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Eric Selbin Named University Scholar

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Eric Selbin, a professor of political science at Southwestern University, has been appointed to the position of University Scholar.

The University Scholar program was established in 1981 to recognize faculty members who have achieved national recognition in their field, and who have made significant contributions to the University over a substantial period of time.

University Scholars are provided with opportunities that will enable them to focus on their research pursuits for a specified period of time. These opportunities include a reduced teaching load, more frequent eligibility for sabbatical leaves, research stipends, and funds for the support of research and professional activities.

Selbin will hold the University Scholar position for five years. He replaces Professor of English T. Walter Herbert, who is retiring at the end of this academic year. Sociology Professor Ed Kain is Southwestern’s only other University Scholar.

Selbin joined the Southwestern faculty in 1992 as an assistant professor of political science. He was promoted to the rank of associate professor and tenured in 1998, and promoted to the rank of professor in 2003. He was chair of the International Studies Program from 1996-1999, served as chair of the Division of Social Sciences in 2003-2004 and currently serves as chair of the Political Science Department. He also has served as editor of the Brown Working Papers in the Arts and Sciences since 2001. The papers are a series of professional papers reflecting and representing the breadth and depth of research in a liberal arts setting.

Selbin’s teaching and research have previously been recognized with several awards, including the Exemplary Teaching Award from the General Board of Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church in 2001-2002 and an appointment as a Brown Distinguished Research Professor from 1999-2003.

“In his time at Southwestern, Eric has exemplified the teacher-scholar model,” said Provost Jim Hunt. “He has mentored numerous faculty members in their development as scholars, particularly through his work with the Brown Working Papers series - a program that he developed and continues to implement. His outstanding work as a scholar, his national and international reputation in the field of political science, and his dedication to teaching undergraduate students in a residential liberal arts setting combine to make him the perfect selection for this position.”

An expert on Latin American politics and revolutions, Selbin is the author of Modern Latin American Revolutions, which has been widely used in the United States and abroad. He also is co-editor with Deborah Gerner of the University of Kansas of the New Millennium Books in International Studies series for Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Selbin said the University Scholar position will enable him to complete three other books he has in progress. One is a book titled The Story of Revolution: Myth, Memory and Mimesis, and another is a book he is co-editing with Southwestern graduate Meghana Nayak titled Decentering International Relations. Nayak is now an assistant professor of political science at Pace University in New York City.

Selbin also is co-authoring a book titled Understanding Revolution with Jack Goldstone from George Mason University and John Foran from the University of California at Santa Barbara.