Ralph Frerichs on the UN’s responsibility for Haiti cholera epidemic

Last week, after five years of denial, the UN acknowledged a role in the outbreak of cholera in Haiti. Writes Cornell Press author Ralph R. Frerichs in an op-ed published today in the Boston Globe: “Unforgivably, the UN has not supplied enough funding to keep the mobile teams active and the supplies available to smother the epidemic”—something that Frerichs argues lies well within the realm of possibility. In this essay, he outlines what must be done now to save lives still at risk during this ongoing health crisis.

Read an excerpt of Ralph R. Frerichs’s book Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-Up in Post-Earthquake Haiti on our blog. More information on on this title can be found on our website.

Ralph Frerichs on the UN’s responsibility for Haiti cholera epidemic

Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-Up in Post-Earthquake Haiti

80140100094160LNearly six years after Haiti’s catastrophic cholera epidemic, the United Nations has acknowledged its role in the initial outbreak. Not as widely known is the disturbing story of political intrigue as the crisis unfolded, and how the world’s wealthy nations, nongovernmental agencies, and international institutions responded when their interests clashed with the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Ralph R. Frerich’s Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-Up in Post-Earthquake Haiti, published this spring from Cornell University Press, tells this story through the eyes of disease detective Renaud Piarroux, who was sent by the Haitian government and French embassy to investigate the mystery surrounding the epidemic’s origins. A short excerpt follows.

It was Monday morning, November 22, 2010. A CDC [US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] team was presenting the results of an epidemiological case-control study. The researchers had set out to identify risk factors for contracting cholera in the town of Petite-Rivière-de-l’Artibonite, in the heart of the Artibonite valley. Did cholera come from food—perhaps brought from a coastal city? Did it come from kitchen practices or river water?

The findings were limited to people in that one community, although others in the valley region might well have responded in a similar manner. The investigators interviewed forty-nine people with cholera, asking about their diet and hygienic precautions taken in the three days before onset of their illness. They asked the same questions of ninety-eight healthy people from neighboring households—the “controls.” By linking the responses of the cases and controls statistically, the CDC team could estimate the relative risk of cholera associated with the factors of interest.

For a moment, Piarroux’s  mind channeled Sherlock Holmes and his classic deduction about the dog that did not bark in the night.

The presentation offered two main—and rather puzzling—conclusions: drinking untreated water from the Artibonite River was not a risk factor; consuming meat and raw vegetables protected people from cholera. These unexpected results created quite a buzz in the room. Piarroux sat quietly listening to the presentation, reflecting on what he had learned about the likely dynamics of Haiti’s cholera epidemic from his field investigation. For a moment, his mind channeled Sherlock Holmes and his classic deduction about the dog that did not bark in the night. Holmes and a detective colleague at Scotland Yard were addressing a mystery that involved the disappearance of a famous horse the night before an important race and the apparent murder of its trainer. Continue reading “Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-Up in Post-Earthquake Haiti”

Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-Up in Post-Earthquake Haiti

Launch of Cornell University Press content on UPSO

ITHACA, NY – Cornell University Press is pleased to announce it will be partnering with Oxford University Press to load its scholarly monograph content on the University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO) platform to take advantage of a fully enabled XML environment with the cutting-edge search and discovery functionality that has marked the ongoing success of Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO). The official launch date begins today and can be accessed at this link: http://cornell.universitypressscholarship.com.

Speaking on the launch of Cornell Scholarship Online, Dean Smith, the Press’s Director, said: “Cornell University Press is excited to join UPSO and benefit from an innovative model that offers new features for the reader and leverages a global approach to sales. We are honored to be among this prestigious group of publishers.”

Niko Pfund, President of Oxford University Press USA, added that “an alliance between Cornell University Press and OUP seems only natural. From Costa Rican birds to lessons for beekeepers, from books on Eastern European nationalism to colonial American life, Cornell’s program is tightly focused yet never predictable, and I’m delighted to welcome Cornell authors, books, and colleagues to the UPSO fold.” Continue reading “Launch of Cornell University Press content on UPSO”

Launch of Cornell University Press content on UPSO

Five Reasons Some GOP Women Will Vote for Hillary

By Barbara A. Perry, co-editor of 42: Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton

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Jennifer Pierotti Lim (r), Director of Health Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, founded the volunteer group Republican Women for Hillary

Via Twitter, a CUP follower posed the question to me of why Republican women would vote for Secretary Clinton this November in one of the most consequential presidential elections in recent memory. The glib response would be, “For the same reason some GOP men are casting their ballots for the Democratic nominee.” In fact, fifty senior Republican foreign policy advisers (predominantly men) released a letter last week outlining why they will not vote for Donald Trump. Some will support Secretary Clinton, while others are choosing to skip the presidential election altogether. John B. Bellinger III, legal adviser to Condoleezza Rice at the Bush 43 National Security Council and the State Department, drafted the letter, focusing on Trump’s lack of fitness for the presidency, rather than on his policies. Bellinger and his colleagues cited the following deficiencies in the reality TV star’s temperament: “[Trump] is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood. He does not encourage conflicting views. He lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior. All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be president and commander in chief, with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.”

Some Americans, 7 percent of those polled, respond that they would not vote for a qualified woman for president.

As Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is fond of observing when asked if male and female judges decide cases differently, “A wise old man and a wise old woman will reach the same conclusion.” But our Twitter follower seems to want to know if GOP women will have particular reasons for voting for Hillary Clinton that relate to gender and partisanship. Here are five reasons that come to mind: Continue reading “Five Reasons Some GOP Women Will Vote for Hillary”

Five Reasons Some GOP Women Will Vote for Hillary

From First Lady to First Woman President? What Firsts Can Mean for Public Policy

By Barbara Perry, co-editor of 42: Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton

June 27, 2016 was a landmark day for women, with the convergence of the presidential campaign and the U.S. Supreme Court’s final day of its term. Almost at the very moment that Hillary Clinton, wearing the mantle of the presumptive presidential nominee of a major American party, and Senator Elizabeth Warren were debuting their “sister act” in Cincinnati, “the Supremes” were handing down a landmark decision on abortion that would bolster women’s rights across the country.

Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren’s pioneering “sister act” may signal significant shifts in public policy towards women.

The sight of Senator Warren, in a public job interview for vice-presidential candidate, and former Senator and Secretary of State Clinton standing side by side, their arms raised in a previously male-candidate victory pose, was striking. Should a Clinton-Warren ticket materialize, it could generate the kind of excitement among women that John Kennedy, running to be the first Roman Catholic president in 1960, engendered among his co-religionists. Continue reading “From First Lady to First Woman President? What Firsts Can Mean for Public Policy”

From First Lady to First Woman President? What Firsts Can Mean for Public Policy

The Work of Writing: Contextual Economies from Petrarch to Shakespeare


Part two of our interview with William J. Kennedy, author of Petrarchism at Work: Contextual Economies in the Age of Shakespeare. Read part one here.

Sage House: When you first talked to us about the economic perspective of your book, you mentioned your children, who are young adults making their way in the world, as an inspiration. Can you talk more about that?

William Kennedy: Going back to my adult offspring, our son was trying to mount a career as a musician [in the late 2000s]. Concurrently, our daughter had finished her law degree and was working in the not-for-profit sector [when the Great Recession of 2008–2009 hit]. It was an education for both of them to try to get themselves on their feet. So the experience of our adult children, and certainly the wider experience of economic crisis, got me thinking about these economic questions.

Just wage and inequality, distributive justice, commutative justice: these are all key tenets of moral philosophy in the late middle ages and early modern period.

SH: So you kind of experienced the recession most vividly through your children’s hardship, and these issues came to the fore of your mind at that time. Was this book inspired directly by that?

WK: That’s why I’m calling it a contextual economy. Medieval economics is not systematic economics as we know it now. It’s really a branch of moral philosophy. Continue reading “The Work of Writing: Contextual Economies from Petrarch to Shakespeare”

The Work of Writing: Contextual Economies from Petrarch to Shakespeare

Petrarchism at Work: A Two-part Interview with William J. Kennedy

WJK3-final.pngWilliam J. Kennedy is Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities in the Department of Comparative Literature at Cornell University. His most recent book, Petrarchism at Work: Contextual Economies in the Age of Shakespeare, is newly published by Cornell University Press. In part one of the interview, we discuss the role of revision in the work of Petrarch and Ronsard and its contrality to Kennedy’s study of “contextual economies.”

80140100363330LSage House: You argue that print technology was a game-changing innovation in the European Renaissance. If print was the disruptive technology of the time, how did poets such as Shakespeare and Ronsard deploy it to disrupt the system?

William Kennedy: People didn’t know what to do with print—the emerging technology of the time—just as I don’t know what to do with Twitter! It wasn’t at all intuitive for a sixteenth-century poet to want to get his poems into print. Poetry was regarded as live entertainment; poets would read their work aloud, sometimes people would copy it down, and sometimes poets would distribute their manuscripts to others to copy and pass on, but without any thought of print publication. Print as a technology was seen as having technical usages in disseminating information. Early printed books tended to favor self-help topics: “how-to” agricultural handbooks, merchant handbooks. Continue reading “Petrarchism at Work: A Two-part Interview with William J. Kennedy”

Petrarchism at Work: A Two-part Interview with William J. Kennedy

Recent Award Winners


“No One Helped”: Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy by Marcia M. Gallo is winner of the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Non-fiction (Publishing Triangle) and is also a Lambda Literary Award Finalist (LGBT Nonfiction category)

Whose Bosnia?: Nationalism and Political Imagination in the Balkans, 1840–1914 by Edin Hajdarpasic is winner of the Joseph Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies (Association for the Study of Nationalities)

Emotional Diplomacy: Official Emotion on the International Stage by Todd H. Hall is Cowinner of the DPLST Book Prize (Diplomatic Studies Section of the International Studies Association)

Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order by Eric Helleiner is winner of the Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations (Historical International Relations Section of the International Studies Association)

A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law during the Great War by Isabel V. Hull is winner of the American Society of International Law Book Award

Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR by Adeeb Khalid has received honorable mention for the Joseph Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies (Association for the Study of Nationalities)

Brethren by Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery by Margaret Ellen Newell is winner of the James A. Rawley Prize in the History of Race Relations in the United States (Organization of American Historians)

Border Work: Spatial Lives of the State in Rural Central Asia by Madeleine Reeves is winner of the Alec Nove Prize in Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies (British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies)

Empire of Water: An Environmental and Political History of the New York City Water Supply by David Soll is cowinner of the Herbert H. Lehman Award (New York Academy of History at Columbia University)

The Government Next Door: Neighborhood Politics in Urban China by Luigi Tomba is winner of the Joseph Levenson Prize for Books in Chinese Studies, Post-1900 (Association for Asian Studies)

Women without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia by Jennifer Utrata is winner of the Mirra Komarovsky Book Award given by the Eastern Sociological Society

The Angola Horror: The 1867 Train Wreck That Shocked the Nation and Transformed American Railroads by Charity Vogel is cowinner of the Herbert H. Lehman Award (New York Academy of History at Columbia University)

Recent Award Winners

University Presses Confront Piracy

Dean J. Smith, Director of Cornell University Press, is among the scholarly publishing leaders quoted in the April 12, 2016 article “Online Piracy of Academic Materials Extends to Scholarly Books” in the Chronicle of Higher Education. On March 31, Peter Berkery, executive director of the Association of American University Presses, notified the association’s members that thousands of university press books had been pirated and made available on websites that also feature more than a million books pirated from trade publishers. The article is available to Chronicle subscribers only, but here is an excerpt:

“University presses have become aware in recent weeks that unauthorized copies of hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of their books are available on pirate websites, and officials are still struggling with how to respond. Several press leaders said they wanted to be sure any stance they take against piracy isn’t perceived as an attack on the open-access movement, which is gaining popularity among some academics and librarians. ‘Many of these books are our best sellers,’ said Dean J. Smith, director of Cornell University Press. ‘This is really painful to a university press.'”

University Presses Confront Piracy

Cornell University Press Welcomes Emily Andrew

UnknownCornell University Press is pleased to announce the appointment of Emily Andrew as senior acquisitions editor. Emily Andrew comes to Cornell University Press with two decades of experience in scholarly publishing, most recently at the University of British Columbia Press and, prior to that, at the University of Toronto Press. She also has worked in commercial publishing, as well as at a nonfiction literary agency.

Emily begins work at Cornell University Press at the beginning of July. She will be acquiring projects in areas that include military history, modern European history, Asian history, and law and society.

Throughout her publishing career Emily has acquired in a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, spanning the most abstract of literary studies to quantitative political science. Notable achievements include the establishment of a highly regarded series in military history that incorporates home front and battlefront, social history and operational history; acquiring and editing a collection of books probing the “democratic deficit” of public institutions and political participation;  and spearheading a cross-disciplinary series in disability studies.

“We are honored to have Emily Andrew join our editorial team,” said editor-in-chief Mahinder Kingra. “She brings with her a wealth of experience in publishing and tremendous insight into a wide range of scholarship. Throughout her career, she has shown herself to be remarkably fluent in academic discourse while also understanding the imperatives of publishing and how to use the highest standards of scholarly communication to reach a broad audience both within and beyond the academy.”

A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Emily also earned a degree in African American history from the University of Toronto.

In her spare time, she enjoys attending music festivals, watching her son play house league hockey, and eating well. She is currently reading Greg Grandin’s Bancroft Prize–winning book The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World.

Please join us in welcoming Emily!

Cornell University Press Welcomes Emily Andrew