We’re happy to be here in Milwaukee with the folks of The Wildlife Society, but we also know not everyone who wanted to was able to come on out for the 2013 TWS, so we’re pleased to open our virtual exhibit to meeting attendees and the wildlife professionals and nature enthusiasts who were unable to make it. Simply click on the banner below to enter our virtual exhibit. All the books are 25% off using code HEYE.
Category Archives: Botany
News and Notes
Take a look at our new Fall 2013 catalog to see what’s in store for the coming season.
Valerie Weaver-Zercher, author of Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels, writes about ‘Why Amish Romance Novels Are Hot’ in The Wall Street Journal.
Mark Bowden writes in the The Atlantic, “In a monumental and meticulous two-volume study of the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2008), Michael Burlingame . . . presents Lincoln’s actions and speeches not as they have come to be remembered, through the fine lens of our gratitude and admiration, but as they were received in his day. (All of the examples in this essay are drawn from Burlingame’s book, which should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in Lincoln.)”.
Hot off the Press
The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity Recently interviewed on The Diane Rehm Show about infidelity and how it affects marriage, children, and families, author Scott Haltzman teaches readers that the secret to surviving infidelity can be summed up with one word: trust.
The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants: Easy to Pick, Easy to Prepare Coaches curious foragers on how to safely identify, gather, and prepare delicious dishes from readily available plants—and clearly indicates which wild plants to avoid.
On Depression: Drugs, Diagnosis, and Despair in the Modern World Lasting happiness comes not from chasing the American dream but from living an authentic life—which includes despair.
Managing Your Depression: What You Can Do to Feel Better A concise, practical guide to managing mood disorders for anyone suffering from these debilitating conditions.
Suing Alma Mater: Higher Education and the Courts This careful reading of six legal cases in American higher education is an essential primer for understanding contemporary litigation.
Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies This reissue of what is widely known as “the little green book” features a new foreword by Cynthia J. Arnson, director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Abraham F. Lowenthal, founding director of the Latin American Program, who wrote the original volume’s foreword.
Our podcast series visited recently with James Marten, who takes over as editor of the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth this year. Marten joined us to talk about his plans for the new role as well as the progress of the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth. Subscribe to our iTunes feed so you don’t miss any episodes of the podcast.
The journal Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics has a new website at www.nibjournal.org. The site provides information about how to best use the four-year-old journal, as well as guidelines for authors and links to sample articles.
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After a stalled spring, much of the Mid-Atlantic region leapfrogged from winter to summer last week. When temperatures reached ninety degrees, spring ephemerals, which had huddled underground in shivering clumps, emerged with the speed of time-lapse photography. Dormant gardens took shape before our eyes. In that spirit, we bring you “The Garden,” a poem in JHU Press author Brian Swann’s latest collection, In Late Light.
Colors are broken down again
into a collection of breathing. They arrived
as if from nowhere. Some stagger and stay.
Some leave, their sirens giving way to
the flame that sips like a clock. I am
walking around pretending to be
on my way, making edges as I go,
the current curling round me
in ribbons, a tongue flicking in eddies.
There are no lines, just flights, quick
and brilliant, sweeping me up. I wish
for them to stop. They don’t.
Everything is rising. Everything is running over.
Brian Swann is the author of several collections of poems, including Autumn Road, winner of The Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award and Snow House, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Pleiades Press/LSU Press. His most recent collection, In Late Light, was published by the JHU Press.
guest post by Theresa M. Kelley
Writing Clandestine Marriage was fascinating for me. It was challenging, too, but above all, working on this book sharpened my interest in how literature meets, or sidles up to, science. Here I want to talk about two examples from the book that present literature at work in ways that tell a good deal about the permeability between forms of thought, even those that seem so evidently distinct, like literature and science.
The first of these examples comes from Chapter 3, provocatively titled “Botany’s Publics and Privates.” This chapter ends with Erasmus Darwin’s The Botanic Garden (published in 1789 and 1791, and often reprinted afterward), a poem that delivers a wily mix of public science by toggling between the Linnaean taxonomic system and persistent reflections on the private loves between and affinities among plants. It is nearly impossible, after reading this poem, not to imagine plants as living beings. Just as remarkable is the way the poem creates a cascading slide of differences and similarities that works across its taxonomic argument and within the formal separation between the poem’s verse and its long scientific notes. As Darwin nudges the reader to think, in ways that Linnaeus would have found unacceptable, about how some plants look like lambs or insects or people, the poem plays havoc with our understanding of how a scientific note and a poetic verse are supposed to be different, as the “poet” says they are when he describes this poem to his “Bookseller” in one of the dialogues that Darwin puts between cantos of the poem. In the end, poems and notes become so conjoined in their efforts to think up and pursue different, surprising relationships between kinds of plants, and between plants and everything else, that the patient (or impatient) reader hardly knows where to turn.
The consequences of this formal disturbance are at once playful and serious. During the older Darwin’s lifetime (Erasmus was the grandfather of Charles), the effort to identify species and genera as fixed scientific locations for plants and animals was quite literally global. This effort was confounded by either the European discovery of new plants or animals (for non-Europeans who had long observed these plants and animals, the word “discovery” would have seemed silly), or, and this is really in the end the more exciting point, by the possibility that an animal or especially a plant could be said to have traits that belonged to other species and other genera. How, taxonomists asked, could you designate the species of a plant if it appeared to have affinities—cross relations—that seemed at least as important as those that were said to make the plant part of another species? What is fascinating about The Botanic Garden is the way the poem and its notes stage, in the very formal differences between notes and poetic verse, the loose and, as it were, cross-platform affiliations that Linnaeus’s system was supposed to anchor in one way and no other.
My second example occurs in Chapter 4, “Botanizing Women,” which explores the manner in which women both practiced botany in the Romantic era and were themselves botanized as attractive flowers: yet another way that the slide from people to plants has consequences. In this chapter, I describe the work of a woman who married into one of the most renowned families in the history of England, the Greys of Groby. Katherine Charteris Grey was herself unknown, except that some of her caricatures of orchids as birds, flies and other creatures, including the witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, were reproduced in James Bateman’s Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala (1838-1843). What Bateman does not reveal is that these drawings are in fact pressed flower collages that use plant materials to create highly figurative, in the sense of poetically figurative, depictions of orchids that look like non-plant creatures. What does it mean to make matter—here, plant matter—the basis for poetic figure? I ask this question because we typically understand such figures to be non-literal—yet what could be more literal than the assemblage of plant matter that Grey uses to depict orchids and other plants? And what difference does it make that a woman—and, as it turns out, not the only woman of the long Romantic era to create botanical images out of things as well as on paper—chose to do this? I have continued to think about this in terms of an ancient and problematic (for women) relation between women and matter. Here, I speculate, some women chose to take charge of that relationship instead of being made subject to it.
Theresa M. Kelley is the Marjorie and Lorin Tiefenthaler Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the author of Clandestine Marriage: Botany and Romantic Culture, published by the JHU Press.
News and Notes
E-books now available on JHUP website Did you know that hundreds of our books are available as e-books from vendors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble? Well, we’re pleased to announce that you can now buy e-books directly from our website. Simply add the e-book to your shopping cart and choose your format; ePub, Mobi, and PDF are all available. Check back often, as new e-books are hitting our website every day.
Praise and Reviews
The Charlotte Observer calls Ronald Coddington’s African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album “a stunning album of 77 portrait photographs . . . handsomely reproduced.”
Hot off the Press
Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard: A Cultural History William Kerrigan takes a fresh look at American icon Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman and the story of the apple.
The Epidural Book: A Woman’s Guide to Anesthesia for Childbirth Addresses concerns, confusion, and misinformation about epidurals and other childbirth anesthesia.
Maryland’s Civil War Photographs The largest collection of original Maryland-related Civil War photographs ever published.
The Evolution of the Human Placenta Michael L. Power and Jay Schulkin reveal the amazing evolution of the human placenta—and in so doing, show how each of our lives began.
Clandestine Marriage: Botany and Romantic Culture In the romantic era, botany played a role in debates about life, nature, and knowledge, as evidenced in this ambitious, beautifully illustrated study.
Phantom Menace or Looming Danger? A New Framework for Assessing Bioweapons Threats Kathleen M. Vogel argues for a major shift in how analysts assess bioweapons threats and calls for an increased focus on the social and political context in which technological threats are developed.
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JHU Press Welcomes Three New Journals
The Journals Division will add three new journals to its collection later this year, announced Journals Publisher Bill Breichner. This brings the total number of journals published by the JHU Press to 78.
All three journals come to the JHU Press with an established history. Leviathan is the youngest of the three, entering its 15th volume. The CEA Critic will publish its 74th volume next year while Classical World is finishing its 105th year of publishing before joining our list.
Published three times a year, The CEA Critic is edited by Molly Desjardins, Jeri Kraver, and Michael Mills, all from the University of Northern Colorado. Matthew S. Santirocco from New York University serves as the editor of the quarterly Classical World. Leviathan is published three times a year with John Bryant from Hofstra University as editor and Samuel Otter from the University of California, Berkeley, as associate editor.
Hot off the Press
In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: Ralph E. Eshelman and Burton K. Kummerow extend an enchanting invitation to travel the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail and discover the amazing world of our ancestors.
The Case of the Green Turtle: An Uncensored History of a Conservation Icon: Alison Rieser provides an unparalleled look into the way science and conservation interact by focusing on the most controversial aspect of green turtle conservation—farming. While proponents argued that farming green sea turtles would help save them, opponents countered that it encouraged a taste for turtle flesh that would lead to the slaughter of wild stocks. The clash of these viewpoints once riveted the world.
The Science of Navigation: From Dead Reckoning to GPS: In today’s world of online maps and travel directions delivered wirelessly to hand-held devices, getting from place to place requires little thought from most of us—which is a good thing, since accurate navigation can be tricky. Get your bearings with Mark Denny—an expert at explaining scientific concepts in non-technical language—in this all-encompassing look at the history and science of navigation.
Plants of the Chesapeake: A Guide to Wildflowers, Grasses, Aquatic Vegetation, Trees, Shrubs, and Other Flora: Written by Lytton John Musselman and David A. Knepper, wetland scientists with decades of experience in the Bay’s waterways, this guide includes detailed descriptions and beautiful photographs of the plants most commonly found in the Chesapeake Bay.
Math Goes to the Movies: Burkard Polster and Marty Ross pored through the cinematic calculus to create this thorough and entertaining survey of the quirky, fun, and beautiful mathematics to be found on the big screen.
Outlier States: American Strategies to Change, Contain, or Engage Regimes: Robert S. Litwak examines the role of the United States as an enforcer against the development of nuclear weapons in the international community.
News, Notes, and Reviews
Even in the heat of summer, Polar Bears: A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Behavior continues to receive high praise. “This magnificent species has got the book it deserves,” says Jeff Wilson of BBC Wildlife.
Wondering what’s coming out in the months ahead? Take a look through our Fall 2012 catalog? It’s chock full of all the JHU Press goodness you’ve come to know and expect, now in a new size and format. Feedback is welcome!
Project MUSE has a new logo: In June, the staff of Project MUSE introduced their new logo to the public at the American Library Association. While we’ll all miss Calliope, we do like to think that this new, modern design is eye-catching.
The God particle revealed: Don Lincoln, JHUP author of The Quantum Frontier and Fermilab physicist explains the concepts behind the search for this elusive particle using simple dice. Read more about this discovery on NOVA’s Physics blog: The Nature of Reality.
Guest post by Lytton John Musselman
Teaching courses about wetland plants at a university on the shores of Chesapeake Bay for almost four decades privileged me to observe and study the wonderful panoply of vegetation in the waters of the Bay, its shores, marshes, beaches, and swamps. Unabashedly, I love these organisms and never tire of seeing them in their habitat, learning about their struggles and successes, their seasonality, the nuances of their habitat requirements, their human uses from food to glass making. It is a great blessing to be a botanist with a career centered on plants and to share their wonder. I love introducing students to these denizens of the Bay.
One of these students was David Knepper who became interested in plants as an undergraduate and pursued a career in botany where he now shares his knowledge with a wide array of people. David was a logical partner in this work and someone who shares my fascination with plants. And like any teacher, I am proud that I now learn so much from him, one of the advantages of having a long career in one place.
Both David and I have our favorite Bay plants. Mine is the group of fern allies known as quillworts. Fern allies don’t necessarily look like ferns but have a life cycle similar to ferns and are evolutionarily related. I would not hesitate to say that quillworts, species of the genus Isoetes are perhaps the least studied group of plants in the United States. They are thunderously underwhelming, appearing like a grass—very narrow leaves that taper to a point with a swollen base giving the appearance of an old-fashioned writing quill, hence the name quillwort. David and I published a paper on these fascinating plants, comprising perhaps six species in the Bay, several years ago and since that time we have found several species new to science.
That is remarkable, considering the long tradition of botany in the Bay region where scientists from the Smithsonian and the many universities around the Bay have studied for years. Even more remarkable is that Isoetes mattaponica is a narrow endemic found only in Bay waters. In fact, it is the only plant endemic to the Bay. In a previous geologic era it may have been more widespread; recent molecular research has discovered the I. mattaponica genome in other quillworts as far afield as Tennessee.
This unassuming (like all quillworts) plant is rare and becoming rarer. It inhabits pristine freshwater tidal marshes and grows interstitially among emergent marsh plants, making I. mattaponica difficult to find. In the past few years we have watched with alarm as several of these populations restricted to the Mattaponi, Pamunkey, and Chickahominy Rivers have become increasingly smothered by two nasty invasives—hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) and aneilema (Aneilema keisak).
How ironic it would be that a plant found not long ago would become extinct within the lifetime of the discoverers. How many more endemic quillworts might there be? How many have we already lost?
Quillworts have virtually no direct economic value but they are invaluable indices of habitat quality. Conversely, the glassworts (species of the genus Salicornia and the various genera that have been separated from this
genus with resultant taxonomic dissonance) have been used since ancient times for making glass. The connection between a salt marsh plant and the production of glass may seem remote until you realize that these halophytes (salt-loving plants) provide a source of soda ash, a mixture of chemicals necessary in glass production. The plants are harvested and burned, the ashes then mixed with the raw materials of glass.
It is counterintuitive to think that plants used to make glass also make a good meal but that is the case with glassworts. All our species are edible but seldom collected while in Europe they are considered a delicacy. One of my former students worked as a chef in Paris and refers to them as haricots verts de la mer “green beans from the sea,” as they are known in French—a real delicacy and easy to prepare. They are plated for serving like green beans, or more commonly, scattered over a fish or sauced seafood dish. The second use adds flavor and good green color to the plate. Simply steam the young stems; no salt is needed since these plants accumulate salt.
Lytton John Musselman is Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany and manager of the Blackwater Ecologic Preserve at Old Dominion University. His latest book, coauthored with David Knepper, is Plants of the Chesapeake Bay: A Guide to Wildflowers, Grasses, Aquatic Vegetation, Trees, Shrubs, and Other Flora.
Guest post by Theodore W. Pietsch
When most people think of trees, they envision the leafy-green, growing, photosynthesizing kind, but there’s a vast forest out there made up of an entirely different kind of tree—branching diagrams and related iconography that attempt to reveal the relationships of plants and animals. For at least the past 500 years, naturalists, realizing that words are not nearly enough, have sought to demonstrate similarities and differences (or to reveal the imagined temporal order in which God created life on Earth) among organisms pictorially, that is, through a fascinating array of diagrams of various sorts. Most of the diagrams resemble trees in the botanical sense—images with parts analogous to trunks, limbs, and terminal twigs.
I first became interested in these “trees of life” as a young graduate student some 45 years ago and, for no other reason than I thought they were beautiful, I’ve been collecting them ever since—making photocopies and filing them away, with no thought of what I might do with them later on. Then in 2009, when the world was celebrating Charles Darwin’s birthday (1809) and the publication of his On the Origin of Species (1859), I again began to think more about “trees” and it dawned on me that a book about them might be worth pursuing. I dug out my old files and soon realized that my collection hardly did the subject justice.
I then began a determined search for more and found, not just more of the same, but a surprising, almost infinite variety of design. And the rest is history: Trees of Life: A Visual History of Evolution was published in April 2012 by the JHU Press. I invite you to take a look and see for yourself these images that attest to the manifest beauty, intrinsic interest, and human ingenuity revealed in trees of life through time.
Theodore W. Pietsch is Dorothy T. Gilbert Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Curator of Fishes at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is author of more than a dozen books, including The Curious Death of Peter Artedi: A Mystery in the History of Science and Oceanic Anglerfishes: Extraordinary Diversity in the Deep Sea.
Stars Wars fanatics the world over, Mobtown not excluded, celebrated May the 4th be with You, I’ll Have Another is headed to Baltimore for the second leg of the Triple Crown, and the Baltimore Orioles swept the Boston Red Sox after a marathon 17-inning game. We’ve been busy at the Press, too. Read on for a roundup of recent happenings at America’s oldest university press.
New to Hit the Shelves
Trees of Life: A Visual History of Evolution: For the past 450 years, tree-like branching diagrams have been created to show the complex and surprising interrelationships of organisms, both living and fossil, from viruses and bacteria to birds and mammals. This stunning book by Theodore W. Pietsch celebrates the manifest beauty, intrinsic interest, and human ingenuity of these exquisite trees of life.
The Tea Party: A Brief History: The Tea Party burst on the national political scene in 2009–2010, powered by right-wing grassroots passion and Astroturf big money. In this concise book, American political historian Ronald P. Formisano probes the remarkable rise of the Tea Party movement during a time of economic crisis and cultural change and examines its powerful impact on American politics.
Beatlemania: Technology, Business, and Teen Culture in Cold War America: André Millard examines the phenomenon of Beatlemania from an original perspective—the relationship among the music business, recording technologies, and teen and young adult culture of the era. Beatlemania offers a new way of understanding the days of the Fab Four and the band’s long-term effects on the business and culture of music.
Fanny Hill in Bombay: The Making and Unmaking of John Cleland: Cleland is among the most scandalous figures in British literary history, both celebrated and attacked as a pioneer of pornographic writing in English. Hal Gladfelder combines groundbreaking research into Cleland’s tumultuous life with incisive readings of his sometimes extravagant, sometimes perverse body of work.
The Truth Machine: A Social History of the Lie Detector: For centuries, all manner of truth-seekers have used the lie detector. In this eye-opening book, Geoffrey C. Bunn unpacks the history of this device from the Lindbergh baby case to the O.J. Simpson trial and explores the interesting and often surprising connection between technology and popular culture.
Secret Lives of Ants: Jae Choe takes readers into a miniature world dominated by six-legged organisms—the world of the ant. All of nature is revealed through the secret lives of the amazing ants, and in the words of the author, “Once you get to know them, you’ll love them.”
Praise for the Short Story
Richard Burgin continues to intrigue readers with his latest fiction collection, Shadow Traffic. Per Contra: An International Journal of the Arts, Literature, and Ideas calls it “brilliant, arguably his best book yet.” And a review in Potomac: A Journal of Poetry and Politics congratulates Burgin for “pumping out gripping and resilient fiction year after year.”
Robley Wilson’s Who Will Hear Your Secrets? is still receiving rave reviews. Publisher’s Weekly calls his stories “pitch-perfect.” The collection features stories focused on fragile human relationships marked by lies, betrayals, suppressed memories, and rare moments of joy.
Guest Post by Leslie Day
Most people are surprised that trees actually flower. Yet this spring ritual of pink cherry blossoms, white clouds of Callery pear blooms, magnolia, apple, and purple leaf plum flowers exploded in March, about 5-6 weeks ahead of schedule. It was so striking that fashion photographer Bill Cunningham of the New York Times, devoted his weekly Styles column to the beauty that Mother Nature wore up and down the streets and throughout the city parks. So that you can see these trees with your own eyes, check out the slideshow below for photos of the really showy tree flowers–callery pear, cherry, apple, magnolia, and purple leaf plum flowers.
Now we are a couple of weeks into spring and, for me, the real beauty is slowly revealing itself. I am referring to the delicate tree flowers most people never notice: red maple flowers, oak catkins, elm flowers, and samaras (the winged seeds now a brilliant lime green). Wherever you live, as you walk down your block , you cannot help but notice color coming back into view: pale pinks, reds, terra cottas, and myriad shades of green as early spring tree flowers and then delicate leaf buds start to bloom.
Most of us learn in high school biology (or in elementary school if we are lucky enough to have a good science teacher) that it is the flower that produces a plant’s seeds. However, most adults forget that trees could not reproduce unless they possessed flowers, some incredibly showy in order to attract pollinating animals, and some inconspicuous because they just hang out there, waiting for the wind to carry their sperm-filled pollen to an ovary of the same flower species waiting on another tree. Although people suffering with allergies always blame the flamboyant flowers of cherries, apples, and magnolias, it is the small, inconspicuous, wind-pollinated flowers (from oak trees, for instance) that make us sick. And yet they too are incredibly delicate and beautiful.
To help you identify these trees, see the slideshow below for photos of the smaller, delicate flowers–red maple flowers, elm keys, American elm samaras, and red oak catkins.
Whether you are allergic or not, here’s to spring in all her beauty, thanks mainly to our glorious trees.
Leslie Day is the author of two beautifully illustrated guides to the natural side of New York City: Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City and Field Guide to the Street Trees of New York City, both available from the JHU Press.