JHU Press Blog

Wild Thing: “Fact: The survival of the Earth depends on frogs.”

by cmt | Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 8:30 AM

Wild Thing is an occasional series where JHU Press authors write about the flora and fauna of the natural world—from the rarest flower to the most magnificent beast. Guest post by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. I cannot say when I saw my first frog, but I must have been very young. I grew up in northern Virginia surrounded by fields and forests that have since been paved over by asphalt and concrete. This semi-rural environment provided me with a wealth of habitats to explore. I remember listening to singing American Toads and catching Southern Leopard Frogs along the creek near my house. I always knew I wanted to study zoology. I attended the University of Kentucky to learn about cave biology, but in my vertebrate zoology and herpetology classes I was introduced to the amphibian world. What fascinating animals these were that sometimes lived so secretively among us: the diversity, the color, and the intriguing life histories—so much to learn! By the time I started graduate school, I was ready to immerse myself in the science surrounding these creatures, not with an initial intent to conduct basic research, but simply to know more about them. After graduation, a...Read More

Creating an Online Home

by bjs | Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 11:55 AM

At times, the work in the marketing department of the journals division can seem a little disconnected. You see, we have more than 80 journals spread around the world. We don’t actually produce the journals. We provide the support that (hopefully) helps the journals gain a larger subscription base and greater standing in the academic community. But we’re not on the ground floor with our editors as they create each issue. That’s why I can’t wait to give a presentation this week at the American Association of University Presses conference on our efforts to create a digital presence for our journals. The actual journal content for these publications exists on Project MUSE , so we have the task of creating a virtual space to shed light on what makes some of our journals or association partners so special. The task has many more pitfalls than you might imagine. Each new website we create for a journal – or existing one we re-design – has a different reason for existing. Maybe the editor wants a space to better explain the aims of a new journal. Maybe the journal...Read More

June news and new books

by rr | Monday, June 17, 2013 - 9:00 AM

News and Notes

Take a look at our new Fall 2013 catalog to see what's in store for the coming season. Valerie Weaver-Zercher, author of Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels , writes about ‘Why Amish Romance Novels Are Hot’ in The Wall Street Journal . Mark Bowden writes in the The Atlantic , “In a monumental and meticulous two-volume study of the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2008), Michael Burlingame . . . presents Lincoln’s actions and speeches not as they have come to be remembered, through the fine lens of our gratitude and admiration, but as they were received in his day. (All of the examples in this essay are drawn from Burlingame’s book, which should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in Lincoln.)”.

Hot off the Press ...Read More

Finding Art

by cmt | Friday, June 14, 2013 - 11:28 AM

Guest post by Susan Ventura, Senior Graphic Artist Being a graphic designer at JHU Press means knowing a little bit about many things, frequently saying “we need more white space,” always searching for art, and creating catalog after catalog after catalog. If you were to put all of the catalogs I have designed at the Press end to end, they would stretch to the Pacific and back. Well, no, not really. But I have designed a lot of catalogs. And part of every catalog we do involves THE ART HUNT, a sometimes frustrating, sometimes laborious, always gratifying quest on which I have spent the last 20 years. Picking art is like coaxing cream to rise to the top . The process: put everything in the same electronic “pile." Sift through the pile, eliminating art that is inappropriate, of poor quality, or without rights and see what rises. I have been lucky to have worked with beautiful and compelling art from many talented sources. There is always something that resonates. Dealing with images is not without pain. Finding that perfect piece of art for a catalog cover can be challenging. For example, I have designed over 20...Read More

Chapter and Verse: Britain’s bards and poetry with a different purpose

by cmt | Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 8:30 AM

Chapter and Verse is a series where JHU Press authors and editors discuss the literary landscape of poetry and prose, whether their own creative work or the literature of others. Guest post by James Mulholland In September 1792, on the day of the autumnal equinox, a Welshman named Iolo Morganwg met friends on Primrose Hill in what is now Regent’s Park in London. There, they made a circle out of stones. The largest stone was fashioned into an altar. On this altar was placed an unsheathed sword. Standing on these stones and dressed in wildly colored robes, the company recited Welsh history and poetry. They were pretending to be ancient Welsh bards. A meeting of bardic performers (called gorsedd ) from Britanny in 1906. This Breton meeting provides a modern example of earlier Welsh models of the festival.

The meeting might sound like a pagan ritual or a gathering of overzealous Lord of the Rings enthusiasts, but this performance was serious business. The goal was to revive the customs of an almost forgotten Wales. Morganwg, the organizer, called these performances gorsedd , which he translated as “voice convention.” He imagined these meetings...Read More

New in Anabaptist Studies

by rr | Friday, May 24, 2013 - 8:30 AM

The Amish —the companion book to the American Experience documentary on PBS—takes an in-depth look into Amish life in America. Publisher’s Weekly says of The Amish : “ The authors successfully address the seeming exoticism of the Amish without sensationalism . . . The scholarship is enlivened with quotes and personal anecdotes, and the final section on the future of the Amish raises fascinating questions, even for casual readers.”

Hopkins Digital Shorts, Chapter Excerpts from The Amish

From Rumspringa to Marriage In this digital short, the authors consider the nuances of this important rite of passage into Amish adulthood. The Amish and Technology This digital short explores the complicated relationship between the Amish and technology today.

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More Titles in Anabaptist Studies

An Introduction to German Pietism: Protestant Renewal at the Dawn of Modern...Read More

Q&A with the authors of THE AMISH

by cmt | Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 8:30 AM

Read on for an informative, sometimes surprising Q&A with Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt , authors of The Amish , the definitive portrayal of the Amish in America in the twenty-first century. Q: Why did you write this book? A: Mainstream Americans are fascinated by the Amish—and so are we. But despite the rise of Amish-themed tourism, television shows, and romance novels, there is surprisingly little authoritative information available about them. Although there are books about the Amish in specific locations or particular practices, there was no book that provided a comprehensive picture of the enormous diversity of Amish life. There are more than forty types of Amish in 460 communities across North America. We’ve spent more than a quarter century getting to know these people, and wanted to share the remarkable diversity and resilience we’ve found. Q: What do you think would most surprise the average American about Amish life/culture? A: Their friendliness and humor when you learn to know them. How satisfied they are even without the latest household conveniences and online technology. Also, people would be surprised by their creativity and inventiveness...Read More

Callaloo Takes Center Stage

by bjs | Monday, May 20, 2013 - 8:30 AM

We are proud and honored to publish all 80-plus journals under the JHUP umbrella, but are especially excited when one receives special recognition. That means, right now, that the apple of our eye is Callaloo , along with its esteemed editor, Charles Henry Rowell . PBS NewsHour recently aired a special segment about Rowell’s long-time commitment to African American literature, particularly poetry. The interview includes footage of Rowell and journal staff working on an upcoming issue of the journal, which was founded by Rowell and is publishing its 36th volume this year. Callaloo continues to identify, nurture and promote new black writers while also showcasing literary stalwarts. Former Poet Laureate Rita Dove , National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes , and current Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey have all been published in the journal. The segment also touched on Rowell’s extensive collection of pieces from black artists, some of which end up serving as the focus of covers for C allaloo. Later this year, JHUP will publish Callaloo Art , a special issue highlighting these and other works. Rowell’s passion for sharing undiscovered writers, poets, and artists serves as a reminder of the power held...Read More

The consequence of patents on BRCA genes

by cmt | Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 8:30 AM

Guest post by Sue Friedman

On April 15, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Myriad Genetics’ patents on the BRCA genes, which are associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, should be upheld. This case culminates a four-year legal tug-of-war between Myriad Genetics & Laboratories and a long list of individual, advocacy, and health care professional groups represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) . The plaintiffs agree that regulations allowing exclusive gene patents negatively affect access to care and research.

I was fortunate when I was first tested for a BRCA mutation in 1998: my testing costs were covered by my health insurance. Although I was initially tested without genetic counseling, I eventually went to a large cancer center for a second opinion, met with a genetics expert, and gained access to up-to-date, credible information. It wasn’t until I started FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) that the deeper implications of patenting the BRCA genes became apparent to me.

In the Family, a 2009 documentary by producer Joanna Rudnick, highlights some negative consequences of Myriad’s gene patents. The film includes ...Read More

The Doctor Is In: Staying connected to your baseline self in depression

by cmt | Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 8:30 AM

The Doctor Is In is an occasional series where JHU Press authors discuss the latest developments and news in health and medicine. Guest post by Susan J. Noonan, M.D., M.P.H. Often times in depression, whether it is major depression or bipolar depression, a person can feel lost to him or herself. You may have difficulty remembering just what you were like before the episode began. This can come on quite gradually during the course of the illness. I have often heard phrases from sufferers such as “I don’t feel like me,” or “I just don’t feel familiar to myself!” What does this mean? It means that you are experiencing a set of feelings, emotions, and behaviors that are not typical of your usual self—these are driven by depression. This experience feels quite odd, alien, and uncomfortable when it happens. Depression takes away your sense of self as a whole human being, leaving you with the feeling that there is nothing in life BUT depression. Your baseline self seems to fade into the background. Your usual characteristics are still there, they are just hidden down deep and over-ridden by the stronger symptoms of depression. This adds to the distress...Read More