JHU Press Blog

The Forms of Informal Empire: Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature

by eea | Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 5:00 PM

A few years ago, at a get-together in Santiago, Chile, I met a local man I’ll call Luis. Amid small talk, he mentioned that he supervises a number of his family’s copper mines in the north. When I asked him how his family came to own them, he shrugged and said only: “My great-grandfather was English.” I had not told Luis that I was in Santiago precisely to research the history of British involvement in Latin America, so he had no reason to expect my familiarity with the subject. But those four words, for anyone passingly familiar with the economic history of Latin America, are self-explanatory.

When Latin America won its independence in the early nineteenth century, Britain was waiting, pocketbook in hand. Through loans, purchases, and investments, Europeans—but especially the British—took advantage of the vulnerable post-war Latin American economies to gain control over industries ranging from railroads to agriculture to leather. We call this informal empire.

Scholars and history books tend to treat the British Empire as a system of formal colonies, which it was. But it was also this process of influence and coercion, leveraged by massive economic power, in territories beyond their...Read More

Helping Older Individuals Manage Anxiety and Depression during the COVID-19 Crisis

by eea | Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 5:00 PM

By Mark D. Miller, M.D., and Charles F. Reynolds III, M.D.

Let’s first define “older” as those at least age 60. This segment of the population is on track to soon become 22% of the whole. It is a heterogeneous group comprised of a reasonably healthy, mobile, and digitally savvy subgroup on one end of a spectrum of “functional capability” and those that are quite impaired in their functioning due to chronic medical or mental illness, chronic pain, isolation, lack of mobility, poverty, substance abuse, and/or lack of an adequate social support system. The latter group is more vulnerable to the unprecedented strains caused by the pandemic from COVID-19 we have all been thrust in to.

As both authors of this article personally meet the age cut-off for being elderly (one of us is a grandfather already and the other would like to be one soon), we will therefore digress momentarily and speak from our own qualified experience. We have both been fortunate to be well educated, enjoy supportive family and friends, financial comfort, and a variety of purposeful participatory activities that make us both look forward to getting up every day. That...Read More

Grading the College: A History of Evaluating Teaching and Learning

by eea | Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 12:00 PM

I first became interested in the history of efforts to evaluate teaching and learning while co-chairing Wheaton College’s assessment committee. I learned that skeptical colleagues sometimes perceived evaluation to be an outgrowth of a campaign to disempower professors while catering to students, parents, legislators, and corporate leaders. I came to understand that this critique depended in part on two interrelated assumptions about the past, neither of which had been investigated by historians. First, critics usually assumed that the roots of evaluation only stretched back to the start of the corporatization of higher education in the 1970s and 1980s. Second, most critics assumed that evaluation had always been associated with external accountability and imposed from outside of the academy with little respect for the professional or academic interests of faculty members.

I became concerned about how these assumptions could justify faculty disengagement from questions that seemed especially pressing at public institutions and at private tuition-dependent institutions (such as Wheaton). When I began to explore the archival record, it became clear that evaluation had not always been a market-driven or anti-intellectual phenomenon. Based on manuscript evidence from the papers of the AAUP, the American Council on Education, and a...Read More

Coping with Behavioral Addictions During COVID-19

by eea | Monday, June 22, 2020 - 3:00 PM

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH

Although much has been written about stay-at-home orders and people with substance addiction, little if anything has been said about how the shelter-in-place affects the approximately 10-15% of Americans (i.e. upwards of 48 million) who currently struggle with behavioral addictions (for example, gambling, food, internet gaming, sex/pornography, and shopping) as well as whether the current climate may put certain people at risk of developing one of these behavioral problems.

Behavioral addictions are defined as behaviors that are rewarding in some fashion (i.e. giving the person some sort of mood boost, or even conversely relieving stress) and done to an extent that the person feels out of control, unable to curtail the time they spend on the behavior, and it leads to some sort of personal distress or impairment in their functioning. While these behaviors are often fun and distracting initially, they may be potentially problematic if done excessively. The current climate that keeps people at home with fewer distractions means that they have greater access online to certain problematic behaviors, such as gambling, gaming, pornography, and shopping; and less access to external variables...Read More

The “Hidden Pandemic” - The Psychological Impact of COVID-19

by eea | Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 4:30 PM

By George S. Everly, Jr., PhD, ABPP

The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Author: The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid (JHU Press); Rodney Makes a Friend: Helping Your Child Develop resilience and Social Intelligence (BookBaby); and Stronger: Develop the Resilience You Need (AMACOM/ HarperCollins)

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely be a defining event for an entire generation… But what of the “hidden pandemic?”

History teaches us that there will always be more psychological “casualties” than physical casualties as a result of disasters such as the pandemic. When I use the term psychological casualty, I mean someone who has been adversely impacted to the degree they cannot adequately do the things they need to do. Estimates vary widely but we can say that roughly one-third of the population directly affected by the pandemic will suffer such significantly adverse psychological reactions and could benefit from some form of psychological support (Manderscheid, 2006).

In various capacities, I have...Read More

Defending Privilege – Q&A with author Nicole Mansfield Wright

by eea | Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 12:00 PM

Some reviewers have described Defending Privilege as an explainer of the historical roots of our current political warfare. How does your book illuminate current events?

These days, government leaders, cable hosts, journalists, and protestors are battling to decide: Who are the real victims in society—the privileged or the marginalized? The eighteenth-century literature I examine helped construct the foundations of this debate. A number of novels were penned by conservative authors aggrieved by personal experiences of what they regarded as the legal system's failure to uphold their privilege. Fiction operated as propaganda, asserting that the wealthy and those of high status ought to be given special treatment by the government and law enforcement. While the authors occasionally gave lip service to the needs of the marginalized—such as grateful slaves or industrious street urchins—these characters were used to highlight their masters’ generosity and demonstrate that the social hierarchy was righteous and the powerful deserved their high positions.

Why did you decide to write this book?

Eighteenth-century Britain was the wellspring of so many of today’s social and political institutions, from our legal system to the way we choose the leaders of our...Read More

How Will International Travel Change After the Coronavirus Pandemic?

by eea | Monday, June 15, 2020 - 3:00 PM

By Charles E. Davis, M.D.

St. Augustine famously observed that the world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page. But how many pages will we read after the devastation of the Coronavirus crisis? Will fear, the struggling global economy, and reminders by the media of previous travel-related pandemics cause dramatic changes in the use of airlines for tourism and business-related travel, or will old habits and the release from self-imposed isolation spark an early return to the previous norm?

Factors likely to decrease airline travel after the pandemic resolves

Fear will linger long after the virus has receded. Early on, many will question whether the pandemic is really over. This is a realistic concern because a number of experts have raised the possibility that COVID-19 will become a seasonal infection. The general public has also been repeatedly reminded by the media that international travel has been the major contributor to other pandemics including the role of American troops spreading the Spanish flu, airline travel promoting the SARS outbreak, and steamships bringing plague to San Francisco in 1900.

The health of the economy in the...Read More

A Bloomsday Collection

by may | Friday, June 12, 2020 - 3:28 PM

James Joyce statue, Dublin

“From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step.” - James Joyce

Bloomsday, June 16, is a celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce. Joyce's best known work, Ulysses , widely considered one of the most important works of modernist literature, follows Dubliner Leopold Bloom for a single day (June 16) through stream-of-consciousness and non-traditional prose. "Bloomsday" is commemorated in Dublin and worldwide, with celebrations, marathon readings of the novel, pub crawls, costumed events, and performances.

Ulysses , published in 1922, has been the focus of nearly a century of academic analysis and criticism. And the book's scholarly focus is not just in English departments. Joyce's work has been studied in the fields of psychology, philosophy, social sciences, history, and medicine. Here is a selection of JHU Press journal articles that take a close look at Ulysses from many different academic angles.

Bilingual Obscenities: James Joyce, Ulysses, and the Linguistics of Taboo Words Maria Kager Studies in the Novel

Life Lessons from Untimely Death in James Joyce's Ulysses Gregory M. Downing Literature and Medicine

...Read More

“Dementia-Aware” Support for Family and Professional Caregivers Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

by eea | Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 4:00 PM

By Laura Wayman

Whether you are a family caregiver caring for a loved one, or a professional caregiver caring for many, I am sure you will agree that dementia care brings with it a myriad of challenges that can change and shift daily even in the best of circumstances. Dementia is overwhelming not only for the people who have it, but also for their caregivers, family members, and local communities. Even without the COVID-19 threat, family and professional dementia caregivers are already stressed, often going without enough sleep, time to exercise, and opportunities for healthy eating simply because the dementia care role is continuously making demands on their time, energy, and emotions.

Now add the coronavirus pandemic, forcing everyone to navigate ominous new challenges that threaten not just the vulnerable person being cared for, but also the caregiver. And let’s not forget the fact that dementia care already demands social isolation and strict adherence to routines with little or no relief. And now even more a person with dementia should not be exposed unnecessarily to gatherings, public transportation, or unnecessary visitors who may be infected even if they are not showing symptoms. According to...Read More

Resource Management for Colleges and Universities

by eea | Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 12:00 PM

Resource Management for Colleges and Universities presents a new set of concepts and tools for what I have come to call Academic Resourcing (AR). “AR” covers not just a college’s or university’s academic planning and budgeting processes, but everything that involves the application of financial, human, and physical resources in support of academic goals.

AR decisions determine what a university does, how it does it, and at what scale. These decisions penetrate into the fine structure of teaching, research, and other elements of faculty, staff and student behavior. They involve complex tradeoffs among mission-driven academic priorities, market opportunities and threats, and financial outcomes—all of which require close collaboration between academic and financial leaders who focus on the big picture, and faculty who understand the situation’s academic complexities at ground level.

The book introduces a new generation of Academic Resourcing Models . These provide actionable descriptions of a university’s teaching and research activities, together with their revenues, costs, contribution margins, and overheads. The information from these models helps provosts, deans, and other university leaders develop strategic plans, manage academic program portfolios, set prices and discounting policies, and perform ongoing tasks...Read More