University of Manchester Library and Manchester University Press: Does the Academic Book have a Future?

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As part of Academic Book Week celebrations, The University of Manchester Library and Manchester University Press would like to invite you to attend a specially organised panel event where selected members have come together to discuss the academic book and answer questions such as ‘what is an academic book?’, ‘what does it contribute?’ and ‘what is its future?‘.

Academic books have been subject to a number of dramatic changes in recent years and yet books continue to make a fundamental contribution to scholarly communication within many disciplines. This panel event will include members from the four main groups that can dictate the future of the academic book – researchers, librarians, publishers and booksellers – who will try to piece together a coherent understanding of the academic book and its future.

To register for the panel, please visit: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/panel-event-academic-book-future/

Our Academic Engagement Team are also hosting a range of pop up events across campus – 23-27 January – where we will be inviting academics to talk around key themes relating to the academic book and The University of Manchester Library resources and services.

Monday, 23 January 12 noon – 1pm Arthur Lewis building entrance
Monday, 23 January 12 noon – 1pm Stopford building outside Chromo-Zone café)
Tuesday, 24 January 12 noon – 1pm Sackville street building,
Joule Library
Tuesday, 24 January 12 noon – 1pm Zochonis building (near café)
Wednesday, 25 January 12 noon – 1pm Samual Alexander building (South entrance)
Wednesday, 25 January 12 noon – 1pm Alan Turing building, First floor near seating area
Thursday, 26 January 12 noon – 1pm Main Library (near seminar room)
Thursday, 26 January 1 – 2pm AMBS (East entrance)

The Making of the English Working Class by E.P. Thompson

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This classic and imaginative account of working-class society in its formative years, 1780 to 1832, revolutionised our understanding of English social history. E. P. Thompson shows how the working class took part in its own making and re-creates the whole-life experience of people who suffered loss of status and freedom, who underwent degradation, and who yet created a cultured and political consciousness of great vitality.


Professor Sir Roger Scruton FBA, Senior Research Fellow, Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford

E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class is a seminal attempt to write bottom-up history from a Marxist perspective. Written with feeling and insight it is also a record of the author’s struggle with frozen Marxist categories, which gradually soften under the influence of his warm emotions to fit the human realities. I disagree with it profoundly, and learn from it continually.”

Gender Trouble by Judith Butler

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One of the most talked-about scholarly works of the past fifty years, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble is as celebrated as it is controversial.

Arguing that traditional feminism is wrong to look to a natural, ‘essential’ notion of the female, or indeed of sex or gender, Butler starts by questioning the category ‘woman’ and continues in this vein with examinations of ‘the masculine’ and ‘the feminine’.

The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer

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The Female Eunuch is a landmark in the history of the women’s movement. Drawing liberally from history, literature and popular culture, past and present, Germaine Greer’s searing examination of women’s oppression is at once an important social commentary and a passionately argued masterpiece of polemic.

Polly Russell, Lead Curator Contemporary Politics and Public Life, British Library:

“First published in 1970, The Female Eunuch, was a bold and brash call for a feminist revolution. It was the catalyst for many women’s political awakening, (my own included, aged 16, when I came upon it in the mid-1980s. I can still recall the wide-eyed thrill of reading Greer’s outraged and outrageous prose.) Taking aim at consumer culture, marriage and the nuclear family, Greer exhorted women to reject what was expected of them and to take control of their lives and the world. ‘Hopefully,’ Greer wrote in her introduction, ‘this book is subversive.’ Indeed it was and, some forty years on, it still is.”

The Double Helix by James Watson

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By elucidating the structure of DNA, the molecule underlying all life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionised biochemistry. The story of the most significant biological breakthrough of the century – the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Purity and Danger by Mary Douglas

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Mary Douglas’s Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo is a modern masterpiece of anthropology. Through a complex and sophisticated reading of ritual, religion and lifestyle, Douglas challenged Western ideas of pollution, making clear how the context and social history is essential. It demonstrated the relevance of anthropological enquiries to an audience outside her immediate academic circle, and has since been listed as one of the hundred most influential books since the Second World War.

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek

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The Road to Serfdom remains one of the all-time classics of twentieth-century intellectual thought. For over half a century, it has inspired politicians and thinkers around the world, and has had a crucial impact on our political and cultural history.

Professor John Kay CBE FBA FRSE, economist

Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, published in 1944, was a coruscating attack on the planned economics created by both avowed socialists and avowed fascists.”