JHU Press Blog

The Guts of Rights: Forensics in the World Reveals All

by eea | Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 12:00 PM

What is odd about forensic cultures is their overwhelming presence in popular outlets (at almost any hour a channel-flipper will find a forensic wallow) and their simultaneous invisibility from most domains of scholarship, particularly from historical and comparative studies of institutions. A moment’s reflection will make clear that what we now know as forensic inference is not new: somebody with some manner of expertise draws conclusions about some problematic incident (often an unexpected death). There are consequences that a community needs to work out: in determining degrees of culpability, resolutions will be possible. Justice will have been seen to be done, which, after all, is what states are responsible for.

And yet we know much more about great legal decisions or even about great advocacy than about the minutiae of forensic methods. There are exceptions – the memoirs of top forensic pathologists recounting their ingenious unraveling of a few sensational cases, for example. There are reasons for this neglect: the matters are complicated; technicians work behind the scenes; and rights are supposed not to be dependent on mere technology.

But in short, when with Neil Pemberton, Ian Burney, and I convened an international group of scholars in London...Read More

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Contributions

by bjs | Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:00 AM

The celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month has only existed since 1990 when President George H.W. Bush extended the existing week-long commemoration to the entire month of May.

JHUP journals have a long history of research about Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. With titles such as the Journal of Asian American Studies, Asian Perspective, Journal of Chinese Religions, Late Imperial China and Twentieth-Century China , our collection covers a wide range.

However, our other journals often tackle issues important to Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. As we use this month to celebrate culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, take some time to read important research from several of our journals. This content will be free on Project MUSE through June 14.

The September 2015 issue of American Quarterly took a look at "Pacific Currents," a collection of work sat the intersections of Native Pacific studies and American studies, both diverse, interdisciplinary, and expanding fields published atthe same time the journal relocated its editorial offices to the University of Hawai'i. In Spring 2012, Progress in Community Health Partnerships joined with the Asian...Read More

Delivering Effective College Mental Health Services

by eea | Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 12:00 PM

It seems odd, if not incredulous, but too few college counseling practitioners, as well as the upper administrators to whom they report, receive substantial training on how to build a counseling service from the ground up. In most mental health and higher education training programs there may be an overview of the business and financial aspects of practice, but even this is often cursory at best, due to the necessary constraints posed by a curriculum. Less available is information concerning profoundly important details of service construction. From what paradigm should the center operate? What type of model will guide the day-to-day operations of the center? What options exist regarding service paradigms and models? How should the center be oriented in order to match a specific campus culture and the needs of its students? What does such an orientation have to say about the rising demand for services? What are the strengths and limitations of this orientation?

These issues are profound in their importance because all the work that is done with developing adults will flow from these details. They affect how we see, define, and approach the advancement of their wellbeing, thus potentially affecting the rest of their lives....Read More

Gamer Nation

by mktstu | Monday, May 20, 2019 - 12:00 PM

One of my favorite movies from the 1970s is Richard Fleischer’s science fiction thriller Soylent Green . Set in 2022, the movie is wrapped in concerns of the early 1970s about overpopulation, dwindling resources, government corruption and corporate malpractice. The plot revolves around NYPD detective Frank Thorn (played by Charlton Heston) investigating the murder of a rich businessman (and his ties to the Soylent Corporation, a company using a mystery ingredient to keep the world fed). Thorn visits the businessman’s deluxe apartment elevated above the grit and grime of dystopian New York. His pad is a technological-utopia. As a playboy of the time, the businessman ‘owns’ a concubine (the sexual revolution having somehow decayed) and also the latest toy: a video game. The game is in fact a real arcade machine from the early 1970s - Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney’s Computer Space (1971) - housed in its original, futuristic-looking fiberglass casing, but in a custom white color for the movie. While the world is falling apart outside the apartment, video games entertain the rich elite. Computer Space offers the perfect escape.

It is now almost 2022, and almost 50 years since Soylent Green , Computer Space...Read More

Wounded Planet: How Declining Biodiversity Endangers Health And How Bioethics Can Help

by mktstu | Friday, May 17, 2019 - 12:00 PM

The biodiversity crisis is worse than climate change. This was the conclusion of leading international experts, meeting in Paris last week to assess the status of ecosystems. More than 1 million species will be annihilated in the next decades. Plants, insects and other creatures will be irreversibly lost. Growing food in certain areas such as the American Midwest will no longer be possible. More than 43% of Americans are now living in places where air is seriously polluted. According to the WHO 75% of the world population are already breathing unsafe air. At least 2 million people use contaminated drinking water. At the same time, the impending catastrophe is denied. Especially the American news media are sleepwalking toward disaster.

This book argues that it is high time to wake up. Not merely because the survival of humanity is at stake but because our current health is at stake. Whatever one thinks about climate change, degradation of biodiversity is a serious threat to planetary health and requires a radical change in ethical thinking. Biological diversity is an essential condition for human flourishing. Without a healthy planet, human beings cannot be healthy. For clean air, safe water, adequate nutrition, provision of...Read More

On Systems Failure: The Uses of Disorder in English Literature

by eea | Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 12:00 PM

The idea that society is a system—or that it frequently acts like a system—is so familiar that we take it for granted. In a broad sense, we often find it easy to generalize about the behavior and beliefs of large groups of people. We talk confidently about social roles and social norms—and recognize when those roles are too restrictive or those norms are violated. We understand our own paths in life and those of others in relation to larger narratives about the forces that shape the social world. Our experience of society as a system or of the particular social systems we inhabit (family, home, work, school) is as likely to be one of conflict as of comfort, but, in an important sense, what is most striking about this relationship is that it is a personal response to an abstraction. Society is out there, we know that it exists and that it is ordered in particular ways, but we feel it primarily in terms of its effects.

From Newton’s “system of the world” to d’Alembert’s claim that “the true system of the world has been recognized, developed, and perfected,” the Enlightenment was an age of systems. But alongside the...Read More

The Black Skyscraper and the Urban Sensorium

by mktstu | Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 12:00 PM

On the occasion of the paperback release of The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race , I want to reflect on two images—one that appears on the book’s cover and one that does not feature in the book at all but is equally illustrative of its themes.

First let me say a word about the kind of image I did want for the cover—a triumphant image of a skyscraper cresting romantically upward towards the sky. Such images, isolating buildings from their surrounding context in order to emphasize their massive monumentality, epitomize what historian Peter Hales calls the “grand-style urban photography” emerging between 1870 and 1893. Aiming to capture the orderly stateliness of the built environment, these photographs neutralized the allegedly more unruly aspects of urban life potentially contaminating its vision of planned constancy.

The Black Skyscraper is not a book about the monumentality of the early skyscraper or the successful rationalization of the Gilded Age city—rather, it recovers the ways skyscrapers made their beholders feel vulnerable, disoriented, unmoored, indistinguishable, and out of control and how those sensations were racialized around the turn of the 20 th century. Whereas images...Read More

In the Shadow of Franklin

by eea | Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 12:00 PM

No figure has hovered over eighteenth-century printing in America or the historians who write about it more than Benjamin Franklin. The most famous colonial American printer, Franklin was by far the most successful practitioner of the trade before the American Revolution. He not only made his Philadelphia office into a venture profitable enough that he could retire at the age of forty-two, he also developed a network of satellite offices he established with printing partners all along the Atlantic coast of North America. Franklin, therefore, looms large in discussions about colonial and Revolutionary printing. As I learned while working on my book Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763-1789 , that creates a problem of perspective.

Franklin maintained extensive ties in the printing trade even though he himself retired in 1748, long before the imperial crisis or the Revolutionary War. The partnerships that he established in towns from Connecticut to the West Indies continued for decades, and the fact that he had partners and former apprentices scattered around the colonies meant that he provided a model for the generation of printers who came of age during the American Revolution and its aftermath....Read More

Movable Markets: Food Wholesaling in the Twentieth-Century City

by eea | Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 12:00 PM

Movable Markets is the untold story of the evolutionary movement of the wholesale marketplace for fresh food in the United States from central produce districts to planned industrial parks on the urban periphery. Whereas food histories have traditionally focused on production and consumption, Movable Markets follows the wholesalers, the middlemen who handled goods as they moved from the producer to the consumer, to more fully understand how cities are fed. Wholesalers became functional necessities in the late nineteenth-century, when the railroads accelerated the process of delivering perishable food to the city.

In the early decades of the twentieth-century, progressive city planners and agricultural economists questioned the centrality, aging infrastructure, and organizational structure of wholesale markets in response to anxieties about the high cost of living, traffic congestion, and disruptions in the food supply. They promoted the unification of wholesale dealers in standardized building complexes with covered platforms on large tracts of land with direct connections to water, rail, and road transportation—located on industrial sites and based on plans largely developed and disseminated by the USDA. Implemented with rigor after World War II, the USDA model rendered many downtown produce districts obsolete...Read More

Becoming an Academic

by eea | Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 10:00 AM

Becoming an Academic is the result of nearly 10 years of blogging on The Thesis Whisperer . The blog has become popular with PhD students and faculty in Australia and the UK as a trusted source of advice for people struggling with the “academic hunger games.” Life in the academy is precarious for most of us these days, and The Thesis Whisperer is a bit like a local city newspaper crossed with an agony aunt column. As a professional research educator, I am well placed to dispense advice and report on various issues of collective interest to people working in academia, either as grad students or professors. I jumped at the chance to put some of the blog content in the form of a book as books are still the most convenient format for transmitting knowledge. A blog is like a large, very untidy attic where individual posts get buried over time; books are finite and “finishable.” It was fun putting this book together as I got to revisit and rewrite some of my older content - and rediscover some of it anew. Some fan favourites, like “The Valley of Shit”...Read More