UTP Blog

Advancing Knowledge

Researching “The Typewriter Century”

As a vehicle for outstanding creativity, the typewriter has been taken for granted and was, until now, a blind spot in the history of writing practices. The Typewriter Century: A Cultural History of Writing Practices provides a cultural history of the typewriter and explores “celebrity writers,” including Henry James, Jack Kerouac, Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, and Erle Stanley Gardner. In this post, author Martyn Lyons shares what a day in the life of a researcher looks like as he discusses some of the meticulous archival research that went into his book.

Sketches of Tourism and the Pandemic in Peru

Released this month, The Living Inca Town: Tourist Encounters in the Peruvian Andes presents a rich case study of tourism in Ollantaytambo, a rapidly developing destination in the southern Peruvian Andes and the starting point for many popular treks to Machu Picchu. Part of the Teaching Culture: UTP Ethnographies for the Classroom series, the book offers a rich ethnographic study of gender and other dimensions of tourism in a world heritage site. In this post, author Karoline Guelke looks at the impact COVID-19 has had on the region.

Semiotics: The Study of Meaning (Part 2)

In the second installment of a three-part blog series on semiotics, Marcel Danesi, author of The Quest for Meaning: A Guide to Semiotic Theory and Practice, Second Edition explores the question, “what is meaning?” A word with many connotations, he investigates how meaning is created and how it is communicated.

Global Recycling Day: An Excerpt from “Solved” by David Miller

Today is Global Recycling Day, an occasion marked every year on March 18 to create awareness around the globe about the rapid pace at which our natural resources are being used. Did you know that every year, the Earth yields billions of tons of natural resources and at some point, in the not too distant future, it will run out? If our planet is going to survive the climate crisis, we need to act rapidly. This is the premise of David Miller’s book Solved: How the World’s Great Cities Are Fixing the Climate Crisis, which is a summons to every city to make small but significant changes that can drastically reduce our carbon footprint. In this post, we share an excerpt from chapter seven of the book on waste and look at San Francisco’s efforts to have net-zero emissions by 2050.

For Sale: Everything or Nothing?

Published late last year, Organs for Sale: Bioethics, Neoliberalism, and Public Moral Deliberation studies the bioethical question of how to increase human organ supply, a subject that has become a lively and public moral deliberation in recent years. In this post, author Ryan Gillespie discusses some of these debates and asks what kind of society we truly want.