JHU Press Blog

Remembering World War I

by bjs | Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 10:07 AM

In March 2017, eight scholars from a variety of disciplines gathered at Texas A&M University for a two-day conference called "1917: A Global Turning Point in History and Memory." The discussions and presentations were later developed into a special issue of the journal South Central Review . Adam R. Seipp, a Professor in the Department of History at Texas A&M and guest editor of the issue, joined us to talk about the project and the important historical and cultural lessons we can learn from 100 years ago.

Audio titled Adam Seipp, South Central Review by JHU Press

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Shaping a Successful Board of Trustees with Robert Scott

by eea | Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Reports about the increasing turnover of college and university presidents are in the news. The reasons for turnover range from a lack of clarity of expectations, problematic responses to student and faculty protests, political interference, and more. In light of these and other serious concerns, boards and presidents can benefit from a guidebook for selecting members and orienting them to their duties.

In How University Boards Work , I give examples of positive and negative board behavior; guidance on board professional development and how boards should fulfill their duties of care, loyalty and obedience; information on how best to prepare for board decisions and discussions; and advice on leadership development, succession planning, and managing the transition between chief executives, among other topics.

Just as corporate boards require members who know the industry, science, and technology at the core of the company’s business, so too universities benefit from trustees who can contribute substantively to planning and decision-making, not just annual or capital gifts. University trustees are most effective when they know the history, the mission and purpose, the students to be served and the competitive landscape, and the comparative advantages of the institutions they serve. As...Read More

Two JHUP Journals Win Awards from CELJ

by bjs | Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Two Johns Hopkins University Press Journals received awards from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals at the recent Modern Language Association annual meeting in New York.

ASAP/Journal took home an award for the second straight year by winning the Best New Journal award after its second year of publication. The journal won Best Design from CELJ in January 2017.

The scholarly publication of ASAP: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, ASAP/Journal explores new developments in post-1960s visual, media, literary, and performance arts.

“We are incredibly honored to receive another award from CELJ," said Jonathan Eburne , who co-edited the journal's first two volumes with Amy Elias from the University of Tennessee. "We believe in promoting intellectual exchanges and appreciate the recognition for our work."

Eburne, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English at Penn State University, will serve as Editor in Chief beginning with Volume 3 in 2018.

The Journal of Early Christian Studies received the Codex Award from CELJ, honoring a journal covering the...Read More

Measuring Success: An Examination of the use of Standardized Tests in College Admissions

by eea | Monday, January 22, 2018 - 12:00 PM

We conceived of this book in the spring of 2016 in response to the fragmented and incomplete state of the literature that informs debates and decisions related to college admission testing. For many students, teachers, parents, policymakers – frankly, nearly all of those immediately outside the testing industry and college admissions – the role of college admission tests remains a mystery. To supporters, standardized tests provide a neutral yardstick for measuring student potential and performance—particularly important given the varying levels of academic rigor across high schools. But detractors, including those who support test-optional policies, argue that college-entrance assessments are biased, misused, or overused.

With this in mind, we set out to assemble a comprehensive collection of new research on admissions testing from experts and practitioners on both sides of the debate, with an emphasis on methodological rigor that has too often been lacking from the discussion of such emerging practices as test-optional admissions. Beyond pure research, we also wanted to highlight the on-the-ground perspective of college enrollment officers who have changed or considered changing their testing policies.

In the 12-chapter volume that resulted, contributors provide detailed evidence that standardized test scores (especially when combined with grades) have significant...Read More

Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World with Louis Galambos

by eea | Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World

Republican presidents come in all sizes, shapes, and temperaments. They have different backgrounds, different careers, and different ways of dealing with the crises they inevitably face during their time in the White House. Dwight “Ike”Eisenhower (1953-1961) was the only one since 1900 to have been a lifetime professional soldier and the only one to become the unchallenged leader of the free world – that is, the non-communist half of the world.

After spending many years editing Ike’s papers, I thought I knew everything I could possibly know about the man. So I set out to write a book based on what I had learned by editing and co-editing sixteen hefty volumes of his correspondence, memoranda, diary entries, and other papers. Since our editorial project had focused exclusively on the years since 1941, when the United States entered WWII, I started my research by looking into Ike’s early life and career. I was surprised by what I found.

You too may be a bit surprised if you follow my trail to Ike’s family in Texas, where he was born in 1890, and to Abilene, Kansas, where...Read More

How to Run a College: A Practical Guide for Trustees, Faculty, Administrators and Policymakers with Brian Mitchell

by eea | Friday, January 19, 2018 - 12:00 PM

How to Run a College: A Practical Guide for Trustees, Faculty, Administrators and Policymakers

Colleges are confusing, bewildering and complex places with storied traditions, antiquated governance practices, and competing constituencies. Even worse, however, is that many of the key leadership groups – especially trustees but including faculty and senior staff – are ill equipped to advise and govern a college. The end result is an erosion of good will among key stakeholders, often leading to institutional inertia, and in the extreme, debilitating chaos. These glaring internal inefficiencies, communication breakdowns, and the overriding sense of cultural inertia on many campuses are also set against a backdrop of changing consumer preferences, high sticker prices, declining demand, massive tuition discounting, aging infrastructure, technological and pedagogical alternatives, and state and federal political pressure.

That having been said, the American residential college is the foundation upon which other higher education sectors are based, including modern research universities, especially at the undergraduate level. It can be resilient under able leadership. In this book, we offer an optimistic assessment based upon frank and stark conclusions about what colleges must do – and not do – to remain relevant in the 21...Read More

How "Unrepentant Nazis" became "Our Germans" - With Brian Crim

by eea | Monday, January 15, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Wernher von Braun’s rocket team’s journey from captivity in Germany to their brilliant “second act” with the US Army and eventually NASA began with a series of debriefings with the Army Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) in a ski chalet near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Upper Bavaria. One of the interrogators assigned to the rocket team was thirty-two-year-old Second Lieutenant Walter Jessel. Jessel had explicit instructions from Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force to sort out, in Jessel’s words, “Nazi hangers-on and enforcers from technical staff in order to bring the latter to the US.” Jessel and his fellow officers faced a difficult task distinguishing between esteemed scientists responsible for revolutionary military technology and those who were either expendable or so tainted by accusations of war crimes that employing them was simply impossible. As candid as Jessel’s military screening report reads, his diary entries from that week in June are even more frank: “The team consists of rocket enthusiasts, engineering college graduates, professors, all unrepentant Nazis aware of their bargaining power with the Americans.” Jessel noted that German army personnel attached to the team understood “that their chances of going to the US are smaller than those of technicians. To improve these chances, they sing.”...Read More

How University Boards Work

by eea | Friday, January 12, 2018 - 12:00 PM

In How University Boards Work I argue that there should be greater alignment between the following elements in university and college plans in order to achieve optimal effectiveness:

*Criteria for board membership and the goals and strategies of the institution;

*Criteria for evaluation of the board and its leadership compared to the goals and strategies of the institutions

*Criteria for presidential selection and assessment and the mission of the institution;

*Criteria for the selection and nurturing of faculty compared to the mission and goals of the institution:

*Rewards of release time, promotion, tenure, sabbaticals, etc. and the goals for student success;

*Fulfillment of the institution’s mission and the design of General Education programs and major areas of study;

*Criteria for defining excellence in courses of study and the expectations of the institution;

*Goals for fundraising and the priorities expressed in the institution’s mission statement;

*Budgeting for institutional financial aid (tuition discounting) and the mission of the institution;

*Priorities for athletics and the mission for academic study:

*Design of classroom spaces and the philosophy of teaching:...Read More

Unnecessary Complications: A Discussion of the Tragedy of Obstetric Fistula

by eea | Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Tears for My Sisters: The Tragedy of Obstetric Fistula

L. Lewis Wall, MD, DPhil

Selina Okin Kim Conner Professor in Arts and Sciences

Professor of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences

Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, School of Medicine

Washington University in St. Louis

An obstetric fistula is a catastrophic childbirth injury in which the tissues that normally separate the bladder and the vagina are destroyed by prolonged obstructed labor. This leaves the afflicted woman hopelessly incontinent for the rest of her life, unless she can find a surgeon who can repair her injuries. Most women who develop obstetric fistulas are out of luck, because the resources to prevent and to treat them are both scarce and unevenly distributed around the world. Obstetric fistulas occur among the world’s destitute populations, not among the rich. People in the Western world are usually astonished to learn that such injuries are even possible , much less that they occur with alarming frequency among the world’s poorest women.

Childbirth in resource-rich countries like the United States is safer than at any time...Read More

Teaching Topology: A Preview of Shaun Ault's "Understanding Topology"

by eea | Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 12:00 PM

As an educator and research mathematician, I feel that my primary job is to share my knowledge and expertise, to shed light on difficult concepts, and to encourage students to continue discovering beyond what’s presented in the classroom. When I began work on the textbook, Understanding Topology: A Practical Introduction , it was with these aims in mind. Above all, I wanted this textbook to sample a wide range of topics that fall under the broad category of topology while remaining rigorous enough for students to understand how mathematicians to do real mathematics. I wanted students to encounter new and wonderfully strange topological spaces and have the tools in hand to analyze them. Furthermore, I wanted students to see how this very abstract field of mathematics could be useful to other areas of math and science.

Understanding Topology began life as stack of messy lecture notes that I had prepared for an undergraduate course in Topology at Valdosta State University. The lectures were based on material cobbled together from a variety of sources, including The Knot Book by Colin Adams, Beginning Topology by Sue Goodman, A Combinatorial Introduction to Topology by Michael Henle, The...Read More