Political Science

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

April 2024

  • Recent political science grad and newly elected Phi Beta Kappa member Sierra Rupp ’23 has earned one of the State Department’s prestigious Critical Language Scholarships to study Russian this summer in Kyrgyzstan. Sierra is also one of SU’s two winners of the State Department’s 2024-2025 Fulbright U.S. Student Program fellowship for an English Teaching Assistantship to Spain. Previously, she was also the winner of a CLS Spark award for Summer 2024 to study beginning Russian. Congratulations to Sierra for such outstanding accomplishments!





  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Katie Aha presented a paper at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, held from April 4-7 in Chicago. The paper, “Gestational Surrogacy and Party Politics in Europe,” was part of a panel on “European Political Parties.” She also served as a discussant for a panel on “European Executive and Parliamentary Politics.”





  • Associate Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, Gerald Jones ’25, and Adrian Gonzalez ’25 presented their collaborative project, “Unraveling State Identity in the United States,” at the Midwest Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting April 3-5 in Chicago, IL. They were joined at the conference by SU alumna Alesha Lewis ’21, a current PhD student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who presented her first-year graduate paper “Does Racial Trauma Influence Political Behavior in Marginalized People?”





March 2024

  • Associate Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor and former Senior Director of Integrative Learning Sarah Brackmann recently published a piece in Inside Higher Ed Jobs  about how to engage in nonpartisan voter engagement efforts in today’s polarized political climate. They were invited to write the piece based on their presentation on the SU Votes coalition’s strategies for increasing voter registration and engagement at the AAC&U conference in January 2023. It can be found here.





January 2024

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin presented a paper at the most recent International Studies Association-Global South Caucus Conference in Bangkok entitled “Global South Stories of IR: An Entangled Anarchival Prosopographic Approach.” He also served as Chair for a panel titled Exploring Synergies: Revealing the Dynamics and Impact of South-South Cooperation.





  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Katie Aha attended the Southern Political Science Association Annual Conference in New Orleans. Her paper with Linsey Jensen ’23, “Patterns of Radical Right Support in Czechoslovakia’s Successor States,” was part of a panel titled Left, Right, and Center, and she also served as chair and discussant for the panel European Political Institutions.





November 2023

  • Associate Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor and her co-author, Lauren Santoro of the University of Texas at Dallas, published their article “Blind Trust, Blind Skepticism: Liberals’ & Conservatives’ Response to Academic Research” in American Politics Research. The article shows that individuals make assumptions about the ideological position of different major U.S. universities, and their likelihood of believing political (or politicized) research produced at those universities is dependent on whether their own ideological positions “match” those of the institution.





  • Professor of Political Science Bob Snyder had his paper titled “Realist or Just Anti-Liberal? Trump’s Foreign Policy in Retrospect” accepted for publication in the journal International Journal. It demonstrates that the Trump administration’s foreign policy of retrenchment was motivated less by the purported goal of reducing costs than by the desire to weaken liberal international practices, which had similar domestic ramifications.





October 2023

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin presented a paper entitled “The Grenadian Revolution: The Paris Commune of the West Indies” at a conference, “Grenada, 1973-1983: Beginnings of a Revolution, Invasion and After.” The Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library convened the conference on the 40th anniversary of the United States invasion of Grenada and the destruction of the Grenadian Revolution.





August 2023

  • Associate Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor and her coauthor, Emily Pears (Associate Professor, Claremont McKenna College), received the 2023 John Kincaid Best Article Award from the Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations Section of the American Political Science Association for their article “The Correlates and Characteristics of American State Identity.” They are currently extending the arguments made in the article into a book-length manuscript.





  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin’s chapter “Revolution” was published in Mlada Bukovansky et al., eds. The Oxford Handbook on History and International Relations Oxford University Press. This is the middle of three pieces (the first came out last year, and the next is due out next spring) where Selbin is trying to resituate revolution in some sort of modernist formulation fundamentally predicated on the marriage of macro-, even meta-level thinking—how can we change the world—with a profoundly micro approach: the granularity of actions people take to change their world. This essay considers how and where current academic thinking about revolution might be situated and where, if anywhere, it might be going, and recasts it as an entangled, figurative zone of awkward engagement(s) both (deeply) ingrained in a (still) useful ‘generational’ analysis as well as how our analyses might be evolving outside of that or beyond definitions at all.





July 2023

  • Professor of Political Science Bob Snyder presented “The Fall of Afghanistan: An American Tragedy” at the International Studies Association’s conference at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, in June.





  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Katie Aha presented on “Gestational Surrogacy and Party Politics in Europe” at the Southern Political Science Association Summer Conference in June.





May 2023

  • Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Political Science Alisa Gaunder published a book review of Women and Political Inequality in Japan: Gender Imbalanced Democracy by Mikiko Eto in Social Science Japan Journal, 2023.





  • Associate Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor and her 2022 SCOPE students, Andrew Parker ’23, Adelaide Armen ’24, and Abigail Skelton ’25, presented their paper, “The Effects of Protest Coverage on American Attitudes,” at the Midwest Political Science Association’s annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Sydnor also presented her paper, “50 Nifty United States? Understanding Variation in State Identity Across America,” which is co-authored with Emily Pears (Claremont McKenna College) and served as a panel chair. Political science student Megan Kelly ’23 presented her honors project, “Effects of Defense Mechanisms on Contentious Political Discussions,” as part of an undergraduate poster session at the conference.





April 2023

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin’s chapter “El Che: The (Im)possibilities of a Political Symbol” was published in Benjamin Abrams and Peter Gardner, eds. 2023. Symbolic Objects in Contentious Politics. Ann Arbor: the University of Michigan Press. Dedicated to our late colleague Professor of History Daniel Castro (¡presente!), this chapter recognizes that “writing about Che ‘is like dancing about architecture,’ a nearly senseless, even absurd exercise” even as he is “a remarkably universal symbol, he—or his spirit or incarnation—…’ the inescapable symbol of everything that dreamers think a revolutionary should be” (Donovan 2020). Those in need of sleep can find the chapter here.





  • Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty Alisa Gaunder published the second edition of her book Japanese Government and Politics with Routledge in February 2023. The second edition includes new information on party realignment, elections since 2017, the effects of the global pandemic, and Japanese foreign policy.





March 2023

  • Professor of Biochemistry and Garey Chair of Chemistry Maha Zewail-Foote, Cargill Endowed Associate Professor of Education Alicia Moore, and Professor of Political Science Alisa Gaunder co-presented a virtual session for the Association for American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2023 Conference on Diversity, Equity and Student Success. The mission of the AAC&U conference was to explore the complexities of truth within higher education while examining institutional structures and beliefs that impede diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. The presentation, titled “Cross-Institutional CONNECTions: Mentorship, Truth, Belonging, and Retention,” provided an overview of Southwestern’s ACS-funded FOC CONNECT project, which seeks to dismantle barriers to success experienced by early-career faculty of color (FOC) in the academy. The project supports a cross-institutional faculty mentoring program that connects these scholars with senior faculty of color from other ACS institutions.





Feburary 2023

  • Associate Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor and Sr. Director of Integrative and Community-Engaged Learning Sarah Brackmann co-presented at AACU’s Annual Meeting. Their presentation, “Building a Campus-Wide Integrated Voter Engagement Effort,” highlighted Southwestern’s success in building and institutionalizing a voter registration, education, and engagement program that spans the student experience.





  • Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Political Science Alisa Gaunder participated on a panel titled “Fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Faculty Evaluation Processes” at the 2023 American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) annual meeting in San Francisco, CA, January 18-20, 2023. The panel included deans and faculty development and assessment professionals from Furman, Rhodes, Rollins, and Southwestern who shared how the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) addressed the following challenge: how do we honor the complexity of faculty work, the principles of DEI, and the distinctiveness of institutional context while implementing faculty evaluation processes that are, on the one hand, robust, rigorous, and systematic, and on the other, holistic, developmental, and fair? The ACS tackled this challenge through an Arthur Vining Davis grant devoted to improving faculty evaluation processes to, among other things, mitigate bias in student evaluations of teaching, adopt multiple measures of teaching, and assess faculty workloads for equity. The panel shared key lessons learned from developing a faculty evaluation toolkit and some of the strongest resources that support more holistic, authentic, transparent, and equitable faculty evaluation.





December 2022

  • Professor of Spanish Katy Ross, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Katie Aha, and Catherine Hiebel ’22 published an article in Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Their article, “Populism and Surrogacy in Spain,” can be found here.





  • Professor of Political Science Bob Snyder had his paper titled “An American Tragedy: The Fall of Afghanistan” accepted for publication in the journal Small Wars & Insurgencies.





November 2022

  • Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Political Science Alisa Gaunder and her co-author Karine Moe published the lead essay “So You are Going to Be a New CAO: Strategies for Success” in the fall edition of The ACAD Leader sponsored by the American Council of Academic Deans.





September 2022

  • Associate Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, Emily Tesmer ’20, and Breely Peterson ’20 published an article titled “Confronting Politics: The Role of Conflict Orientation in Shaping Political Debate” in the Journal of Deliberative Democracy.





  • Associate Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor presented her work “Uncivil Boundaries: Contesting the Civility of Protestors and Political Elites” at the 2022 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting & Exhibition, held September 15–18 in Montreal, Canada. She also served as a panel chair and discussant for several papers on incivility in American politics and presented the best dissertation award.





July 2022

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin participated in a conference titled “Critical Margins. Politicizing the Crisis” sponsored by the European Sociological Association Research Network 25 on Social Movements, the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Participation and Mobilization, the University of Trento Department of Sociology and Social Research, and the University of Trento Research Group on Collective Action, Change, and Transition. Selbin presented a paper titled “Revolution as Idea and Practice Today,” chaired a session titled “Reactions to Collective Actions,” and served as a discussant for the panel “Constructing and Displaying Collective Identities.” The conference was held June 15–17 in Trento, Italy.





  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Katharine Aha presented a paper titled “Diverse Yet Durable? Interethnic Coalitions and Government Formation” as part of a panel on government formation, stability, and responsiveness at the 2022 European Political Science Association Annual Conference, held June 23–25 in Prague, Czech Republic. She also served as chair and discussant for a panel on party competition and the environment. 





  • Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty Alisa Gaunder presented a paper titled “Leadership in Crisis: Comparing Prime Minister Abe’s and Chancellor Merkel’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” with coauthor Sarah Wiliarty of Wesleyan University at the 28th International Conference of Europeanists, held June 29–July 1 in Lisbon, Portugal.





June 2022

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin published the chapter “All Around the World: Revolutionary Potential in the Age of Authoritarian Revanchism” in Handbook of Revolutions in the 21st Century: The New Waves of Revolutions, and the Causes and Effects of Disruptive Political Change, edited by Jack A. Goldstone, Leonid Grinin, and Andrey Korotayev (Springer). Selbin was also an invited participant in a roundtable titled “Ideology and Authoritarian Resilience in the Global South” at the 2022 Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference, held virtually May 30–June 3.





May 2022

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti gave an invited lecture at Texas Christian University on April 13. Her talk drew from her recently completed book manuscript titled Contemplative Democracy: Embodied Social Change as Ordinary Political Theory, currently under review with Oxford University Press.





April 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, Rachel Berger ’23, and Alaina Dixon ’24 presented their faculty-student project “Destructive or Democratic? Perceptions of Civility and Protest Attitudes” at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, held April 7–10 in Chicago. They were joined at the conference by Antonio Esparza ‘22, who presented his research “Climate-Fueled Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Case Study of the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.” Esparza’s work, which he developed under the supervision of Professor of Political Science Bob Snyder, was part of the undergraduate poster session titled “Politics in a Time of Crisis: COVID-19 and Climate Change.”





March 2022

  • Professor of Spanish Katy Ross, visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Katie Aha, and Catherine Hiebel ’22 presented a panel titled “Populism and Surrogacy in Spain” at the XXIX Congreso Internacional de Literatura y Estudios Hispánicos, held March 8–10 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ross presented “Surrogacy in Spain: the Bioethical and Feminist concerns”; Aha presented “Populism and Surrogacy”; and Hiebel presented “Spanish Populist Parties and Their Positions on Surrogacy.” The three were told that their presentation was the most coherent and organized panel the audience heard.





  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti co-organized a fourth annual mini-conference as part of her work cochairing the Western Political Science Association’s Embodied Social Change and Healing Justice virtual community. This year, the mini-conference took place virtually on March 11 and featured roundtables and author-meets-respondents panels for three books: Farah Godrej’s Freedom Inside? Yoga and Meditation in the Carceral State, Rima Vesely-Flad’s Black Buddhists and the Black Radical Tradition: The Practice of Stillness in the Movement for Liberation, and Sokthan Yeng’s Buddhist Feminism: Transforming Anger Against Patriarchy. Mariotti also cochaired the final roundtable where an interdisciplinary community of academics and practitioners discussed connections between these three recent books. 





November 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor and Senior Director of Integrative and Community-Engaged Learning Sarah Brackmann are thrilled to share that the 2020 National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement reports, which present national voter turnout data for students at colleges and universities as well as specific data for member schools, have been released.

     

    The 2020 voting rate on SU’s campus was 70.8%–higher than the national average (66%) and a 20% increase over our voting rate in the 2016 presidential election (50%). These successes wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of several SU students. Eugenia Agobe ’23, alex bell 21, Erica Burley ’22, Antonio Esparza’22, Anna Franklin 22, Emily Gilby ’21, Alesha Lewis ’21, Juan Mojica ’22, Maureen Rendon ’21, Rachel Thompson ’23, and Josh Tenorio ’23 worked to register and turn out their classmates in spite of the pandemic and ever-changing Texas voting laws. 





October 2021

  • Southwestern University was well represented at the 11th Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, held October 20–23 in Baltimore, Maryland. The SU Racial History Project presented a panel featuring research from both 2020 and 2021 SCOPE projects. The panel included:

      • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson: “The Southwestern Racial History Project: An Overview”
      • Kristine Velez ’22 (Anthropology): “McKenzie College: A Plantation on the Edge of Indigenous Territory”
      • Saul Zuniga ’22 (History): “Soule University, Slavery, and the Confederacy”
      • Juan Mojica ’22 (Anthropology): “Hispanics, Methodism, and the Reproduction of Whiteness”
      • Rini Mannankara ’22 (Political Science and Anthropology): “The Presence and Representation of Blackness in the 1960s and 1970s at Southwestern University”

    In addition, SU alumna Esther S. Ramos-Garcia ’19 (Latin American and Border Studies), who is currently a graduate student at the University of Texas in the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies program, presented “Accompanando Ninos Migrantes ‘No Accompanados’: A Feminist Geopolitical Perspective on Central American Unaccompanied Minors in U.S. Long-Term Foster Care (LTFC)” as part of a panel titled “Asylum in Crisis.”





  • Professor of Political Science Bob Snyder’s paper titled “Ideology and Global Conflicts: Revolutionary Actors and Their Opposition to Liberalism” was published in the journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.





August 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor published “Empowering and Engaging Students through Civically Engaged Research” in the journal PS: Political Science and Politics. The article, in which Sydnor argues that students gain valuable democratic skills from conducting research in conjunction with community partners, was coauthored with colleagues at Houston Community College and Queens College of Charlotte who have implemented civically engaged research projects in their classes. It is also part of a symposium in PSthat is the result of the American Political Science Association’s newly launched Institute for Civically Engaged Research. 





June 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, Senior Director of Integrative & Community-Engaged Learning Sarah Brackmann, and students Antonio Esparza  ’22 and Eugenia Gabrielle Agobe  ’23 presented at the 2021 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting. During their session, titled “Developing Skills and Breaking Down Barriers to Voter Engagement: Lessons Learned from the 2020 Election,” the group offered insights into their experiences encouraging student engagement through SU Votes in the lead-up to the 2020 election as well their goals for keeping the momentum going in 2021 and 2022.





May 2021

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin was invited to write a blog post for a forum inspired by George Lawson’s recent book, Anatomies of Revolution (2020). The Progress in Political Economy blog is hosted by the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. Political economy is a rather storied field, perhaps most commonly associated with Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, and Max Weber in an era before the social sciences fragmented into fields such as politics, sociology, and economics. Selbin’s first attempt at a professional blogpost went predictably awry, with a grammatical error and his usual mishmash of words. C’est la vie or la guerre or somesuch; Mary Tyler Moore has a cameo. Those inclined may consider themselves warned and find it here





  • Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Political Science Alisa Gaunder published an essay titled “Potential Positive Legacies of the Global Pandemic” in the April 2021 issue of the ACAD Leader, a publication produced by the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD). The idea for the essay was sparked by a discussion in Gaunder’s Women and Politics class in fall 2020 and further informed by a roundtable discussion Gaunder led at the ACAD conference in January 2021.





  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin, a faculty associate at Observatorio de la Relación Binacional México–Estados Unidos, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, was part of a roundtable discussion “Entre las Promesas y las Acciones: Los 100 Días de Joseph Biden en la Casa Blanca.” Selbin was specifically asked to address the topic “America’s Society: Fall and Revindication.” This event was organized by La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, La UNAM-Los Ángeles, and La Programa de Estudios de América del Norte de la Universidad Veracruzana.





April 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor was a panelist, presenter, chair, and discussant for several sessions at the (virtual) Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting. The highlights included presenting her work on students’ physiological reactions to controversial speech on campus, a collaborative project with Emily Tesmer ’20 and Associate Professor of Psychology Erin Crockett ’05, and participating in a roundtable on “Polarization, Animosity, and Violence in American Politics.” Senior political science major Emily Gilby ’21 also presented her honors thesis, “Institutional Barriers to Youth Voter Turnout,” at the conference.





  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin has been reappointed to the scientific advisory board for a major international initiative on revolutionary mass mobilizations. The initiative is based in Sweden (University of Gothenburg) and the U.S. (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) under the auspices of the Resistance Studies Network, the Nonviolence and Peace Movements Commission of the International Peace Research Association, and the Nordic Nonviolence Study Group.





  • At last week’s annual meeting of the International Studies Association (ISA), Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin served as chair and discussant for the panel “The Evolution of Revolution,” was a panelist on a roundtable on “Anatomies of Revolution,” and, at the request of the ISA’s Committee on Professional Development, was honored to cochair a roundtable for young scholars on encountering and countering privilege (in an array of senses) in academia titled “(En)countering Privilege in Academia.”





  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti was invited to present a paper at a roundtable at the recent virtual meeting of the Western Political Science Association conference. The panel was titled “WPSA’s Experiment with Virtual Communities: Successes, Failings, and Future Prospects,” and the participants spoke about their experiences chairing virtual communities over the past year. Mariotti cochairs the virtual community on Embodied Social Change and Healing Justice. Other panelists spoke about their work with virtual communities in other areas of study that have tended to be marginalized in mainstream political science, such as planetary justice, critical disability studies, critical whiteness studies, decolonizing political science, and inclusive teaching and pedagogy. You can read more about all the virtual communities here, and you can read about the Embodied Social Change and Healing Justice community here. The good news: at this meeting, we also learned that the WPSA executive council decided to make the virtual communities a permanent, staffed, and funded part of the association.





  • Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Political Science Alisa Gaunder received a book contract for the second edition of Japanese Politics and Government  (Routledge, 2017). The second edition will address recent developments in Japanese politics, especially related to the global pandemic, domestic political party realignment, the legacies of Prime Minister Abe’s long tenure in office, and the changing dynamics of Japan’s foreign relations. The manuscript is scheduled for delivery to the press in summer 2022.





March 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor  and SU alumna Madison Flores  ’20, Megan Nair  ’20, and Meredith Rasmussen  ’19 recently published a chapter titled “Civility through the Comparative Lens: Challenges and Achievements” in the book Political Incivility in the Parliamentary, Electoral, and Media Arena  (Routledge, 2021). The authors particularly enjoyed learning about what counts as civil and uncivil behavior in other countries; for example, Taiwanese parliamentarians see brawls and throwing chairs at each other as acceptable ways to show their constituents they are (literally) fighting for their cause.





  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin  was invited by the Manchester, UK–based Rethink Rebuild Society to speak on the 10th anniversary of the Syrian Revolution. The invitation grew out of a book group which read the Arabic edition of Selbin’s book Revolution, Rebellion, and Resistance: The Power of a Story  ( الثورة والتمرد والمقاومة: قوة الحكاية ). Over 700 people from around the world attended on Zoom and Facebook Live, and it has since been viewed by several hundred more people. The Rethink Rebuild Society is primarily focused on Great Britain’s Syrian exile community and provides assistance and support to improve lives; promote the aspirations of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in the UK; and raise awareness on issues related to refugees and other immigrants within the UK through policy and media work. The talk, “ Revolution in the Real World ,” is available on Facebook. It begins at about the 12-minute mark, runs for 30 minutes, and is followed by about an hour of Q&A.





  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor gave a talk as part of American University’s Government Department Speaker Series on March 12, 2021. The lecture focused on Americans’ identification with their states (for example, how Texan do you feel?), the factors that influence people to hold stronger state identities, and the impact of this identification on trust in state government.





  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti  was invited to review Thomas Dumm’s recent Home In America: On Loss and Retrieval  (Harvard University Press, 2019). Theorizing the spaces and places of “home,” Dumm explores environmental apocalypse and the Anthropocene, slavery and racial injustice, settler colonialism, mass incarceration, and the ideology of the patriarchal family. Mariotti turned the book review into an article-length essay that explores how these meditations on home in the “before times” have changed in the “after times” of the coronavirus pandemic. Her essay focuses on how the pandemic has newly illuminated a long-standing crisis of caretaking and spotlighted the undervalued work of social reproduction that is still primarily the work of women in ways that are raced and classed, giving dramatically different meanings to what it means to be “at home” in this country. Her essay is forthcoming in the journal American Political Thought .





Feburary 2021

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti  was invited to review Thomas Dumm’s recent Home In America: On Loss and Retrieval  (Harvard University Press, 2019). Theorizing the spaces and places of “home,” Dumm explores environmental apocalypse and the Anthropocene, slavery and racial injustice, settler colonialism, mass incarceration, and the ideology of the patriarchal family. Mariotti turned the book review into an article-length essay that explores how these meditations on home in the “before times” have changed in the “after times” of the coronavirus pandemic. Her essay focuses on how the pandemic has newly illuminated a long-standing crisis of caretaking and spotlighted the undervalued work of social reproduction that is still primarily the work of women in ways that are raced and classed, giving dramatically different meanings to what it means to be “at home” in this country. Her essay is forthcoming in the journal American Political Thought .





January 2021

  • Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Political Science Alisa Gaunder led a roundtable titled “Some Potential Positive Effects of the Global Pandemic on Higher Ed” at the annual Dean’s Institute sponsored by the American Conference of Academic Deans on January 20, 2021. The discussion highlighted how some recent responses to the pandemic, including new ways of community building, a renewed commitment to student learning, and the value of incorporating technology, are likely to have a lasting impact on higher education.





  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti was invited to participate in a roundtable on the theme of “Embodying Your Curriculum,” on January 8, 2021. The panel explored how embodied and trauma-informed practices can be useful in the classroom, even (especially?) for distance learning, in an era marked by pandemic, protests, and political crisis.





December 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor has shared her expertise in American political behavior through a wide range of outlets in the past few weeks, including a pre-election interview with KUT and postelection discussions with Bloomberg News and the Georgetown edition of Community Impact. She was also a contributor to U.S. Election Analysis 2020, a report capturing the immediate thoughts, reflections, and early insights on the 2020 presidential election by more than 115 leading U.S. and international academics. In her entry, Sydnor discussed the narratives of civility and incivility throughout the presidential campaign and argued that Biden’s call for a return to civility may gloss over real systemic and nationwide concerns. Sydnor also published a post on the American Political Science Association’s RAISE the Vote site, a blog dedicated to amplifying and increasing students’ civic engagement and voting. The post outlined Southwestern’s university-wide collaboration around voter education and turnout, as well as our on-campus polling place, as an example for other schools who are also interested in increasing their student engagement.





November 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor has shared her expertise in American political behavior through a wide range of outlets in the past few weeks, including a pre-election interview with KUT and postelection discussions with Bloomberg News and the Georgetown edition of Community Impact. She was also a contributor to U.S. Election Analysis 2020, a report capturing the immediate thoughts, reflections, and early insights on the 2020 presidential election by more than 115 leading U.S. and international academics. In her entry, Sydnor discussed the narratives of civility and incivility throughout the presidential campaign and argued that Biden’s call for a return to civility may gloss over real systemic and nationwide concerns. Sydnor also published a post on the American Political Science Association’s RAISE the Vote site, a blog dedicated to amplifying and increasing students’ civic engagement and voting. The post outlined Southwestern’s university-wide collaboration around voter education and turnout, as well as our on-campus polling place, as an example for other schools who are also interested in increasing their student engagement.





September 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor and political science majors Maureen Rendon ’21 and Sarah Bowen ’22 presented “Uncivil Boundaries: Contesting the Civility of Protestors and Movements on Instagram” at the American Political Science Association (APSA) Political Communication Preconference on September 8. The presentation was based on work conducted as part of SCOPE 2020. At the APSA annual meeting, Sydnor also participated in a roundtable on teaching civic engagement and received the Craig L. Brians Award for Undergraduate Research and Mentoring from the APSA Political Science Education section.





  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor is the recipient of one of the American Political Science Association’s prestigious Centennial Center Special Projects Fund grants. The Special Projects Fund is an initiative that provides grants of up to $25,000 to support member-led collaborative projects aimed at advancing the discipline of political science. Sydnor is one of the principal investigators on the taskforce project “The Components, Processes, and Implications of Conducting Civically Engaged Research in Political Science,” which you can learn more about here.





  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti is cochairing a new group within the Western Political Science Association (WPSA): the Virtual Community on Embodied Social Change and Healing Justice. The WPSA’s Virtual Communities have two goals: (1) To keep scholarly connections strong and increase access—through small conferences, book groups, panels for works in progress, and mentoring and solidarity—during a time when traditional conferences are being revised and reimagined out of both necessity and choice. (2) To focus on areas of study that have tended to be marginalized in mainstream political science, such as planetary justice, critical disability studies, critical whiteness studies, decolonizing political science, and inclusive teaching and pedagogy. You can read more about all the Virtual Communities here, and you can read about the Embodied Social Change and Healing Justice Virtual Community here





August 2020

  • Avery Beam ’19 had her paper “Women’s Representation in the Post-Soviet Space: Latvia and Lithuania” accepted for publication in Reinvention: An International Journal of Undergraduate Research. The paper is based on Beam’s final research paper for Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Political Science Alisa Gaunder’s Women and Politics in Europe and Asia course. It examines the role electoral systems play in affecting the greater representation of women in post-Soviet democracies. Beam is currently a research assistant at the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C.





July 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor and three coprincipal investigators received a $25,000 grant from the American Political Science Association Special Projects Fund to advance the public impact of political science research. The grant will fund a series of workshops on civically engaged research, building a cohort of faculty whose research is designed collaboratively with community partners to produce mutually beneficial results and more closely align the academic field of political science with the practice of politics and governance.





June 2020

  • Conner Joyce ’19  had his paper, “A Path-Dependent Explanation of Divergent Nuclear Trajectories,” accepted for publication in the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics. The paper is based on Joyce’s honors thesis in political science in 2019. It examines why some countries attempt to acquire nuclear weapons and others do not. Joyce is currently in a master’s program at the LBJ School at the University of Texas. 





  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin helped organize and served as a “mentor” for the International Studies Association’s (ISA’s) Second Emerging Global South Scholar Workshop. The workshop brought together 20 Global South scholars from Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and the U.S. (selected from more than 250 applicants) with seven “mentors” from Egypt, India, Mexico, South Africa, the U.S, and the U.K. During the workshop, Selbin specifically cochaired a session on publishing strategies for peer-reviewed journals. Originally scheduled for Ifrane, Morocco, the workshop was funded by the ISA’s Committee on the Status of Engagement with the Global South, who, along with the Global South Caucus of the ISA, sponsored the event.





  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti  worked with several friends to organize a Racial Justice March in solidarity and partnership with Black Lives Matter in the community of Alamo Heights. The march took place Saturday, June 6, and more than 500 people turned out to protest against White Silence and support Black Lives Matter. One goal was to begin a community conversation about white privilege as it relates to racial injustice and police violence. Media outlets covered the march and interviewed Mariotti; you can read the Texas Public Radio article here , as well as an article by the San Antonio Express News  here .





May 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor talked about her recent book, Disrespectful Democracy: The Psychology of Political Incivility, the concerns raised by calls for civility, and who the most conflict-avoidant president might have been on the podcast Politics in Question. The episode is available here.





  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti coorganized the second annual interdisciplinary Politics of the Mindful Revolution miniconference as part of the Western Political Science Association conference. She helped organize three author-meets-critics roundtables. One panel features law professor and mindfulness teacher Rhonda Magee speaking with commentators about her book The Inner Work of Racial Justice. Another panel features religious studies professor Ann Gleig speaking with commentators about her book American Dharma: Buddhism beyond Modernity. A third panel features the sociologist, yoga teacher, and poet Becky Thompson speaking with commentators about her book Teaching with Tenderness: Toward an Embodied Practice. Our panels are all open to the public and will take place on Zoom throughout the day on Thursday, May 21. You can find the full program here.





  • Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty Alisa Gaunder’s article “Conservative Women in Germany and Japan: Chancellors versus Madonnas,” coauthored with Sarah Wiliarty, appears in hard copy in the latest issue of Politics and Gender (vol. 16, pp. 99-122).





  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin has been appointed by International Studies Association (ISA) President Helen V. Milner and approved by the ISA Governing Council as one of the nine members of the ISA Publications Committee. The committee is responsible for overseeing the eight journals the association publishes. As a member of the Feminist Theory & Gender Studies, Global Development Studies, and Theory Sections and the Global South and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, & Allies Caucuses, as well as being affiliated with the Women’s Caucus, Selbin intends to work to further the groups’ respective agendas as well as to be a voice for small liberal-arts college faculty in the publication process.





Feburary 2020

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti published an invited article for the volume A Companion to Adorno, edited by Peter Gordon, Espen Hammer, and Max Pensky. This volume is part of the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy  series and, with 40 essays, is the largest collection of essays by Adorno specialists ever gathered in a single volume. Her piece is titled “Adorno’s Democratic Modernism in America: Leaders and Educators as Political Artists.” Bridging disciplinary divides, this essay brings the lens of artistic modernism to bear on Adorno’s writings on democracy in America to illuminate the distinctive contributions of a political theory that might only appear partial and preliminary when analyzed through the lens of conventional politics. Adorno’s understanding of “democratic enlightenment” resonates with the modernist concept of epiphany and represents a translation of artistic modernism to the political realm. She shows how Adorno’s lessons on the meaningful everyday practice of democracy speak powerfully and practically to people in the U.S. today.





January 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor  was interviewed about her recently published book, Disrespectful Democracy: The Psychology of Political Incivility  (Columbia University Press, 2019), as part of the National Institute for Civil Discourse’s podcast series. The conversation ranged from the specific findings of the book to broader debates about the role that civility and incivility have in democracies. The interview is available here .





  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin published a review of the redoubtable Margaret Randall’s Exporting Revolution: Cuba’s Global Solidarity(Duke University Press, 2017) in the Canadian journal Left History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Historical Inquiry and Debate.