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?
William 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.”
Sage 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”→
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.'”
Cornell 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.
“In the rhetoric of the struggle against money laundering, as well as the plot lines of dozens of movie thrillers, banking secrecy or anonymous bank accounts is often central. In the popular imagination ‘numbered bank accounts’ provide the end point for ill-gotten gains. With few exceptions, however, banking secrecy in the form of individuals holding anonymous accounts is a problem that disappeared ten years ago. Truly anonymous personal accounts, where no one in the bank knew the identity of an account holder who was referred to only by a number, were always quite rare. As a legacy of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic had such anony- mous passbook accounts until pressure from the FATF forced their abolition in 2000–2001. The anonymity provided by such accounts was perfect, but the downside was that in losing the physical passbook the account holder might also lose the only means of accessing the account. In any case, these accounts had strict limits on their balances (e.g., a ceiling of $7,000 in Hungary). Continue reading “What Are Anonymous Shell Companies?”→
Statement from Marcia Gallo on April 5, 2016 – “The death of Kitty Genovese killer Winston Moseley this past weekend provides another opportunity to rethink the many myths of thestory.
Winston Moseley’s recent death means that the story of Kitty Genovese is in the news again. But which version? While the New YorkTimesstory of ’38 Witnesses’ has been widely discounted, too many other versions still eliminate Genovese’s vibrant life, including her lesbian relationships, and repeat the myth of uncaring neighbors. Rarely is it mentioned that Moseley was quickly captured because neighbors in another Queens neighborhood saw him robbing a house and contacted police.” Continue reading “The Kitty Genovese case revisited”→
Cornell University Press is pleased to introduce a new series, “On Land: New Perspectives in Territory, Development, and Environment,” edited by Wendy Wolford (Cornell University), Nancy Lee Peluso (University of California, Berkeley), and Michael Goldman (University of Minnesota). We recently invited Wendy to sit down with Sage House News to discuss what inspired the editors to embark on this project and to detail their areas of interest.
All three editors, as well as CUP Senior Acquiring Editor Jim Lance, will be available to field inquiries at the American Association of Geographers annual meeting, March 29–April 2, in San Francisco.
Sage House: Can you tell us about the manifesto you’ve been working on?
Wendy Wolford: The three coeditors for the series—Nancy, Michael, and I—wanted to write something that would outline in very general terms how we situate the series within a longer tradition of work. We also wanted to delineate some of the areas that we’re most interested in. The three of us are all pretty closely aligned in the way we think of the broader trajectory of work around land—land-related politics, land development studies, political and moral economy—and yet we work in very different areas.