JHU Press Blog


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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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

A Telephone for the World

by eea | Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 3:09 PM

Often a project begins with a simple question: Why did this happen? The “this” for me was contemplating an object I had collected for the National Air and Space Museum—an Iridium communications satellite built by Motorola, a preeminent Fortune 500 company with a storied, decades-long history. Conceptualized in the late 1980s and put into operation in 1998, such a satellite expressed a classic American trope: technological innovation that promised to shift our thinking and experience of communications from local or transcontinental to fully planetary. A single satellite, of course, does not provide such coverage. Rather, in Iridium, sixty six satellites organized into a low-earth orbit constellation accomplished the feat of providing a dial tone over the totality of the planet. With a cellular-type handset, a user, whether at the North Pole or in the middle of the Pacific, could connect to anyone, anywhere in the world, via the orbiting satellites alone or through their integration with terrestrial telecommunications networks. The constellation and what it enabled were firsts in the history of telephony.

As this description suggests, one might present this story as primarily one of technological and corporate derring-do, aiming for the “next big thing”. That narrative is...Read More

Victorian Women Travelling

by bjs | Monday, April 30, 2018 - 10:00 AM

The first issue in the 16th volume for the journal Partial Answers featured a cluster of four essays called "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Travelling." The authors, which included guest editors Murray Baumgarten from the University of California, Santa Cruz and Barbara Franchi from the University of Kent, took a look at "issues pertaining to the relationship between female modernity, travel, and the subversion of imperial roles," accoridng to ther introduction to the essays. Baumgarten and Franchi joined us for a Q&A to discuss the forum.

How did this forum develop between the panel discussion in June 2015 and publication?

This project really started as a shared conversation between Murray Baumgarten and myself in summer 2014. We discussed how the Victorian period, with its technological advancement and increased professional opportunities for middle-class women, changed the ways that women relate to space and movement. We were interested in exploring the links between the processes of female independence through work, mobility in the city and across the British Empire, and women’s visibility on the literary scene (both as authors and as heroines). As this conversation continued, it resulted in...Read More

JHUP Staffer Wins Prestigious Award

by bjs | Friday, April 27, 2018 - 10:00 AM

In the fall of 2012, JHUP Journals Production Editor Kristopher Zgorski launched a new blog focused on crime fiction, one of his personal passions. Last night, he received the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his contributions to the genre through BOLO Books . The name comes from the police term "Be On the Look Out" and provides mystery and thriller readers with reviews of new books, interviews with authors and much, much more.

The blog spreads positive word-of-mouth reviews of books to try and share the passion Kristopher has for reading. The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Previous winners have included the Edgar Allan Poe Society, The Poe House, Steven Bochco, Angela Lansbury, Vincent price and President Bill Clinton. Kristopher managed to find time between his job, reading up to five books a week and the rest of his life to join us for a Q&A.

What does winning this award mean to you?

Having an organization as prestigious as the Mystery Writers of America ...Read More