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On July 20, 1969, the world watched as Neil Armstrong took humankind’s first steps on the moon.

This giant leap instantly became the defining moment in space history. There were now American footprints on the moon, fulfilling the late President John F. Kennedy’s promise to do so by the end of the decade.

Pad 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, looking west on the evening of January 27, 2017, fifty years to the day of the Apollo 1 fire. Several private memorials have been placed at the site over the decades. One reminds visitors: “Remember them not for how they died but for those ideals for which they lived.” (Photo by George Leopold)

NASA’s accomplishment is all the more incredible in light of the tragedy that occurred just two-and-half years prior, when on January 27, 1967, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee lost their lives in a fire during a launch pad test of the Apollo 1 spacecraft. The nation was in shock and NASA was forced to confront the mistakes that led to the avoidable deaths of its own astronauts.

In its haste to reach the moon by the end of the decade, NASA had pushed the flawed Apollo 1 craft to its limits. Though it was too late for the Apollo 1 astronauts, NASA ultimately realized that there was much that needed to be changed if they were to make it to the moon.

“One of the cruel ironies, the central paradox of the Space Race, was that a launch pad fire actually saved the Apollo program,” notes George Leopold, Gus Grissom’s biographer. “The reason was the evidence of what had been overlooked in Grissom’s ship—the faulty wiring, the leaking coolant, the lack of flame-retardant materials in the spacecraft, the clumsy, inward-opening hatch, and most important of all, NASA’s misguided engineering decision to use pure oxygen under pressure on the launch pad—all of it was there for the investigators to sift through.”

Tragedy struck, but NASA learned from it, and the groundwork was laid to successfully put humankind on the moon.

Armstrong was empowered to take that first giant leap on the surface of the moon because of those who did so before him on Earth, including Grissom, White, and Chaffee who took calculated risks to fulfill Kennedy’s promise.

NASA did not make it to the moon despite the failure of the mission; rather, NASA achieved their goal because of the contributions and the sacrifices of these astronauts, and the doors they opened for future giant leaps

As Purdue University celebrates 150 Years of Giant Leaps with its sesquicentennial celebration in 2019; as the world recognizes the fiftieth anniversary of Armstrong’s first steps on the moon in July of this year; we cast the spotlight, today, on the crew of Apollo 1 and in particular Purdue alumnus astronauts Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, whose giant leaps and ultimate sacrifice moved humankind forward, to the moon and beyond.



The information in this post came from Grissom’s biography, Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom, Revised and Expanded and a previous Q&A with the author, George Leopold.











2018 was a great year at Purdue University Press, highlighted by a full slate of scholarly and trade books, as well as several journals that were released during our Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter seasons.

In May of 2018 we welcomed Clarence Maybee as a new series editor for the Purdue Information Literacy Handbooks, and in November we welcomed Justin Race as the new Director of Purdue University Press.

As we move forward into 2019 stay engaged with us and subscribe to our email newsletter to get the latest on books and promotions. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, especially to make sure you catch our upcoming “New Year, New Book, New You” sale!

To get a comprehensive list of what came out this year, click on #PUPYearinReview in the tweet below, check out our catalogs listed at the end of this post, or visit www.press.purdue.edu.




Thank you for keeping in touch with the Press, Happy New Year and we’ll see you in 2019!



Q&A with author Jay Michaelson

November 27th, 2018

To prepare for the release of the 36.3 issue of Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Purdue University Press interviewed contributor Jay Michaelson about religion, writing, and more. 

Michaelson is an affiliated assistant professor at Chicago Theological Seminary, where his work focuses on the intersection of queer studies and Jewish theology. His scholarly publications include “Queering Kabbalistic Gender Dimorphism,” “Hating Law for Christian Reasons: The Religious Roots of American Anti-lawyerism,” and “Chaos, Law, and God: The Religious Meanings of Homosexuality.” His books include Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism (Trumpeter, 2009) and God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality (Beacon, 2011). A book based on his doctoral dissertation, Jacob Frank: From Jewish Antinomianism to Esoteric Myth, is presently under review. He holds a PhD in Jewish thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a JD from Yale Law School, and nondenominational rabbinic ordination. 

Michaelson’s article  “Queering Martin Buber: Harry Hay’s Erotic Dialogical?” appears in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, volume 36, issue 3. 


Q – Your article, “Queering Martin Buber: Harry Hay’s Erotic Dialogical?,” is featured in the upcoming edition of Shofar. What was the inspiration behind the article?


In certain gay subcultures, Harry Hay’s philosophy is well-known and actively practiced, and yet there’s very little awareness there of its close relationship to Buber’s. At first, I was interested in possible influences; as the research went on, this morphed into an interest in phenomenological affinities and differences, and how the two thinkers could complement one another.”


Q – You have had diverse success as a writer; your work ranges from best-selling books to scholarly articles. How do you feel this variety affects your writing and thinking?


As an “alt-ac” with a long-term visiting position at Chicago Theological Seminary but a primary career outside the academy, there’s a certain freedom in being able to write scholarly articles on a wide variety of subjects, and I certainly make use of that. In addition, I’m interested in bridging discourses between “high” philosophers such as Buber and outsider thinkers like Hay. I’m not sure Hay is (or deserves to be) taken seriously by proper philosophy scholars, and yet there’s something quite interesting in his eroticizing of the dialogical that I think is worthy of analysis.”


Q – How does your spiritual practices and meditation impact your writing?


It depends on the work. In the case of this article, I was interested in trying to assess, based on the textual evidence, how these similar but divergent dialogical philosophies might be experienced in practice, rather than solely on the page. I think that’s informed by my work in the contemplative world. At the same time, I’m extremely wary of imposing any of my own experiences onto the subjects at hand.”


Q – You’ve extensively covered both Buddhism and Judaism. What do you believe are some of the most compelling similarities/differences between the two?


I feel like I’ve written a book on that subject.… I think for many people, myself included, the Buddha Dharma provides a less theologically freighted set of contemplative practices that can enrich a Jewish communal and ritual life. The questions Buddhism asks about suffering and the end of suffering are complementary to those Judaism asks about justice and relationship to the Divine. I see them as having different conversations.”


Q – As a political correspondent and writer, you’re required to keep in close contact with current events. How do these particularly chaotic times affect your work and life?


In terms of the work, I think there’s a constant awareness of the justice impacts of any idea under consideration, including those in this article. For example, for all of Hay’s genius, the problem of essentialism, which I discuss in the article, is particularly glaring in the context of nationalism, ethnocentrism, and threats to democracy. As soon as one group of people declares itself intrinsically different from and better than another, we’re in trouble.”


Q – How do you feel your personal life/childhood influences your writing in your fields of study?


Certainly this particular article reflects my own identity as queer person on the one hand, and on the other as an American Jew who encountered popularizations of Buber at an early, formative age.”


Q – What would you like for readers to glean from your article “Queering Martin Buber: Harry Hay’s Erotic Dialogical?”?


I’d be happy simply to introduce mainstream Jewish studies scholars to considering the sex-negative and implicitly queer-negative elements in various forms of philosophical discourse. There have been some excellent encounters recently between queer/LGBTQ studies and Jewish studies, and I’d be thrilled for this to be another of them.”


Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies is a triannual publication that produces original, peer-reviewed scholarly articles, issues on special topics, book forums, review essays, and the occasional forum on Contemporary Critical Jewish Studies. Shofar reaches an international readership with an impressive range of reliably robust offerings primarily in modern history, literature, culture, and the arts. Shofar’s special issues have covered a wide range of timely subjects, including Diaspora and exile in modern Jewish culture, the transcultural generation in Israeli literature, race and Jews in America, and Holocaust and genocide cinema. To learn more about or subscribe to Shofar, visit: www.shofarjournal.org.

Seven individuals from Purdue University are being recognized (Monday, Oct. 22) for their contributions to open access with the Leadership in Open Access Award from Purdue University Libraries and the Office of the Provost.

This week (Oct. 22-28) academic institutions and libraries across the globe are celebrating the benefits of Open Access for research and scholarship during the 11th annual International Open Access Week commemoration.

Purdue Libraries 2018 Leadership in Open Access Award Winner Dean of Purdue Polytechnic Institute Gary Bertoline and Interim Dean of Libraries Rhonda Phillips

Purdue Libraries 2018 Leadership in Open Access Award Winner Dean of Purdue Polytechnic Institute Gary Bertoline (right) and Interim Dean of Purdue Libraries and Dean of the Purdue Honors College Rhonda Phillips

The individuals selected to receive the award this year include: Dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute Gary Bertoline; David Huckleberry, coordinator of digital instruction, Purdue Department of Physics and Astronomy; and five continuing lecturers with Purdue Department of Mathematics, including: Owen Davis, Huimei Delgado, David Norris, Patrick Devlin, and Timothy Delworth.

According to Scholarly Publishing Outreach Specialist Nina Collins, the individuals contributed to the following open access projects:

  • Dean Bertoline and Purdue Polytechnic Institute collaborated with Purdue e-Pubs to build a bridge between the content entered into Digital Measures (an online tool faculty use to organize, manage, and report on activities and CV data) and Purdue e-Pubs’ repository content. The new bridge enables faculty using Digital Measures to opt in easily in order to have citations for their publications harvested by Purdue e-Pubs staff. Once harvested, Purdue e-Pubs staff review publisher-sharing policies and work with faculty, providing free, mediated deposits to Purdue e-Pubs, Purdue University’s institutional repository (which provides free, global access to the scholarly outputs of Purdue University).
  • In 2014, Delworth and Delgado participated in a workshop by the Open Textbook Network sponsored by Purdue University Libraries. Delgado, Devlin, Norris, and Davis worked with Huckleberry and ITaP staff to launch LON-CAPA, an open-source learning content management system, to support the adoption of open education resources in mathematics courses. To date, the Purdue Department of Mathematics, in collaboration with ITaP, have provided LON-CAPA courseware for more than 25,000 students, saving these students the burden of purchasing expensive math textbooks.
Purdue Libraries Recognizes 2018 Leadership in Open Access Award Winners

Interim Dean of Purdue Libraries Rhonda Phillips with three of the Purdue Libraries’ 2018 Leadership in Open Access Award winners. Pictured, (L to R): Patrick Devlin, Rhonda Phillips, Dave Huckleberry, and Huimei Delgado. (Not pictured: Owen Davis, David Norris, and Timothy Delworth.)

According to Interim Dean of Libraries Rhonda Phillips, the individuals were selected to receive the recognition this year for leading by example in the Open Access movement at Purdue University.

“These individuals have demonstrated leadership in Open Access to scholarly resources, and they truly exemplify what it means to ‘design equitable foundations for open knowledge,’ the theme of International Open Access Week 2018,” Phillips said. “I am pleased to present the 2018 Leadership in Open Access Award to each of them, in recognition of their outstanding leadership in this area, as well as of their continued commitment to increase visibility of scholarship at Purdue in partnership with Purdue e-Pubs.”

Since 2012, Purdue e-Pubs has more than 17 million downloads from users all over the world, with the average download rate of more than two million downloads per year.

For more information about Open Access at Purdue, visit www.lib.purdue.edu/openaccess. Learn more about Purdue e-Pubs at http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/.

Justin Race Named Director of Purdue University Press

Justin Race

Justin Race has been named the director of the Purdue University Press, according to Interim Dean of Purdue University Libraries and Dean of the Purdue Honors College Rhonda Phillips.

Race, who will begin his new role Monday, Nov. 12, is currently the director of the University of Nevada Press. During his tenure there, he doubled the content output and grew sales by more than 30 percent in just over three years. Race began his career in publishing in acquisitions with the Lexington Books imprint, Rowman and Littlefield.

“We look forward to Justin joining the Purdue University Press, which is part of the Purdue Libraries,” Phillips said. “Justin’s publishing experience and his excellent track record of driving success as the leader of another university-based press will help him hit the ground running in this position.”

Race received his B.A. in political science from Tufts University and his M.A. from the Committee on Social Thought from the University of Chicago.

“Purdue University Press has a rich tradition, not only of producing worthwhile and quality content, but also of being an innovator in today’s rapidly changing publishing landscape,” Race noted. “I’m delighted to join the team and excited to be a part of the future of the Purdue University Press.”

About Purdue University Press

Founded in 1960, Purdue University Press is dedicated to the dissemination of scholarly and professional information. The Press personnel select, develop, and distribute quality resources in key subject areas for which Purdue University is famous, including aeronautics and astronautics, business, technology, health, veterinary medicine, and other selected disciplines in the humanities and sciences.

As the scholarly publishing arm of Purdue University and a unit of Purdue Libraries, the Press is also a partner for University faculty and staff in Purdue’s academic departments and centers who wish to disseminate the results of their research globally. The Press is a member of the Association of University Presses, the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Association of American Publishers, and is a founding member of the Library Publishing Coalition. Purdue was one of the first in the United States to integrate library/university press/open access scholarly publishing into a single unit.

A revised and expanded paperback edition of Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Time of Gus Grissom by George Leopold will be released on September 15th. In preparation for the release, the press interviewed Leopold to find out more behind his inspiration in writing the book, some thoughts on the book’s subject, and more.


Q: What inspired you to write a book? How did you come across Gus Grissom as a subject?

Leopold: The standard narrative of the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union is divided into two parts: before and after what came to be known simply as The Fire, the catastrophe that killed Gus Grissom and his Apollo 1 crew. After NASA recovered, the contributions of Gus Grissom were mostly forgotten—misremembered, really, when Tom Wolfe published The Right Stuff. Wolfe’s depiction of Grissom in his book and especially in the film version is a cartoon character. Wolfe got it wrong.

This struck me and many others as unjust. I determined to correct the record by writing a biography of Gus Grissom that places his life and career in the context of history of manned spaceflight.

I resolved to write his biography while standing before Gus Grissom’s grave in a lonely section of Arlington National Cemetery.

It only me took seven years.

Q: You have mentioned in previous interviews that you feel Grissom is underappreciated. Given his importance to early space exploration, how do you feel this happened?

Leopold: Part of its was Grissom’s unwillingness to toot his own horn. Gus always said the pre-flight press conferences were harder than the actual space missions. Another factor was the serendipitous nature of the early Project Mercury crew assignments. Most remember Alan Shepard’s first flight and John Glenn’s orbital flight. Grissom was remembered mostly for losing his first spacecraft.

And there was little reward or notoriety outside of his own peer group for the long hours at the factory doing the tedious testing required to get the Gemini and Apollo spacecraft into orbit. Grissom was engineering test pilot by training. All he really wanted to do was to go faster and higher—all the way to the moon and back. He cared not a whit about personal prestige, but he worked tirelessly to ensure the United States was first on the moon. Without Grissom’s contributions, I’m convinced we would not have made it by the end of the 1960s as we so declared.

Q: What do you imagine the space program would look like today if the Apollo 1 mission had been a success?

Leopold: It’s hard to say. Space exploration is a deadly business. If the Apollo 1 fire had not occurred on the launch pad, an accident in space would have been worse because investigators would know next to nothing about the precise cause(s). One of the cruel ironies, the central paradox of the Space Race, was that a launch pad fire actually saved the Apollo program. The reason was the evidence of what had been overlooked in Grissom’s ship—the faulty wiring, the leaking coolant, the lack of flame-retardant materials in the spacecraft, the clumsy inward opening hatch and, most important of all, NASA’s misguided engineering decision to use pure oxygen under pressure on the launch pad—all of it was there for the investigators to sift through.

To its credit, NASA rose from the ashes and built a great machine that took 24 humans to the moon.

Q: What are some things you believe the average person would be most surprised to know about the early age of space exploration?

Leopold: What a risky enterprise this was and the price the astronauts’ families paid. That, and the fact that Grissom and the early astronauts were test pilots who did not fly by the seat of their pants. They accepted risks, but they always sought to minimize them and come back alive. Gus Grissom is widely quoted as saying the rewards outweighed the risks (I never did track down the precise origin of Grissom’s iconic “worth the risk” quote, but he did say something close to this.) Hence, my thesis is that Grissom calculated those risks, dangers that every astronaut had to accept, and determined to proceed.

That decision cost him and his Apollo crew their lives, and shattered their families.

Q: What were some of the changes made for the new edition of the book? What makes it worthwhile for the person who has already read the original?

Leopold: For starters, the new Afterword describes how NASA finally provided a measure of closure for the Grissom, White, and Chaffee families. It’s an account of the 50th anniversary observance of the Apollo 1 fire. Gus Grissom’s brother Lowell did me the honor of an invitation to attend the ceremonies at Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA at long last did right by the crew, mounting a permanent Apollo 1 exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center that includes the scorched hatches. The NASA exhibit also includes photos of Gus Grissom first published in Calculated Risk.

I and others have long argued that some part of the spacecraft should be displayed in a dignified way to remind future generations of the sacrifices of the early astronauts. NASA did just that. The exhibit was long overdue.

Further, we believe the updated version is more readable, and benefited from the kind of crowdsourcing that occurs when a book on an important subject is published. A scholarly peer review process, enabled by social media, identified a few areas for improvement. The result, we firmly believe, is the authoritative account of Gus Grissom’s life and career.

The revised and expanded edition of “Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom” is available September 15 in paperback and e-book formats.

Q: You have spent countless hours researching and interviewing for this book. What is your favorite story that didn’t make it in?

Leopold: Not left out, merely overlooked until recently. When the Apollo 1 crew assignment was announced during a press conference in Houston in March 1966, a reporter asked about the protocol for deciding which two astronauts on each three-man crew would land and walk on the lunar surface during later Apollo missions. A NASA manager started in with a long technical answer.

Grissom listened for a moment, smiled and jumped in—getting right to the point: “If it was this crew, it would be me and somebody else!”

Q: Do you think that Grissom’s reputation has improved? Are there steps you would like to see taken to ensure his place in space history?

Leopold: I’d venture to say Gus Grissom is beloved, especially by those who knew him and understood his competence, dedication, and willingness to work and sacrifice. Those contributions to manned space exploration are certainly more appreciated now than, say, the late 1970s and early 1980s when The Right Stuff narrative held sway. The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire, for which the release of this biography was timed, also contributed to greater appreciation of Grissom’s central role.

My subject would undoubtedly be amused by all the fuss….

I am currently working with a group seeking to place a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the Apollo 1 crew. Gus Grissom and his crew mate and fellow Purdue alumnus Roger Chaffee are buried at Arlington. Surprisingly, there is no monument there commemorating the crew’s sacrifice—as there are for the astronauts lost in the two Space Shuttle accidents. The Apollo 1 memorial at Arlington National Cemetery was authorized by Congress, and we hope to have one in place during a future NASA Day of Remembrance for the Apollo 1 and shuttle crews.

Q: If you could ask Gus Grissom himself one question, what would it be?

Leopold: I would ask about his state of mind in the last weeks of his life, which must have been hell. He knew he had a faulty spacecraft on his hands, but he and the others figured they could fix it as they had done before. In that respect, Gus Grissom was a fatalist.



George Leopold is a veteran technology journalist and science writer who has covered the nexus between technology and policy for over thirty years. Leopold has written extensively about U.S. manned spaceflight, including the Apollo and space shuttle programs. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Scientist, and a variety of other science and technology publications. He resides in Reston, Virginia. Follow him on Twitter!

Get more from Purdue University Press by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribing to our email newsletter! #ReadUP


Purdue University Press announces 12 new books for the Fall/Winter 2018-19 season. These new books, slated for publication from September 2018 through February 2019, feature works in the subject areas of flight and space, library and information sciences, business and leadership, veterinary studies, global languages and literature, literary criticism, Jewish studies, and European history.

Part of this slate of new scholarly and popular books is the release of the revised and expanded paperback edition of Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom. A book on the life of the famed Purdue astronaut that The Wall Street Journal described as “thrillingly told, taking the readers into the cosmos with Grissom, conveying the sense of wonder and danger that accompanied these early voyages.”

To find out more about these forthcoming books download the seasonal catalog or go to www.press.purdue.edu.


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Purdue University Press is the scholarly publishing arm of the University and is a unit within the Purdue University Libraries. Dedicated to the dissemination of scholarly and professional information, the Press selects, develops, and distributes quality resources in several key subject areas for which its parent university is famous, including aeronautics and astronautics, business, technology, engineering education, health, veterinary medicine, and other selected disciplines in the humanities and sciences. The Press is also a partner for university faculty and staff, centers, and departments, wishing to disseminate the results of their research.

In celebration of #ReadABookDay, Purdue University Press asked around the office to see what our team have been reading. We hope you enjoy their responses, and that you’re inspired to let us know what what you’re reading, let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

Liza Hagerman, Assistant Production Editor

I’m currently reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s super long, but I’m finding it easy to get lost in the beautiful writing and intimate stories of the characters. I finally picked it up after several recommendations from friends who were incredibly moved by it—it’s intense, in a good way.

Katherine Purple, Interim Co-Director and Editorial, Design, and Production Manager

I just finished Difficult Women, by Roxanne Gay, which was a Secret Santa gift from December (it only took me eight months to finish — no fault of the author’s!), and before that it was David Sedaris’s Calypso. ​Now I’m focused on finishing another book I was reading concurrently, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara, a thrilling account of her research into the Golden State Killer. Next on my list is to revisit Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, which is one of my favorite books in the world, and which I try to re-read every so often. Normally, however, my job keeps me so busy reading professionally that I often prefer long-form journalism to full books read for pleasure, and my go-to site is www.longform.org. Not a day goes by that I can’t find something enticing to read on that curated site.

Kelley Kimm, Senior Production Editor

I’m starting to read But Can I Start a Sentence with “But”? by the University of Chicago Press editorial staff. The title of the first chapter is “It’s not so much an issue of correctness as of ickiness.” That’s what attracted me.

Matthew Mudd, Marketing & Outreach Specialist

I’ve just started Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold. It was a gift from my sister and I’m very thankful, as I’m really enjoying it and probably would not have picked it out otherwise. Also, I always have a sports book in progress and right now it’s Basketball (and Other Things) by Shea Serrano, which takes a takes a look at the game of basketball through questions like “Who is the Greatest Dunker of All Time?” and “What is allowed and not allowed in a game of pickup basketball?”, so it’s been a great read. Finally, I’m reading through the Harry Potter series for the first time (late to the party, I know), and just got to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I’m finding I appreciate the extra character development and narrative that the movies could not quite provide!

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Marcy Wilhelm-South, Digital Repository Specialist

I’m reading Feedback and A Wrinkle in Time (and a few other books but I’ll restrict myself to two 🙂 ). “Feedback” is in a series I’ve read before but is the story of the first novel in that series told from a different perspective; because I loved that original book so much, I wanted to see what the new take was. What has been interesting has been seeing some small details included that seem to reflect on the changes that have happened in the world since that first book’s original publication. “A Wrinkle in Time” is just one of those kids’ classics that I’ve never read, and so my stepdaughter has become my excuse to visit it along with other children’s literature I was never exposed to back then – we are reading this one together. This is also how I’m introducing her to the concept of reading a book before you see the movie.

Nina Collins, Scholarly Publishing Specialist

I’m currently reading, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar (2017). I guess I just like being immersed in history. I recently bought an old sewing machine; and, I’ve been skimming The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sewing. As all my grandmothers have passed away (and it’s been a very long time since they taught me how to sew), this is a valuable resource. I like the clever chapter titles, like chapter 10, “Win One for the Zipper”.

Susan Wegener, Acquisitions Assistant

I just finished reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. It has one of the quirkiest, most brilliant, and sympathetic main characters I’ve ever read, and the story is like a Victorian novel combined with spy fiction. It is over 500 pages and I read it in two days!

Chris Brannan, Graphic Designer

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick imagines an alternate timeline where Japan and Germany have split control of the United States, and continue to fight for world domination. It is a story of mystery and intrigue in business and daily life living under totalitarian rule, and the glimmer of hope found in the myth of the man in the high castle.

Alexandra Hoff, Assistant Production Editor

I’m currently listening to the audio book version of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, which is about two executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company who are competing for the same job promotion. With a captivating story and brilliant, hilarious writing, this book easily takes a spot in my top-five list of favorite books of all time.

Bryan Shaffer, Interim Co-Directer, Sales & Marketing Manager

I just finished Catch Every Ball: How to Handle Life’s Pitches by Johnny Bench, arguably the best catcher to ever suit up in a Major League Baseball uniform. An easy read, yet gave some insight into how a normal kid can triumph over adversity and reach his goals and dreams. Another book I recently read was The Cathedral Builder: A Biography of J. Irwin Miller. This book hit home for me because J.I. Miller was an icon from my hometown of Columbus, Indiana. Because of him, that small Southern Indiana town is now rated in the top ten globally in architecture and is home to Cummins Engine, a global powerhouse in diesel engines. Finally, I just bought and look forward to starting Scholarly Communication: What Everyone Needs to Know by Rick Anderson.

What are you reading? Looking for something new for #ReadABookDay? Use discount code PURDUE20 for 20% off any book from our website and #ReadUP.

Nina Collins -Purdue Univeristy Libraries

Nina Collins, Purdue University Libraries

The scholarly publishing landscape has changed more in the last 20 years than the last 300 years. Every year, we see the rise of new technologies and innovations in scholarly publishing, and in many ways, the rapid change has made it difficult for the remainder of the scholarly community to keep pace. Unfortunately, not all emerging trends in scholarly publishing are changes for the better. In recent years, predatory publishing has been on the rise.

Fortunately, for Purdue University researchers, Purdue University Libraries offers in-house expertise and can help faculty and other researchers navigate the issue of predatory publishing, as well as help reap the benefits of Open Access publishing.

Scholarly Publishing Specialist Nina Collins, who is situated in the Purdue University Press, has put together the “Deceptive Publishing” resource via this LibGuide. “Deceptive Publishers: Predatory Publishing.”

Additionally, in the brief Q&A below, she provides an overview of predatory publishing, its impact on Open Access publishing, and how she aids Purdue faculty and researchers in their scholarly publishing pursuits.

Q. What exactly is predatory publishing? Why is this topic and practice important for faculty to be aware of?

Collins: Currently, the phrase “predatory publisher” is an umbrella phrase to describe a wide variety of issues in scholarly publishing, including failure to adhere to publishing best practices, deception, inadequate or non-existent peer review, fraud, and even scientific misconduct. Predatory publishers cause harm to all stakeholders in the scholarly communication ecosystem. Often, these publishers look legitimate on the surface, and scholars in all disciplines can have a difficult time discerning a predatory publisher at first. Frequently, predatory publishers send relentless spam email to scholars, requesting submissions to their journals or participation in their conferences.

Publishing in a questionable journal can have a negative effect on a researcher’s reputation or even inhibit career advancement. Furthermore, as good scholarship can be published in bad outlets, scholars, as consumers of knowledge, can find themselves questioning scholarship based solely on the publication outlet in which it was published. This erodes trust in the scholarly record, in scholarship, and even in scientific knowledge.

Due to the negative association of Open Access, the movement has been especially challenged with the presence of many predatory publishers. Although predatory publishers use traditional publishing business models, as well as Open Access business models, the literature oftentimes associates “open” with “predatory.”

Open Access is a noble goal, supporting many benefits for scholars, students, researchers, practitioners, academic institutions, funding agencies, and the public. There are many paths to Open Access, including the gold standard “author-pays” model, which is the OA business model most often exploited by predatory publishers.

As funding agencies move toward greater transparency and openness, the need for greater awareness of predatory publishers is critical in order to protect scholars, funders, and academic institutions from these deceptions.

Q. What predatory publishing resources do you provide for Purdue faculty?

Collins: Purdue University Libraries offer resources to help faculty identify predatory publishers.

Our “Deceptive Publishers” LibGuide includes tools for faculty and researchers to help identify the most common deceptive and non-transparent practices of predatory publishers.

The University Copyright Office (housed within the Libraries) advises Purdue University faculty and staff about copyright law, as it applies to higher education, and provides information on current issues in copyright. The Copyright Office can provide programs and lectures on issues related to copyright.

Purdue University Press, a division of Purdue University Libraries, aligns the strengths of both publishers and librarians to advance the creation, communication, and discovery of new knowledge. We are Purdue University’s own scholarly publishing experts. Located in Stewart Center, we are available for publishing consultations on any topic related to scholarly publishing.

Within the Press, I serve as the scholarly publishing specialist. I have been researching and talking to scholars about predatory publishers since 2013, and I offer predatory publisher workshops and presentations to departments, schools, and colleges throughout campus. I can be contacted at nkcollin@purdue.edu.

In addition, our librarians work with publishers to provide access to scholarly literature. Collection development and collection assessment are some of our core duties; we are constantly evaluating sources and teaching information literacy, the skills used to evaluate resources. For more information, contact a Subject Librarian.

Q. How else do you help Purdue faculty in their Open Access publishing pursuits?

Collins: Open Access is a legitimate business model in scholarly publishing. It differs from traditional business models in that anyone, anywhere, can access scholarship as soon as it is published.

There are many ways to support Open Access, including publishing in Open Access journals or using the “green” Open Access model, which is a process of self-archiving in an institutional repository. In this model, authors publish their scholarship in traditional publishing outlets, then archive a version of the paper on their institutional repository. Many scholarly publishers have friendly sharing policies, permitting this type of sharing.

Purdue e-Pubs, Purdue University’s institutional repository, provides free, global access to more than 50,000 scholarly resources created by the Purdue University community. We provide a free sharing policy review service, alerting authors which version of their papers can be archived on Purdue e-Pubs. We also offer a free mediated upload service—uploading the paper on the author’s behalf. To participate, email a list of your Purdue publications to epubs@purdue.edu.

Through memberships provided by Purdue University Libraries, Purdue-affiliated authors are entitled to discounts from some gold model Open Access publishers. We are members of SPARC and the Open Textbook Network. Purdue University Press publishes several Open Access journals, and we generously support Open Access publishing in many ways. As scholarly publishing specialist, my expertise is Open Access. Send Open Access questions and inquiries to nkcollin@purdue.edu.

This blog post is written by Jonathan Bloch, son of Chana Bloch. The 36.2 (Summer 2018) issue of Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies is a tribute issue for writer, poet, teacher, and mother: Chana Bloch (1940-2017). In the words of the special issue editors, Rachel Tzvia Back and Dara Barnat, “We gather together in the pages of this special issue for Chana Bloch to sing of her a funeral plainsong of profound appreciation, of enduring love, of great sorrow at her leaving.” This special issue includes essays and poems from her students, loved ones, and friends. We are especially excited and grateful for the final two pieces in the issue, an artwork contributed by Jonathan Bloch and a never before published poem by Chana Bloch which was discovered by Bloch’s sons after her passing.

Most people who know my mother know her through her words. I know her the same way – because Ima and me talked constantly. We would sit at the kitchen table and talk, one thing

leading to another, in conversations that meandered for hours, for the joy of it. But then she died. Now, I am left holding my end of the conversation, which we never finished. I will never be able to tell her how my life has changed. She will never see my daughters grow up. We will never sit at the kitchen table again.

But she gave me words. It’s because of her that words have flavor for me; that words have meaning for me. And I think that all the words between us were our connection, but also a barrier. She was always saying, “you know, isn’t it amazing that so-and-so, and I’m so happy that this, and isn’t it a wonderful surprise that that” – it was lovely, but also kind of exhausting. But I think I understand why she did that. She grew up in a difficult family, and had to maintain a constant note of joviality on top of the anxiety.

But this reflexive habit of hers matured, over time, into a deeper ability – to laugh; to deal with pain, even to find joy in dealing with it; to find poetry in dealing with it; to make use of it. She made much use of pain. The quality she admired in Mark O’Brien1 – his ability to choose his attitude even in unimaginably difficult circumstances – had become a core attribute of her self.

That attribute – the ability to cope with difficulty – is primarily a practical one, and my mother’s overriding tendency was to be practical. I think, though, that she secretly wanted something else in her life, a kind of sensuality, which she never got enough of. At her core there was innocence and joy, which, in a less harsh world, would have been met with sensuality. It’s probably one of the reasons why she wrote poetry. That, and also because she was a dauntingly brilliant human being with a profoundly artistic soul.

Another ideal she cherished, for herself and in her poetry, was clarity. When I was a child, Ima wrote the word ‘clarity’ in black marker on an index card and taped it to the wall above her typewriter, where she would see it when she looked up from writing. I remember seeing that index card with the word clarity, in fading marker, hanging there for many years. I think that clarity was her lifeline, to the end. On her deathbed, two days before she died, she opened her eyes suddenly and asked, “Do I still have my head?” I asked, “Ima, do you mean do you still have your wits about you”? And she nodded. And I said, “Yes, Ima, that fact that you asked that, means that you definitely still have your head”. Even at the point of death, that clarity – do I still have my head – was still her concern.

And when she had to go, she left us. I think not when she was ready – but at a certain point she had to accept it, and then she became ready. And she accomplished the last thing she wanted to do in her life: to choose when, and where, and how she would die. It was her wish to come home from the hospital, to lie in her study overlooking the garden, with her family around her. At the end, she found the strength to give up her strength.

I know she would have been happy living on for many more years – writing, working, traveling, watching her grandchildren grow up. I feel that Ima got interrupted in the springtime of a life that was glorious with creation, and wisdom, and humor and love. She never really became an old person; she was full of youth, the life force, till the end. After all she had gone through, she still had such lightness of spirit. And so she remains forever young.


1Mark O’Brien was a poet who spent his entire adult life in an iron lung.