JHU Press Blog

When It Comes to PhD Reform, Everything Is Connected

by eea | Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 3:00 PM

In our new book, The New PhD: How to Build a Better Graduate Education, we make a case for student-centered, career-diverse, public-facing graduate school.   But we also acknowledge the challenge of change, a challenge graduate education has not met for decades.

We offer strategies for thoughtful reform.  But that requires first acknowledging the difficulties by which, for instance, programs often cling to the ideal of preparing students solely for professorships when more than half will never become professors.           

One of those difficulties is well-stated by Michael Bérubé, among the most insightful commentators on U.S. higher education.  The problems of graduate education, he said in 2013, form “a seamless garment of crisis” and “if you pull on any one thread, the entire thing unravels.” As a result, Bérubé said, it becomes “exceptionally difficult to discuss any one aspect of graduate education in isolation.”

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Celebrate Black History Month : Poetic Voices

by may | Monday, February 1, 2021 - 3:35 PM

In celebration of  Black History Month 2021, JHU Press is spotlighting Black poetic voices. Many of the 99 scholarly journals published by JHU Press regularly feature original works of poetry. Below is a just small collection of the diverse voices that bring their creative gifts and and lyrical compositions to our journals throughout the year. The Third Renunciation
Matthew E. Henry 
Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality
, Spring 2020

baba's voice mail.
Tsitsi Jaji 
New Literary History
, Autumn 2019

jury duty, and: (my) emily dickinson
Evie Shockley 
Sewanee Review, Winter 2020

American, and: Until I Get Back, and: American Birthdeath Sequence, and: Blood-Slow Riot, and: John 1:1
Aaron Coleman 
Callaloo, Summer 2017

for jim who pulls my lapel and calls me bro, and: 51 Fletcher and Them
Durell Thompson
African American Review
, Fall 2020

A Waste of Yellow
Thomas Sayers Ellis
Callaloo, Fall 2009
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Death and Rebirth in a Southern City

by eea | Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 4:00 PM

The memorial landscape in the United States has changed before our eyes. Death and Rebirth in a Southern City speaks to those changes through the lens of the historic cemeteries in Richmond, Virginia – the onetime capital of the Confederacy and heart of the Lost Cause.

One example can be found at the city’s Hebrew Cemetery, which hosts one of the nation’s earliest and most unusual Confederate memorials. In 1866, the Hebrew Ladies Memorial Association, affiliated with two local congregations, began raising funds to care for its Solders’ Section where thirty Jewish soldiers from across the South who died in the recent fighting had been gathered. The association’s members used the resulting funds to beautify the graves, raise individual headstones above them, and enclose the whole in a striking commemorative fence. Apparently the first monument to Confederate memory raised in the region, the cast-iron fence was unabashedly militaristic. It featured crossed swords and laurel wreaths as fencing set between posts composed of stacked rifles, swords, and furled flags topped by...Read More

Reflections on “Iliazd: A Meta-Biography of a Modernist”

by eea | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 5:00 PM

I first became aware of the work of Ilia Zdanevich while searching libraries and archives to study the typography of 20th-century avant-garde Dada and Futurist poets through their manuscripts and printed ephemera. But my research on Iliazd brought me into connection with living witnesses to his life and work, a remarkable opportunity made possible through his widow.

I met Hélène Zdanevich in Paris in January 1985, and that first rendezvous, described in the early pages of Iliazd: A Meta-Biography of a Modernist, led to this project. She lived in the tiny one-room apartment with a studio that had been Iliazd’s home from the mid-1930s until his death. On the walls of that small room, where we spoke in the flickering light of a modest gas grate, drawings by Natalia Goncharova, Robert Delaunay, Alberto Giacometti, and Pablo Picasso loomed through the shadows. I was sitting in a private collection of someone who had lived and breathed modern art. Madame Iliazd wanted a biography written, and she invited me to work in the personal archive still stored in the space that...Read More

Preparing for a Better End – Q&A with authors Dan Morhaim, MD and Shelley Morhaim

by eea | Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 4:00 PM

Why did you write Preparing for a Better End: Expert Lessons on Death and Dying for You and Your Loved Ones?

People need a simple, yet comprehensive guide to managing advance care planning, and this need has been heightened by the impact of the pandemic. Preparing for a Better End emphasizes the practical aspects and focuses on empowerment, respect for personal values, compassion, and support. The book is based on my perspective as an ER doctor, state legislator, academic, and public health advocate, as well as from personal experience. In the past, we could get helpful clinical and personal information and direction from family members at the bedside. It's more important now than ever that people take the steps described in the book because family members are not present due to pandemic precautions.

What was the most surprising thing you learned through your writing or research?
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Lean Semesters: How Higher Education Reproduces Inequity – Q&A with author Sekile M. Nzinga

by eea | Friday, January 22, 2021 - 4:00 PM

Why did you write Lean Semesters: How Higher Education Reproduces Inequity?

I wrote this book to map neoliberalism in action and to expose the opaque market practices of contemporary higher education institutions that are compounding inequality for Black women in the twenty-first century. In addition, Lean Semesters maps insidious ways in which Black women’s motivations toward achievement have often been packaged to figure centrally in higher education institutions' marketing campaigns, which target them with false promises that colleges provide opportunity and access to all, regardless of their social and economic position.

The market logic and exploitive practices of the university have long been exposed, yet universities have often positioned themselves as passive victims, who are simply responding to the massive defunding of higher education. Yet the rise of the managerial class in academia is a key indicator that the university is no longer centrally committed to educating students and employing intellectual workers but...Read More

Semi-aquatic Mammals: Ecology and Biology

by eea | Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 3:00 PM

Freshwater semi-aquatic mammals represent some of the world’s rarest species living within some of its most threatened habitats. Better known species, including the platypus, North American and Eurasian beavers, the common hippopotamus, and various species of otters, are immediately identifiable as mammals that bridge the divide between an aquatic and terrestrial lifestyle. Semi-aquatic Mammals: Ecology and Biology weaves the evolutionary and ecological stories of these species into those of dozens of other less familiar species that are equally fascinating. With so many populations of these species in decline or of unknown status, it was time to compile what is known about these freshwater specialists to help us understand why these mammals are so special, and to help us discover what we still need to learn to ensure their ongoing survival.

There are more than 140 species of mammals that have an obligatory dependence on freshwater habitats. Therein lies the problem, freshwater and riparian habitats are disappearing at much faster rates than other habitats. Despite the rarity of intact aquatic ecosystems, freshwater semi-aquatic mammals...Read More

Swansea Copper: A Global History

by eea | Monday, January 11, 2021 - 4:00 PM

We wrote Swansea Copper out of a sense of frustration. Histories of global trade and industry seemed to have no place for copper. Cotton, sugar, tobacco: yes. But copper? What could copper tell us that we didn’t already know about global industrial history? Well, quite a lot as it happens.

Here was a commodity with a genuinely global history, but one that was far from simple to tell. What did it look like? Even this basic question has a multitude of possible answers depending on which point in the ‘life cycle’ of copper you care to look at: dug out of the ground, heated, roasted, cast, hammered, rolled, drawn, granulated, alloyed with other metals. It takes on so many different forms that it almost defies categorisation.

And then there’s the question of how to trace its uses and markets. How do you track the journey of a metal that so often disappears from view? In the maritime world of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, you have to look below the waterline...Read More

JHU Press Journals, Journals Marketing Division Take Home Awards 

by may | Monday, January 11, 2021 - 3:51 PM

The JHU Press Journals Division has much reason to celebrate! At last week’s Modern Language Association (MLA) annual conference, the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) announced the winners of their 2020 awards for scholarly publications. Three journals published by JHU Press were among the winners.  

Best Special Issue: American Quarterly, vol. 71, no. 3, Origins of Biopolitics in the Americas

This special issue showcases the abundance of exciting new works that have emerged on early Americanist work, especially in tandem with the growth of such fields as Indigenous studies, studies of empire and settler colonialism, the Atlantic world, environmental studies, and racial capitalism. Guest editors Greta La Fleur and Kyla Schuller brought together an array of cutting-edge scholarship that sheds light on differential valuations of life in early America. 


Best...Read More

Living the Teaching Life in a Time of COVID-19

by may | Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 9:48 PM

As members of The College English Association prepared for annual conference last spring, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic led organizers to a now all too familiar decision: the conference had to be cancelled. The CEA Critic Editor Jeraldine Kraver was not only gutted about missing this annual event, but now had another challenge: the journals' third issue each year is normally a proceedings of the annual meeting. Along with everything else going on, she was now without a journal issue. But Jeri did what all talented educators know how to do well: change the plan and pivot accordingly. Within a few short weeks, The CEA Critic put out a call for papers for reflections of educators' and students' experiences teaching and learning during the early days of the pandemic. Join us in a candid and congenial conversation to find out how this special issue, Living the Teaching Life in a Time of COVID-19 came together: