JHU Press Blog

After Sovereignty

by bjs | Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 10:00 AM

The first issue of the 2018 volume of SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 seeks to answer the question, "can there be anything 'After Sovereignty.'" That title presents a special issue of nine papers examining the historical aspects of sovereign power in the context of English literature and contemporary thought. Joseph Campana , Associate Professor and Alan Dugald McKillop Chair in English at Rice University, edited the issue in his role as Editor for Editor for 1500-1659 at the journal. He joined us for a Q&A about the inaugural issue of the journal's 58th volume .

You mention the issue developed from a 2016 MLA panel . How did the plan evolve from that time to publication?

The issue came out of one of those incredibly fortuitous encounters at a conference. I attended a wonderful panel on a subject deeply of interest to me. From there I contacted the panelists to see who might be available for the special issue. Then, I supplemented those contributions with a few new faces and two respondents. We debuted the special issue on a panel at the 2018 Renaissance Society of America conference in...Read More

New Editor Charts Bold Course

by bjs | Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 2:00 PM

In 2018, Karen Pinkus moved into the editor position at the journal diacritics . The journal is based at Cornell University where Pinkus is a Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature . We previously spoke with Pinkus on a podcast about a 2014 special issue on climate change criticism she edited. Pinkus joined us for a Q&A to talk about her new role at the journal.

How did you end up in the position of editor?

Our editors serve three-year terms. To my great surprise, I was nominated by other members of the editorial board. I certainly wasn't thinking about it, but as I wrote a statement in support of my candidacy, I realized the editorship would allow me to reach out to a very diverse group of scholars I've met over quite a few years in academia (and in different institutions and fields of study), and to think creatively about how to engage a new generation of potential authors. Again, to my great surprise, I was elected last July.

It's really important to me that we maintain our strict policy of double blind peer review....Read More

Digging Into New Ethical Issues Around Stem Cells

by bjs | Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 3:40 PM

Discussions concerning the ethical issues related to stem cells have been ongoing for many years, but a special section in the latest issue of Perspectives in Biology and Medicine takes a deep look at some of the newest and most complex issues – including the direct global sales of services and untested and unproven products marketed as stem cells.

Guest edited by Tamra Lysaght and Jeremy Sugarman , the special section on Ethics, Policy, and Autologous Cellular Therapies in Volume 61, Issue 1 includes six essays that examine the potential impacts of using a person’s own stem cells on patients, health-care systems and the public trust in science and medicine.

“Many scholars in bioethics, law, medicine, philosophy, sociology and stem cell science worry such practices will place patients at risk of unnecessary harm and exploit vulnerable populations with unsubstantiated claims of clinical benefit,” says Lysaght, Assistant Professor in the Centre for Biomedical Ethics at the National University of Singapore.

The issue developed from a symposium held in Singapore in May 2017. The symposium was a collaboration between the Centre for Biomedical Ethics at the National University of Singapore,...Read More

JHUP ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE CONVERSATION & MADE BY HISTORY

by eea | Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 10:27 AM

Johns Hopkins University Press director Barbara Kline Pope has announced an innovative combination of initiatives aimed at amplifying the impact of ground-breaking scholarly work published by the Press. New partnerships with the acclaimed curated news sites The Conversation and Made by History will give Press authors and journal editors and contributors significant new opportunities to frame their expertise and insights for audiences beyond the academic realm through “explanatory journalism.”

“These two platforms combine to advance the core mission of our book and journal publishing—bringing the deep expertise of researchers and academics to broader discussions of public issues,” said Pope. “We are committed to making a positive impact on the world through the dissemination of solid, peer-reviewed knowledge and information. These partnerships make it even more likely that our authors and editors can make a difference through informed, civil public discourse.”

As the first university press to join The Conversation as a supporting member, JHUP aligns itself with a widely-praised effort to “provide a fact-based and editorially independent forum, free of commercial or political bias.” The Conversation launched in the U.S. as a pilot project in October 2014, offering...Read More

Putin’s New Russia: Fragile State or Revisionist Power?

by bjs | Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 10:00 AM

The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University held a September 2015 conference and subsequent talks about the New Russia of President Vladimir Putin. The journal South Central Review recently published a collection of articles from those events called "Putin's New Russia: Fragile State or Revisionist Power." Andrew Natsios , Director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School, shares some of his thoughts on the topic. He also appeared on our podcast series to talk about the journal issue.

by Andrew Natsios Director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs Bush School of Government, Texas A&M University

When Boris Yeltsin named Vladimir Putin Acting President in December 1999, many in the western capitals hurriedly attempted to determine who he was and how he rose in three years from being an obscure municipal official to Acting President of Russia. In his earlier career, Putin served 16 years in the KGB, the Soviet Secret Police, as a Lt. Colonel assigned to East Germany. After retiring from the KGB, he went to work in St. Petersburg city government in several posts, including Deputy...Read More

How Did Putin's Russia Develop?

by bjs | Monday, May 14, 2018 - 1:00 PM

The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University held a September 2015 conference and subsequent talks about the New Russia of President Vladimir Putin. The journal South Central Review recently published a collection of articles from those events called "Putin's New Russia: Fragile State or Revisionist Power." Andrew Natsios , Director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School, guest edited the issue and joined us for a discussion about the issue.

Audio titled Andrew Natsios, South Central Review by JHU Press

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Smilodon

by eea | Friday, May 11, 2018 - 12:00 PM

We know that modern lions are social and form prides, but whether this was also is true of the extinct sabertooth cat, Smilodon, as well, or whether it was a solitary hunter, like the living tigers, is still being debated by paleontologists. The social behavior of Smilodon is just one of the many questions that paleontologists have asked about the natural history of one of the best known and iconic ice age mammals, perhaps only second to the equally well-known mammoths. In an attempt to try and address the many facets of the natural history of this extinct predator, easily recognized by its distinctive enlarged canines or sabers that give rise to its more popular name, a gathering of paleobiologists (dare we say a pride?) from Europe, South America, and across the United States were brought together for the first International Sabertooth Workshop, a three day meeting supported by the National Science Foundation and co-hosted by the Idaho Museum of Natural History and the Department of Biological Sciences at Idaho State University. This paleontological think tank, composed of individuals, all of whom have studied the many interesting aspects of Smilodon ’s anatomy and natural history, was convened to...Read More

The History of the Cesarean Section

by eea | Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 10:08 AM

Cesarean section is the most commonly performed surgery in the United States today, a stark turnaround from the 19 th century when physicians dismissed cesareans as “sacrificial midwifery,” for good reason. The maternal death rate associated with the operation was appalling. More than half the women who underwent cesareans in the US before 1871 died. With no effective treatments for infection and hemorrhage until after WWII, doctors avoided cesareans until well into the 20 th century. Even as late as the 1960s, a cesarean was, in the words of one retired obstetrician, “a super big deal.” In contrast, in 2015, obstetricians performed 1.2 million cesarean sections. What prompted the change in medical practice? Several components of the answer to that question turned out to be surprising.

Since the 1970s, obstetricians have pointed to the threat of malpractice suits as the primary reason for the 633% increase in cesarean surgeries—from 4.5% to 33% of births—between 1965 and 2009. But the first lawsuits for “failure to perform a cesarean”—a legal strategy pioneered by John Edwards, the North Carolina senator and one-time vice-presidential and presidential candidate—weren’t filed until the early 1980s, more than a decade after the cesarean section rate began its...Read More

Defending the Soda Tax

by bjs | Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 2:47 PM

Research released recently by researchers from Drexel University in Philadelphia concluded that taxes on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can reduce consumption of these drinks. Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine , the study focused on the soda tax in the city of Philadelphia. Pennsylvania lawmakers are weighing a measure to abolish this tax in Philadelphia.

Last year, the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine released a special issue with a pair of essays advocating for more soda taxes . The two authors - Dr. Neal Baer , a television writer and producer and a pediatrician, and Dr. John Maa , a San Francisco-based surgeon - provide a concise history of the obesity epidemic and its connection to the consumption of soda in their articles. They joined us for separate interviews about the issue and why they feel tackling the problem of soda is important to the health of Americans.

Audio titled Neal Baer and John Maa, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine by JHU Press

Last year, the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine released a special issue with a pair of essays advocating for more soda taxes. The two authors...Read More

Why We All Should Care About the Unionization of Adjunct Faculty in Higher Ed

by eea | Friday, May 4, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Adjuncts today are the "gig economy" workers in academia—a growing class of faculty who often work with low pay and no job security or benefits. For around 50 years, the proportion of faculty hired off the tenure track has been soaring, reaching 76 percent nationally when graduate student instructors are added to the mix. This shift is particularly troubling in higher education because, as research conducted by the Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success indicates, research suggests an overreliance on poorly paid and unsupported part-time faculty hurts student retention and achievement.

Why are colleges and universities increasingly leaving tenure-track positions unfilled and hiring short-term adjunct faculty? Professors in the Gig Economy: Unionizing Adjunct Faculty in America brings together scholars from a range of fields to answer this question and address the history, context, processes, and outcomes of unionization among adjunct faculty.

Adjunct faculty aren't a new phenomenon. Faculty unions in the U.S have been around for a long time and have typically included adjuncts. They trace their roots back 100 years to the founding of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) local 33 at Howard University. What has changed over the...Read More