Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

International Studies




  • Associate Professor of History Melissa Byrnes presented a paper titled “Harnessing Religion in the Service of Empire: French Laicite v. British Laissez-Faire?” at a colloquium on “Translating Secularism/Traduire la laicite,” hosted by the University of Southampton and the Insitut Francais Du Royaume Uni in London on September 18. She also chaired a panel on “Laicite and Religion.”


  • Kimberly Smith, professor of art history, edited a critical anthology titled, “The Expressionist Turn in Art History,” published by Ashgate in December 2014. Smith’s anthology includes a cross-section of art history texts from the early 20th century that have been described as expressionist, along with critical commentaries by an international group of scholars. Translated here from the German for the first time, these examples of an expressionist turn in art history, along with their secondary analyses and Smith’s substantial introduction, offer a productive lens through which to re-examine the practice and theory of art history in the early 20th century.


  • Melissa Byrnes, assistant professor of history, published an article titled “Liberating the Land or Absorbing a Community: Managing North African Migration and the Bidonvilles in Paris’s Banlieues” in the Winter 2013 special issue of French Politics, Culture & Society, “Algerian Legacies in Metropolitan France.”

  • Laura Senio Blair, associate professor of Spanish, has earned a place in the 2014 NEH Summer Seminar on Jewish Buenos Aires, to be held in Buenos Aires between July 7-24. The seminar will focus on major texts in 20th century Jewish culture as it has played out in the context of immigration and assimilation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the major center of Jewish culture in Latin America. Through a detailed examination of these works as literary texts that interpret the Jewish experience in Buenos Aires, the seminar will provide participants with an important grounding in this important dimension of ethnic culture in Argentina and, by implication, in other Latin American societies.

  • Alisa Gaunder, professor of political science, was an invited participant to the Political Representation of Women in Asia Workshop in Hamilton, Ontario, sponsored by McMasters University, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange and the ACLS. She presented a paper titled “Female Representation in the LDP and the DPJ: the Significance of the Weakness on the Left.”


  • Patrick Hajovsky, assistant professor of art history, gave a talk titled “Aztec Built Environments and a Phenomenology of Scale: Between Bodily Presence and Body Representations” at the Third Triennial of the Association for Latin American Art, March 15-17 at the Art Museum of the Americas, Organization of American States, in Washington, D.C.

  • Graduating senior Alejandra Benitez has been selected to spend the 2013-2014 academic year teaching in France through the Teaching Assistant Program in France, a cultural exchange program administered by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Benitez will be teaching at the secondary level in the Academy of Reims. Read more here.

  • Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, had a 150-entry annotated bibliography on the “Politics of Japan” accepted for publication by Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. Ben Bracher, a senior political science major, provided significant research assistance on the project last summer as part of a Southwestern University faculty-student research grant.

  • Kim Smith, professor of art history, gave an invited lecture at the San Diego Museum of Art on September 15, at a symposium held in conjunction with the SDMA’s “Human Beast” exhibition of Expressionist art. In her talk, “Franz Marc’s Abstractions: How To See Like An Animal”.

  • Allison Miller, assistant professor of art history, gave an invited lecture at the San Antonio Museum of Art on April 16th titled “From Splendor to Revolt: Royal Intrigue and the Terracotta Works of Early Han China.” The talk focused on Han ceramic warrior figurines and was held in conjunction with the special exhibition, “Entombed Treasures: Funerary Art of Han Dynasty China.”

  • Senior Colin Berr has received an $8,000 scholarship through the Sumners Scholarship Program to participate in a program in Washington, D.C., this summer. Berr will attend an Institute on Economics and International Affairs and intern with the Department of Commerce through a program sponsored by The Fund for American Studies.

  • Patrick Hajovsky, assistant professor of art history, gave a talk for the Pan American Round Table of Austin Feb. 25. The talk was about his research on painting in Cusco and devotional imagery following its disastrous earthquake of 1650.


  • Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, had a book review of Japan Transformed: Political Change and Economic Restructuring by Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Michael F. Thies published in the Winter 2012 issue of The Journal of Japanese Studies.

  • Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, was an invited participant to The Stanford University Workshop “Political Change in Japan II:  One Step Forward, One Step Back?” on Feb. 4-5, 2011.  She gave a paper titled “Women in Politics in Japan:  Is there an Impact on Governance and Policy?”  Papers presented at this workshop will be reproduced in an edited volume and a special journal issue. 

  • Kimberly Smith, professor of art history, presented a paper at the 35th annual German Studies Association conference in Louisville, KY. on September 25th. The talk was entitled “Ekphrasis, Empathy, and the Critical Imagination in Art History”, and was included on the panel “Einfühlung and the Modern Aesthetic.” Smith also moderated a related panel, on the topic of “Einfühlung after 1900”.

  • Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, published an article titled “Political Parties in Democratic Japan” in Education About Asia, a peer-reviewed journal for educators published by the Association of Asian Studies.

  • Melissa Byrnes, assistant professor of history, presented a paper at the Society for French Historical Studies Annual Conference in Charleston, S.C., Feb. 11. The paper was titled “From Comrades-in-Arms to Community Burden: How Decolonization Reshaped Municipal Migration Policies in Saint-Denis” and was presented as part of a panel on “Coping with Decolonization: From Pondicherry to Paris.”

  • An interview with Kimberly Smith, professor of art history, appeared in the inaugural issue of Das Egon Schiele Jahrbuch, vol. 1 (September 2011). An international, academic journal, the Jahrbuch publishes current research on the artistic practice of Viennese Expressionist Egon Schiele (1890-1918), and also features those aspects of the arts, philosophies and culture of turn-of-the-century Vienna that could contribute to an understanding of Schiele’s work.