JHU Press Blog

A New Reading of World War I American Literature with Keith Gandal

by eea | Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 2:57 PM

One hundred years after U.S. involvement in World War I, it is time to revisit our literature that came out of that conflict--because we are only now, finally, able to understand it in its actual historical context. That is the purpose of my new book, War Isn't the Only Hell: A New Reading of World War I American Literature . It draws on military archives and cutting-edge research by social-military historians to fully and properly come to terms with the works of thirteen of our major writers, including some of our most famous authors and some who were in their own time well-known but have been mostly forgotten.

The Great War is sometimes called “America’s forgotten war.” This is the case, not only because World War I came to be overshadowed by World War II, but because, as Steven Trout suggests, there is no single prevailing account of the war that became registered in the national memory, as there is with World War II. Instead, we supposedly have two sets of contradictory narratives, some patriotic and excited, some haunted and disillusioned. We know what American involvement in World War II was about; we are less clear...Read More

All Our Names

by bjs | Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Nathan Grant has served as editor of African American Review since 2008. An Associate Professor at St. Louis University, he has agreed to republish his introduction to the issue celebrating the journal's landmark 50th anniversary here on our blog. Issue 50.4 has collected works from throughout the journal's history from many notable names. The issue is accessible on Project MUSE .

Gwendolyn Brooks. Wole Soyinka. Sandra Govan. The Umbra Poets. John Edgar Wideman. Houston A. Baker, Jr. Hilton Als. Bernth Lindfors. Nathaniel Mackey. Hortense J. Spillers. Natasha Trethewey. Camille Billops. Kimberly Benston. James V. Hatch. Darwin T. Turner. Jayne Cortez. William Greaves. Frances Smith Foster. Arnold Rampersad. bell hooks. Rita Dove. Jerry W. Ward, Jr. Toi Derricotte. Sandra Pouchet Paquet.

These are just a few of the names whose works have graced the pages of African American Review over the last fifty years. It’s an impressive and weighty list in its entirety—names of poets, fiction writers, and scholars who have given expression both wide and deep to the experiences of African America and the larger African diaspora,...Read More

Where's the Manual? - Tips to Running Successful Colleges and Universities

by eea | Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Where’s the Manual?

Putting together the book, “ Leading Colleges and Universities: Lessons from Higher Education Leaders, ” has been a pleasure, though not a simple undertaking: the issues facing higher education today are profound and plentiful. Some days the task of assembling a list of important topics seemed it would never end: finances - of course; Title IX - no longer simply an athletic matter; tenure - while it is difficult to pass judgment on a colleague, the new question is whether or not it should even exist; governance – faculty share responsibility but now students and the news media seem to want a voice in decision making, as well; and so on. The list grew long and intersected. We wanted to offer two voices for each issue and wished to have balance between large and small institutions, publics and independents; gender equality, long serving and newer to their positions. The chart was beyond what fit on the back on an envelope. But finally the grid came together and the wealth of professional experience our authors reveal is candid and often witty. We asked for and got anecdotes and examples, not precepts or advice...Read More

Not an Environmental Problem but a Political One - Cleaning Up the Chesapeake Bay with Tom Pelton

by eea | Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 12:00 PM

The Chesapeake Bay as a Reflection of American Political Life

By Tom Pelton

As a journalist covering local government across different regions of the U.S. – in Virginia, Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts – I witnessed a pattern that was disturbing to me. Forests and fields were being blacktopped by suburban sprawl, which was destroying not only natural landscapes but also draining the economic life out of unique and charming towns and cities.

When I started working as a reporter at The Baltimore Sun in 1997, this sterilization of the American landscape became all the more offensive to me, because I saw that it was now defacing one of the world’s great ecological masterpieces: the Chesapeake Bay. For the next 20 years, I wrote about Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay – including as an environmental reporter for The Sun, then as host of the public radio program “The Environment in Focus” on Baltimore’s WYPR 88.1 FM. John Hopkins University Press Editor Robert Brugger was a fan of my radio show, and one day emailed me to ask if I could write a book about the bay. I seized on my book project as an opportunity to...Read More

PCHP Gets New Editorial Team

by bjs | Friday, March 30, 2018 - 11:36 AM

A new editorial team has been chosen to lead the groundbreaking journal Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action (PCHP).

Alvin H. Strelnick , Assistant Dean for Community Engagement at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will take over as Editor-in-Chief from Northwestern University's Darius Tandon in early April. The journal is published by the Johns Hopkins University Press .

"PCHP showcases work that can truly changes lives, and I look forward to serving as just the third Editor-in-Chief in the journal's history," said Strelnick , who holds academic positions in the Department of Family and Social Medicine and Department of Epidemiology & Population Health at Einstein. He also is Chief of the Division of Community Health in the Department of Family and Social Medicine. "I am grateful to the board and the Johns Hopkins University Press for choosing my team for this honor."

Tandon served as editor-in-chief of...Read More

How Physicians, Engineers, and Airpower Enthusiasts Redefined Flight with Timothy Schultz

by eea | Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 12:00 PM

The Problem with Pilots: How Physicians, Engineers, and Airpower Enthusiasts Redefined Flight

By Timothy P. Schultz

As a pilot I was surprised to learn that pilots are the biggest problem in aviation. As a historian I wanted to learn why . The result was this book and a new perspective on technological change and human adaptation.

The first place to start was the early decades of flight. As aircraft flew higher, faster, and farther, airmen were exposed as feeble, vulnerable, and dangerous. They asphyxiated or got the bends at high altitudes; they fainted during high-G maneuvers; they spiraled into the ground in poor weather. Pilots also found remarkably inventive ways to imperil their lives due to inattention, incaution, or ineptitude. Many of these problems resulted from humans being inserted into complex technological systems where errors in cognition and errors in design clashed and multiplied. The evolution of aviation described here is in large part the story of how a variety of professionals identified and corrected these errors.

I was surprised to learn how pervasive a role medical experts played in redefining flight. Flight surgeons, or physicians specializing in the...Read More

Program Resumed

by bjs | Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Almost two decades ago, Pennsylvania State University professor Brian Lennon published an article in the journal Configurations . As he looked for a home for a recent article on the history of JavaScript , he found that his old article marked the only use of the word JavaScript in the index of Configuations . That represents part of the reason why he thought the journal would make a perfect home for his article , which examines how JavaScript went from a program originally designed for casual and inexpert coders into a complex of technical artifacts and practices whose range and complexity of use has today propelled it into domains previously dominated by other, often older and more prestigious languages. Lennon joined us for a Q&A about the topic and his work.

How did this article come about for you?

This article is the first publication drawn from my current research on programming languages and cultures of software development, work in which I take a quite specific type of humanities-based approach (one that isn’t necessarily compatible with other humanities-based approaches of our moment). In some ways...Read More

Malaria and War in the Age of Jackson with C.S. Monaco

by eea | Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Among the many unexpected findings that I uncovered while researching my book on the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), the most startling was the major role of malaria. Previous historians of this often-marginalized war have focused on traditional wartime issues: from the weighty decisions of generals to the fighting ability of enlisted men and militia. Disease has never figured highly on anyone’s list of historical priorities. And, as implausible as it may seem, the subject of malaria is almost completely absent from the historiography. Such a basic omission has created, as one can imagine, a distorted view of this Jacksonian era war.

Since malaria is no longer active in the United States, it is easy to forget the devastation it once wrought. On the Florida battlefield, it brought on a special set of horrors. When I began my research, I was perplexed about the number of officer suicides, until I realized that they were all fighting amid a raging malaria epidemic. Because most men hailed from more northern latitudes, they were especially vulnerable to this disease since they had no prior immunity. Anyone who is familiar with malaria knows that the strain that does the most...Read More

The Agency of African States in Global Health Efforts with Amy Patterson

by eea | Friday, March 16, 2018 - 12:00 PM

One of my most vivid memories from my experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Senegal occurred soon after I moved to my assigned village. A group of NGO and government workers arrived to immunize children. Village elites enthusiastically told them to leave, even though children were routinely infected with tetanus, measles, and polio. The elites shunned this government-supported, well-funded international effort. Overtime I came to discover some of their reasons: distrust of the state, bad experiences with NGOs, and cultural views on biomedicine. But the incident illustrated to this naïve volunteer a powerful lesson: Lofty aspirations and action plans that come from the top may mean little in local communities.

I discuss this incident almost every semester when I teach about development or global health governance. While the event raises numerous questions, I tackle two in my new book Africa and Global Health Governance . The first is “What factors affect the implementation of global health policies?” The book uses case studies of AIDS, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to explore this question. It builds on country case studies and incorporates explanations from the international, state and local levels...Read More

Examining Medical Futility

by bjs | Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 10:00 AM

The journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine recently published a special issue on decisions involving medical futility. The issue features 21 responses to a paper written by Lawrence J. Schneiderman, Nancy S. Jecker and Albert R. Jonsen. Editor Martha Montello has agreed to publish the introduction to this issue on the blog. The issue is available to Project MUSE subscribers .

In the summer of 2017, much of the world was riveted by the case of Charlie Gard, a baby in London whose parents wanted an experimental treatment and whose doctors thought that further treatment would be futile. The case worked its way through the British courts and, eventually, was even heard by the European Court of Human Rights. Pope Francis and President Trump weighed in. If nothing else, the case revealed how controversial the issues around medical futility and shared decision-making still are.

Many ethical issues resolve over time. Discussions about disagreements lead to discovery of common ground. That doesn’t seem to be the case with the issue of medical futility and, particularly, with the appropriateness of unilateral decisions by doctors to withdraw life support...Read More