PUP Celebrates Mothers — Making a Splash

This Mother’s Day, Princeton University Press is trading in the perfumed soap and jewelry for a different type of celebration for moms. We’ve gathered a group of experts on a range of interesting subjects and compiled a group of mom-related shorts. Zumba class instructor or Pinterest lover – we have a special story for your mom. We hope that this series will provide you with some interesting conversation topics to get family members thinking (and chuckling) during that Mother’s Day brunch.

We’re thankful for our moms, who shuttled us to soccer and ballet practice and made sure that we stuck to our bedtime (even when we wanted to stay up reading). Moms are always a phone call away when college homesickness sets in or after a bad day. For the mothers who keep us afloat, we’re diving deep to explore the world of under-the-sea families. It turns out that clownfish love their moms just as much as we do!


Family of ocellaris clownfish, Miyako Island, Nukuluna false ocellaris

Family of ocellaris clownfish, Miyako Island, Nukuluna false ocellaris *

Marine Mothers

Stephen R. Palumbi & Anthony R. Palumbi


Mothers are always precious, nowhere more so than in the sea. Marine creatures don’t do much parenting, usually preferring to dump their eggs in the water and promptly forget about them. But where they do appear, mothers work diligently to support their young. They are anchors of their communities, often assuming matriarchal leadership roles. Clownfish cluster into intimate family units rooted physically to their anemone homes and emotionally to their mothers—an ever-shifting role that challenges our own conceptions of family.

A gaggle of small, immature males coexists peacefully under the watchful eyes of a single mature male and an even larger mature female. Mom rules the roost, but the family’s got a plan should something ever happen to her. No, not the plan from “Finding Nemo,” where the grieving father raises his young alone.  Actual clownfish react to death with the detachment of Westerosi nobles, simply shuffling along the line of succession.

The mature male begins a rapid hormonal change—within a week he’s producing eggs, acting in every sense as the new matriarch. The biggest and halest juvenile male matures to fill the father role, while his brothers patiently wait for their turns at reproduction. There must always be a mother. Without her, they’re lost.

Without mothers, the whole ocean is lost. Not just in the literal sense; mothers turn out to be especially crucial for maintaining healthy ecosystems. Unlike humans, many marine mothers see their fertility only increasing with age. The oldest mothers don’t just produce the most offspring, they produce the best offspring: the biggest, the healthiest, the most likely to reach adulthood. As a consequence, fisheries become massively easier to manage when mothers—particularly older, highly successful mothers—are protected.

We celebrate Mother’s Day not just for the wonderful women in our own lives, but also for the animals who’ll provide us a healthy future.



* Copyleft. Multi-license with GFDL and Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.5 and older versions (2.0 and 1.0)

Launch of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics— “004”!

We were delighted to host the launch of the Fourth Edition of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics at the London Review Bookshop last Thursday evening. Contributors, well-wishers and lifelong fans gathered together to celebrate this magnificent book. Among them was the contributor on Poetry of Russia, Andrew Kahn, who was kind enough to share his admiration for this much-loved work in a speech:

“Like the appearance of a new James Bond film, the appearance of the fourth edition of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics—004!—is cause for jubilation.

This new edition is a magnificent book and achievement. Was there ever a work that taught us more about the ideal and the practical, the historical and the theoretical? Was there ever a work that in a single volume ranged across so many forms of the imagination? Perhaps the Bible, but then for many of its readers, and I include myself, the Princeton Encyclopedia is something of a Bible, containing revelations, divine writings, miracles of concision and lightly worn authority, the precepts of wisdom literature and abundant storytelling. Except that the God of Poetics wears her learning lightly. While deeply serious, and executed with great technical finish, this Good Book is a lovable and playful work. One would want to praise it in terms commensurate it with its contents and achievement. One would therefore want to be a ‘Meistersinger’ (p. 860) gripped by a ‘furor poeticus’ (p.531), ‘inspired’ (p.709) with ‘intensity’ (p. 710) to dithyrambic flights (p.371), to new heights of ‘agudeza’ (p.26), to praise Princeton Press ‘phonesthemically’ (p.1038) in rhyme, near rhyme or even ottava rima, to lavish ‘hovering accents’ (p.640) or devise hypograms (p.649), to roar with leonine rhymes or fire a cybertext, and then to repeat the pythiambic ode, a paplindrome of rispetto or, if you all joined in, to stage a ‘poetry slam’ (p.1070)—a Zulu izibongo (p. 1553) or an epinikion in the Pindaric mode.

It’s not news that the art of poetry has many rules and forms from ‘agudeza’ to ‘Zulu’. But the Princeton Encyclopedia always manages to make it new. This indispensable manual has a history of being savoured and cherished, and the fourth edition will instruct and inspire faithful users and new readers alike. Its reach is global–the expanded selection of national chapters bears witness to the universality and vitality of poetry. It’s worth its considerable weight in gold (but well priced so have no fear). But there’s a further aspect to the Princeton Encyclopedia that I find profoundly wonderful. Poetry as we see it assembled, explored, taxonomized, appreciated and renewed here is a mirror of civilizations and hearts and minds. It turns out that poetry is nothing less than the sum total of virtually everything that goes into thinking and writing about life. In fact, one has only to glance at topical chapters to see that poetry IS life because poetry goes hand in hand with anthropology, belief, culture, dance, gender, history, linguistics, music, painting, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion, science, technology and therapy. And if I might strike a personal note, there are many reference works about poetry, but there is only one that commands universal respect. Contributing a chapter on my subject, and writing an essayistic account of the lives and lines of the poets of Russia, was a privilege and uplifting responsibility.

Horace, a grand old man of poet legislators and sometimes a killjoy, says ‘Nil admirari est’—‘It’s better not to admire’. But the learning, style and sheer scale of Princeton Encyclopedia is worthy of Horace’s own famous Poetics, now fitted for our times yet ‘more lasting than bronze’. 007 may only have so many lives, 004 is imperishable! The contributors, editors and publishers deserve all our ungrudging admiration, congratulations and thanks for the latest incarnation of this tremendous work of learning and spirit.”

Andrew Kahn — Contributor, Poetry of Russia

The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science – see the experiments in action!

    Neil Downie, author of the intriguingly titled ‘Vacuum Bazookas, Electric Rainbow Jelly, and 27 Other Saturday Science Projects’, has a new book out from Princeton in June called ‘The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science: The Very Best Backyard Science Experiments You Can Do Yourself’.

    For a taster of the treats in store for you see Neil’s youtube video.

Pterosaurs are almost here!

Are you a big fan of flying reptiles?

Here at the PUP, we certainly are.  Last year we gave you a sneak peak at a book we have in development with author Mark Witton on Pterosaurs.  If you are not quite sure what a Pterosaur is, here’s an image to give you an idea:

(Cool, right?)

That’s why we at the press are very pleased to announce the launch of Mark Witton’s new blog, at which you can find more of the beautiful images and information about Pterosaurs (such as this characterization by Witton himself: “Even the boring ones have natty looking teeth and preposterous bodily proportions, while more extreme variants wouldn’t look out of place in a Guillermo del Toro movie.”)

The site also features a new excerpt from the upcoming book.

Check it out, and stay on the lookout for more news about the Pterosaurs release!

Happy 5th Anniversary to Our Friends at Bloggingheads.tv

Congratulations to our friends at Bloggingheads.tv for their 5th year annivesary.  To commemorate the momentous occasion, those creative geniuses went back through their treasure trove of diavlogs to chronicle the past five years, Billy Joel-style!  I count two Princeton University Press authors making appearances (Daniel Drezner and Mark Kleiman).  Check it out below!

Kuran comments on what it means to live under sharia law

Timur Kuran, author of The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East, has been busy posting on his book’s Facebook page! His most recent posting commented on a leader in last week’s Economist about controversies regarding Sharia, the holy law of Islam.

Here’s an excerpt:
An observation of the leader is that few people know what the imposition of the sharia would mean for daily life. Indeed, to people whose knowledge of Islam comes from sensational headlines the sharia involves cutting hands and stoning. To many Islamists, it involves fair adjudication and submission to an inerrant divine code.

To read more, please click here. And if you haven’t already, “Like” The Long Divergence‘s Facebook page so you can receive notice when Kuran posts more fascinating Notes! To get to the book’s Facebook page, click here.

Featured PUP Blogging Author, Raghuram G. Rajan

To learn more about an author, there is no better way than to check out their blog.  Our featured PUP blogging author today is Raghuram G. Rajan, author of Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy.  Get to know the blogger, the blog and his books.

Raghuram G. Rajan is the Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Introducing Raghuram Rajan’s blog at:

You can also check out this Q&A with Rajan on the NYT’s blog, Freakonomics:


Fault Lines:
How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy
By Raghuram G. Rajan

Q&A with Rajan: http://bit.ly/aFnjYQ

Also by Raghuram G. Rajan:

Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists:
Unleashing the Power of Financial Markets to Create Wealth and Spread Opportunity
By Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales

The Squam Lake Report:
Fixing the Financial System
By Kenneth R. French, Martin N. Baily, John Y. Campbell, John H. Cochrane, Douglas W. Diamond, Darrell Duffie, Anil K Kashyap, Frederic S. Mishkin, Raghuram G. Rajan, David S. Scharfstein, Robert J. Shiller, Hyun Song Shin, Matthew J. Slaughter, Jeremy C. Stein, and René M. Stulz

(Photo by Dan Dry. © University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

Following PUP Authors on their Blogs – First up, Marisa A. Abrajano & R. Michael Alvarez

Welcome to a new feature on our blog that has the catchy name, “PUP Blogging Authors”.  To learn more about an author, there is no better way than to check out their blog.  Author blogs provide upfront, personal, informative, and entertaining information about their books, their research, and their day-to-day lives.  Our “PUP Blogging Authors” feature consists of three parts: Blogger, Blogs, and Books.

Our featured bloggers are the authors of New Faces, New Voices: The Hispanic Electorate in America.

Marisa A. Abrajano is assistant professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of Campaigning to the New American Electorate. R. Michael Alvarez is professor of political science at the California Institute of Technology. He is the coauthor of Electronic Elections and Hard Choices, Easy Answers (both Princeton).

Blogs: We invite you to learn more about their book and election research on their blog, New Faces, New Voices: http://www.newfacesnewvoices.org/

You can also find more blogging from R. Michael Alvarez on the blog, Election Updates.  The blog covers new research, analysis and commentary on election reform, voting technology, and election administration.

Books:  For descriptions, sample chapters, and table of contents, visit:

New Faces, New Voices:
The Hispanic Electorate in America
By Marisa A. Abrajano & R. Michael Alvarez

Also by R. Michael Alvarez:

Electronic Elections:
The Perils and Promises of Digital Democracy
By R. Michael Alvarez & Thad E. Hall

Hard Choices, Easy Answers:
Values, Information, and American Public Opinion
R. Michael Alvarez & John Brehm