Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Imagining lost books in the age of Cambridge Analytica

I don’t think it coincidental that, at approximately the same historical moment when online sites and services began (both overtly and covertly) preserving and mining our textual interactions en masse, wider culture evinced a perceptible surge of interest in the lost books of past, pre-digital eras.

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Northeast India: a new literary region for IWE

It’s a young literature – this body of English writings from the eight states of India’s Northeast. Often evaluated in comparison with the rich tradition of Assamese literature (from the largest state in the region and going back several centuries) and overshadowed by the growing dominance of a ‘mainstream India-centred’ Indian writing in English, it began to emerge into the literary-critical scene at the turn of the 20th century, without a splash and with extreme modesty.

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The price of precarious labour in contemporary warfare

One year previously, a British private security company providing services for the US government reached an agreement with the Sierra Leonean government to employ up to 10,000 Sierra Leonean ex-servicemen for security contracting in Iraq.

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Dental students and the smell of fear

Human communication takes many forms, but picturing humans using chemical mechanisms to send messages leaves us skeptical. However, this concept becomes more plausible when we think of communication mediated via pheromones in animals.

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Religion and literature in a secular age

There is a long history of people exploring the relationship between religion and literature. We might go back to sacred texts from different traditions and think, for instance, about why there is such a vast array of literary forms in the Judaeo-Christian Bible.

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The universality of international law

The 14th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law will take place at the University of Manchester, from 13th September through 15th September. This is one of the most important events in the international law calendar, attracting a growing network of scholars, researchers, practitioners, and students.

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How the mindful brain copes with rejection

Whether it’s being left out of happy hour plans or being broken up with by a significant other, we can all relate to the pain of social rejection. Such “social pain” is consequential, undermining our physical and mental health. But how can we effectively cope with the distressing experience of being left out or ignored? Mindfulness may be an answer.

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Exploring Indigenous modernity in North America

I work at a history museum with vast Native American collections, and I see every day how stubborn narratives of Native “disappearance” in modern America persist in institutions and among the public. Recent activism and art have begun to present a “reappearance,” but non-specialists have been offered few stories of the paths Native people actually took between, to use iconic incidents, the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890 and the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973.

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Animal of the month: the pride [interactive guide]

Pride is one of the most widely-recognised animal collectives in the world. We often picture lions among their family unit, whether they be standing proudly together or hunting down a doomed antelope. These famous social groups are usually formed of between three and ten adult females, two or three males, and the pride’s latest litters of cubs, and they live together (most of the time) across Africa and in the Gir Forest Sanctuary.

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