JHU Press Blog

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

American Imago Welcomes New Editors

by bjs | Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 10:00 AM

A pair of Boston academics will take over the editorial duties of the journal American Imago this year. Murray M. Schwartz, Professor Emeritus in the Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College, and Dawn Skorczewski, Director of University Writing and Professor of English at Brandeis University, take the reins from Otterbein University's Louis Rose . The journal has a distinguished history dating back to Sigmund Freud, and the new editorial team joined us for a Q&A about their new challenge.

How do you two divide the labor as editors for American Imago ?

To keep communications clear with authors, book reviewers and the Johns Hopkins Press, we work as Editor (Murray) and Co-Editor (Dawn). As Editor, Murray receives submissions and responds directly to authors and the Press, but editorial work is collaborative in every respect. Together, we consider whether to send submissions for review by Editorial board members or other reviewers, we work together to plan the contents of each issue, and we regularly discuss longer term plans for special issues. We only accept essays and reviews when we both find them...Read More

Taking it to the Streets with Laura Perna

by eea | Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 1:04 PM

Like many others, I have dedicated my career to trying to improve equity and advance social change. I am especially interested in identifying ways to ensure that all people – regardless of demographic background or place of residence – have the opportunity to enroll in and benefit from high-quality higher education. Like other academics, I have conducted research studies, using a range of methodological approaches and theoretical lenses, to examine and shed light on multiple dimensions of this topic. I have published the results in books, journal articles, and other outlets targeted toward scholarly audiences. I also engage in efforts intended to connect the results of academic research to the federal and state policymakers, educational leaders and administrators, and others who can create needed changes.

In this era of “fake news,” the politicization of science, and what Tom Nichols calls “the death of expertise,” I have become increasingly curious about how other scholars understand the connections among research, advocacy, and policy. Of particular interest is understanding how colleagues consider such questions as: What is the role of research in informing policymakers and practitioners about the need for policies and practices that advance equity, inclusiveness, and social change? Do academic...Read More

Large and in Charge

by bjs | Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 10:00 AM

The final issue of New Literary History 's 48th volume took on a big issue. Literally. University of Virgina professors Krishan Kumar and Herbert F. Tucker guest edited the special issue "Writ Large ", which featured eight essays on big thinking and big writing. Tucker joined us for a Q&A about this special issue that tries to answer the age-old question of "is bigger better?"

How did this special issue come about?

In an unusually specific way. In 2014 I got interested in a Times Literary Supplement article on Toynbee’s A Study of History that opened out into broader consideration of the lately disused but arguably now resurgent category of longue-durée historiography, and that went on to ask more generally what were the current prospects for ambitiously capacious work in the interpretive human sciences. Here was an interesting question, I thought, one that intersected with my own ongoing interest in epic forms of imaginative and other writing. Only then did I look up the column and see that the author was none other than a friend of mine at UVa, and a colleague on...Read More

Sarah Gray Cary from Boston to Grenada

by eea | Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Sarah Gray Cary from Boston to Grenada: Shifting Fortunes of an American Family, 1764-1826

While working with the first-person narratives that inform this book, I found historical moment after moment open up in new and often compelling ways. Knowing for example that tensions in British-occupied Boston were only increasing after the Boston Tea Party in December 1773, Sarah Gray Cary’s hastily arranged departure from Massachusetts in early 1774 takes on new urgency. Writing to her son Henry, years later, Sarah explains: “sailing from Portsmouth -- Boston harbor being blocked with ice . . . the following month, the revolution broke out, and then all intercourse was stopped between us.” Sarah is not only alluding to the Coercive Acts, whereby the British revoked the colony’s charter, but she is also marking the beginnings of the American Revolution and the subsequent closing of Boston Harbor in June 1774. Additional archival records provide details about Sarah’s departure. The Reverend Thomas Cary, Sarah’s brother-in-law, records in his diary on February 8 th that “Sister Cary & Ned” arrived in Newburyport from Chelsea and on February 15 th that he “Went to Portsmouth with Sister Sally.” British...Read More

JHUP Adds Two Journals to Collection

by bjs | Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 10:00 AM

The Johns Hopkins University Press has added two new journals to its exceptional collection of humanities and social sciences publications.

The Journal of Chinese Religions is the official publication of the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions . Published twice a year, the journal publishes work on all aspects of Chinese religions in all periods. Philip Clart from Leipzig University in Germany serves as editor of the semiannual publication.

JHUP will publish Asian Perspective in cooperation with the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University in South Korea. Carla P. Freeman from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, edits the journal. The quarterly publishes critical analysis of the global, regional, and transnational issues affecting Asia.

"We are proud to welcome Asian Perspective and the Journal of Chinese Religions to JHUP," said Journals Publisher William Breichner . "Both have an outstanding tradition of producing important work and will fit into our collection of journals. We are also excited to start a relationship with the Society...Read More