Behind the Book: The Collected Poetry of Mary Tighe

by krm | Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 6:00 AM

An Irishwoman, who died more than two hundred years ago, can help us understand the self-destructive effect of Islamophobia now sweeping the western world and casting its dark shadow over the American presidential election. Mary Tighe (1772-1810) was the author of “Bryan Byrne,” a harrowing ballad that takes as its subject the sectarian violence between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. But the dynamic she describes could just as easily apply to current-day tensions between Christians and Muslims.

In Tighe’s tale, Bryan Byrne is an Irishman and his wife, Ellen, is English. But Bryan is no Irish Catholic rebel, just as most Muslims today are loyal, law-abiding citizens--not extremists or terrorists. Bryan’s father-in-law, explaining his family’s situation to an uncomprehending English soldier, says Bryan was

wedded to our Ellen’s love,

One house was ours, one hope, one soul;

. . .

Tho’ we were sprung from British race,

And his was Erin’s early pride,

Yet, match’d in every loveliest grace,

No priest could ere their hearts divide. (77-78; 81-84)

Their marriage is one of equality before God, for the pair seems beyond the religious sectarianism that ravages...Read More

Galloping horses to boxing cats: Movies in Education

by krm | Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 6:00 AM

There was a great debate among horsemen in the mid-19 th century, as to whether or not all four of a horse’s legs were lifted off the ground at the same time they were galloping. The action happened so fast that it was impossible to see the truth with the naked eye, and people from all walks of life had strong opinions for and against what they termed “unsupported transit.” Railroad magnate Leland Stanford- former Governor of California and future benefactor of the university that bears his name, took a strong stance that unsupported transit did indeed occur, and put his entrepreneurial verve to try and prove it.

He hired the famous early photographer Edward Muybridge to settle the question using the newly emerging field of photography, hoping to be able to record an image of all four legs of the horse off the ground. On June 15, 1878, Muybridge invited members of the press to watch Stanford’s horse trot across the set he had prepared and trigger each of the 12 cameras, one after another, provided a dozen perfectly crisp images of the horse in motion-- one which showed the equine with all four feet clearly in the...Read More

Q&A with Dr. Janice Wiesman

by krm | Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 6:00 AM

With her new book coming out soon, Dr. Janice Wiesman has stopped by the JHUP blog to answer a few questions about Peripheral Neuropathy .

Q: Why did you decide to write this book?

For the past 20 years I have been educating patients and families about neuropathy in the office. For the past 10 years I have been speaking at neuropathy support group meetings and patients and families have asked me to make my slides available. So, after 20 years of educating patients and families a few at a time, I decided to listen to my patients and write the book. The last such book written for patients and families was publish in 2006. A lot has changed since then. In addition, I noticed that all of the other books out there on peripheral neuropathy are written by non-physicians: patients, therapists, chiropractors etc. Some of them seen to have a hidden, commercial agenda that I think is not appropriate for a book intending to...Read More

What’s the best way to understand insurgency, terrorism, and irregular warfare?

by krm | Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 6:00 AM

When the still ongoing insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq erupted after the U.S. invasions, the U.S. government and military seemed both surprised and befuddled, as if they had never dealt with such things before. This was a repetition of the response in the 1980s, the previous time insurgency became a national security issue when the lessons of the 1960s had to be relearned. But the 1960s was not the first time the U.S. had dealt with this kind of warfare—or forgotten its past experience with it. In the 1960s, it was as if the Marine Corps’ experience between the World Wars in the Caribbean and the more than two centuries of Indian fighting had never happened. Revolution and Resistance aims to remedy such historical shortsightedness by showing that the proper historical scope for understanding contemporary insurgency and terrorism is not decades but centuries. The irregular warfare we face today, the book argues, is best understood in the context of the rise and fall of Euro-American imperialism, beginning in the 16 th century and continuing around us today.

That imperialism is often portrayed as a matter of technology, firepower, and disease. Those certainly played a role,...Read More

Behind the Book: Murder and the Making of English CSI

by krm | Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 6:00 AM

Several years ago my colleague Neil Pemberton asked me when police started using tape to protect crime scenes. Though I had written extensively on the history of forensics I had no ready answer. As we talked it through we realized that the history of crime scene investigation (CSI) as a technique had not been seriously considered and that it opened up a rich vein of questions about forensic theory and practice that could form the subject of a fascinating book.

Our research has now been written up in Murder and the Making of English CSI , published this fall with the Johns Hopkins University Press. Focused on the investigation of murder in the first half of the twentieth century, it traces the evolution and interactions between the century’s two principal regimes for producing forensic evidence. The first is a body-centered forensics, associated with the lone, ‘celebrity’ pathologist, his scalpel and the mortuary slab, in which the skilled observer autopsied a dead body. The second is a ‘forensics of things,’ focused on the analysis of trace evidence (hair, blood, fibers) harvested from meticulously managed crime scenes.

The book analyzes the shifting...Read More