JHU Press Blog

Journal of Asian American Studies takes home CELJ Award

by may | Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - 1:10 PM

At the Modern Language Association's (MLA) annual conference earlier this month, the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) announced the winners of their annual awards competition. We are thrilled to announce that the February 2021 issue of the Journal of Asian American Studies was named Best Public Intellectual Special Issue. This award is given to the scholarly journal that best "reaches out beyond academe and connects with a popular audience in terms of accessible language and attractive presentation…seeking to achieve the democratic mission of higher education." 

The issue, titled #WeToo: A Reader, focuses on racialized sexual violence, and was guest edited by erin Khuê Ninh and Shireen Roshanravan. We asked both to describe the process of curating such an important and daring collection of writing. 

What is your specific area of research? What brought you to your area of academic focus?

Shireen Roshanravan: My research focus is on the affective and communicative dimensions...Read More

A Dry January Reading List

by may | Friday, January 7, 2022 - 2:30 PM

Cocktail glasses hanging in a bar.

The practice of "Dry January", choosing to abstain from alcohol for the first month of the year,  originated in the UK in 2013 and has become increasingly popular, particularly since the onset of Covid-19. During the last three years, many people have turned to alcohol to cope with the emotional toll and stress of the pandemic - and subsequently realized their intake might need to be addressed or curtailed. Taking "dry" time out of the year (some practice "Sober October" as well) - to evaluate drinking habits is now a recurring and positive event for an increasing number of people annually. Reading up on alcohol and its history and influence is a great place to start. Hopkins Press journals publish a wide range of scholarship on the subject - from the history of the temperance movement, the efficacy of college alcohol awareness campaigns, the psychology of addiction, to alcohol's influence in and on literature - and more. The papers below have all been made freely available through the month of January. 

Volitional Necessity and Volitional Shift: A Key to Sobriety?
John Talmadge
Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology
Volume 11, Number 4, December 2004

...Read More

Remembering Franklin Roosevelt's Wheelchair

by faa | Wednesday, December 29, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By Sara Polak 

On his dedication of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC in 1997, President Bill Clinton said about FDR:

“It was that faith in his own extraordinary potential that enabled him to guide his country from a wheelchair. And from that wheelchair and a few halting steps, leaning on his son's arms or those of trusted aides, he lifted a great people back to their feet and set America to march again toward its destiny.”

The idea that Franklin Roosevelt’s disability played a key role in his ability to “guide his country” and “lift a great people back to their feet” continues to resonate in Roosevelt's memory. However, the memorial that Clinton dedicated on this occasion did not show FDR in a wheelchair; members of the Roosevelt family and others had argued that FDR would not have wished to be represented as such.

This is no doubt true. Between 1921 and 1945, FDR passed as able-bodied – an act of image-making that, next to himself, involved staff members, journalists, and...Read More

Does empire have an expiry date?

by faa | Tuesday, December 28, 2021 - 12:00 PM

By Philip Tsang

In December 2020, BBC released a radio documentary about Dorothy Bonarjee. Born into a Bengali Christian family in India in 1894, Bonarjee was sent to London for school at the age of ten. She later enrolled in the University College of Wales and won a major literary prize there. After her time in Wales, she returned to London to undertake further studies, becoming the first woman to receive a law degree from University College London. Unlike her brothers, who went back to India, she remained in Europe and lived the rest of her life in exile.

When I came across this documentary last year, I had just sent JHUP the final manuscript of my book The Obsolete Empire. What struck me about Bonarjee was how familiar her story is. When we look at the history of the British empire, we find countless stories of English-educated colonials who, caught between two cultures, never...Read More

Eastward of Good Hope: Early America in a Dangerous World

by faa | Monday, December 27, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By Dane Morrison
In his first State of the Union address in December 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt expressed his concerns about the state of the world in words that readers would have found familiar 120 years earlier. Roosevelt drew attention particularly to dangerous events in the Philippines, an East Indies colony that the United States had acquired three years earlier in the Spanish-American War: “We are extremely anxious that the natives shall show the power of governing themselves. We are anxious, first for their sakes, and next, because it relieves us of a great burden.  There need not be the slightest fear of our not continuing to give them all the liberty for which they are fit...The only fear is [lest] in our overanxiety we give them a degree of independence for which they are unfit, thereby inviting reaction and disaster.”

In his performance of benevolent regard and faux expression of “our anxiety for the welfare and progress of the Philippines,” Roosevelt echoed the voices of the Ottoman missionary Pliny Fisk, the China trader Robert Bennet Forbes, the India merchant William Augustus Rogers, and the East Indies sea...Read More

Following Elephant Trails

by faa | Thursday, December 23, 2021 - 12:00 PM

By Nigel Rothfels

For six years, now, I have had this Charlie Hankin cartoon on my refrigerator, clipped from a New Yorker and sent to me by my sister. Writing a book about elephants, I guess, inevitably leads to receiving a stream of elephant-themed kitsch, stories, and memorabilia. I’ve kept a tie, an old, cast-iron piggy bank of a circus elephant standing on its hind legs, some bookends, a pad of notepaper made of elephant dung, a little silver elephant that opens to reveal a smaller version inside, a quick painting by an elephant whom I met in Milwaukee, and a few other items. More significantly, I was given a mammoth tooth that has become quite important to me and inherited an ivory-handled cutlery set that leaves me perplexed and troubled. I suppose I kept the Hankin cartoon on the fridge, with its double references to remembering, because it makes me smile and because historians –...Read More

Connecting in the Online Classroom

by faa | Wednesday, December 22, 2021 - 12:00 PM

By Rebecca A. Glazier

By about my second semester of teaching online, I knew I had a problem. I was an engaged and enthusiastic teacher in the classroom. Still, I received no training in teaching online, and transitioning my lectures and discussions into an asynchronous online format did not go well. I was blissfully unaware of just how bad things were until I took a look at the retention rates for my online classes. I found that many more students were failing and dropping out of my online courses compared to my face-to-face courses. As a professor who cares deeply about my students and as a social scientist, this retention gap was a puzzle I needed to solve.  

More than 12 years later, I have surveyed thousands of students, gathered qualitative and quantitative data, run experiments, and reviewed scores of prior studies. The results are precise: when online instructors build rapport with their students, those students are more likely to succeed. I present these results in my new book, Connecting...Read More

Apocalypse and the Golden Age

by faa | Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 12:00 PM

By Christopher Star
Based on the ancient Greek for “uncovering” or “revelation,” today the word apocalypse conjures up images of global death and destruction that at once combine the Biblical world with the modern. The millennia-old notion of apocalypse offers a revelation of hidden knowledge. Soon God’s might will overthrow earthly powers and usher in an endless, utopian reign for the elect. More recent visions of the apocalypse see the coming destruction as wrought by humans, such as through nuclear war or climate catastrophe. The survivors will live in a horrifying world of scarcity.

For centuries, millenarian and messianic groups have expected the end of the world to be coming soon. Since 1947, the “Doomsday Clock” of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has warned that humanity stands perilously close to destruction. Even before the Covid crisis, in January 2020, the clock was moved to 100 seconds to midnight, where it has stayed through 2021. As noted in the Bulletin’s 2021 press release, this is the closest the clock...Read More

"Here We Go Again": Censoring Public and School Libraries

by faa | Monday, December 20, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By Wayne Wiegand

In 1958, shortly after the Alabama Public Library Service Division acquired copies of a popular children’s book titled The Rabbits’ Wedding for statewide distribution through its bookmobiles, state lawmaker E. O. Eddins loudly objected.  One of the rabbits depicted on the cover was black and the other white, Eddins observed.  To him, that was a sure sign the book advocated interracial marriage.  “This book and many others,” he argued, “should be taken off the shelves and burned.”

In 1961 the Atlanta Constitution reported that a Georgia county school superintendent removed four books from school libraries not because they were “subversive,” but because they were “objectionable.”  The titles included Richard Wright’s Black Boy, the story of a Black boy growing up in Mississippi, and Oliver LaFarge’s 1930 Pulitzer Prize-winning Laughing Boy about a Navaho couple’s conflicts with the white establishment.  The superintendent wanted to know how “those books got there in the first place,” since they were on no approved state list.

In 1985, school officials in Racine, Wisconsin, routinely rejected titles like Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse...Read More

South Central Review asks: What is your favorite novel?

by may | Monday, December 20, 2021 - 10:45 AM

The latest issue of South Central Review is a special double issue titled "What is your favorite novel?" Contributor essays include examinations of Max Brooks' World War Z, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's AmericanahWe asked Guest Editor Nicholas Lawrence how the issue came together - and what his answer is to the issue title's tough question. 

What is your specific area of research? What brought you to your area of academic focus? 
Most of my research and publication work focuses on nineteenth-century U.S. literature and culture, anti-imperialist rhetoric, and U.S. frontier literature.  

The latest issue of South Central Review, "What is your favorite novel?" is a bit of a departure from the journal's normal format. How did this issue come about? 
The idea for this issue originated with Richard J. Golsan, who is editor of South...Read More