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 the trend of body shaming through social media, presidential election nominee Hillary Clinton and education pressures for Chinese students. What did you read this week?
From the Square (NYU Press) features Associate Professor Amanda M. Czerniawski explaining the recent repercussions of #BodyShaming on social media. With recent headlines about Playboy model Dani Mathers snapchatting a photo in the women’s locker room ridiculing another woman’s body and Ashley Graham’s cover photo on Sports Illustrated was ridiculed by a former fashion model, popular culture continues to glamorize thin bodies rather than accept all body types. Czerniawski looks into the advertisements in the movie WALL-E about the stereotypes with thin, plus-size, and fat bodies that are projected throughout the film. Czerniawski suggests that social media provide hashtags that are more empowering and represent all types of bodies no matter what size.
Duke University Press highlights presidential election nominee Hillary Clinton based on the perspective of history professor William H. Chafe, author of Hillary and Bill: The Politics of the Personal. Chafe argues that for Clinton to win presidency, she must go back to the roots of her childhood years and explain why being a mother and her faith has shaped her to become the next president. Chafe noticed Clinton’s unwilling to open up emotionally about what she is passionate about until she stood next to her running mate Tim Kaine standing up for what they believe which is women’s, children’s and civil rights. Despite Clinton’s tough childhood she has risen to the top and has to separate herself to show why she is so unique and fit for the office.
Stanford University Press has Assistant Professor Susanne Bregnbæk explain some of her research on the growing pressures of Chinese students to do well in school and becoming successful in hopes to return the care for their parents (a traditional Chinese virtue of filial piety). Bregnbæk argues that with added pressure of finding individual fulfillment and an unique path, Chinese college students in elite universities suffer from depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems that lead to the “public secret” of young people committing suicide. Her book Fragile Elite: The Dilemma’s of China’s Top University Students provides an in-depth look of the struggling balance for identity for young Chinese students.
University of California Press has Adam B. Seligman, author of Living With Difference: How to Build Community in a Divided World write about his experiences of witnessing diversity in religion. Seligman talks about a story on Christmas Day of 2015 of him in Jingjue Mosque where 900 people gathered from many congregant backgrounds to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. His story lays the foundation of his argument of individuality within religion. Seligman observed the variety of postures, races, and positions but all for the same cause of worshiping God. As an outsider, many people may think this is not settling or unison but really it is an “undifferentiated mass” all here for the same purpose.
Princeton University Press interviews literary critic Mary Jacobus and author of Reading Cy Twombly: Poetry in Paint, talks about her inspiration for the book and what to expect when people read it. Jacobus first instance of the artist Cy Twombly goes back to when she found an early painting of his and how fascinated she was with the use of the lines. The lines not only represent artistry but also writing because not only does Twombly make art, he uses poetry to create artwork Jacobus believes that her book will in some ways contribute to the “image and text” studies and the strong emphasis Twombly put on practicing art with quotations.