Journals Celebrates Women's History Month

by bjs | Friday, March 24, 2017 - 6:00 AM

A quick look at our collection of journals would show two obvious candidates during Women’s History Month — the Journal of Women's History and Feminist Formations .

These two journals both feature outstanding editorial teams helping to present leading scholarship in many areas of women's studies.

Feminist Formations has brought its own perspective to gender studies since establishing an independent voice in 2010 after 21 volumes as the National Women's Studies Association Journal.

The journal editorial office recently relocated to the Oregon State University after successful stints at the University of Arizona and University of Minnesota. Patti Duncan leads the editorial team at OSU.

With a focus on women's, gender, and sexuality studies, Feminist Formations also features Poesia , a section in each issue dedicated to providing a space for creative commentary on important issues within the field. The next issue of the journal will focus on “Homefront Frontlines,” offering analyses of gender and militarism.

Based at Binghamton University, the State University of New York, the Journal of Women's History was...Read More

A Commitment to Community

by bjs | Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 6:00 AM

In the introduction to a recent special issue of the journal Library Trends , the guest editors simply state that “libraries are part of the fabric of society.” That kicks off the discussion of “Libraries in the Political Process,” the topic of the Fall 2016 issue edited by Christine Stilwell, Peter Johan Lor, and Raphaëlle Bats.

Lor, an extraordinary professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria who also serves on the journal's Editorial Board, and Bats, a conservateur de bibliothèque at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Sciences de L’information (ENSSIB), in Lyon, France, also provided essays for the issue. The print publication grew out an open session called “Libraries in the Political Process: Benefits and Risks of Political Visibility, ” part of the Library Theory and Research (LTR) section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress in Lyon, France, in August 2014.

Stilmann, a professor emeritus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa, joined the editorial team during the process of putting the issue together. The three guest editors participated in a Q&A about...Read More

Behind the Book: The Snake and the Salamander

by krm | Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 6:00 AM

When Matt asked if I was interested in writing a few paragraphs to accompany each of the illustrations he was creating for a book on the amphibians and reptiles of the northeast, I jumped at the chance. A quick check of his website convinced me that he could produce really wonderful, high quality, scientifically accurate illustrations. He wanted to explore the fantastic colors and body forms exhibited by this group of lesser known vertebrates. I wanted to explore the diversity of lifestyles and habitats used by these critters. Our goal was a book that would excite the interest of naturalists and students as well as be of interest to the general public.

Our first discussions centered around how to define the northeast for our purposes and which species to illustrate. If we only dealt with New England we would have about 60 species to work with. And we would be missing a number of very colorful species found in the New Jersey Pine Barrens as well as the states as far south as Virginia and West Virginia. Defining the northeast as Maine to Virginia would also correspond to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Region 5 and Partners in...Read More

Ten Principles of Good Sustainable Design History

by krm | Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 6:00 AM

1. Good sustainable design history is aware of contemporary design strategies. Industrial designers in recent years have adopted several strategies for sustainable design. Among them are use of life-cycle assessments , developing related voluntary certification programs (such as Cradle-to-Cradle ), and upcycling. Understanding what the profession is attempting to do to reduce its effects on the environment is important.

2. Good sustainable design history uses history to critique contemporary design strategies. History allows us to see how decisions made in the past affected society and the environment. We may use it to understand how past design decisions in architecture, fashion, and industrial design had effects on the waste stream, on the health of consumers, and on resource use. Contemporary efforts at sustainability may be responses to problems of the past, and they may also repeat problems of the past. Because upcycling has a history, history can investigate the opportunities and limits of past upcycling practices.

3. Good sustainable design history recognizes history as an important contributor to contemporary design approaches . By evaluating past practice, history provides...Read More

Five Things That Will Surprise You about Civil War Medicine

by krm | Monday, March 20, 2017 - 6:00 AM

I once heard historian Drew Gilpin Faust tell an audience at the National Humanities Center that at least one book about the Civil War had appeared for every day since Lee surrendered at Appomattox. That’s a major challenge for the historian who seeks to say something new about the topic. So, in the spirit of the common blog theme . . .

Here’s Five Things That Will Surprise You about Civil War Medicine!

1. Surgery was humane and, often, successful.

Surgeons used both ether and chloroform during the war, performing all of those amputations that are emblematic of their craft. The Mutter Museum recently surveyed visitors to a Civil War medicine exhibit and found that 89% thought these operations were done without anesthesia. Perhaps the scene in Gone with the Wind in which Scarlet hears a man screaming off stage has created this impression, and indeed the peculiar circumstances of the Atlanta siege may have led to such medical horrors, but most men were asleep as they lost limbs to the surgeon’s saw. And around 75% of major arm and leg amputations healed, leading to a brisk business in prosthetics...Read More