Faculty Achievements: Early Fall 2021

Shareen Hertel continues her work with the UConn’s President’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility — this past year she was joined on that committee by Ph.D. student Brooks Kirchgassner and POLS major Sarah Cusano. The university has won national recognition for its efforts in ensuring that its supply chain is ethically managed globally, as noted in UConn Today 

As editor of The Journal of Human Rights, Professor Hertel has collaborated with undergraduate POLS major Jack Higgins to conduct research and develop new social media vehicles for JHR (see the journal’s new Twitter presence and newsletter here: @JofHumanRights.) She will take part in the APSA later this month, leading a roundtable on “Innovations in Teaching Human Rights: Honoring Dr. Bethany Barratt” and as co-author of a paper jointly authored with Professor Zehra Arat on “Rights Beyond Words: Mapping Human Rights Scholar-Organization Partnerships”. 

Professors Hertel and Jane Gordon both published high-profile pieces in the August 2021 edition of the new American Political Science Association magazine, Political Science Today. Their pieces (Professor Hertel co-authored hers with the APSA’s president, Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier) flag important new trends in advising doctoral students’ careers and life options.

 Professor Gordon was also the winner of the 2021 Faculty Mentoring of Graduate Students Award.  The honor recognizes faculty who demonstrate exemplary support, encouragement, and the creation of opportunities to enrich the learning and professional development of others.

Evan Perkoski’s article entitled “Honor Among Thieves: Understanding Rhetorical and Material Cooperation Among Violent Nonstate Actors” was recently published in the journal International Organization. Though the article has not yet been assigned to an issue, it can be viewed at this link.  

Talbot Andrews’ co-authored article on “Climate Change Literacy in Africa” has been accepted for publication at Nature Climate ChangeHer research revealed that strong positive predictors of climate change literacy include education and mobility; by contrast, poverty decreases climate change literacy and country-level climate change literacy rates are, on average, 12.8% lower for women than men. (Perceived drought experiences and historical trends in precipitation are also important predictors.)

Jennifer Sterling-Folker recently co-edited the forum “Thinking Theoretically in Unsettled Times: COVID19 and Beyond,” in the September issue of International Studies Review.  Her individual contribution for the forum is entitled, “Nationalism, World Order, and the Covid-19 Pandemic.” A copy of the forum is available on early view at this link.

Fred Lee won an American Studies Research Fellowship for $1,000.  The award will be used for Korean language instruction in the service of his book project, “East Asian Science Fiction as Global Political Thought.”

Charles Venator-Santiago was invited by leaders of the Connecticut House of Representatives to prepare a final application for up to $1.5 million in state funding to create a Puerto Rican Research initiative at UConn.  Once established, the initiative will (1) collect and analyze statewide data on Puerto Ricans that can aid in public policymaking; (2) collaborate with the Harford Public Library to create digital (and possibly physical) public archives or repositories documenting the Puerto Rican experience in CT and nationally; and (3) generate resources that can provide financial assistance for students and faculty at UConn with the purpose of fostering research on Puerto Rican issues in CT and nationally.

Professor Venator-Santiago was also asked to join a Supreme Court amicus brief filed by various scholars in the case of John Fitisemanu v. United States of America et al. (20-417).  The case involves John Fitisemanu and others born in American Samoa, who argue that “Congress does not have the power to redefine the Constitution’s guarantee of birthright citizenship to treat those born in U.S. territories as second-class Americans.”

Finally, Professor Venato-Santiago’s Puerto Rico Status Archives Project has been receiving a lot of attention lately. He discusses the archives project at CUNY’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies’ website.   

Christine Sylvester gave the keynote address at a Cardiff University on-line conference on Enemy Encounters held July 19-21.  She also moderated a panel on “The Role of Museums in Cultural Diplomacy” as part of the Global Humanities Initiative of the Meridian Organization, which arranges cultural activities abroad with the US State Department. The program is available at this link.

Virginia Hettinger was recognized by the Director of the Honors Program for her outstanding service on the 2020-2021 Honors Board of Associate Directors.  According to Assistant Vice Provost Jennifer Lease Butts, Dr. Hettinger’s “involvement and dedication have made a real difference in the work we were able to accomplish.”

Jeremy Pressman was the guest on an episode of “Power Problems,” a CATO Institute podcast, where he spoke about the limits of force in Israel-Palestine. Professor Pressman’s research at the Crowd Counting Consortium continued to garner media attention: it was highlighted in a recent article in the New York Times entitled “Where Is the Anti-Biden Tea Party?”.  Along with co-author Dov Waxman, he also published an article in The Washington Quarterly this summer entitled “The Rocky Future of the U.S.-Israeli Special Relationship.”

Matthew Singer recently learned that the project he and several other scholars proposed to the NSF entitled “Collaborative Research: Public Support in Challenging Times: Varieties of Crises, Elite Responses, and Executive Approval” has been tentatively recommended for funding.

Zehra Arat was interviewed by the Lebanese press about Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul convention.  She also published a piece about Turkey in connection to global human rights this past July, and she presented a paper entitled “SDGs, Women’s Rights and Neoliberalism,” at the 26th World Conference of the International Studies Association in July.  Finally, Professor Arat participated in a book panel on Ozlem Altan and Evren Balta’s The American Passport in Turkey at the annual convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities on May 6, 2021.

Meina Cai’s proposal entitled “The Art of Negotiations: Legal Discrimination, Contention Pyramid, and Land Rights Development in China” has been awarded a grant of $10,000 by UConn’s 2021 Sustainable Global Cities Initiative Faculty Research Grant Program.

Yonatan Morse published a paper entitled “Pathways to Power in Authoritarian Regimes: Civil Service, Multipartyism, and Legislative Selection in Cameroon” in the journal Government & Opposition. 

Prakash Kashwan has been nominated by the National Climate Adaptation Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey, to join an expert panel for conducting transformative change assessment for achieving the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Professor Kashwan also contributed several co-authored pieces to popular media, including (1) “Climate Change: The New Normal Is Not Yet Here” in the August 28, 2021 edition of The Wire (with Anji Seth and Mark Urban) and “Resisting the Cynical Politics of Climate Negotiations” in the April 27, 2021 edition of Planet Politics Institute (with Praneeta Mudaliar). 

Professor Kashwan was interviewed for the Governance Podcast, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Governance & Society at King’s College London, on the political economy foundations of the Bloomington School of Institutional Analysis. June 28, 2021. https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-vepz2-1075dd1 

 Finally, Professor Kashwan published several co-authored pieces recently: (1) “From Racialized Neocolonial Global Conservation to an Inclusive and Regenerative Conservation” in Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development; (2) “The risks of solar geoengineering research” in Science; and (3)   “Echoes from the Woods: At the Crossroads of Forest Struggles and Human Rights in Postcolonial India” in The International Journal of Human Rights.

David Richards conducted a socio-political evaluation of the Family Protection Bill in Palestine for UN Women/UNDP/UNICEF. In addition, he was nominated for the Mentorship Excellence Award, an award presented annually by the Office of Undergraduate Research in recognition of mentors’ contributions to their students’ learning and undergraduate experience at UConn.

Beth Ginsberg and Jane Gordon were each nominated for the Career Advocate of the Year award (for the 2020-2021 academic year) by the Center for Career Development.  The award recognizes a faculty or staff member, nominated by their colleagues, who has demonstrated a commitment to furthering the career development of UConn students.

 Emeritus Professor Cyrus Zirakzadeh and Jane Gordon received an extremely positive review of their co-edited book,The Politics of Richard Wright: Perspectives on Resistance (University Press of Kentucky, 2019) in the March 2021 issue of Perspectives.