JHU Press Blog

The Great Upheaval: Higher Education's Past, Present, and Uncertain Future

by eea | Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
In January of 2015, Arthur and Scott met for the first time at a small restaurant in New York’s West Village. Arthur was seeking a research assistant to help with a new book on the future of higher education, and Scott, a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University, of which Arthur was president emeritus, was on the job market. The conversation that started in that restaurant on Hudson Street would, over the next six years, evolve into an expansive exploration of the intersections between higher education and a multitude of other subject areas: technology, demographics, politics, and economics among them. The path that this journey took the authors on eventually led to an unexpected conclusion that would form the thesis of The Great Upheaval: that higher education is at an inflection point, the size and scope of which is unequaled since the time of the Industrial Revolution.

The United States, like many other nations,...Read More

Infusing Empathy and Social Justice into the Classroom

by may | Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 4:07 PM

Watercolor painting of two figures with swirling colors above their heads In the latest issue of the journal Hispania, Dr. Deanna Mihaly details the innovative ways she promotes intercultural competence with empathy in her Spanish classroom at Virginia State University. Hispania is published by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. We invited Dr. Mihaly to learn more about how she brings social justice lessons into the language classroom.  Her paper, "Empathy in Spanish Language Instruction", is now available on Project MUSE. 

Can you tell us your "academic origin story"? How did you come to language instruction?
When I was 11 years old, I saw a girl being teased at my school bus stop. She was standing by herself and staring into the distance as kids mocked her. I tried to talk to her and realized we weren't able to communicate well. She pulled a small Spanish-English dictionary out of her backpack and I spoke my...Read More

Getting Under Our Skin: The Cultural and Social History of Vermin

by eea | Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 3:00 PM

By Lisa T. Sarasohn
Let’s be perfectly clear: I despise bugs, even the supposedly socially useful ones, like bees or spiders. And I particularly don’t like the nefarious ones that I feature in my book, Getting Under Our Skin: The Cultural and Social History of Vermin. I think that even the most fervent ecologist would be happy to see bedbugs, fleas, and lice disappear off the face of the earth and especially off our bodies.

So, perhaps the most pertinent question is why I decided to write a historical account about how these creatures have impacted society in Britain and America. For me, the discussion of vermin is largely metaphorical rather than medical. Vermin are a prism through which we look at other people, generally downward. In the seventeenth century, after centuries of tolerating lice and fleas on their bodies as part of life, members of the upper classes suddenly wanted to rid themselves of them. I wanted to know why.

...Read More

New study reveals how "reverse transfer" students fare at community colleges

by may | Monday, October 4, 2021 - 1:01 PM

The latest issue of The Review of Higher Education includes a notable paper from City University of New York (CUNY) researcher Vivian Yuen Ting Liu. Dr. Liu analyzed eight years of data about students who transferred to two-year colleges. The results could have an important impact on administrators and policy makers' decision making. We sat down with Dr. Liu to hear more about her study, "The Road Less Traveled: Degree Completion and Labor Market Impact of Reverse Transfer on Non-High-Achieving Students". 

Can you tell us a bit about your academic background, how you came to focus on higher education outcomes? 

I became deeply interested in higher education outcomes through a mixture of opportunity and personal interest. Two of my Ph.D. mentors at Columbia University (Thomas Bailey and Judith Scott-Clayton) are both well-known scholars in the field of higher education. Naturally, I have had more exposure in...Read More

Banned Books Week 2021: Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us

by may | Sunday, September 26, 2021 - 12:19 PM

Stack of Books
Banned Books Week (September 26 – October 2)  is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. 
- via https://bannedbooksweek.org
Every year, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The 2020 most challenged books list includes newer titles touching on racial injustice, books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters, and classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most frequently challenged books in...Read More

The People of Rose Hill: Black and White Life on a Maryland Plantation

by eea | Thursday, September 23, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By Lucy Maddox
For anyone who sets out to write a history, the result of finishing such a project has to include a sense of incompleteness. There’s much the writer simply cannot know, but there’s also much the writer can’t include because it’s not sufficiently relevant to the main focus of the work. There is always material that has to be put back—however reluctantly—into its rabbit hole. At the conclusion of a project, the historian’s desk is likely to be littered with stacks of unused notes, even pages of unusable manuscript, that she might find of enormous interest or significance but that just don’t belong in the current book.

My research for The People of Rose Hill left such a pile of notes on my desk. It left several such piles, actually, but the one that most interested me, the one I was most reluctant to put aside, concerned Thomas Forman, the owner of Rose Hill plantation, and his lifelong fascination with...Read More

The Rise of Neo-Nationalism: Are Universities the Canary in the Coalmine?

by eea | Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By John Aubrey Douglass
In the new book Neo-Nationalism and Universities: Populists, Autocrats and the Future of Higher Education I offer a what I call a political determinist view: that the national political environment, past and present, is perhaps the most powerful influence on the mission, role, and effectiveness of universities, and the higher education system to which they belong—more than internally derived academic cultures, labor market demands, or the desires of students.

Further, the particular national political norms and environment largely, but not completely, determine the internal organization and academic culture of universities and their interface with the larger world. Their level of autonomy, in governance and internal academic management, for example, is to a great extent dependent on the political culture and determinants of national governments.

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 appears to simply reinforce the central role of the nation-state, in particular the societal...Read More

Crossing Our Health Care Chasm

by eea | Monday, September 20, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By Donald Barr
It is time to build a bridge across the health care chasm that divides our country. Without that bridge, we risk losing access to affordable, quality health care.

This deep divide first began to appear in 2010, following adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bipartisanship that was a key part of discussions of health care reform options in the early months of the Obama Administration began to evaporate when the Tea Party initiated its attacks on the reform process in the summer of 2009.

When Republicans took over House leadership after the 2010 elections, it took about two weeks for the House to pass the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” Over the next four months, the House passed three similar bills. The Democratic Senate blocked each bill. In October 2013, after nearly 40 attempts to revoke the ACA, House Republicans forced a 16-day government shutdown rather than concede.

In...Read More

What Should Guide the Decision for Institutional Merger or Acquisition in Higher Education? Student Success and Opportunity

by eea | Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By Ricardo Azziz and James E. Samels
As would be predicted by a landscape characterized by declining enrollment, negative demographics, excess capacity, and increasing fiscal pressures, all exacerbated by a pandemic of historic proportions, there has been much in higher education news regarding institutional mergers. From the consolidation efforts at PASSHE to the mergers of Willamette-Pacific Northwest College of Art, Sierra Nevada-University of Nevada at Reno, Delaware State University-Wesley College, Saint Joseph’s University-the University of the Sciences, Pine Manor-Boston College, and many others, it has been an active merger and acquisition scene in the industry. And the occasional pushback, of course. This trend has been long predicted, although it took a massive pandemic to push it towards reality. In the seminal work Merging Colleges for Mutual Growtha (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) we intuited the ‘merger mania’ in higher learning 25 years ahead of our time. What we could not foresee is the demographic tsunami and enrollment hypermeltdown with too many colleges and too few students. Hence, the cataclysmic higher ed megatrend – too few students at the upstream (K-12) for...Read More

The Classical Journal joins JHU Press

by may | Monday, September 13, 2021 - 10:52 AM

The Classical Journal cover JHU Press is pleased to announce The Classical Journal has joined our growing roster of classical studies scholarly journals. The Classical Journal is the official publication of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS). Established in 1905, the quarterly, peer-reviewed Classical Journal features scholarly articles on the literature, culture, and history of Graeco-Roman antiquity. CJ also includes select book reviews and a Forum of shorter notes on pedagogical methodologies, technologies, and theory at all levels of classical education.

We recently asked Georgia Irby, The Classical Journal Editor and Professor of Classical Studies at The College of William & Mary, to tell us more about her research and her work with the journal. 

Can you tell us a little...Read More