, assured manipulator of new media he is often said to have been. It also opens a new window onto his time and the commercialisation of art

Read More
The Oxford Comment podcast

A spotlight on Native American language and religion [podcast]

On today’s episode of The Oxford Comment, the last for 2023, inspired by the themes in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon”, and in celebration of National Native American Heritage Month in the United States, we spotlight two aspects of Native American culture that transcend tribe and nation and have been the recent focus of OUP scholars: language and religious beliefs.

Read More
Title cover of "Understanding Human Time", edited by Kasia M. Jaszczolt, published by Oxford University Press

Flow of time: reality or illusion?

Real time of space-time is one of the dimensions on which we comprehend and describe reality. Time neither flows, nor flies, or drags on; it doesn’t run out and is not a commodity that can be wasted.

Read More
Title cover of "American Tyrannies in the Long Age of Napoleon" by Elizabeth Duquette, part of the Oxford Studies in American Literary History series published by Oxford University Press

Napoleon’s cinematic empire: a fascination with film

Given his decided penchant for spectacle—he crowned himself emperor, after all—there is no reason to be surprised that Napoleon’s empire soon included the cinema, a medium his visual ubiquity made ripe for conquest. To prepare for our newest Napoleon, it is worth looking back on some of his prior celluloid incarnations, some great and others less so.

Read More

Five unexpected things about medical debt

100 million Americans hold medical debt which causes people to forgo or be denied necessary medical care. Luke Messac, a historian and physician, looks at five unexpected things about medical debt.

Read More
Title cover for "Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization and the Loss of the Self, second edition" by Daphne Simeon and Jeffrey Abugel, published by Oxford University Press

Understanding Depersonalization and Derealization Disorder [infographic]

Depersonalization is the third most common psychiatric symptom, yet clinicians and lay people still know little about its presentation and treatment. While it can indeed be a symptom accompanying other mental illnesses, it is also a full-blown disorder itself, recognized by every major diagnostic manual.

Read More
The Oxford Comment podcast

Infrastructure, public policy, and the Anthropocene [podcast]

On today’s episode of The Oxford Comment, we discuss the state of human infrastructure in the Anthropocene with a particular focus on how research can best be used to inform public policy.   First, we welcomed Patrick Harris, co-editor-in-chief of the new transdisciplinary journal, Oxford Open Infrastructure and Health, to speak about the aims and […]

Read More