JHU Press Blog

Wildlife Management and Landscapes

by eea | Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 4:00 PM

The late William “Bill” Porter, one of the editors of Wildlife Management and Landscapes (WML), was a fan of making up adages to lighten the mood in complex ecological discussions with his students. One of my favorites was, “Ecology isn’t rocket science… it’s much harder!” because it holds up for so many wildlife species and ecological systems. What Bill meant by this statement is that, absent laws and theories to describe the natural world as it relates to ecology, ecologists and managers must seek creative solutions to unravel the inherent intractability in ecology.

Translating decades worth of ecological research into strategies to manage wildlife populations and their habitats across large landscapes is perhaps one of the greatest intractable ecological problems. Landscapes are constantly in flux—from the soil beneath the ground which houses diverse microorganisms that dictate the form and structure of the vegetation on the surface, to the jet streams pushing weather around the globe. Against the backdrop of these highly variable spaces are humans with an array of values,...Read More

Searching for Health: The Smart Way to Find Information Online and Put It to Use

by eea | Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 3:00 PM

It took one day to make a four year writing journey worthwhile. When Anna and I began on Searching for Health four years ago, we thought that it was a good idea, but more than once we had to convince ourselves that people would find the effort useful. After all, can a book really help people search for health information online?

Yet, we persevered and finally got to the stage of sharing early electronic (on account of the pandemic) copies of the book with friends, family and media as part of its promotion. On that particular day I happened to hear from several different people how the material in the book helped them on their health journey. In each case, there were different parts of the book that resonated with the reader, suggesting that there was useful information throughout. As Anna and I excitedly discussed this feedback, we agreed that it was the best result we could have hoped for.

On the one hand, this was not surprising. The book...Read More

Of Nouns and Verbs: Researching Women, Finance, and Law in Early America

by eea | Monday, May 17, 2021 - 3:00 PM

He collected. They paid. She sued.

Works of history routinely contain phrases like these. When I began studying women’s legal activities in eighteenth-century New England, I too wrote sentences with these sorts of verbs—active, yet simultaneously vague.

I chose these words because they aligned with how I then read court records. In places like colonial Boston, MA and Newport, RI, economic networks hinged on personal borrowing and lending, and the county courts were a key arena for enforcing financial obligations. Among the hundreds of cases handled per quarterly or semi-annual term, more than three-quarters concerned debts. The vast majority of these were routine and uncontested. In such debt suits, lawyers and court clerks tracked financial obligations and legal actions, and so they largely produced skeletal, formulaic records. During my earliest forays into historical research, I breezed past these debt suits. I looked instead for the rare bulging files that, I then thought, yielded more interesting stories.

Over time, I became more curious about...Read More

Special Issue on Mental Health : Perspectives in Biology and Medicine

by may | Friday, May 7, 2021 - 2:52 PM

The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that 20.6% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2019 (51.5 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults. Established in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month is observed every May to raise awareness, fight stigma, provide support, and advocate for policy change on behalf of people living with mental illness and their loved ones.

Earlier this year, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine published a special issue dedicated to Mental Health and Illness, guest edited by Dr. Dominic Sisti. The entire issue has been made available subscription free for the duration of the month of May. JHU Press is grateful to Dr. Sisti for graciously answering some questions about this important issue.

How did this special issue on Mental Health and Illness come about? 

In late 2019, Frank Miller reached out and asked if I’d be interested in editing an issue of PBM on mental health and illness.  We discussed what to include— because mental health and illness is such a broad topic—and decided on a handful of ethics and policy topics that seemed particularly important, including euthanasia for mentally ill people and questions about the future of...Read More

The Painted Poem

by eea | Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 4:00 PM

Measuring only 5 ½ x 9 7/16 inches, Giovanni Boldini’s 1879 painting Return of the Fishing Boats, Étretat, has long been one of my favorites at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. Indeed, there are far greater paintings by Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Turner to be found in the museum, but whenever I visit, it is always the Boldini that I return to, once again taking in the salt tang of its sea, the cold wet of its rocky shore, the feel of sea life and village life meeting at a shared margin. Its vivid naturalism, however, is not what captivates me. Rather, it is its size. Were it done on a far larger scale, I doubt I would find it half so appealing, for in its smallness, in its compression, lies its pungency.

Image: Giovanni Boldini, Return of the Fishing Boats, Étretat. Image courtesy Clark Art Institute. clarkart.edu

...Read More

Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

by may | Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 3:50 PM

Pacific Island Textile  
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrated every year in May, is a time to recognize the historical and cultural contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. In recognition of the lasting and rich contributions of Americans who have origins in Asia and the Pacific Islands,  JHU Press has curated a reading list from a variety of our scholarly journals. All of the articles have been made freely available through the month of May.
"Towards a New Oceania": On Contemporary Pacific Islander Poetry Networks
Craig Santos Perez 
College Literature, Volume 47, Number 1, Winter 2020

From Marginalized to Validated: An In-depth Case Study of an Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander Serving Institution
Thai-Huy Nguyen, Mike Hoa Nguyen, Bach Mai Dolly Nguyen, Marybeth Gasman, Clifton Conrad
The Review of Higher Education, Volume 41, Number 3, Spring 2018
...Read More

The Eye Book

by eea | Monday, April 26, 2021 - 4:00 PM

In an age where you can search for anything on the Internet, you may wonder why you need The Eye Book. Why would I even bother taking the time to update the first edition published over twenty years ago?  Well, twenty years ago when the Johns Hopkins Press first mentioned writing a book about the eye, there was a lot of misinformation online about eye care and eye treatments.  In those days, among all the marketing hype by retail mega-eyeglass chains, various contact lens claims regarding cleaning systems and wearing schedules, and glitzy ads for cataract and refractive surgery techniques, there was a need for a straight-forward, easy to understand reference about the eye for the consumer as well as for non-eye care professionals. The Johns Hopkins Press’ speculation about the need for a book about the eye was correct, as proved by the popularity of the first edition of The Eye Book which sold over 15,000 copies worldwide and went through five printings.

Over twenty years later, an updated second edition is now needed because, despite better search engines...Read More

Behind the Mirror – The Story of Autism Treatment Pioneer Jeanne Simons

by eea | Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 4:00 PM

I met Jeanne Simons, the founder of the Linwood Children's Center for Autistic Children in Ellicott City in 1983, when I was entrusted with the job to help tease out and describe the different elements of the methods she had developed to successfully educate children, who until she started working with them in 1955 had been deemed untreatable. Professionals from all over the world came to visit and train at Linwood, the first center of its kind.

After a serious illness, she had handed over the day-to-day running of Linwood to staff she had trained and now only acted as a consultant. But it was feared that without her here to train and supervise staff and introduce outside professionals to her methods, they would not survive her. The book that resulted from a year's collaboration is "The Hidden Child".

During that time, Jeanne and I discovered a lot of commonalities, from our European roots–she was raised in Holland, I in Switzerland–our early background as teachers to our child-centered approach as therapists. This helped me...Read More

The Benefits of “Searching for Health”

by eea | Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 4:00 PM

Over the span of just two weeks, there were three troubling health symptoms that caught people in my close circle completely off guard. The first friend started suffering from severe headaches every afternoon and evening, seemingly out of the blue. Another one noticed a sharp pain on the right side of her jaw which refused to go away. And a third woke up one day with pain shooting from her neck down one of her arms, which soon became near impossible to move. As each friend fell victim to a new symptom, the same question arose: What is wrong and how can I fix it?
We’ve all been there, scrolling through endless websites trying to make sense of some new symptom or illness that we know nothing about. I’ve been there myself, more than a few times. In some cases, it’s a small cough or inconvenient ache or pain. But there have been more serious situations as well. No matter the magnitude of the complaint, the feeling was invariable: confusion, fear, and frustration. When Kapil approached me about working...Read More

Writing “Inside the US Navy of 1812–1815”

by eea | Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 4:00 PM

The anticipation of anniversaries of significant events have often stimulated authors to focus attention on the event or personalities to be celebrated or commemorated. Usually the sequence of these anniversaries occurs every fifty years or so after the initial occurrence. To be a part of the event, the author needs to anticipate by several years the amount of research that will be required to contribute a timely piece of work that would make a difference. At the same time, one must ask “what could I contribute that has not already been written?” To answer that question, there are several possible answers: discovery of new evidence, development of a new interpretation, or simply, or the challenge of writing a better, more comprehensive account of the event than has been done in the past. In my case, it was the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Over time, this two and one-half year conflict between the United States and Great Britain was an almost forgotten, often derided historical event. But between 1960 and 2012, there has been a revival of War of 1812 scholarship that has grown until a new generation of American, Canadian,...Read More