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A profile of Zelda Wynn Valdes: costume and fashion designer

In this interview with Professor Nancy Deihl, Master Teacher of Costume Studies at New York University, we look back in history to discuss and discover the life and accomplishments of Zelda Wynn Valdes, celebrity dressmaker and designer of the original Playboy bunny costume.

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The causes and consequences of the 2011 London riots

During the London riots in August 2011, the police lost control of parts of the city for four days, and thousands of people took part in destruction and looting that resulted in property damage estimated at least $50 million. A recent article in Social Forces examines the residential address of 1,620 rioters — who were arrested and charged in the London riots, to investigate potential explanations for rioting.

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Reflections on the ‘urge to collect’

In the most recent issue of the Oral History Review, Linda Shopes started an important discussion about changes she has seen in the field of oral history in “‘Insights and Oversights’: Reflections on the Documentary Tradition and the Theoretical Turn in Oral History”. Linda’s article sparked many interesting arguments on curation versus collection, critical analysis versus volume, and framing individual experiences in wider contexts. Below, we bring to you a continuation of this conversation through an email interview.

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Four remarkable figures in Black History

Given the scope and the length of time I’ve been working on the African American National Biography (over 13 years and counting), selecting just a few biographies that were somehow “representative” of the overall project would have been an impossible task. Instead, working with The Root’s managing editor, Lyne Pitts, I chose four entries that showcased some of the diversity of the collection, but focused on hidden or barely remembered figures in black history.

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Scholarly reflections on ‘bae’

What do you call your loved one? Babe and baby have been used for centuries to discuss small children, and eventually a significant other. With the inclusion of bae on Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year shortlist, we asked a number of scholars for their thoughts on this new word and emerging phenomenon.

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Stress before birth

Stress seems to be everywhere we turn. Much of the daily news is stressful, whether it pertains to the recent Ebola outbreak in western Africa (and its subsequent entry into the United States), beheadings by the radical Islamic group called ISIS, or the economic doldrums that continue to plague much of the developed world.

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Racial diversity and government funding of nonprofit human services

By Eve E. Garrow
Does the government fund nonprofit human service organizations that serve and locate in the neighborhoods with the greatest needs? This is an important question, as much of the safety net now takes the form of human services delivered, for the most part, by nonprofit organizations. Access to government benefits therefore relies increasingly on the location of nonprofits that are awarded government funds to provide human services.

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Tourism and the 2010 World Cup

By Thomas Peeters, Victor Matheson, and Stefan Szymanski
The World Cup, the Olympics and other mega sporting events give cities and countries the opportunity to be in the world’s spotlight for several weeks, and the competition among them to host these events can be as fierce as the competition among the athletes themselves. Bids that had traditionally gone to wealthier countries have recently become a prize to be won by prospective hosts in the developing world.

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An interview with Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid is the author of the novels Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. His award-winning fiction has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and translated into over 30 languages.

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Who cares for those who care?

By Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein
In 2009, Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority, in Long Island Care at Home vs. Evelyn Coke upheld the administrative rule of the US Department of Labor that classified home health care workers as elder companions, excluding them from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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A love of superheroes

By Suzanne Walker
The night I saw The Avengers for the first time, I took the train back to my apartment and immediately dashed off the following email to a friend of mine: “The Avengers was amazing, I can’t even describe it. Feeling strangely fearless about life, and my head is filled with too many intellectual thoughts about superheroes.”

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Where no kiss has gone before

I grew up with Star Trek. When I was 10, I helped my mom put together an intricate scale model of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701, if you’re curious). I knew that LeVar Burton could tell me about a warp core before I knew that he would read me a children’s book, and I knew that Klingon was a learnable language long before I had ever heard of human languages like Tagalog or Swahili.

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Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey

15 April 2013 marked the fifth Jackie Robinson Day, commemorating the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, an event which broke baseball’s racial barrier. In each game that is now played on 15 April, all players wear Jackie Robinson’s iconic #42 (also the title of a new film on Robinson). Thirty years ago, historian and ardent baseball fan Jules Tygiel proposed the first scholarly study of integration in baseball, shepherded by esteemed Oxford editor, Sheldon Meyer: Baseball’s Great Experiment.

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Understanding the Muslim world

By Robert Repino
While interest in Islam has grown in recent years—both in the media and in educational institutions—there remains a persistent misunderstanding of the religion’s practices, beliefs, and adherents, who now number over one and half billion people. Addressing this problem is not simply an academic exercise, for the past decade especially has shown that our understanding of Islam can have enormous consequences on foreign and domestic policies, as well as on social relations.

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The historical arc of tuberculosis prevention

By Graham Mooney
In Tijuana, Mexico, 43-year-old tuberculosis patient Maria Melero takes her daily medicines at home while her health worker watches on Skype. Thirteen thousand kilometers away in New Delhi, India, Vishnu Maya visits a neighborhood health center to take her TB meds. A counselor uses a laptop to record Maya’s fingerprint electronically. An SMS is then sent to a centralized control center to confirm that Maya has received today’s dose.

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