A Seaweed Thanksgiving

Before you say no thanks, just know that this exotic approach to Thanksgiving is being proposed by Jeffrey Greene, who has already introduced us to the elusive pied de cheval oyster and foraging in the Carpathians. The man knows his food. Like those earlier pieces, this one grew out of research for his next book, on wild edibles.

While Henry James observed famously in a letter that “it’s a complex fate, being an American,” and James Baldwin struggled to define what being American even means, I rarely ponder quandaries of national identity, even living here in France.  However, it’s a complex fate for anyone to explain the codified American phenomenon called Thanksgiving. My mother, in her eighties, assiduously observes American Thanksgiving, though she lives in a remote canal village in Burgundy and is obliged to make a special order for a whole turkey, usually available in France only at Christmas.

McDowell on NBC

Deborah McDowell, director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute, talked to our local NBC affiliate about her new book, The Punitive Turn: New Approaches to Race and Incarceration. Drawing its content from a conference hosted at the University of Virginia in 2009, the book not only addresses prison growth and its consequences, but also presents statistics that force us to wonder who benefits when so many people are behind bars.

The River of Change

As part of this year’s University Press Week, we are proud to join 36 other university presses in a blog tour that will touch on some of the most pressing issues in our industry. Blogging along with us today are Harvard University PressStanford University Press, the University of Texas Press, Duke University Press,  Temple University Press, and the University of Minnesota Press. A schedule for the entire week is here. Today’s theme is the future of scholarly publishing, so we turned to Holly Shulman, who served as editor of The Dolley Madison Digital Edition, the first publication under our electronic imprint, and coeditor of Rotunda’s latest title, People of the Founding Era.