JHU Press Blog

Anthropocene Fictions Examined

by bjs | Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 10:00 AM

While not approved by official geological organizations, the term anthropocene has grown in use to describe the current geological age. Proponents of the term use it to mark the time period where humans have had a significant impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems.

MFS Modern Fiction Studies Assistant Editor Robert Marzec put the journal's focus on the Anthropocene in the Winter 2018 issue titled " Anthropocene Fictions ." A collection of fives essays joined his comprehensive introduction about the epoch.

Marzec, a professor of environmental and postcolonial studies in the Department of English at Purdue University, joined us for a discussion about climate change and how it connects with modern fiction.

Audio titled Robert Marzec, MFS Modern Fiction Studies

While not approved by official geological organizations, the term anthropocene has grown in use to describe the current geological age. Proponents of the term use it to mark the time period where humans have had a significant impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems.

MFS Modern Fiction Studies Assistant Editor Robert Marzec put the journal's focus on the Anthropocene in the Winter 2018 issue titled " Anthropocene Fictions ." A...Read More

It's Alive!: The state of Frankenscholarship

by bjs | Monday, March 18, 2019 - 11:00 AM

To help celebrate the bicentennial of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein in 2018, Literature and Medicine published a themed issue on "Chemistry, Disability, and Frankenstein ." The issue featured 11 essays covering a wide swath of subjects related to the famous work. With a growing field of " Frankenscholarship ," emanating from the anniversary, guest editors Allison B. Kavey and Lester D. Friedman found a unique connection between the essays published in the issue. Kavey joined us for a Q&A about the issue and the future of Frankenstein studies.

You talk about the intensity of Shelley scholarship in recent years. How gratifying was it to find new ways to examine her work?

I think Les and I were very excited to see two new and interesting avenues of scholarship develop in this collection. We did not anticipate such consistency in the approaches our authors took, but we really were impressed to see the history of disability material form a strong group and the history of chemistry form the other. Both approaches develop existing scholarship in their respective sub-fields and also contribute to how...Read More

Computing and New Media

by bjs | Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 10:00 AM

Last year, Technology and Culture published a special issue titled " Shift CTRL: New Directions in the History of Computing ." With seven essays covering the development of computing over time and specific issues relating to China, Chile and Taiwan, the issue provides a wide overview of topics which impact the everyday lives of millions. Thomas S. Mullaney , an associate professor of Chinese history at Stanford University, served as guest editor of the issue and also contibuted one essay, He has agreed to share his introduction to the issue here.

We are living in a golden age for the study of information and language technologies in the modern period, and perhaps even more so for the study of computing and new media. Sustained by enduring engagements with Book History, Actor-Network-Theory, the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) program, and Science, Technology, and Society (STS)—but also rejuvenated by concerns with cultural techniques, material semiotics, the aesthetics of bureaucracy, paperwork studies, media archaeology, neo-cybernetics, software studies, platform studies, and more—scholars have grappled with subject matter as diverse as the origins of the card catalog, the MP3 file format, French revolution-era...Read More

The New Health Economy, the Private Sector, and The Road to Universal Health Coverage

by eea | Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 2:00 PM

Understanding the roles of the private sector as part of the roadmap to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) at the country level will be indispensable to helping most countries achieve UHC by 2030. A new book edited by Jeffrey L. Sturchio (Rabin Martin), Ilona Kickbusch (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva) and Louis Galambos (Johns Hopkins University) provides a range of insights into the extent and impact of the global health economy and how private firms are contributing to improving population health outcomes. In this blog, the editors outline the perspectives addressed in The Road to Universal Health Coverage (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019):

Universal health coverage (UHC) – defined by the World Health Organization to mean that “all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship” – is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all UN Member States in 2015. Like many ambitious global goals, UHC remains an aspiration for many countries. Today, the WHO estimates that...Read More

A Night at the Museum

by bjs | Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 10:00 AM

Loren Lerner, Ph.D., is Professor of Art History at Concordia University. In 2005, she was curator of “Picturing Her: Images of Girlhood / Salut les filles! La jeune fille en images” at the McCord Museum. This exhibition project led to her editorship of Depicting Canada's Children in 2009.

Lerner's sustained interest in images of young people is the subject of articles in a wide spectrum of publications, spanning the late 18th century into the present time, including Rethinking Professionalism: Essays on Women and Art in Canada, 1850-1970 , Canadian Children’s Literature , Journal of Canadian Art History , Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth , Girlhood Studies , Historical Studies in Education , Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada , Healing the World’s Children and Girlhood and the Politics of Place .

A pedagogical commitment to student web publishing has guided Lerner’s teaching and the development of websites such as Picturing Children and Youth: A Canadian Perspective and Family Works at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

She suggested a special issue of the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth ...Read More

University Finances: Q&A with author Dean O. Smith

by eea | Friday, March 1, 2019 - 12:00 PM

Q: Why did you decide to write University Finances: Accounting and Budgeting Principles for Higher Education ?

As a chief research officer and a chief academic and operating officer, I wrestled with university finances on a daily basis. Not as a scholar of higher education, but as a university executive officer responsible for generating sufficient revenue and managing expenditures to support the university’s mission. Many times, I wished that I had a reference book explaining the theoretical basis of the numbers that I was working with. So, in retirement, I decided to write this book, clarifying the mysteries of university finance.

Q: What is new about your book that sets it apart from other books in the field?

The hallmark features of this book are its rigor and its breadth. It brings together theoretical and practical approaches to nearly all of the major issues confronting administrators in higher education. And, it provides useful examples of calculations that sometimes can be quite daunting. In fact, numerical examples throughout the book derive from two sets of core financial data, one for a private university and one for a public university....Read More

Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University

by eea | Friday, February 15, 2019 - 12:00 PM

Generous Thinking began for me with the nagging sense that something is off-kilter in much of scholarly life. That something is having profound effects not just on the ways that we as individual scholars are able to live out the values that we bring to our work but also on the ways that we work together, in groups, as departments, as institutions. And perhaps most importantly, it is affecting the ways that we connect and communicate with — or fail to connect and communicate with — the world off-campus. A talk I heard by David Scobey some years ago gave me the title for this book; Scobey argued that critical thinking in the humanities was completely out of balance with generous thinking, which oriented toward a form of public engagement designed to reconnect the university with the world. I was thrilled to hear someone name the thing that I’d been circling around, and yet I had two points of concern: first, was critical thinking necessarily on the opposite end of the intellectual see-saw from generous thinking? And second, if we are to engage generously with the world, do we need to begin closer to...Read More

Ellen N. La Motte and The Backwash of War: The “Lost” Author of a “Lost” Classic

by eea | Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 4:00 PM

My fascination with The Backwash of War , by Ellen N. La Motte, began twenty-five years ago, when I was a graduate student tracing the untold history of American antiwar writing for what would become my first book, War No More . I knew immediately that this long-forgotten collection of interrelated stories written during World War I by an American nurse was an extraordinary work.

What I did not realize until twenty years later, when I began intensively researching the book, is quite how extraordinary its author was. Not only did La Motte boldly breach decorum in writing The Backwash of War , but she also forcefully challenged societal norms in other equally daring ways.

In Backwash , La Motte masterfully highlights the senselessness of war and the suffering of those caught up in it. Midway through the work, she explains, “Well, there are many people to write you of the noble side, the heroic side, the exalted side of war. I must write you of what I have seen, the other side, the backwash.” Bravely rejecting the staid conventions of wartime writing of her time, she invented a new way of...Read More

Postcolonial Theory Is Alive and Well

by bjs | Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 10:00 AM

In the first issue of the 2018-19 volume of Eighteenth Century Studies , Editor Sean Moore brought together a collection of papers focused on postcolonial theory and empire studies, a field which has been prematurely eulogized, according to Moore's introduction to the issue. The essays cover a wide range of subjects, including slavery and the Atlantic system, espionage and the American Revolution, and diplomatic exchanges of art between Europe and South Asia. Moore joined us for a Q&A on the issue , his use of analytics in the introduction and how scholars should approach a submission to the journal.

How important is it to occasionally put useage of the journal into context like you did in your introduction?

As far as I know, this issue contains the first discussion of usage of the journal. While it is important to understand this data for figures on royalities, its far greater purpose is to show us who the audience for the journal is and their tastes in articles. We were surprised to find that the top users of the journal were faculty and students outside the U.S. at U. Toronto,...Read More

Borders, Victorian Style

by bjs | Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 10:00 AM

The issue of borders can sometimes dominate modern headlines. However, a special issue of Victorian Periodicals Review in Fall 2018 demonstrated that the topic has a rich and complicated history. Guest edited by University of Freiburg (Germany) colleagues Barbara Korte (English Literature) and Stefanie Lethbridge (English Literature and Cultural Studies), the issue addressed the diversity of Victorian encounters with borders and border crossings, investigating how they represented and negotiated these encounters in a medium that was deeply embedded in their lives. Korte and Lethbridge shared some more thoughts on the issue, which sprung from the 2017 Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) Conference, in this Q&A.

What was the process of bringing together papers from the 2017 RSVP Conference to this print issue?

The 2017 RSVP conference was held in Freiburg, a town located in border country in the south-west corner of Germany – both France and Switzerland are just round the corner. Given this setting, we thought that ‘borders’ would be a fitting theme to explore. However, the border theme has many facets because borders are central in ordering all kinds of human...Read More