FORUM: Government Shutdown

FORUM: Government Shutdown
Professor Logan Dancey, Department of Government
Professor Jennifer Smith, Department of Government

…will discuss the domestic and international implications of the recent Government shutdown

Thursday, October 10, 4:30 to 6:00 PM
Public Affairs Center 002

Free and open to the public

Colleagues on the Shutdown

Elvin Lim, Government:

On Shutdown Politics: Why it is Not the Constitution’s Fault

So it is not the Constitution that is at fault. It is faction, injected like a toxin into the Constitution, that has caused the separation of powers to go awry. And if so, the short-term solution for shutdown politics is to call faction what it is. Errant and arrogant members of Congress need to be reminded or educated that while they represent their constituents, some of whom no doubt want a stay on Obamacare, each member of Congress also belongs to a chamber of the United States and it is always the national majority (across the nation) that counts more than a factional majority (in a district).

Richard Grossman, Economics:

Republicans’ ideological crusade on health care, causing the shutdown, could lead to economic disaster –

Republicans should take a lesson from history, which has shown time and time again that such ideological crusades, when applied to economic policy, can have disastrous consequences.

Magda Teter, Jewish Studies

A case for history


During his marathon talk on the Senate floor, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, turned to history to help him persuade his colleagues to support his dream of defunding Obamacare, and quiet those saying that it was “impossible,” and “cannot be done.”

Sen. Cruz’s statements were not only outrageous. They were also inaccurate. Britain responded to the German invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939 within hours, and Neville Chamberlain declared that the nation was at war with Germany by late morning the following day.



Thanks to the African Student Association!

I just wanted to send out a quick THANKS! to the African Student Association. Saturday evening they held their annual cultural event. This year it was titled “Ariya: The Beats of Africa”. At the end of the event I was extremely surprised to discover they had an award for me! Both Professor Alice Hadler and myself were honored for our support to the African Student Association. As a professor, this is one of the greatest things that can happen: to have your students honor you in this way. So Thanks!

Visiting Professor Position Here at Wes!

The Department of Government at Wesleyan University invites applications for a position as Visiting Assistant Professor specializing in International Relations. This one-year, non-tenure-track appointment will begin August 2012 and is not renewable. Primary responsibilities will include teaching three undergraduate courses in the fall 2012, two undergraduate courses in the following spring, and supervising up to two senior theses. One course each semester will be an introductory course in IR. Another course will be International Security. This amounts to four preps. The other courses are subject to negotiation, but there will be a strong preference for courses with an international security theme. Candidates with an earned doctorate are preferred, but we will consider candidates who have achieved all-but-dissertation status. The successful candidate should have prior experience teaching his or her own courses.

To apply, please send a letter of application, a curriculum vita, three letters of recommendation, a brief statement outlining your teaching and research experience, and teaching evaluation statistics or other evidence of teaching effectiveness (but please do not send copies of individual student evaluations). The search committee will begin reviewing files as they are received and will continue work until the position is filled.

Wesleyan University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Please send all materials to:

QAC Summer Research

To stay on the theme of the great work our students are doing here at Wesleyan, I wanted to highlight the summer research projects that students completed with our Quantitative Analysis Center.

Each summer, a group of students is given the opportunity to do original research under the guidance of a professor here at Wesleyan. In a certain sense, this replicates for the social sciences what already happens in the sciences here (notably the Hughes program). The summer program culminated this year with a joint poster session that included work conducted by students in the sciences and the social sciences. It was a great fun to walk through Exley Science Center and talk with the students about these great projects, many of which are likely to be published.

Odede on Poverty Tours

I’ve been meaning to post on this. Kennedy Odede, one of our majors, was recently published in the New York Times on the subject of “Slumdog Tourism”. It is definitely worth a read, especially if you are a Westerner considering a trip to a developing country. See it as an opportunity to reflect on what it means to travel and interact with people who live under such drastically different conditions. What Kennedy does here is try to have us see and feel the experience of being observed by such a tourist.

I notice Chris Blattman has a few posts on the subject of development, or poverty, tourism. Besides the New York Times, which has covered the issue a couple times, the Christian Science Monitor, also had a nice story a year ago.

Jessica Posner, Wesleyan ’09, wins the top prize!

I definitely recommend that you go to the Huffington Post site (see below) and watch the video of her win.

Congratulations Jessica and Kennedy for all of your success!

The 2010 Do Something Awards ceremony, hosted by actress Jane Lynch, was a star-studded affair, with appearances by Megan Fox, Snoop Dog, the Jonas Brothers, Alyssa Milano, and a bevy of other household names. The biggest name of the night, however, was Jessica Posner, who won the ceremony’s $100,000 grand prize to expand a girls’ school in Kibera, Kenya.

Posner moved to Kenya at age 20 to teach theater to children there. She was shocked by the poverty she saw in Kenya’s largest slum — according to the Denver Post, 1.5 million people live in this area the size of Central Park.

Inspired to change lives in this area, she founded Shining Hope for Communities, a nonprofit that builds tuition-free girls schools.

WATCH Posner win the award on

blog it