Political Science

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

February 2019

  • Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty Alisa Gaunder coauthored an article with Sarah Wiliarty titled “Conservative Women in Germany and Japan: Chancellors versus Madonnas,” which was accepted for publication in Politics and Gender. It is currently available as a featured online article and is forthcoming in hard copy.

January 2019

  • Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty Alisa Gaunder attended the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, Jan. 23–26. While there, she led three consecutive roundtable sessions for the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) on “Guiding Change in the Curriculum.” She also participated on an AAC&U panel with deans from Macalester College and Denison University. Her presentation focused on curricular innovations in the humanities and interdisciplinary programs at Southwestern.

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnorpresented a project titled “Accountability or Audacity? Protest and the Boundaries of (In)Civility” at the Southern Political Science Association, in Austin, Jan. 17–19. Current political science student Camille Martin’19 also participated in the conference, presenting her honors thesis, “Surveying Neoliberal Feminism.”

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti published an article in the journal New Political Science. The piece, titled “The New Progressive Federalism: Common Benefits, State Constitutional Rights, and Democratic Political Action,” explores the history and contemporary relevance of the “common benefits clause,” an overlooked but robustly democratic provision that dates back to 1776 but is still on the books in many state constitutions. The article shows how these “common benefits clauses” can inform the broad “new progressive federalist” movement, where democratic political action is rising up from city, state, and local governments to interrupt and counteract the oligarchic tendencies of the national government under the Trump administration.

December 2018

  • Eleven Southwestern University faculty members have won Sam Taylor Fellowship grants to support their research, with award amounts ranging from $1,000 to $1,600. Sam Taylor Fellowships are selected through a competitive application process and are provided by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. This year’s recipients are

    • Professor of Physics Steven Alexander, “Generating Energy from Hot Sidewalks” (awarded $1,200)
    • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala, “The Politics of Stealth Halal: Re-Presenting the Islamic Origins of U.S. Meat Products” (awarded $1,600)
    • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth , “Nature Education in the German Classroom: Possibilities for Integration and Inclusion?” (awarded $1,400)
    • Professor of Biology Romi Burks, “Unravelling the Mystery: Genetic Differentiation of Chinese and Japanese Mysterysnails Using 16S” (awarded $1,400)
    • Assistant Professor of History Jethro Hernandez Berrones, “With Indigenist Spirit: Doctors on Spiritual Practices in Post-Revolutionary Mexico” (awarded $1,500)
    • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson, “Human–Jaguar Becomings and Racial Capitalism in Belize” (awarded $1,000)
    • Associate Professor of French Francis Mathieu, “Research on Claire de Duras’s Avant-Garde Novella, Ourika” (awarded $1,400)
    • Associate Professor of French Aaron Prevots, “Gestures toward the Sacred: Guillevic, Vargaftig, Tellermann, Michel” (awarded $1,400)
    • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar, “Contemporary Modes of Parenting: Disrupting the Representation of Stepmothers in Popular Culture” (awarded $1,500)
    • Associate Professor of Spanish Maria De Los Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, “Cultural Memory and Historical Fiction: Women of the Past on Television and Film by Four Contemporary Mexican Women Directors” (awarded $1,400)
    • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, “Researching Attachments to American Political Institutions” (awarded $1,600)

November 2018

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor was interviewed by KXAN to discuss the changing political landscape in Williamson County.

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor was interviewed by Spectrum News’s In Focus program about civility in the midterm elections.

October 2018

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin was selected to present at the London School of Economics’s (LSE) inaugural 201819 International Relations Notable Scholar Colloquium. Selbin was also an invited guest at the 2018 Millennium Conference hosted annually by the LSE; this year’s theme was Revolution and Resistance in World Politics. Selbin was asked to be the final speaker on the conference’s concluding panel, “Revolution and Resistance in the 21st Century,” and served on an author-meets-critic panel discussing Alpha Shah’s Nightmarch about India’s Naxalite revolutionaries, the world’s longest revolutionary struggle.

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti coorganized a mini-conference on “The Politics of the Mindful Revolution” for the upcoming Western Political Science Association conference. Some panels explore how mindfulness and meditation can be coopted by neoliberal capitalism while other panels emphasize how Buddhist modernism contains countercultural strategies for progressive social change. Some panels assess the dangers of Buddhist modernism becoming a white-washed form of cultural appropriation while other panels analyze how meditation and mindfulness practices play vital roles in sustaining social movements generally and racial justice and abolitionist movements in particular. Some panels explore how mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist modernism can be a valuable part of feminist theory and practice while other panels see these practices as less accessible and more exclusionary. The conference draws together over 30 scholars from interdisciplinary fields in the U.S. and internationally to consider these questions at the intersection of meditation, mindfulness, and politics.

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin helped lead a workshop “Writing and Reviewing for US-Based Peer-Reviewed Journals” at the Asociación Mexicana de Estudios Internacionales and was also part of a roundtable titled “Collaborations between Global North Journals and Global South Scholars and Teachers.”

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin was interviewed on KUT-FM’s Texas Standard about the Honduran caravan. You can listen to the interview here.

September 2018

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin’s book series, New Millennium Books in International Studies,published by Rowman & Littlefield, released the fourth edition of Laura Neack’s Studying Foreign Policy Comparatively: Cases and Analysisand the second edition of Sheila Croucher’s Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity in a Changing World. Mary Durfee and Rachael Lorna Johnstone’s forthcoming volume, Arctic Governance in a Changing World, will be the 20th book published in the series.

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin’s book Modern Latin American Revolutions (first edition 1993; second edition 1999) was recently purchased by Routledge and had a Kindle edition added. This fall marks 25 years in print.

August 2018

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin was invited to speak to a small, international workshop on “Doing IR Differently,” hosted by the Departamento de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política in the Colegio de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito on San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos, Ecuador. He was specifically asked to address how he identifies himself and engages with life, how he got to the point of wanting to engage his academic work differently, what he experienced or observed that made him question the discipline, his focus now in contrast to what previous knowledge and where he thinks that will take him, and what other kind(s) of “knowing” he might be able to share. Following that, Selbin was on a roundtable titled “Collaborations between Global North Journals and Global South Scholars and Teachers” at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)International Studies Association Joint International Conference in Quito, Ecuador.

July 2018

  • Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty Alisa Gaunder presented a paper titled “Cracking the Glass Ceiling in Japan: The Constraints of Party Strength and Organization” at the Asian Studies Association of Australia Conference July 35, 2018, in Sydney, Australia. She also was one of four scholars invited to participate in a featured roundtable on “Asia’s Democracies” at the same conference.

June 2018

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin presented a paper titled “The Legacies of 1968: Social Movements & Revolution in the Austerity-Security State Era and Age of Authoritarian Revanchism” at the conference “1968-2018, Fifty Years After: Where is the Social Movement Field Going?” in Florence, Italy, May 23–25, 2018. The conference was sponsored by the Centre on Social Movement Studies (Scuola Normale Superiore), the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Participation & Mobilization, and the European Sociological Association Research Network 25. He also attended the annual Latin American Studies Association meeting to meet with young faculty and graduate students about small liberal arts colleges (SLACs) and conducted research related to the 1939 Retirada (the flight from Spanish fascism across the border) and the 1940 death of Walter Benjamin.

May 2018

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti was invited to serve as a Guest Editor for the journal Political Theory: An International Journal of Political Philosophy. She will edit the journal’s new “Guide to the Archives” on the topic of political theory and American literature.

  • Political Science major Elizabeth Wright, class of 2018, published her fall 2017 Senior Capstone project, “I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me. Understanding the Authoritarian Tendencies of the U.S. National Security State,” in Politikon, the peer-reviewed, flagship publication of the International Association for Political Science Students. Wright is currently a Fellow at the Muslim Public Affairs Council and will remain there while starting an MA in Security Policy Studies at George Washington University’s Elliott School in the fall.

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin spoke on “Nicaragua’s Crisis and/in the Regional Political Landscape” as part of a Foro Urgente Nicaragua at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

April 2018

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin was a participant on a roundtable organized by Cynthia Enloe titled “Diversifying the Discipline: Problems, Policies, and Prescriptions” and served as a mentor for ISA’s Taskforce on the Global South’s “Mentoring Café: Strategies and Support for Global South Scholars” at the 2018 International Studies Association meeting. In addition, as associate editor he co-convened the 2018 International Studies Perspective’s Editorial Board Meeting and chaired the annual meeting of the New Millennium Books in International Studies series of which he is co-editor. Finally, as part of the ISA’s Taskforce on the Global South as well as the nascent South-South Educational Scholarly Collaboration and Knowledge Interchange Initiative, Selbin was invited to attend conferences in the coming year in Quito, Ecuador, and Guadalejara, Mexico.

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor presented two papers at the Midwest Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting. The first, “What’s your excuse? The Effects of Personal and Political Justifications for Flip-Flopping,” demonstrated that constituents are more effectively persuaded by explanations for a Congressman’s position shift when they are grounded in public opinion or personal experience, rather than party politics. The second, “Creating Trust in Government,” investigated whether local governments could increase citizen trust by emphasizing the participatory nature or policy successes of the government. Two current political science students, Emily Tesmer,class of 2020, and Camille Martin, class of 2019, presented posters analyzing survey experiments they are conducting on the SU campus.

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti presented a paper titled “Zen and the Art of Democracy: Sensory Perception, Aesthetics, and the Political Value of Buddhist Modernism” on the panel “Mindfulness and Politics: Embodied Social Change” at the Western Political Science Association conference in San Francisco, Calif., on March 30, 2018. She also presented a paper on her experiments with mindfulness and meditation as pedagogical practices in the political science classroom at a roundtable titled “Staying Centered with Too Much To Do: The Possibilities and Dangers of Mindfulness in the Neoliberal University.”

March 2018

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti was invited to give a lecture at The University of Texas at San Antonio on Feb. 22, 2018. Her talk to the department of Political Science and Geography drew from her current book project and was titled “The Experience of Democracy and the Politics of Buddhist Modernism.”