Burdine Chronicles – April 2016

Dear Alumni and Friends,

As promised when I last wrote in September, I am now able to announce what many of you already know – thanks to the university’s faculty investment initiative, we have hired two senior professors, John Gerring and Nate Jensen. Both will add tremendously to our department, and we are eager to welcome them here later this summer. I am equally excited to announce the hire of Graeme Boushey, who strengthens our public policy field and adds to our cluster of expertise on diffusion.

I am also incredibly pleased to inform you that we are in the midst of recruiting two more senior hires, again through the faculty investment initiative, to fill positions in American Politics.

Of course, these strong hires merely bolster a thriving faculty. Take, for example, the recent spate of our faculty’s published or forthcoming APSR articles:

• Juliet Hooker: “A Black Sister to Massachusetts’: Latin America and the Fugitive Democratic Ethos of Frederick Douglass”

• Devin Stauffer: “Of Darkness from Vain Philosophy’: Thomas Hobbes’s Critique of the Classical Tradition”

• Rachel Wellhausen (with Leslie Johns): “Under One Roof: Supply Chains and the Protection of Foreign Investment”

• Kurt Weyland: “Crafting Counterrevolution: How Reactionaries Learned to Combat Change in 1848”

And among our incoming faculty:

• Graeme Boushey: “Designed for Diffusion? How the Use and Acceptance of Stereotypes Shapes the Diffusion of Criminal Justice Policy Innovations in the American States”

• John Gerring (et al): “Demography and Democracy: A Global, District-level Analysis of Electoral Contestation”

And one by a graduate student (now newly minted Ph.D.):

• Lewis Fallis: “Six Portraits of Political Ambition in Xenophon’s Memorabilia”

In addition, we have numerous articles in other top outlets. Allow me just to name a few. Nate Jensen, our other new arrival in 2016, has a forthcoming article in AJPS. Terry Chapman has an article forthcoming in BJPS, Pat McDonald published last year in IO, and Scott Wolford has a forthcoming IO article. Mike Findley has articles in JOP and AJPS among a slew of recent publications. Wendy Hunter has published in World Politics, Chris Wlezien published two articles in AJPS, Zeynep Somer-Topcu and Stephen Jessee both have forthcoming articles in AJPS, and Amy Liu has a forthcoming article in BJPS. OK, that is more than a few but what can I say? It has been a good year.

In addition to these high profile journal articles, our faculty continue churning out excellent books. In the first part of 2016 alone, Zoltan Barany published How Armies Respond to Revolution and Why (Princeton), Ben Gregg published The Human Rights State (Penn), and Gary Freeman’s edited volume, Handbook on Migration and Social Policy, has been published by Elgar. In 2015, the department had books by Bethany Albertson (Cambridge), Jason Brownlee (Oxford), Bryan Jones (Chicago), Amy Liu (Penn), David Prindle (Routledge), Bat Sparrow (PublicAffairs), Rachel Wellhausen (Cambridge), and Scott Wolford (Cambridge).

Our faculty have won some impressive fellowships and awards this past year as well. Lorraine Pangle has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. Other large grants were obtained by Dan Brinks (Ford Foundation), Mike Findley (National Science Foundation), Tse-Min Lin (Taiwan government), and Xiaobo Lu (MIT). And graduate student Caitlin Andrews has just received notice of a grant from the NSF. Later this week, Chris Wlezien will be honored at the Midwest Political Science Association’s annual conference for winning the Pi Sigma Alpha award for the best paper presented at the 2015 meeting.

Speaking of Midwest, the Texas reception will be Friday, March 8, from 10-11 pm in the Empire Room at the Palmer House. We hope to see all of you there and, as always, I will be passing out drink tickets and would love to buy you a drink. More importantly, one of our distinguished alumni, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, will receive the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award from MPSA’s Women’s Caucus. A roundtable will be held in her honor Friday, April 8 at 11:30 am.

In other exciting alumni news, Anna Law has received a grant from the NSF to study how US immigration courts decide gender-based asylum cases.

And in a new department development, I would like to give you a sneak peek to our latest initiative: a department podcast. In our pilot episode, we take you into Zach Elkins’ work on comparative constitutions. You can listen to all three segments of the pilot here: https://utexas.box.com/podcastpilot. As we grow, look for the podcast to be hosted at this address: http://sites.utexas.edu/connector. We also plan for you to be able to find us on ITunes U. Our next episode in the pipeline features Bob Luskin, Daron Shaw, and Chris Wlezien discussing the world of polling.

Before closing, I would like to take a moment to congratulate some of our recently promoted friends. On the alumni side, congratulations to Curt Nichols, promoted to associate professor at Baylor, and to Mark Setzler, promoted to professor at High Point University. As for our faculty, congratulations to Bethany Albertson, whose promotion to associate professor becomes effective this Fall, and also to Dana Stauffer, who will be promoted to senior lecturer.

And finally, I want to acknowledge a couple of careers in their final chapter, as retirement takes two truly special and unique individuals who many of you have come to know over the years, and who everyone can recognize for their many contributions to our department. Henry Dietz is in the homestretch of his final semester, as is Nancy Moses. Please join me in wishing both of these individuals all the best in the next chapters of their lives.

One last item. I would like to bid a warm goodbye to Scott Moser, who has accepted a position at The University of Nottingham. We will miss Scott, but wish him success in all his future endeavors.

Please remember to keep up-to-date at https://sites.utexas.edu/government/.


Robert G. Moser
Professor and Chair