Art in Times of Conflict

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As OBP and I get ready to publish Theatre & War: Notes from the Field, my excitement is tempered with a little bit of – what I can only term – hopelessness. Because, you see, I have just returned to the safety of my New Mexican home from my annual theatre-project-related visit to Kashmir. And Kashmir, as anyone who reads the news will know, is burning.

Over the last three weeks more than 50 people have died; thousands have been injured; curfews are in place; mobile internet and phone services have been shut down; there seems to be no end in sight…When I went to Kashmir in June, I had grand visions for what my six-week project there would entail. Plans that had to be changed when my fellow actors could not attend the workshop. Plans that eventually had to be cancelled when there seemed to be the possibility that my originally planned return might be thrown amuck by violence.

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Enhanced Multi-Media Bilingual Edition of ‘Rameau’s Nephew’: Bringing Education to Life

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Our award winning book, Denis Diderot ‘Rameau’s Nephew’ – ‘Le Neveu de Rameau’, winner of the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies’ 2015 Prize for Digital Publication, has been re-issued as an enhanced bilingual edition.

The new interactive edition now includes the fully interactive French test available alongside its translation, as well as embedded audio files of the music mentioned in Diderot’s work, over 100 colour illustrations and additional online resources.

Probably completed in 1772-73, Denis Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew fascinated Goethe, Hegel, Engels and Freud in turn, achieving a literary-philosophical status that no other work by Diderot shares. This interactive, multi-media and bilingual edition offers a brand new translation of Diderot’s famous dialogue, and it also gives the reader much more. Portraits and biographies of the numerous individuals mentioned in the text, from minor actresses to senior government officials, enable the reader to see the people Diderot describes, and provide a window onto the complex social and political context that forms the backdrop to the dialogue. Links to musical pieces specially selected by Pascal Duc and performed by students of the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, illuminate the wider musical context of the work, enlarging it far beyond its now widely understood relation to opéra comique.

To read the blog post about the first edition of this book, please click here.

Please find a free-to-read version of this new edition here: http://www.openbookpublishers.com/product/498/denis-diderot-rameaus-nephew—-le-neveu-de-rameau–a-multi-media-bilingual-edition

Latin Love

Turpin-front-coverI chose to focus on Amores (Book I) because Ovid’s text seems particularly suitable for students at that crucial stage when they have learned the basics of Latin and are just starting on real Latin authors.  In some ways it is easiest to make the transition by means of a prose author, and Bret Mulligan’s new edition of Nepos’ Life of Hannibal (also published by Open Book Publishers) is an obvious choice.  But students and teachers are often impatient to get to the poetry.   They typically begin with Catullus, but soon find themselves looking for more, and the Amores are an obvious choice, since the poems are fairly short and since Ovid’s Latin is relatively easy, or at least as easy as Latin poetry ever gets. Continue reading

Human Rights: Fit For the 21st Century?

Brown-front-coverWe’re thrilled to announce that our latest title The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 21st Century: A Living Document in a Changing World was launched on April 18th at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The report was presented by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and breaks new ground for human rights in our changing world. This report by the Global Citizenship Commission (GCC) unites global leaders in a call for urgent reform to the human rights architecture of the UN, and explores what it means to be a global citizen in modern society. Continue reading

Sharing Knowledge Just Got More Personal

OBPcustomised-logo1-printOBP is delighted to announce the launch of OBP Customised, a new line of customised editions that lets readers create their own books! We are the first Open Access publisher in the UK to offer such a service – an exciting opportunity for readers to mix, match, and personalise their own books. By creating their own cover, combining chapters from OBP books, or by mixing OBP content with third-party content, readers will be advancing the Open Access vision of knowledge dissemination paired with knowledge reuse. Continue reading

What is Metaethics?

Wilson-front-coverMetaethics is the study of moral thought and moral language. Rather than addressing questions about what practices are right and wrong, and what our obligations to other people or future generations are – questions of so-called ‘normative’ ethics – metaethics asks what morality actually is. The metaethicist is interested in whether there can be knowledge of moral truths, or only moral feelings and attitudes, and asks how we understand moral discourse as compared with other forms of speech and writing. Continue reading

Writing the Life of Schlegel

Schlegel-front-coverMy approach to this biography of Schlegel came from an unexpected quarter. I had already written a biography of Ludwig Tieck, Schlegel’s old friend, (1985) and had completed a study of Shakespeare’s reception in Germany (2003), but had not contemplated any further work in these areas. The work on these two books had admittedly involved  quite extensive study of Schlegel himself. I was therefore no newcomer when I received an invitation to the first conference ever devoted to him, in Dresden in 2008. Continue reading

It’s the economy, stupid. (Or is it?)

Tyneside-front-coverEveryone thinks they know that poor communities harbour more social problems than rich ones. Well, almost everyone; in academic as well as popular literature, you can also find uplifting accounts of how poverty and adversity foster a spirit of mutual aid: “we may not have much, but whatever we’ve got we share.” Whilst there are studies that find greater social solidarity in poor than in rich communities, the burden of the evidence points decidedly the other way: deprived communities generate more crime, more fights, more littering, less volunteering and lower trust than their more affluent neighbours. If we can all agree that this is the general pattern, then the interesting question becomes how to think about its causes. Continue reading

Deadbeat Donors

Velleman-front-coverI was thrilled about the birth of my new grandson; yet as I held him, just a week after his birth, I wondered how he should feel about that event, or how I should feel on his behalf. Continue reading

Introducing Some Data to the Open Access Debate: OBP’s Business Model (Part One)

Open-BookpicThere is quite a lot of discussion about how to finance the costs of publishing monographs in Open Access. While lots of alternative business models have been identified, actual hard data on the publishing costs and revenue associated with academic books are conspicuously absent from the debate (for fairly obvious reasons – commercial publishers consider such data to be commercially sensitive). Continue reading