Category Archives: Author Posts

Articles written by OBP authors on their books. Accessible and interesting these posts are well worth a read for those wishing to understand more about the great range of subjects we work with.

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Why Open Access? OBP Author’s Perspectives

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‘I am committed to egalitarian education and breaking down any barriers that would get in the way to learning. In short I champion access to material for all.’
-Andrew Fisher

 

 

 

 

‘I really wanted The Idea of Europe to be widely available, to as many people as possible. I wanted to be sure that no one would be stopped from reading it for reasons of cost.’
-Catriona Seth

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‘Liaising with schools is an important part of what I do as a director-of-studies at King’s College and lecturer in the Faculty of Classics here at Cambridge. And anyone involved in this kind of work quickly realizes that the quality of the teaching provisions in our field varies widely – in terms of contact hours, available resources, and the training of the teachers. I would like to believe that my open-access commentaries help a bit to level the playing field.

But this is only one of the reasons why I publish with OBP, two others being flexibility and speed: these commentaries are rather quirky and experimental (some would probably say undisciplined) in ways a more conventional publishing house would hardly tolerate; and since they are designed to provide help with authors who move on and off the syllabus very quickly, they have to be written (and published) at breakneck speed. You show me another press that generates proofs within a week of submission of the ms. and has the final product available within a fortnight!’
-Ingo Gildenhard

 

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Open Textbook Network: The Power of Community

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Open education means providing greater access to knowledge and learning. It also means significant institutional change, something that takes time and concerted effort to be successful.

The Open Textbook Network (OTN) is a community of higher education leaders dedicated to advancing open education best practices on their college campuses. Together, we build and share resources, data and expertise focused on open textbooks.

In the U.S., OTN membership now includes 15% of higher education. In the UK, the OTN has recently started working with the UK Open Textbooks project on their research into the viability of importing open academic textbooks into UK colleges and universities.

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Tolerance: Student Perspectives

“We produced translations for Tolerance in a small group, made up of the 2nd year students in my college. We were given the French copies of two texts, produced our own translations, and then all met with our tutor to … Continue reading

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Open Access Week 2017: Tolerance

 

It has been exciting to see how much interest our Tolerance volume has provoked since its publication. We initially took up the project in order to show support for our colleagues in France and to help the anthology of searing Enlightenment texts they’d put together on tolerance, equality, and free speech reach an Anglophone audience. We were upset by the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, and because we all wanted to be able to do something, however small, we rushed to translate a text that spoke to the concerns of our present moment. We had no idea that our work would come to impact so many people.

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Warlike and Peaceful Societies: The Interaction of Genes and Culture

Why has Afghanistan changed in a few decades from being a relatively relaxed and tolerant society to one of the most authoritarian and fanatical societies in the world? And why were women allowed to wear miniskirts in Afghanistan in the 1960s while they were forced to wear burqas under the Taliban? This dramatic social change is just one of many examples of social developments that my new book Warlike and Peaceful Societies tries to answer by applying a combination of biological and cultural theories.

This new book is the result of many years of research on the mechanisms that drive different societies in different directions – from the most peaceful and tolerant to the most warlike and imperialistic. Continue reading

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From George Romero to The Walking Dead: The Meaning of the Zombie

A few weeks ago, filmmaker George Romero passed away in Toronto. Across the city and elsewhere, remembrance vigils were held for him. It was the kind of treatment usually reserved for great musicians, artists who bared some cardinal human aspect in their work that was hitherto unexplored. In the case of Romero, the artistic reflection was a grotesque one, but estimably more profound than most people realized.

People have called him the father of the modern zombie movie, and deservedly. His innovations in the genre formed the most iconic prototype of the undead walker. A similar version is still featured in shows like The Walking Dead (set to return for its eight season in October), which presides somewhere near the crown of modern broadcasting success stories. The popularity of the genre has reached its crest in the 2000s, and has become more pervasive than its progenitors could have ever predicted. Much of the credit for this must surely go to Mr. Romero. Continue reading

L’idée de l’Europe au Siècle des Lumières

This blog post was originally posted as an article on the Adventures on the Bookshelf blog – you can read it here.

In 1813, Germaine de Staël published a seminal work called De l’Allemagne, which offered a wide-ranging introduction to German romantic literature and philosophy. She had long been an advocate of learning from one’s neighbours and had a particular admiration for the British political system. She had also written Corinne ou l’Italie, a novel which suggested that Italy, at the time a fragmented series of little duchies, principalities and papal States, could unite around its common cultural heritage. She was very interested in what languages and reading foreign texts or those written in the past can teach us: Continue reading

‘Ye shall know them by their fruits’

Read and download Just Managing? for free here.

“If you’re one of those families, if you’re just managing, I want to address you directly.” (Theresa May; 13 July 2016)

Words are tricky things, and we can all agree that ‘talk is cheap’. It’s not what you say that counts, but what you do. But words can be seductive, and their artful use by the silver-tongued can lead us astray. This is an old warning; very old. Continue reading

Ownership and Cultural Heritage

This free to read book grew out of discussions about how multimedia technologies afforded scholars new ways of sharing documentation and scientific knowledge with the cultural owners of these collected oral genres. Funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the project had two distinct and overarching goals: Continue reading

Strengthening Democracy Through Open Education

This blog post was originally published by Patrick Blessinger as an article on University World News – you can access it here.

Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education can be read and downloaded for free here.

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