It is easy to think of university presses as focused primarily on humanities and social science. While that may apply to many, there are some that include important critiques that contribute to and shape the academic publishing world. The writers at The Scholarly Kitchen shared some of their favorites in their post, “University Press Books We Loved in 2016.”

We are taking a peek at a couple of those here, starting with Kent Anderson’s Big Data Is Not a Monolith, from MIT Press, edited by Cassidy Sugimoto, Hamid Ekbia, and Michael Mattiolo.

The book contains intriguing tidbits about how big data is being used to shape everything from Uber rides to public policy. It also includes philosophical questions about the webs of data that could entangle us all, the value of theory in a world of all-encompassing data, and the relevance of small data. You know, just those little trivial things.

The other one that caught my eye was Karin Wulf’s Making a Living, Making a Difference: Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society (Oxford University Press, 2016). A work of digital humanities based on an innovative methodology of data collection. It reminds us that writing and reading about history is necessary, especially considering our current political climate.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.