Welcome to our weekly roundup of news from university presses! Once again, there is a lot to share this week from our fellow academic publishing houses and much to learn on What SUP at the social university presses. This week, we found conversations on one of the first word processors, the future of flying cars, and a feminist storyteller’s perspective on celebrity pregnancies. What did you read this week?
Harvard University Press features Matthew Kirschenbaum, author of Track Changes who researches on the history of word processing. The word processor dates back as early as 1977 when Philip and Gay Courter purchased an IBM System 6 where Gay used this device to become the first female author. She wrote The Midwife with only few hours per day to spare plus distractions such as cleaning films, packing, and shipping. In addition, she became more well-known through her inquiries in the Publishers Weekly which attracted about 45 responses including Ray Bradbury.
John Hopkins University Press has Alan Meyer, author of Weekend Pilots: Technology, Masculinity, and Private Aviation in Postwar America, tries to answer the question “So, where’s my flying car?” Based on science fiction stories and images of flying cars in media, Meyer researches that for this become a reality many factors come into play such as cost, materials sturdy enough that can handle flying and driving, and the masculinity behind flying a plane. Even though there are some options such as private and entry-level airplanes, practicality and cost to be licensed and store the airplane leaves us just hoping that someday it may happen.
Oregon State University Press highlights Scott Slovic, co-editor of Numbers and Nerves, who spent the summer of 2015 in Dhaka, Bangladesh lecturing and establishing a branch of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE). During his time in Bangladesh, he was surprised about how the war in 1971 still is “scarred” in the people even today. Before he left to go home, he visited the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka where he came across a poem by Allen Ginsberg called “September on Jessore Road” which describes first hand experience of the human suffering during the war.
Princeton University Press interviews James Campbell, author of Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America, about the current situation about the disputes on the American system. He argues that the most polarized organization in America is the government and how their powers causes the two sides to create issues and conflict that can continue to divide the country. However, he also believes that the public is highly polarized through three types of evidence: direct, indirect, and circumstantial.
Stanford University Press features feminist storyteller Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about her opposition to write a book about her pregnancy. Daily, many people see the publicity and fascination of pregnant celebrity women through red carpets and the media. However, Adichie argues that women especially in the public eye are expected to perform pregnancy and motherhood while the men do not have the same expectations. By refusing to write about her pregnancy, Adichie believes she is taking a stand to not conform to expectations as being a mother, writer, and storyteller.