JHU Press Blog

The magic of the fat envelope

by bjs | Monday, November 12, 2012 - 9:31 AM

by Brian Shea, Journals PR and Advertising Coordinator In college admissions, the presence of a fat envelope portends good news. A rejection letter doesn’t need to come with the myriad forms and information an admitted student requires. I don’t know if this premise still holds true in the digital age, but I do know what it represents for the 2012 MarCom Awards . The fat envelope I received from this international competition contained the news that our Journals Marketing Department had won five awards. Administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), the MarCom Awards recognize outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communication professionals. There were over 6,000 entries from throughout the United States, Canada, and several other countries in the 2012 competition The 2012 and 2013 Journals Catalog each received Platinum honors, the highest award given, in the Brochure/Catalog category. The new "In Other Words" video series won Gold honors in the Web Video/Educational Series. A 2012 brochure for the Association for the Study of Higher Education won an honorable mention in the Design (Print)/Brochure category while the re-designed ...Read More

The Civil War through a Jewish lens

by bjs | Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Guest Post by Adam Mendelsohn In the century after the Civil War ended, those who were interested in the experience of Jews in the Union and Confederacy focused on their military service, in many cases hoping to extol Jewish bravery as an antidote to prejudice and present their service as a mark of ethnic pride. Fifty years ago, historians of American Jewry marked the centenary of the conflict with a museum exhibition, conference, and outpouring of scholarship that reexamined a subject that had been the preserve of amateur historians. Several myths were debunked and new themes explored. The field of American Jewish history and the historiography of the Civil War itself look very different from how they did in 1961. As happened fifty years ago, it has taken an anniversary to rekindle sustained interest in Jewish participation in America’s bloodiest war. The recent special issue of American Jewish History (Volume 97, Number 1) is the direct product of a conference organized by the College of Charleston in May 2011 to mark the sesquicentennial of the conflict. Historians of American Jewry have been encouraged by a broadening of Civil War scholarship beyond the battlefield to...Read More

Wild Thing: How do quills work?

by cmt | Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 8:00 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 Uldis Roze

Having grown up in large cities where porcupines are absent, I was in my 30s before I saw my first porcupine in the wild. We met at night, in the light cone of my flashlight, as the porcupine was chewing our freshly-built cabin at a woods edge in the Catskills. The animal looked surreal and wild, but I had no doubt about its identification. It had quills, therefore it was a porcupine.

But the quills that give porcupines their easy identification and shape their natural histories are themselves the source of endless mystery and mystification.

Do porcupines throw their quills? All scientific accounts assure readers to the contrary, but it wasn’t always so. Writing in the April 16, 1956 issue of Sports Illustrated , Dr. William J. Lang describes a porcupine he had surprised in a woodshed: “With an upward flick of his tail, one quill grazed my cheek, another stuck in my hat brim . . ....Read More

Presidential Debates: What about Urban Issues?

by cmt | Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 9:00 AM

guest post by Peter Beilenson, MD, MPH

As the former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, I spent thirteen years working with Mayors Kurt Schmoke and Martin O’Malley trying to address the myriad issues affecting a large city. Thus, I am particularly distressed that virtually none of the 360 minutes allotted to the four debates between the Democratic and Republican tickets have concerned urban problems (the President’s mention of violence in Chicago being the only brief exception).

America’s major cities are home to well over half of the country’s population and serve as the economic engines of the regions in which they are located. If a city is prospering and vibrant, the entire region is likely to be in good shape as well. If a city is dysfunctional and beset by crime and poverty, the whole region is affected negatively. It is imperative that the nation’s voters—whether they live in city or suburb—have some knowledge of how President Obama and Governor Romney wish to address a wide variety of urban issues.

Through my experience in Baltimore and my observations of other major cities, it seems clear to me that for a city (or a community...Read More

Chapter & Verse: How I write verse

by cmt | Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Chapter & 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 X. J. Kennedy Most of my poems begin in bed. I’ll wake up in the morning with a line or a couple of lines rattling around in my mind—a fragment composed during sleep—like a beached stick of driftwood. If it rhymes or has rhythm or makes some odd observation, it looks promising and worth pursuing—like “How suddenly she roused my ardor, / That woman with wide-open car door.” That beginning, despite its outrageously far-out rhyme, led to a short poem, “Close Call.” Writing in rhyme and meter holds at least one advantage. It enforces memory. In bed, I can tool a poem around on the screen of my brain-pan, revising and fussing with the lines as if I were sitting at a computer. As a rule, I can remember maybe eighteen, twenty lines before my head starts to slop over. Then I have to go set down those lines on paper before they disappear. Sometimes I start writing a poem without the faintest notion of...Read More

Doing better and getting it right

by bjs | Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 8:13 AM

Guest Post by Min Hyoung Song In Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2012, Wade Michael Page entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin during Sunday service and opened fired, killing six and wounding several others. He then turned his gun on himself. Page was a veteran of the army and was being tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center for his involvement with neo-Nazi groups, including membership in a rock band named End Apathy. The local police initially described this crime as an act of domestic terrorism, but quickly backed away from this term to insist that no motivation could yet be determined. Tragedies such as these, when they directly affect Asian American communities, give urgent occasion to those of us who work in Asian American studies to consider the purposes our research, teaching, and outreach serve. I believe fervently that academic work should not be about the accumulation of knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Rather, such work is primarily valuable when situated within a social context that it responds to. We can try to make sense of this context from multiple, systemic, and creative perspectives. And, just a little less frequently, we can also seek to contribute to this...Read More

October News and New Books

by cmt | Monday, October 15, 2012 - 9:49 AM

News and Notes

E-books now available on JHUP website Did you know that hundreds of our books are available as e-books from vendors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble ? Well, we’re pleased to announce that you can now buy JHUP e-books directly from our website . Simply add the e-book to your shopping cart and choose your format; ePub, Mobi, and PDF are all available. Check back often as new e-books are hitting our website every day. JHUP @ Baltimore Book Festival This year, JHUP once again participated in the Baltimore Book Festival . Our space was in the beautiful Peabody Library . We sponsored a number of book talks and signings, including Peter Beilenson and Patrick McGuire, authors of Tapping into The Wire , and Steven Gimbel, who spoke about his book Einstein’s Jewish Science .

Hot off the Press

The Iliad : Edward McCrorie offers a new verse translation of the Iliad that captures the meaning and music of Homer's original Greek...Read More

Affirmative action no more?

by cmt | Friday, October 12, 2012 - 8:30 AM

Guest post by Dennis Deslippe The long-standing call to replace race-sensitive programs with class-sensitive ones has taken on fresh meaning in the wake of oral arguments in the University of Texas case ( Fisher v. Texas ) at the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week. Although the justices can cast unexpected votes (think Chief Justice John Roberts’ vote in the health care reform case this past spring), it seems likely that the justices will invalidate affirmative action at the nation’s colleges and universities. The arguments for class-based programs are that such a shift in focus would garner favor with white Americans, especially those of modest means who point to the lack of consideration for their disadvantaged status, and it would address in a more wholesale fashion educational inequality. There is much to commend this move. Its success, however, will depend on advocates bringing together organizations with resources and influence in equal employment policy-making, much as civil rights and feminist organizations did decades ago for our current affirmative action programs. Little work to this end has been done thus far. The history of affirmative action suggests that class-based affirmative action will face significant opposition. Affirmative action...Read More

Wild Thing: Rockfishes. Oh, Rockfishes . . .

by cmt | Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 8:00 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 Val Kells

Rockfishes are a diverse and highly successful group within the Family Scorpaenidae, or Scorpionfishes. There are currently 102 known species of Scorpaenids worldwide. They live primarily in temperate to cold seas in the northern and southern hemispheres. Most are demersal, meaning they live close to the bottom of the sea. Most are spiny, some are venomous. They have a bony structure on the cheek that I won't begin to explain.

I am in the midst of coauthoring and illustrating A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Alaska to California, a new book to be published by JHU Press. It will follow the layout and design of A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Maine to Texas and will serve as a companion. The overall goal is to illustrate and describe in field guide form all of the fishes to about 600 feet from both coasts of the continental United States. It's a Guinness...Read More

Chapter & Verse: On Translating Homer's Iliad

by cmt | Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 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 Edward McCrorie

You translate for many reasons, no doubt, but I think the most important are a strong response to the author’s vision and a conviction that you can render that vision accurately and musically in English.

I did not always feel strongly about Homer’s Iliad . So much of it struck me as gore—the build-up to often overlapping and extremely graphic gore. No re-write or film version depicts every wound and killing that Homer depicts.

But I was lucky in college to study the Odyssey ’s Greek first. (My translation was also published by the JHU Press in 2004.) Homecoming dominates that story, women play a much more important role, and welcoming strangers is a key moral obligation. But what of the Greek’s music? Again, I was lucky to have spent months with the music of Virgil’s Aeneid. Both Virgil and Homer work with a line called dactylic hexameter . Once I devised an...Read More