Newsletter

Zirakzadeh’s Storied Career Celebrated by Colleagues Past and Present

On Wednesday September 5th, students, faculty and alumni met at Alumni Hall to celebrate the long career of Professor Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh, who retired this past summer after 33 years at UConn.  After welcoming remarks from Dean Davita Glasberg, Zirakzadeh charmed the crowd with heartfelt comments about his time in Storrs and the many friends he made along the way.  It was a bittersweet farewell to a UConn fixture who has touched so many lives over the years.

Zirakzadeh received his baccalaureate from the University of Michigan, his master’s degree from Stanford University, and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to his time spent in the Political Science Department, he served for five years as Director of the University of Connecticut’s Honors Programs and for five years as Associate Dean for the Social Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Additionally, he thrice chaired the University of Connecticut’s Senate Executive Committee.

In the late 1990s, Zirakzadeh participated in the Perestroika movement within political science, which sought to encourage a substantively rich, methodologically plural discipline. In addition, Zirakzadeh has served on the Graduate Education and Professional Development Committee of the American Political Science Association, and on the Executive Councils of the Northeastern Political Science Association and the New England Political Science Association.  In 2005, he was honored with the title “University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow” from the University of Connecticut’s Institute for Teaching and Learning. He also received an Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha honorary society.  More recently in 2015, Zirakzadeh received the inaugural University of Connecticut Provost’s Service Award for contributions “to the teaching, research, engagement, and service missions of the University of Connecticut.”

Two topics have dominated Zirakzadeh’s research agenda: experiments with grassroots democracy (also known as “participatory democracy” and “direct democracy”) and political thought in art. For several decades, he has examined the origins, activities, and legacies of social movements in Western and Central Europe and Latin and North America. More recently, he has studied representations of U.S. politics in literature, music, and film. In addition, he is interested in theories about workplace democracy, and in the possibilities for and challenges to an interpretive political science.

Zirakzadeh has authored three books: A Rebellious People: Basques Protests and Politics (1991), Direct Democracy and International Politics: Deciding International Issues through Referendums (co-authored with John Rourke and Richard Hiskes, 1992), and Social Movements in Politics: A Comparative Study (1997; updated and expanded second edition in 2006). He also has edited a four-volume handbook on social and political movements (2011), and has co-edited an anthology with Simon Stow on the political experiences and visions of John Steinbeck (2013), and an anthology with Jane Gordon on the political experiences and visions of Richard Wright (forthcoming).

Faculty Achievements: Early Fall 2018

  • Dr. Jeffrey Dudas recently received an honorable mention for the Herbert Jacob Book Prize for his book Raised Right: Fatherhood in Modern American Conservatism  (Stanford University Press).
  • Dr. Dudas also recorded a podcast about Raised Right (hosted by Heath Brown) for the New Books Network’s Political Science Podcast.
  • Dr. Jeremy Pressman’s article “Foreign Cues and Public Views on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”, which he co-authored with former graduate student Matthew Leep (PhD ‘13), was recently accepted for publication by The British Journal of Politics and International Relations.
  • The American Political Science Association awarded Dr. Veronica Herrera the Dennis Judd Best Book Award from the Urban and Local Politics Section for her recent work, Water and Politics. Read more about her work.
  • Dr. Pressman authored “The National School Walkout of March 14, 2018,” an article which appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of Extensions, the flagship journal of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at The University of Oklahoma.
  • On a recent episode of Michigan Radio’s “Here and Now,” alumnus Salil Benegal ’16 Ph.D. of DePauw University and Dr. Lyle Scruggs discussed how individuals react to information about climate change. Listen now.
  • Dr. Pressman also presented a co-authored paper at APSA entitled “The March for Science: the Challenge of Transcending Partisan Divides.”
  • Dr. Pressman and Harvard University Professor Erica Chenoweth published their most recent discussion of protests (covering June 2018) at the Monkey Cage blog in the Washington Post. Read the article here.
  • Dr. Shareen Hertel recently organized a roundtable on research frontiers in human rights at the 2018 APSA annual meeting.  (She worked jointly with colleagues from the University of Nebraska, University of Southern California, and University of Pittsburgh). Her contribution focused on new research and teaching efforts she is spearheading to bridge the STEM and human rights divides.  Her work was recently featured in a related UConn Today story and podcast on ethical and environmental challenges in global supply chains.
  • Dr. Hertel was also a featured speaker on a panel that UConn’s School of Engineering hosted last month.  The panel looked at unconventional paths within academia and STEM, and addressed how to use skills in engineering to pursue passions for politics, social justice and the like.
  • Dr. Yonatan Morse received a Scholarship Facilitation Grant in July 2018 to finish his elite survey in Cameroon.
  • Additionally, Dr. Morse’s article, “Elite Interviews in the Developing World: Finding Anchors in Weak Institutional Environments,” can now be found online in Qualitative Methods.
  • Finally, Dr. Morse is a regular contributor to the blog Presidential Power. Be sure to check out his work!
  • Dr. Michael Morrell completed his term as the Vice President of Conferences for the International Society of Political Psychology at the annual meeting in San Antonio this past July.
  • Dr. Morrell, along with co-authors Paolo Spada and Graham Smith from the University of Westminster (UK), presented the paper “The Potential of Argument Visualization Platforms and Empathy Induction to Promote Humility in Public Discourse” at the general conference of the European Consortium of Political Research in Hamburg, Germany.
  • Dr. Paul Herrnson recently published an article, co-authored with Michael J. Hanmer and Ho Youn Koh. The article entitled “Mobilization Around New Convenience Voting Methods: A Field Experiment to Encourage Voting by Mail with a Downloadable Ballot and Early Voting,” can be found in Political Behavior.
  • Dr. Herrnson also presented two papers at the APSA in Boston: “The Electoral Bogeyman: Beneficiaries and Victims of Super PAC Spending” co-authored with Jay Goodliffe and Douglas M. Spencer; and “The Super Women and the Super Men behind Super PACs: The Emergence of a New Source of Inequality in Campaign Financing” co-authored with Jennifer A. Heerwig.
  • Finally, Dr. Herrnson spoke on “Using Center of Responsive Politics Data for Research and Teaching” during the Workshop on Campaign Finance Data at the APSA’s Annual Meeting.
  • Dr. Fred Lee has recently published two items, his newest book: Extraordinary Racial Politics: Four Events in the Informal Constitution of the United States (Temple University Press, 2018) and an essay: “Contours of Asian American Political Theory: Introductions and Polemics” in Politics, Groups and Identities.
  • Dr. Robert Lupton’s article entitled “Partisan Intensity and Racial Attitudes:The Shifting Policy Positions on Partisan Evaluations in the 1960s”, co-authored with Judd R. Thornton, was recently accepted for publication at American Politics Research.
  • Dr. Christine Sylvester gave a lecture on September 19 related to her forthcoming book, Curating and Re-Curating the American Wars in Vietnam and Iraq (OUP), at the University of Melbourne. The lecture is part of a seven-day visit to the university co-sponsored with the Australian ECR program that teams an early career researcher of considerable promise with a senior international academic for individual research coaching.
  • Dr. Prakash Kashwan was among the winners of the APSA 2018 Special Projects Fund award for the project “Avoiding Day Zero in the U.S. and Global South.” The work was conducted in collaboration with Frank Matose (University of Cape Town), Navnita Chadha Behera (University of Delhi, New Delhi) and Lauren M. MacLean (Indiana University).
  • Dr. Kashwan also co-authored “Rethinking power and institutions in the shadows of neoliberalism” along with Lauren McLean of Indiana University and Gustavo Garcia Lopez of the University of Puerto Rico.
  • Dr. Kashwan and Craig M. Kauffman (University of Oregon) were invited by Perspectives on Politics to submit a “Critical Dialogue” in which they review one another’s books and respond to the reviews.
  • Dr. Kashwan is one of the invited speakers for two workshops on the International Governance of Climate Engineering, organized at the University of Reading, U.K. (Sept 19) and the University College London (Sept 20).
  • Dr. Zehra Arat was recently nominated for the “Human Rights Distinguished Scholar Award” of the International Studies Association.
  • Dr. Arat delivered an invited talk, “Diversity, Inclusion, and Empowerment: The Neoliberal Accommodation of Women and Feminism” at Monash University, Clayton, Australia.
  • Dr. Arat also attended the 25th World Congress of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), held in Brisbane, where she participated in the pre-conference workshop, “What happens to feminist claims in politically turbulent times?” She also delivered two papers: “Normative Challenges to Human Rights: Selective Acceptance and Rival Global,” and “From Anti-Discrimination to Empowerment of Women: The CEDAW, MDGs and SDGs,” which was co-authored with graduate student Erica MacDonald. She chaired three panels at this conference as well.
  • Finally, Dr. Arat attended the Annual meeting of the APSA and delivered two papers, “Economic Rights and Justice in the Qur’an” and “Discontented Workers, Automation Anxiety, and the Right to Work,” co-authored with graduate student Dabney Waring.
  • Dr. Meina Cai and Xin Sun recently published “Institutional Blindingness, Power Structure, and Land Expropriation in China” in World Development.
  • Dr. Cai presented her paper “Political Trust, Risk Preferences, and Land-Taking Compensation: Evidence from Survey Experiments in China” at the 2018 APSA mini-conference on Chinese politics.
  • Dr. Cai also organized a panel “Authoritarian Resilience or Decay: Perspectives from China’s Urbanization” at the recent APSA annual meeting. On the panel, Dr. Cai presented the paper “Government Debt, Land Financing, and Urbanization in China.”
  • Dr. Shayla Nunnally was nominated as an awardee for the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) and recognized by the UConn Chapter of NCNW for winning their “Change Agent” award at their Chapter’s inaugural award ceremony this past April.
  • Dr. Nunnally was also featured on an international podcast of AfroPunk’s “Solution Sessions” for Episode 3: Skeptic. (AfroPunk is an integrated media platform and live events company producing the largest, culture defining music festivals globally). AfroPunk’s “Solution Sessions” is a series of conversations led by today’s leading activists and features all the best elements of Afropunk, genre bending, counterculture, and radically Black.
  • Dr. Nunnally was nominated for the UConn AACC Female Faculty Member of the Year Award this past spring.
  • Dr. Nunnally recently made an appearance on Sputniknews radio’s “The Critical Hour” with host Dr. Wilmer Leon on SiriusXM on July 20, 2018.  The title of the talk was “Does Capitalism Go Hand in Hand with Racism?”
  • Finally, Dr. Nunnally’s brief entitled “Political Elites’ Explanations for Race and Gender Inequalities,” which she wrote with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, was published and included in the report entitled “Examining Representation and Citizen Advocacy at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.”
  • Dr. Virginia Hettinger was recognized for her service on the Honors Board of Associate Directors. She has been re-appointed for yet another three-year term to extend from Fall 2018 through Spring 2021.
  • Dr. Hettinger was also recognized for her participation in the Young Scholars Senior Summit this past summer. The Summit is an important program for the University as it provides an opportunity to attract high-achieving young people to our undergraduate programs of study.
  • Dr. Veronica Herrera is currently revising and resubmitting two articles in scholarly journals.  The titles of the articles are “Comparing Executive and Judicial Routes to Social Accountability: Evidence from Colombia” (in Journal of Development Studies) and “The Case for Public Policy Expertise in Political Science” (in PS: Political Science & Politics).
  • Dr. Oksan Bayulgen was appointed as a member of the University’s Environmental Policy Advisory Council (EPAC), effective August 28, 2018. EPAC promotes the kind of information-sharing, collaboration and leadership that have proudly earned UConn a top ten green campus ranking, both nationally and globally, for the past six years.
  • Dr. Bayulgen and several POLS graduate students attended the LC HuskyWoW Kick-off in late August to welcome the freshmen in Global House, Humanities House, and with interests in the humanities.
  • Finally, Dr. Bayulgen recently published two articles. The first, entitled “Green Priorities: How Economic Frames Affect Perceptions of Renewable Energy in the United States,” was co-authored with former graduate student Salil Benegal. The other, “Against All Odds: Elite Strategies of Survival and Autocratic Reversal and Resilience in Turkey,” was co-authored with former PhD student Ekim Arbatil and graduate student Sercan Canbolat.
  • Dr. Stephen Dyson gave the opening keynote to more than 2,000 students representing over 30 Learning Communities in Gampel Pavilion this past August.
  • Dr. Dyson’s commentary on the summit between the United States and North Korea is available on UConn Today and Today’s CLAS. The article is entitled “Op-ed: Summit with Kim is Boosting Trump’s Confidence.That Might Not Be a Good Thing.”
  • Dr. Matthew Singer has had several articles and book chapters accepted and/or published in the past few months. These include: “Do Changes in District Magnitude Affect Electoral Fragmentation? Evidence over Time at the District Level”, co-authored with former UConn undergraduate Zachary Gershman (Electoral Studies); “Public Support for Latin American Presidents: The Cyclical Model in Comparative Perspective” (Research and Politics); “Linkage Strategies of Former Authoritarian Ruling Parties under Conditions of Democratic Party Competition” (in Loxton and Manwaring, Life after Dictatorship); “Delegating Away Democracy: How Good Representation and Policy Successes Can Undermine Democratic Legitimacy” (Comparative Political Studies); and “Personal Economic Struggles and Heterogeneous Government Approval after the Great Recession” (Public Opinion Quarterly).
  • Dr. Jane Gordon’s book proposal for an Ida B. Wells project has been unanimously approved by the editorial board of Polity. The board reported that her “excellent proposal strikes a great balance between chronological/biographical framing, thematic analysis and assessing the contemporary relevance of Wells’ ideas and life.”
  • Dr. Stephen Dyson recently had a piece published in the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog entitled “Tired of American News? ‘A Very English Scandal’ Plunges you into 1970s British Social Repression and Political Ambition.”
  • Dr. Ron Schurin was quoted in the July 19, 2018 edition of the Connecticut Mirror:  The article was entitled  “Connecticut Seeing Surge of Voter Registrations Since 2016 Election.”
  • Dr. Brian Waddell’s book, What American Government Does (Johns Hopkins University, 2017) was discussed in the article “Better Understanding of Government Would Benefit Nation” published on UConn Today, Today CLAS and on the UConn Greater Hartford Campus homepage.
  • Dr. Charles Venator-Santiago’s archive project won the 2018 Award for Research, a national award from the Center for Research Libraries.
  • Dr. Evan Perkoski’s article “Claiming Credit for Cyberattacks,” which was originally published in the Washington Post, was also featured in UConn Today and Today’s CLAS.
  • Dr. Venator-Santiago’s Puerto-Rican Citizenship Archive Project won a second national/international award, the Jose Toribio Medina award at the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials.
  • Dr. Evelyn Simien’s commentary in The Conversation entitled “The Dark (and Overlooked) History of Black Women Lynched in the U.S.” was published in Newsweek as well as UConn Today and Today’s CLAS.
  • Dr. Fred Turner, Professor Emeritus, attended the XIX World Congress of the International Sociological Association in Toronto, Canada, on July 19.  He chaired a panel on “Comparative Perspectives from Surveying the Poor in Different Countries.”
  • Dr. David Yalof’s chapter on the “The Presidency and the Judiciary” was recently published as part of Dr. Michael Nelson’s edited volume, The Presidency and the Political System, Eleventh Edition (CQ Press, 2018)

Cheshire, Faculty Honor Top POLS Students of 2018

UConn alumna Jaime Cheshire (POLS ’99) has been busy this spring: As CIA Director of Congressional Affairs, she was hard at work helping the Senate in its review of President Trump’s newest nominee to head the CIA, Gina Haspel; Cheshire also played a key role in helping to ensure that her former boss, Mike Pompeo, was confirmed as the next Secretary of State.

Meanwhile in Storrs, four undergraduate students (Jori Houck, Lauren Graham, Caio Goncalves and Leann McLaren) accepted the ’99 Jaime B. Cheshire Endowed Internship award from Jaime’s father, Michael Cheshire. Each year these awards go to high-performing undergraduates. Rarely, however, do the award recipients have the chance to personally thank the donor responsible for endowing the award. And while most of the names on these awards are relatively unknown, that was not the case this year, as Jaime Cheshire’s profile has risen so dramatically.

Her career in government – Jaime worked for Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) and Rep Buck McKeon (R-CT) – was featured in the UConn Alumni newsletter four years ago. At that time, she said one of the most rewarding parts of her job had been to help UConn students launch their own public service careers. The winners of the award that carries her name may follow that path as well.

POLS Grad Becomes Town Councilor

Democrats will continue to lead the Mansfield Town Council in 2017 thanks to a successful election night on November 7. Joining them on the council will be a familiar face: Caitlin Briody (POLS ’17) won an unexpected seat on the Council as an unaffiliated petitioning candidate. Briody became the first petitioning candidate to win a council seat since the town began its current council-manager government form in 1973. Briody graduated from UConn this past May with honors and a double major in sociology and political science. Read more in our latest edition of POLS News and Notes!

POLS Welcomes Two New Faculty

Prof. Evan Perkoski

The Department of Political Science is proud to welcome two new professors who have joined our faculty this fall:  Dr. Evan Perkoski (U.Penn. PhD., 2015), who will teach International Relations in Storrs; and Dr. Robert Lupton (Mich. St. PhD., 2015), who will teach American Politics at our regional campus in Stamford.

Dr. Perkoski spent last year as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the University of Denver.  He earned his B.A. in Government at nearby Wesleyan University in 2010, before earning his M.A. (2012) and PhD. (2015) from the University of Pennsylvania.  As a graduate student in 2014, Evan was awarded the Patricia Weisman Award from the International Studies Association, which goes to the author of the best graduate student paper on any aspect of security studies presented at the previous ISA Annual Conference.  He also won two separate prizes for excellence in teaching as a graduate student while at UPenn.

Prof. Bob Lupton

Dr. Lupton earned his B.A. in Political Science at the University of Michigan, before earning his M.A. (2009) and Ph.D. (2015) at Michigan State.  As a graduate student he co-authored two refereed journal articles in Political Psychology and in The Journal of Politics.  He also has two articles forthcoming in the British Journal of Political Science and Political Behavior.  The discipline already reached out to Dr. Lupton for service as a member of the Malcolm Jewell Award Committee to select the best graduate student paper presented at the 2016 Southern Political Science Association.  His broad teaching ability in American Politics and Quantitative methods will address the needs of the Stamford campus political science majors.

Honors Students’ Research Draws Notable Observers

April poster session
Adam Kuegler (left) discusses his research with President Herbst

Every spring the POLS Honors Program – currently under the direction of Alan Bennett Honors Professor Jennifer Sterling-Folker – hosts a poster session and reception to celebrate the research projects and theses undertaken by its honors students during the past academic year. Nicknamed “REPS” (Research Excellence in Political Science), the event is typically held concurrently with Frontiers of Undergraduate Research, a university-wide display of student scholarship.

This year’s April poster session attracted its largest crowd ever to the fourth floor of Oak Hall. Visitors included political scientists from the President’s office (President Herbst herself was there), the Dean’s office (Associate Dean Cyrus Zirakzadeh) and the Center for Undergraduate Education (Jennifer Lease Butts and Vin Moscardelli).

There were 28 projects in all featured at the 2017 REPS. The list of research projects included: “Patchwork Solidarity: Organized Labor within Latin America’s Garment Industry” (Christopher Raymond); “‘Reel’ Police, Prosecutors, and Portrayals of the Use of Force: Assessing Law & Order: SVU” (Amy Saji); “Problematic Frames: The Perception of Muslim vs Non-Muslim American Terrorists in US Media” (Madiha Shafqat); “Pollution, Resistance, and Representation in Latin American Cities” (Emily Steck); “The Politics of Remembering: Race & Gender in Women of Color Nursing Representations” (Dacia Walcott); “Extremist Headhunting: How the Islamic State Radicalizes/Recruits Members Through Twitter” (Mairead Loschi); “Representing America: Citizens Impacted by Descriptive Representation in Congress” (Evelyn Luchs); “Young Women’s Expectations and Preferences During the 2016 Democratic Primaries” (Emma Morelli); “Violence Against Women & Girls: Evidence for the Normative Gap Between Rhetoric & Law” (Susan Naseri); “Running Comes Before Winning: Explaining the Gender Gap in State Legislatures” (Marissa Piccolo); “Spiritual Social Justice: A Comparative Study of Religious Political Activism Same-Sex Marriage” (Erin Puglia) “The Impact of Organizational Affiliation on Contributions to Super PACs” (Kyle Adams) “Gender in Politics: Super PAC Donors and Contribution Behavior” (Van Augur) “Stigmatized: A Study of Refugee and Economic Migrant Integration in French Politics & Culture” (Lucas Bladen); “The Personal is Political: Gender and Political Ambition in College Students” (Caitlin Briody); “Seize the Memes of Production! Marxist Theory & Discourse Through Internet Memes” (Sebastian Chamorro); “The Criminal Court System & Campus Sexual Assault” (Eliza Conrad); “I Wish I Wasn’t in Dixie: Early Voting Restrictions & Black Turnout in North Carolina” (Carl Costa); “Corporate & Citizen Trust of US Government Surveillance in National Security” (Shea Flanagan); “The Polarization of Voting Laws” (William Fricke); “Analyzing Partisanship of Bush vs. Obama Supreme Court Appointees” (Blake Giosa); “A Means to an End: How Lobbyists Form Relationships with CT State Legislature Staff” (Lindsey Heiman); “Invisible Americans: A Legal History of Non-Citizen Nationality and U.S. Empire” (Maye Henning); “Filling the Basket of Deplorables? Donald Trump’s Victory in 2016 Republican Primary” (Peter Hopko) “Democratization Debunked: A Realist Analysis of US Democratization in Bosnia and Iraq” (Ryan Kauer); “Examining the Impact of Women in Local Governance, Social Programs and Female Empowerment in the Asia- Pacific” (Rebecca Kaufman); “Don’t Steal My Seat! Incumbent Vulnerability in U.S. House Elections” (Adam Kuegler); and “Shifting Tectonics: State and Civilian Responses to Secularism in Bangladesh” (Rubayet Lasker).

Pressman’s Efforts to Count Marchers Gain National Attention

A crowd fills Independence Avenue during the Women's March on Washington, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A crowd fills Independence Avenue during the Women’s March on Washington, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

As hundreds of thousands of Americans marched against Donald Trump and for women’s rights in Washington D.C. and elsewhere on the day after the inauguration, many began to wonder what the final count of protestors might be. UCONN Professor Jeremy Pressman and University of Denver Professor Erica Chenowith went a step further, translating various reports of crowd sizes into more valid estimates in real time.

Their efforts began the morning of January 21st, just as marchers were lining up across the country. After Pressman posted a query on Twitter asking “Is there an exact spreadsheet totaling all the marchers in the city today?”, he began to collect the figures himself. Thus while the Associated Press reported late Saturday that “more than 1 million people” rallied in marches across the nation. Pressman and Chenowith put the final number much higher – their best guess was that approximately 4.15 million people participated in the U.S., with another 300,000 participating in other countries.

“The overall number was bigger than I expected,” Pressman told Yahoo News. “We’ve listed several hundred protests and marches across the country…. And we’re being more conservative with the numbers than with the locations.” Reports from cities with no public record documentation to support them were left with blank cells on the spreadsheet; still, most of the numbers were far greater than had been first reported.

Pressman and Chenowith have received national media attention for their work. Pressman in particular was interviewed by Business Insider, Efe News, Fortune, Univision, Vox, and Atlantic. The two professors also documented their work on The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Blog. For those interested in examining the actual estimate, the document can be found online
here.

Read more about the Department’s latest accomplishments in the Winter 2017 POLS Newsletter.

Former Department Head Gerson Leaves Large Legacy

Louis Gerson
Louis Gerson

Photo Credit: Hearst Connecticut Media

Dr. Louis Gerson, 94, the political scientist and former department head who escaped the Holocaust as a teenager, died on October 16, 2016 in Southbury, CT. Gerson was a central figure in the post World War II development of UCONN; he was also active in local Democratic politics, serving on the Mansfield Democratic committee from 1969-1972. Yet perhaps his greatest legacy was as a member of the political science department – he taught courses over four decades and inspired many students to serve in various offices in Connecticut politics. Dr. Gerson also served as department head from 1967-77, and remained there until he retired in 1988.

Professor Elizabeth Hanson, now a Professor Emerita who still teaches in the political science department, offers her own personal reflections from her time as an assistant professor:

When I first came to UConn many years ago, Lou Gerson was the chair of the political science department. It was the last year of a decade in which he established the foundations of the department as we know it today. It was also a period of expansion. In 1969-70 alone he hired no less than 12 faculty members, most of whom received tenure at UConn and became notable contributors to the field of political science.

Alas, they were all men! In my first two years in the department I was the only woman in the 26-member department on the Storrs campus. Juicy anecdotes might be expected from this experience, but I cannot think of any. Lou was a supportive department head, and he must have set the tone that made me feel not just tolerated but also welcomed. My most vivid memories of Lou are around a table at lunch in the long defunct faculty club. He regaled us with his views on past and current U.S. foreign policy and always stimulated a lively discussion. It felt like we were talking to the Secretary of State and, in fact, I always thought he looked the part.”

Read this story, and more, in the Late Fall edition of the Department Newsletter.

Political Science Welcomes Newest Faculty

Dr. Morse
Dr. Morse
At the department’s annual academic kickoff reception held on August 31, 2016, faculty, staff and students alike welcomed two new faculty members: Dr. Yonatan Morse of Georgetown University, and Dr. Alexander Anievas of Cambridge University.

Dr. Morse joins the department after a three-year stint as Assistant Professor of teaching and Associate Director of the Democracy and Governance Program at Georgetown.  Upon graduating with a Ph.D. from Georgetown in 2013, he  received the Harold N. Glassman Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences.  He then went on to publish in such journals as  World Politics, Democratization, and Comparative Politics.  In addition to teaching classes on the politics of Africa and democratization on the Stamford campus, Dr. Morse will also be teaching the required graduate seminar in Quantitative Methods this Fall in Storrs.

Dr. Anievas
Dr. Anievas
Dr. Anievas joins the department after serving as a Levrhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge.  His research interests in international political economy, postcolonial studies and the origin and development of capitalism gave rise to his first two books: Capital, the State and War (University of Michigan Press, 2014) and How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism (Pluto Press, 2015).    The former work garnered him the 2015 Sussex International Theory Prize.

Dr. Anievas will be teaching classes in IR Theory, Globalization and International Political Economy on the Storrs campus.

Read this story, and much more, in the POLS Fall Newsletter!