JHU Press Blog

The Path for Feminist Formations

by bjs | Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 10:00 AM

A team at Oregon State University took over the editorial duties for the journal Feminist Formations in 2016. Editor Patti Duncan took some time to talk with us about the journal and its innovative work in women's, gender and sexuality studies when she visted Baltimore for the National Women's Studies Association Conference in late 2017.

Audio titled Patti Duncan, Feminist Formations

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The Image of Theatre

by bjs | Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 10:00 AM

In her final issue as editor of Theatre Journal , Joanne Tompkins put together a special issue on theatre, performance and visual images . The essays in the issue engage in images in theatre and the image of theater, she writes in her introduction to the special issue. Tompkins, a professor in the School of Communication and the Arts at the University of Queensland, Australia, joined us for a Q&A about the issue and her tenure as editor of the journal.

In your introduction, you mention that visual culture and visual images have been the focus of previous journal issues. What brought about the development of this recent issue on the topic?

I came into the position of co-editor, and subsequently editor, with a range of ideas for special issues. Some of them have come into being, but inevitably, some ideas that initially seemed exciting don’t work out. That is, there’s some distance between an idea and how that idea gets ‘translated’ into what we hope is an appealing call for papers. The topic that I was planning for my final special issue failed to translate cogently...Read More

Sex and the Crucible: A Look into Arthur Miller's Inspiration with Tony Fels

by eea | Friday, January 26, 2018 - 11:07 AM


In doing the research for my book, Switching Sides: How a Generation of Historians Lost Sympathy for the Victims of the Salem Witch Hunt , I came across a surprising realization. Not only did Arthur Miller take nearly the whole story of the Salem witch hunt for his famous play, The Crucible (1953), from his having read Marion Starkey’s The Devil in Massachusetts (1949), but he very likely drew the play’s central dramatic tension, concerning a former affair between the accuser, Abigail Williams, and the accused protagonist, John Procter, from Starkey’s history as well.

Two famous literary archives, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas and Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, are currently jousting over custody of Arthur Miller’s voluminous private papers, including 160 boxes of materials and another 8,000 pages of private journals (see Jennifer Schuessler’s article, “Fight for Arthur Miller’s Archive,” New York Times , January 10, 2018). When scholars gain access to these documents, longstanding mysteries concerning the central plot line of The Crucible may finally be...Read More

Remembering World War I

by bjs | Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 10:07 AM

In March 2017, eight scholars from a variety of disciplines gathered at Texas A&M University for a two-day conference called "1917: A Global Turning Point in History and Memory." The discussions and presentations were later developed into a special issue of the journal South Central Review . Adam R. Seipp, a Professor in the Department of History at Texas A&M and guest editor of the issue, joined us to talk about the project and the important historical and cultural lessons we can learn from 100 years ago.

Audio titled Adam Seipp, South Central Review by JHU Press

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Shaping a Successful Board of Trustees with Robert Scott

by eea | Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Reports about the increasing turnover of college and university presidents are in the news. The reasons for turnover range from a lack of clarity of expectations, problematic responses to student and faculty protests, political interference, and more. In light of these and other serious concerns, boards and presidents can benefit from a guidebook for selecting members and orienting them to their duties.

In How University Boards Work , I give examples of positive and negative board behavior; guidance on board professional development and how boards should fulfill their duties of care, loyalty and obedience; information on how best to prepare for board decisions and discussions; and advice on leadership development, succession planning, and managing the transition between chief executives, among other topics.

Just as corporate boards require members who know the industry, science, and technology at the core of the company’s business, so too universities benefit from trustees who can contribute substantively to planning and decision-making, not just annual or capital gifts. University trustees are most effective when they know the history, the mission and purpose, the students to be served and the competitive landscape, and the comparative advantages of the institutions they serve. As...Read More

Two JHUP Journals Win Awards from CELJ

by bjs | Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Two Johns Hopkins University Press Journals received awards from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals at the recent Modern Language Association annual meeting in New York.

ASAP/Journal took home an award for the second straight year by winning the Best New Journal award after its second year of publication. The journal won Best Design from CELJ in January 2017.

The scholarly publication of ASAP: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, ASAP/Journal explores new developments in post-1960s visual, media, literary, and performance arts.

“We are incredibly honored to receive another award from CELJ," said Jonathan Eburne , who co-edited the journal's first two volumes with Amy Elias from the University of Tennessee. "We believe in promoting intellectual exchanges and appreciate the recognition for our work."

Eburne, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English at Penn State University, will serve as Editor in Chief beginning with Volume 3 in 2018.

The Journal of Early Christian Studies received the Codex Award from CELJ, honoring a journal covering the...Read More

Measuring Success: An Examination of the use of Standardized Tests in College Admissions

by eea | Monday, January 22, 2018 - 12:00 PM

We conceived of this book in the spring of 2016 in response to the fragmented and incomplete state of the literature that informs debates and decisions related to college admission testing. For many students, teachers, parents, policymakers – frankly, nearly all of those immediately outside the testing industry and college admissions – the role of college admission tests remains a mystery. To supporters, standardized tests provide a neutral yardstick for measuring student potential and performance—particularly important given the varying levels of academic rigor across high schools. But detractors, including those who support test-optional policies, argue that college-entrance assessments are biased, misused, or overused.

With this in mind, we set out to assemble a comprehensive collection of new research on admissions testing from experts and practitioners on both sides of the debate, with an emphasis on methodological rigor that has too often been lacking from the discussion of such emerging practices as test-optional admissions. Beyond pure research, we also wanted to highlight the on-the-ground perspective of college enrollment officers who have changed or considered changing their testing policies.

In the 12-chapter volume that resulted, contributors provide detailed evidence that standardized test scores (especially when combined with grades) have significant...Read More

Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World with Louis Galambos

by eea | Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World

Republican presidents come in all sizes, shapes, and temperaments. They have different backgrounds, different careers, and different ways of dealing with the crises they inevitably face during their time in the White House. Dwight “Ike”Eisenhower (1953-1961) was the only one since 1900 to have been a lifetime professional soldier and the only one to become the unchallenged leader of the free world – that is, the non-communist half of the world.

After spending many years editing Ike’s papers, I thought I knew everything I could possibly know about the man. So I set out to write a book based on what I had learned by editing and co-editing sixteen hefty volumes of his correspondence, memoranda, diary entries, and other papers. Since our editorial project had focused exclusively on the years since 1941, when the United States entered WWII, I started my research by looking into Ike’s early life and career. I was surprised by what I found.

You too may be a bit surprised if you follow my trail to Ike’s family in Texas, where he was born in 1890, and to Abilene, Kansas, where...Read More

How to Run a College: A Practical Guide for Trustees, Faculty, Administrators and Policymakers with Brian Mitchell

by eea | Friday, January 19, 2018 - 12:00 PM

How to Run a College: A Practical Guide for Trustees, Faculty, Administrators and Policymakers

Colleges are confusing, bewildering and complex places with storied traditions, antiquated governance practices, and competing constituencies. Even worse, however, is that many of the key leadership groups – especially trustees but including faculty and senior staff – are ill equipped to advise and govern a college. The end result is an erosion of good will among key stakeholders, often leading to institutional inertia, and in the extreme, debilitating chaos. These glaring internal inefficiencies, communication breakdowns, and the overriding sense of cultural inertia on many campuses are also set against a backdrop of changing consumer preferences, high sticker prices, declining demand, massive tuition discounting, aging infrastructure, technological and pedagogical alternatives, and state and federal political pressure.

That having been said, the American residential college is the foundation upon which other higher education sectors are based, including modern research universities, especially at the undergraduate level. It can be resilient under able leadership. In this book, we offer an optimistic assessment based upon frank and stark conclusions about what colleges must do – and not do – to remain relevant in the 21...Read More

How "Unrepentant Nazis" became "Our Germans" - With Brian Crim

by eea | Monday, January 15, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Wernher von Braun’s rocket team’s journey from captivity in Germany to their brilliant “second act” with the US Army and eventually NASA began with a series of debriefings with the Army Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) in a ski chalet near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Upper Bavaria. One of the interrogators assigned to the rocket team was thirty-two-year-old Second Lieutenant Walter Jessel. Jessel had explicit instructions from Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force to sort out, in Jessel’s words, “Nazi hangers-on and enforcers from technical staff in order to bring the latter to the US.” Jessel and his fellow officers faced a difficult task distinguishing between esteemed scientists responsible for revolutionary military technology and those who were either expendable or so tainted by accusations of war crimes that employing them was simply impossible. As candid as Jessel’s military screening report reads, his diary entries from that week in June are even more frank: “The team consists of rocket enthusiasts, engineering college graduates, professors, all unrepentant Nazis aware of their bargaining power with the Americans.” Jessel noted that German army personnel attached to the team understood “that their chances of going to the US are smaller than those of technicians. To improve these chances, they sing.”...Read More