JHU Press Blog

Exploring Consequences

by bjs | Friday, September 29, 2017 - 6:00 AM

Earlier this year, MFS Modern Fiction Studies released a special issue titled “Enduring Operations: The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.” Co-edited by Aaron DeRosa (Cal Poly Pamona) and Stacey Peebles (Centre College), the issue featured eight articles “within a nascent critical engagement with contemporary war narratives,” according to the introduction.

DeRosa and Peebles joined us for a Q&A on the special issue.

How was this special issue conceived and put together?

Nothing good comes out of violence, save maybe art. And art commemorates, it abrogates, and it forces a different kind of awareness of the violence committed by us or upon us.

Literary scholarship on the contemporary is very much stuck on the idea of identifying the new. It’s an oddly prophetic impulse to anticipate what we’ll be talking about five or ten years from now. What’s the thing that will have recast the world, made it different, reframed the ways we understand our lives? The September 11 attacks? The 2008 recession? The Presidential election of 2000—or 2016? But it’s always possible to see the changes that war brings, even if some of those changes aren’t immediately...Read More

Folgers and Nantucket in an Anniversary Year

by krm | Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 6:00 AM

The first Folgers to immigrate to the New World came from the village of Diss, 20 miles southwest of the town of Norwich, in East Anglia, England. Part of the Great Puritan Migration, they crossed the North Atlantic on the Abigail in 1635 and landed in Boston. Living initially in Dedham and Watertown in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they settled on Martha’s Vineyard. By “first Folgers” I am referring to the illiterate hog-reeve John Folger (1593?–1660) and his son, the “pious and learned Englishman,” Peter Folger (1617–1690). The colorful and talented Peter Folger married an indentured maid he had met on the crossing, Mary Morrell. Peter moved his family of eight children to Nantucket in 1663. Their last child, Abiah, was born on Nantucket. Abiah married a soapmaker from Boston named Josiah Franklin and they had a child named Benjamin.

Benjamin Franklin’s mother was Abiah Folger Franklin, and his grandfather, Peter Folger.

Folgers have lived on Nantucket ever since. Many left their mark. Whaling captain Timothy Folger gave his first cousin Benjamin Franklin his early chart of the Gulf Stream. Walter Folger Jr. was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives...Read More

From Reconstruction to Jim Crow: A Pioneering Black Scholar and Activist in a Struggle for Identity and Impact

by krm | Friday, September 22, 2017 - 11:15 AM

The heated arguments, protests and acts of violence related to the fate of statues honoring the Confederate cause during the Civil War are now well known. Decisions to move those memorials, remove them, or leave them in place are increasingly contentious and provocative throughout the South. In Columbia, South Carolina, however, a different response is afoot: Rather than focus on monuments erected long ago, why not add some new ones to celebrate significant contributors on the positive side of the struggle for racial equality?

One of the first of these will happen later this year when a statue of Richard T. Greener (1844-1922) is installed in a prominent location on the campus of the University of South Carolina. The idea for that statue sparked my interest in the life of the scholar and activist who was the first black graduate of Harvard College, the first black professor at a southern university, the first black U.S. diplomat to a majority white country (Russia), a law school dean, and much more. Graduate students in a College of Education history class I taught were stumped as to why Greener was relatively unknown on their University of South Carolina campus—the very place he...Read More

The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook

by krm | Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 6:00 AM

The following is an excerpt from Kathy Steligo's The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook , now in its fourth edition.

If you’re facing mastectomy to treat or prevent breast cancer, you have a lot of decisions before you. Will you keep a flat chest after surgery, wear temporary breast prostheses, or have your breasts reconstructed? If you do want to have breast reconstruction, is your priority to have the shortest procedure with the quickest recovery or to pursue a method that will give you the most natural breasts possible? Does keeping your own nipples and areolae appeal to you? Do you have quite a bit of excess fat that you’d like to be rid of in the process?

Plastic surgeons have been recreating breasts for decades. Technological innovation and surgical improvements in the 15 years since The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook was first published now make reconstructive results with breast implants or your own tissue better than ever. If you’re interested in breast implants, you might choose cohesive silicone gel “gummy bears” that retain their shape and feel more like breast tissue. If you’d like to avoid the traditional method of tissue expansion that...Read More

A Decade of Community Research

by bjs | Monday, September 18, 2017 - 6:00 AM

In February 2007, the Johns Hopkins University Press published the first issue of a new journal dedicated to partnerships between academic health institutions and the communities surrounding them. Progress in Community Health Partnerships recently celebrated 10 years of publication dedicated to publishing research which will "improve the health of our communities." In the first issue of the 11th volume earlier this year, a pair of articles took a look at the lessons learned over the first decade of publication. Associate Editors Milton “Mickey” Eder, PhD and Suzanne Grieb, PhD, MSPH worked together on a Q&A to dicsuss this important milestone in the journal's history.

What does it mean to reach this 10-year milestone?

First, we recognize this 10 year milestone of exploration into community-based participatory research (CBPR) and acknowledge this accomplishment. Looking back at the journal’s publications, we can find many examples illustrating the importance of collaboration and partnership for connecting research, education, and action. We see clear indications that successful partnerships require dialogue, self-reflection, and negotiation. We also recognize that the journal’s content demonstrates that CBPR is a complex and challenging framework to implement.

We further acknowledge the vision...Read More

Stuttering and “Retraining” Left-Handed Children in Mid-Century U.S.

by krm | Friday, September 15, 2017 - 11:36 AM

My history of Tourette syndrome ( A Cursing Brain , 1999) involved observing pediatric patients at a university clinic. I noticed that the patient population seemed to have an unusually high proportion of left-handers. Being left-handed myself, I wondered whether and why this might be so. Popular literature often asserts that left-handers are more creative and, in contradiction, more often afflicted with learning disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, attention disorders, retardation, and stuttering. My search for the possible connection between left-handers, learning disabilities, and creativity is examined in my forthcoming book, On the Other Hand: Left Hand, Right Brain, Mental Disorder, and History (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017). Here, I want to explore whether left-handers are at greater risk of stuttering.

In the early twentieth century U. S. many educators and physicians believed that left-handers more often exhibited mental and cognitive disabilities. To reduce this risk they advocated “retraining” left-handers to become right-handed. The methods employed were often tortuous, including corporal punishment, tying a child’s left hand to immobilize it, and humiliation of children resisters. Psychoanalyst Abram Blau, chief psychiatrist of the New York City Board of Education, summed up the views of advocates of...Read More

Jewish History Journal Gets New Leadership

by bjs | Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 6:00 AM

A new editorial team has taken over at American Jewish History , a journal with more than 100 years of history. This time, a trio of editors will lead the quarterly for the next five years. Kirsten Fermaglich (Michigan State University), Adam Mendelsohn (University of Cape Town) and Daniel Soyer (Fordham University) joined us for a Q&A about their new position and plans for the future.

How did your group end up in the position as editors?

The previous editor’s term was coming to an end, and a search committee for a new one had been set up by the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society , which oversees the journal. We were approached individually by members of the committee and invited to apply for the position. The search committee came to the conclusion that we would work well as a team, and we agreed.

What does it mean to take over the leadership of a journal with such an important history?

Our journal is an official publication of the American Jewish Historical Society, an organization that claims to be the oldest...Read More

Mourning the End of an All Around Education

by bjs | Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 6:00 AM

Sara Dreyfuss currently serves as the Managing Editor of the journal portal: Libraries and the Academy , but she previously worked as the editorial director of the World Book Encyclopedia. Dreyfuss wrote an essay called " Out of Print " about the disappearance of print encyclopedias for the July issue of the journal . She joined us for a Q&A to talk about the importance of encyclopedias and what their demise means to her and learners in general.

What made you decide to write this essay?

Print encyclopedias have long been dear to my heart. Like many members of my generation, I have fond memories of reading encyclopedias, and I have regretted seeing those once-thriving publications go out of business one by one. It has felt like watching beloved family members grow steadily frailer and die. Today, only The World Book Encyclopedia continues to publish a new annual edition, and I fear that even World Book may soon stop producing a print set.

What memories do you have of your relationship with encyclopedias?

As a child,...Read More

Triumph and Trouble: India at 70

by bjs | Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 6:00 AM

Today marks the seventieth anniversary of India’s independence. The Journal of Democracy included a series of papers on this milestone in its July issue. We are re-printing the editor’s introduction to this cluster of papers, which can be found online at Project MUSE .

For seven decades now, India has been a fountain of challenges to democratic theories. When it became independent on 15 August 1947, India was one of the world’s poorest places in per capita terms. It was also one of the most linguistically diverse and culturally complex, with caste, ethnic, regional, and religious identities cumulating and cross-cutting in volatile ways. Social scientists thought democracy’s prospects dim in such a poor, divided country. Yet India has defied the odds.

It has held sixteen national elections amid conditions of free and open political competition, broken by just one short authoritarian spell in the 1970s. Ballotings across the vast subcontinent with its more than half a billion voters remain consistently well and fairly run—a stunning achievement that makes India a standout in the developing world. Yet too often, violence, fraud, and corruption mar public life, and a shocking...Read More

Edelman Fossil Park: Dreaming of Dinosaurs Creates Pathways for 21st Century Scientists

by krm | Friday, August 11, 2017 - 6:52 AM

By James E. Samels and Arlene L. Lieberman

At Edelman Fossil Park, the past comes alive for people of all ages. Children, campers, families and students all get to dig alongside paleontologists in a site rich with fossils from the Cretaceous period – the heyday of the dinosaurs. Fossils capture the imagination of a broad audience transcending the boundaries of age, educational background, economic circumstances, and geography.

Rowan University, a New Jersey public institution, forged a new vision for educating our children when it purchased the endangered fossil site at a Mantua, New Jersey quarry and added a new School of Earth and Environment.

The Nation needs a significant workforce in the geosciences and environmental sciences to address pressing societal issues… Hands-on engagement in paleontology forges an alluring gateway to these and other STEM careers. Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, Director of the Rowan University Fossil Quarry and Founding Dean of the Rowan School of the Earth & Environment.

Rowan University alumni, Jean and Ric Edelman made a vital contribution to science when they stepped in to expand and preserve the site. In acknowledging their $25 million gift,...Read More