Students from the MAs in Publishing at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University recently visited the Bodleian Library, where they learned about the theory and practice of hand-press printing.
Guided by Paul Nash (who is also a PhD student at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies), students found out more about the development of printing in the 15th century, and then had the opportunity to set their own type and print a keepsake. MA student Marina Debattista writes about the experience:
Claire Squires, Senior Lecturer in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University, recently wrote an article for the Financial Times on the cover design of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons.
Writing for a series in the FT called 'How to Judge a Book by its Cover', Squires explains how the design pictured here did not appear until 1938 (8 years after initial publication of the book). Ransome only started illustrating his own work with the third in the Swallows and Amazons series, Peter Duck, as a textual joke: the pictures were supposed to have been drawn by the children in the book.
Alexandra Wilson (Music) has been awarded the prestigious Lewis Lockwood Award by the American Musicological Society for her monograph The Puccini Problem: Opera, Nationalism, and Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 2007). This award honours a musicological book of exceptional merit by a scholar in the early stages of his or her career (defined as being within ten years of completion of the PhD). This is the first time that the prize has been awarded to a scholar from outside North America. Dr Wilson received her award on November 8 2008 at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, held in Nashville, Tennessee. She also presented a paper at the conference on the subject of ‘Puccini the modernist’.
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The environment is a big issue in contemporary publishing. Recently, OPUS (the Oxford Publishing Society) hosted an event at Oxford Brookes University to discuss the issues. Marie Hanson, an MA in Publishing student at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University, reports from the event:
'Edward Milford, Chairman of Earthscan, opened his speech ‘Greening our Publishing' with the provocative question "Is it possible?" He raised key issues such as the sustainability of the ‘green' process, and identified it as an industry-wide problem, which cannot be solved by individual companies working in isolation. With that in mind he outlined his own company's Environmental Policy, stating that in order for it to be a success it must have a substantial effect on the production process; if the policy allows you to continue ‘business as usual', it's not likely to produce the most impressive results.
The annual Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest book fair in the world. This year, part-time MA in Publishing student Jonathan Davis from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies was invited to work on the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) stand during the Fair.
'They came, they saw, they bartered and then they left. Outlasting the Frankfurt Book Fair before it outlasts you presents a unique opportunity to view the actions and behaviours of a rare breed of animal which come into full display every year at this time: the Frankfurt Book Fair buying public. If David Attenborough were to shoot a documentary on these creatures great and small this is where he would begin.
'I had the repeat pleasure of assisting my London Book Fair friends, the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), with their activities in Germany this year and got a taste of what it's like to be on the other side of the exhibitors' stand. Attending the fair for the first time last year with the Oxford Brookes MA in Publishing programme and seeing the business between publishers happen in the flesh - I felt a repeat experience was needed as the sheer size of the event was slightly overwhelming. The IPG provided me with an accessible way this year to get my hands dirty for the last two days of the fair when the general public are allowed access to over 7,000 publishers and the tens of thousands of books available. All to be bought, bargained for and carried home by any means necessary.
Project B: Sebilj Project: Well Being
This article written by Helen Bonar, Arts & Humanities Manager for Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, references the recent initiative led by artists Françoise Dupré (Birmingham City University) and Dr Myfanwy Johns (Oxford Brookes) in collaboration with architect Sabina Fazlic. Project B is a Birmingham-based trans-national collaborative public art community project referencing the functionality of ornament and its transformative quality on architectural space.
More than a simple public art project with exquisite artistic outcomes, the article focuses on the ways in which individual and collective ‘well being’ has been affected as a result of engagement and participation. The therapeutic and social benefits of art and creativity are key elements of discussion within the text, celebrating and communicating the value of surprising and unplanned outcomes often inherent within arts projects of this nature.
Dr Alysa Levene (History) has been appointed as a Fellow to the ASKe Centre, Oxford Brookes University's Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
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Dr Anne-Marie Kilday, Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning in the School of Arts and Humanities has recently been awarded a two-year Academic Fellowship from the Reinvention Centre worth £10,000.
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Students from the MA in Publishing at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies have helped in the publication of Richard Charkin's blog in book form. Chark Blog was written while Richard Charkin was CEO of Macmillan, and ended in September 2007 when he left to lead Bloomsbury. But digital has turned to print (on demand), and the book was launched in September 2008. A team of students (Mary Berry, Nayumi Furuta, Rhianna Jones, Holly Vitow, Amy Wigelsworth and Shell Xu) indexed the book, and Caitlyn Miller, who led the indexing team, also worked with Macmillan to prepare the book for publication.
This Saturday (20th September), the Guardian starts a week-long series of pamphlets on Creative Writing. Patience Agbabi, newly appointed Creative Writing Fellow for the new MA at Oxford Brookes, has written the Poetry issue in this series, which will be featured in Sunday's Observer. Patience, who recently attended the launch of the new MA in Creative Writing, is author of Bloodshot Monochrome (2008) and Transformatrix (2000).
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