Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Is science being taken out of environmental protection?

In 1963, dying of breast cancer and wearing a wig to cover the effects of radiation treatments, Rachel Carson appeared before a congressional committee to defend her indictment of pesticides. She had rattled the chemical industry with Silent Spring, which urged caution at a time when Americans were buying dangerous products that the scientific community had itself made possible.

Read More

What makes a good manager? [excerpt]

Is modern work culture is pushing otherwise good people to adopt poor management styles? From creating “growth opportunities” to taking on mentors, managers often find themselves falling into progressive traps that seem like the right thing to do, but ultimately lead employees astray. In the following excerpt from Good People, Bad Managers, Samuel A. Culbert examines the effectiveness of modern management approaches.

Read More

From singer to choir director: A Q&A with Ben Parry

Ben Parry studied at Cambridge University, where he was a member of The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, before he became the musical director of, and singer with, the Swingle Singers. Today, Ben has a busy career as a conductor, arranger, singer and producer in both classical and light music fields. We caught up with Ben to ask him about his conducting experiences, and his advice for directors wishing to set up their own choirs.

Read More

“My latest brain child”

In his 1954 essay ‘Metapsychological and Clinical Aspects of Regression within the Psycho-Analytical Set’, Donald Winnicott states: “The idea of psycho-analysis as an art must gradually give way to a study of environmental adaptation relative to patients’ regressions. […] I know from experience that some will say: all this leads to a theory of development which ignores the early stages of the development of the individual, which ascribes early development to environmental factors.

Read More

Culture, inequalities, and social inclusion across the globe: a ASA 2017 reading list

This year, the 2017 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting takes place in Montreal, and our Sociology team is gearing up. The 112th Annual Meeting will take place from 12- 15 August, bringing together over 5,000 sociologists nationwide for four days of lectures, sessions, and networking with some of the top figures in the field. This year’s theme is “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe.”

Read More

Introducing Hannah, OUP’s Music Hire Librarian

We are delighted to introduce Hannah Boron, who joined OUP’s Music Hire Library team in March 2017 and is based in the Oxford offices. We asked her to tell us what her job involves and chatted more generally about fantasy novels and how she would like to be Lara Croft!

Read More

In memoriam: Professor Alan Cameron

On 31 July, one of the most eminent Classical scholars of our time, the esteemed OUP author Alan Cameron, passed away. My colleagues at the press and I extend our sincere condolences to his wife Carla and his surviving family.

Read More

Bodily identity and biotypology in Brazil

What does your body shape say about you? When typing this question on any online search engine one will find dozens of examples and images of models of varying bodily classifications as well as the relationship of bodily shape with many different types of physical and mental health and even personality. Rectangle, triangle, round, hourglass, slender, pear, apple, etc, are widespread categories used to label the body

Read More

The mysterious painting methods of Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer’s luminous paintings are loved and admired around the world, yet it is not fully understood exactly what painting methods he used. Experts over the years have been confounded as to how he captured light in such a way. The image below discusses seven of his masterpieces, and reveals the few traces Vermeer has left behind in an intriguing detective story.

Read More

10 facts about the Mormon religion

Especially to those outside the faith, the beliefs and practices of the Mormon religion are largely unknown, and this has led to caricatures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Below are 10 facts about Mormonism taken from Feeding the Flock: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Church and Praxis by Terryl L. Givens.

Read More

The life and work of Angela Carter [timeline]

Award-winning author Angela Carter is widely viewed as one of the great modern English writers. Known for her use of magic realism and picaresque prose, Carter’s writing style reflected the world around her, capturing 1960s counterculture and second wave feminism.

Read More

Zebulon Pike’s journey across the Louisiana Purchase

On July 15, 1806, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike departed St. Louis at the head of a military expedition to explore America’s public lands. The recently acquired Louisiana Purchase as yet held no states and almost no private property owners—at least not in the Lockean sense by which the country conferred exclusive individual rights to pieces of land.

Read More

Gangsters and genre – Episode 41 – The Oxford Comment

Picture The Godfather series in your mind and chances are, you’ll think of it as a “gangster” film. But what is it about this series, and other films like it, that makes it a part of the gangster film genre? Are these movies simply crime and action films that feature organized crime, or do urban settings and immigrant struggles play a larger role?

Read More

Why the Supreme Court should overrule Quill

In ‘Quill Corporation v. North Dakota’, the US Supreme Court held that, under the dormant Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, the states cannot require out-of-state vendors to collect sales taxes because such vendors lack physical presence in the taxing state. As internet commerce has grown, Quill’s physical presence test has severely hampered the states’ ability to enforce their sales taxes since the states cannot obligate out-of-state internet firms to collect the taxes attributable to their respective sales.

Read More