JHU Press Blog

JMGS Welcomes New Editorial Leadership

by bjs | Monday, August 19, 2019 - 10:00 AM

The Journal of Modern Greek Studies has a new editorial team. Johanna Hanink from Brown University is the Arts & Humanities Editor while Antonis Ellinas from the University of Cyprus is the Social Sciences Editor. They joined us to talk about their path to the masthead and future plans for the journal.

Audio titled Johanna Hanink and Atonis Ellinas, Journal of Modern Greek Studies by JHU Press

The Journal of Modern Greek Studies has a new editorial team. Johanna Hanink from Brown University is the Arts & Humanities Editor while Antonis Ellinas from the University of Cyprus is the Social Sciences Editor. They joined us to talk about their path to the masthead and future plans for the journal.

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Flickering Treasures: National Building Museum Exhibit Highlights Historic Baltimore Theaters

by eea | Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 5:00 PM

Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore's Forgotten Movie Theaters by Amy Davis was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017, and is currently the subject of an exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Recently, Amy was interviewed by JHU Press staff member Will Holmes about the exhibit, which runs through February 17, 2020.

Your book Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore's Forgotten Movie Theaters is a great fit for an exhibit at the National Building Museum. What sparked the idea for the exhibit, and how did it come to fruition?

I thought that Flickering Treasures would translate well as a museum exhibition, and considered several venues. I approached the National Building Museum in the fall of 2016 because their mission is to explore the history of architecture in a holistic way, by looking at the impact of the built environment on society and our personal lives. My book meshes well with these themes, by highlighting the eclectic architecture of movie theaters and issues of preservation. Flickering Treasures , through photographs and oral histories, examines how these buildings evolved, shaped their communities, and sparked the...Read More

Activism in the Woke Academy

by bjs | Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 12:00 PM

Earlier this year, the Review of Higher Education released a supplemental issue in response to the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) 2018 Conference Theme: Envisioning the Woke Academy . Issue editors D-L Stewart and Lori D. Patton joined us for a Q&A about how the issue, titled Activism in the Woke Academy: Scholars Review the Last Half-Century , came together and how they hope the issue will resonate in the field.

What was the process of turning the 2018 ASHE conference theme into a special issue of the association's journal like? We first thought together about what the central story of the ASHE conference theme, "Envisioning the Woke Academy," was. What we realized as we considered this was the role of activism in pushing change and transformation in higher education in the U.S. and across the globe since 1968. From there, it was easy to see how activism and equity would be good fodder for a special issue of RHE.

How important is it for academics today to be "woke?" If we consider "woke" to be the commitment...Read More

Before We Reform, We Must Know What College is For

by eea | Monday, August 12, 2019 - 12:00 PM

This is an age of reform. New model institutions, especially online ones, are offering degrees to students who never interact with professors or step on college campuses. Whereas the heart of collegiate education had long been the liberal arts and sciences, today business is America’s largest major. Increasingly, the liberal ideal of science is being replaced by the technical, vocational language of “STEM.” Fewer and fewer students are spending hours lost in libraries and labs . More and more students are seeking degrees, not an education, because they believe a college degree is necessary to achieve a middle-class life.

Colleges have long served multiple purposes and diverse stakeholders. There’s nothing new about that. What is new, however, is just how much the most touted reforms today threaten the intellectual purposes of college education. It’s as if the pursuit of intellectual goods—knowledge—is wasteful and unnecessary. Students learn these lessons from their parents, from their teachers and counselors in high school, and ultimately from policymakers.

The number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers who have questioned the value of the liberal arts and sciences is too large to list here. They want college to be practical, and their definition of...Read More

Rethinking the Relationship between the Railroad and Telegraph Industries

by eea | Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 12:00 PM

I never set out to write a book reinterpreting the financial, social, and political relationship between the American railroad and telegraph industries in the nineteenth century. I have always had an interest in the history of communication and, to a lesser extent, the history of transportation. I primarily looked at these fields from a technical perspective. It was only in graduate school at the University of Delaware that I discovered the field of business history and quickly sought to immerse myself in its historiography. While reading some of the classic works in the field, I picked up on discussions about the critical role that the American railroad and telegraph industries played in the rise of big business in the second half of the nineteenth century. Thinking that this topic might make for a good seminar paper, I decided to take advantage of the extensive railroad collections housed by the nearby Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware. As I started to examine the Pennsylvania Railroad files, however, I began to wonder if I had misunderstood the arguments put forth in the business history books. Instead of seeing evidence of a harmonious relationship between Pennsylvania Railroad officials and early telegraph entrepreneurs...Read More

Assisted Reproduction and the Pursuit of Parenthood: Introducing our New Book

by eea | Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 12:00 PM

The two of us are sisters – Margaret is a historian, Wanda a gynecologist – and we have been writing about the history of infertility, reproductive sexuality, and reproductive medicine for close to three decades now. In our new book, The Pursuit of Parenthood , we turn our attention to the history of assisted reproductive technology, beginning with in vitro fertilization (IVF) and ending with such new developments as mitochondrial replacement techniques and uterus transplants. Linking the world of medical science and practice to the experience of patients, we tell the interconnected stories of the scientists and physicians who developed and employed these new technologies and the women and men who used them. We examine the controversies they engendered and explore the moral and ethical issues they raise.

One of those issues involves entrenched cultural attitudes in the United States that have contributed to significant racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to these procedures. Black women and couples, for example, have been consistently underrepresented as patients in America’s fertility centers. As Desiree McCarthy-Keith, a prominent African American fertility specialist who practices in Atlanta, explained to writer Reniqua Allen in 2016, “Historically, fertility treatments have been mostly...Read More

Class Trumps Race as a Cause of Health Disparities

by eea | Monday, August 5, 2019 - 12:00 PM

When we think about disparities in health status, it is common to view these inequities in terms of race. For example, we often look at infant mortality as an issue of race. In 2016, for every 1,000 babies born to black mothers in the United States, 11.4 died before their first birthday. [1] The comparable rate for non-Hispanic white infants was 4.9 deaths per 1,000, and 5.0 deaths for infants born to Hispanic mothers. A principal cause of infant mortality is low birth weight, often associated with the infant being born prematurely.

From these data it would be easy to conclude that black infants face twice the risk of death that white or Hispanic infants do. What, though, if the black mother was born and raised in Africa and then moved to the United States? A study of infants born in Illinois to white mothers or black mothers found that infants born to U.S.-born black mothers had, on average, a significantly lower birth weight than infants born to African-born black mothers. [2] The distribution of birth weight of infants born to African-born black mothers was nearly identical to that...Read More

The Year of Julius and Caesar: 59 BC and The Transformation of the Roman Republic

by eea | Friday, August 2, 2019 - 12:00 PM

I have always been fascinated by politics in democratic societies both ancient and modern. The focus of my research and teaching during the past 36 years, though, has been the Roman Republic (509-31B.C.), specifically the last century of the republic. This was the era of the Roman “Revolution,” a long period of political violence and civil war inaugurated by the assassination of a tribune (133) and completed by the Battle of Actium (31), that transformed the republic into a monarchy. At first, I thought of writing about the entire period, but then decided instead to focus on what I considered to be the pivotal year of the “revolution”: 59B.C. The abundance of literary evidence means that this year is as well documented as any in ancient history. Even more significant is the survival of copious letters the senator Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote to some of Rome’s most important figures. They offer a behind-the-scenes look at Roman politics, something we are rarely privileged to glimpse. By the year 59, the 695th since Romulus founded the city and the 451st since Lucius Junius Brutus banished the last king and established the republic, the Romans ruled most of the known world, and, on...Read More

A Palace of One’s Own: Celebrating Professor Richard Macksey

by eea | Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 4:00 PM

Photo credit: homewoodphoto.jhu.edu

Johns Hopkins and the greater academic community lost a brilliant mind earlier this month when Richard Macksey died. Professor Macksey was an author and journal editor, long-time friend of the Press, and permanent fixture of our Faculty Editorial Board. Over the time I have lived in Baltimore, Professor Macksey also became for me an informal teacher, loyal friend, and trusted mentor. Much has already been written about his legacy as the man who introduced Jacques Derrida and Structuralist critique to America, as founder of the Humanities Center at Hopkins, and as that professor who held seminars in his sizable home.

Mention Dick in conversation and the response is about how he was an institution in the community, that he was as much a part of Hopkins as Daniel Coit Gilman himself. People remember his generosity, his love of conversation, and his passion for books. Invariably, it was this passion that caught people’s attention.

Dick had the largest personal library I have ever seen. Books occupied every available space in his home. Shelves reached to the high ceilings, accessible by ladders. Books lined the windowsills and edged up...Read More

Air Guitar Takes Center Stage

by bjs | Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 9:44 AM

The US Air Guitar Nationals take place this week in Nashville. Last year, Byrd McDaniel published an essay in American Quarterly looking at the history around these competitions. He shared some insights with us for this special video.

Video of The History of Air Guitar, Air Bands, and Air Playing in the Twentieth Century

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