Mattiace Attends Research Workshop

Professor of Political Science Shannan Mattiace attended a research workshop on September 21 and 22 sponsored by the Kellogg Center for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the Latin American Research Review (LARR) on Societal Responses to Criminal Violence in Latin America with co-authors Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Wesoky Publishes Book Examining Political Humor in China

Professor of Political Science Sharon Wesoky recently published a book, co-edited with Kingfai Tam of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, titled “Not Just a Laughing Matter: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Political Humor in China (Springer Humanities).” The book, a product of a multi-year collaboration, grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and international conference in Hong Kong, collects the work of 12 international scholars to examine the role of multiple genres of political humor in China from the late Imperial period to the present day. Wesoky also recently was invited to contribute a piece to the inaugural “Women and Gender in China” blog. Her article, “(Dis)continuities in Chinese feminisms: navigating local and global” can be found at https://www.wagic.org/blank-2/2017/08/29/Discontinuities-in-Chinese-Feminisms-Navigating-Local-and-Global.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Harward Presents at European Consortium for Political Research

Brian M. Harward, the Robert G. Seddig Chair of Law and Policy, and his co-authors presented their paper “Competition over Issue Agendas: Presidential Signing Statements and Congressional Oversight” at the annual meeting of the European Consortium for Political Research in Oslo, Norway on September 6.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

PBS’s Heffner on ‘Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age’

The “incivility of bigotry” has resulted in a society unable to come together across difference, Alexander Heffner said during a keynote lecture at Allegheny College on Thursday.

“The incivility of bigotry does not mean the incivility of purely racism or xenophobia or nativism. The incivility of bigotry is the incapacity of our society to rationalize and reason with disparate political objectives and constituencies,” Heffner, host of “The Open Mind” on PBS, said to 100 students, faculty, staff and community members gathered in the Tillotson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center.

“When you have a bigoted attitude or mindset it precludes you from having an exchange that is thoughtful and deliberative and fruitful in what it yields.”

Heffner has covered American politics, civic life and Millennials since the 2008 presidential campaign.  He founded and edited SCOOP08 and SCOOP44, the first-ever national student newspapers covering the 2008 campaign and the Obama administration.

“The Open Mind” is billed as a “thoughtful excursion into the world of ideas across politics, media, technology, the arts and all realms of civic life,” and is the longest-running public broadcast in the history of American television.

Heffner’s lecture, “Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age: The Quest for a Post-Partisan Citizenship,” was hosted by the President’s Office, the Center for Political Participation, Journalism in the Public Interest, and the Provost’s Office.

The 2016 presidential primary campaign epitomized “the overall bigotry” that mars our discourse, Heffner said. Increasingly, we see each other not as Americans but as Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, he said.

That view results in a “refusal to disagreeably agree,” to compromise, Heffner said.

“There is a deliberative process that is supposed to engender disagreement debate and, ultimately, some declaration: the Declaration of Independence, the Declaration of Human Rights, whatever that may be, those declaration of joint values are now quite absent in the overall political picture of our country.”

In the political arena, the inability to compromise leads to dysfunction and a lack of bipartisan support, Heffner said.

“There are no common priorities,” he said. “If there are no common priorities, then the game is tit for tat. The game is a battle of rhetoric. … (American politics) has always been hardball, but it’s not always been a sport that has objectives for partisan, political or individual gain as opposed to collective gain.”

That’s not to say there’s no hope. Heffner’s visit included a breakfast workshop and classes with students, which he noted in this speech.

“There were young people at your college,” he said, “who were quite energized and proudly considering their responsibility in upending the cycle of incivility.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Mattiace Presents Paper on Indigenous Resistance

Professor of Political Science and International Studies Shannan Mattiace presented her paper (with co-authors Guillermo Trejo [Notre Dame] and Sandra Ley [CIDE, Mexico City]) “Indigenous Resistance to Criminal Governance in Mexico” via Skype at the Latin American Studies Association Meetings in Lima, Peru, April 28-May 1. She presented a version of this paper at the Faculty Lecture series on campus in March.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

PBS’s Heffner Talks Civil Discourse

Alexander Heffner, host of PBS’s “The Open Mind,” will deliver a keynote lecture at Allegheny College on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 12:15 p.m. The lecture, “Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age: The Quest for a Post-Partisan Citizenship” will be held in the Tillitson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center at 12:15 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Heffner’s visit will also include a classroom visit and a breakfast workshop with students on the the engagement of young people in the political process.

Heffner was a special correspondent for PBS’s “Need to Know” chronicling the Millennial vote in 2012. He founded and edited SCOOP08 and SCOOP44, the first-ever national student newspapers covering the 2008 campaign and the Obama administration, and taught a civic education/journalism seminar in New York City public school classrooms.

His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, Newsday and RealClearPolitics, among other leading newspapers and magazines. He has been interviewed about politics, education and stories in the news by PBS, C-SPAN, CNN and the BBC, among other national and local broadcast venues. He was political director and correspondent for WHRB 95.3 FM and host and managing editor of “The Political Arena,” a Sunday afternoon public affairs broadcast.

PBS’s “The Open Mind,” billed as a “thoughtful excursion into the world of ideas across politics, media, technology, the arts and all realms of civic life,” is the longest-running public broadcast in the history of American television.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Students Tackle Issue of Lack of Women in Political Arena

Kelsey Evans left a weeklong seminar having learned a lot about Pennsylvania politics — and the lack of women in leadership roles in the political arena.

“The main takeaway from the week was that it is possible for anyone to run and work in government,” said Evans, an Allegheny College sophomore from New Kensington, Pennsylvania.  

Evans was one of three Allegheny students who recently attended The National Education for Women’s New Leadership Pennsylvania, a week-long “leadership and public policy institute designed to educate and empower young women for future political participation and leadership.” Throughout the week, participants discuss the role of women in politics and policymaking in Pennsylvania with the goal of addressing the underrepresentation of women in politics.

Thirty-five students from colleges and universities across the state are invited to attend the annual institute at Chatham University’s Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics, where Allegheny alumna Dana Brown serves as executive director. Allegheny juniors Marlie Parish, an English major from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, and Emily Scanlon, a political science major from Abingdon, Maryland, also represented Allegheny.

“The week was very rewarding and I learned a lot,” said Evans, who has not yet chosen a major. “The most valuable part of the experience was probably going to Harrisburg and actually seeing our elected leaders at work. It was really cool to see the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in session and to be in the hustle and bustle of politics.”

Participants are able to meet successful women leaders and attend workshops on networking, public speaking and strategic communication.

“Programs like this are important because they show real examples of women representatives and make people more aware of the lack of women in politics,” Evans said. “They also encourage young women to run for various positions at local, state and federal levels.”
Allegheny trustee Jennifer Daurora ’99 and eight other Allegheny alumni donated funds to cover the cost of sending Parish, Evans and Scanlon to the institute.

The program “ties in directly to (Allegheny’s) commitment to civility and the Civility Prize,” Daurora said, referring to the college’s annual Prize for Civility in Public Life. The prize honors two public figures, one conservative and one liberal, who argue passionately but with civility for their beliefs.

“We know from research that young people are not participating in the political process,” Daurora said.“I thought, this is an important time for women in general and how can we give our students just one more exposure to a program that may or may not impact their future career choices?

“I couldn’t care less if they go on to a career in politics or not, but having exposure to different people and ideas and opportunities will help them in their future endeavors,” she said.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Students Lobby Legislators to Support Private Colleges

Jesse Tomkiewicz and Carlos Sanchez had a simple but powerful message for Harrisburg: Invest in education.

The first-year Allegheny College students were among the more than 225 students from more than 30 private nonprofit colleges and universities who traveled to the state capital on April 4 as part of Student Aid Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania. The annual event gives students from AICUP-member institutions a chance to meet legislators and encourage them to support private colleges and universities. Allegheny has been sending student representatives for at least the past five years.

This year’s event focused primarily on opposing a 50% proposed cut in institutional assistance grants, maintaining funding of PHEAA grant program, and growing the Ready to Succeed Scholarship program to benefit more middle-income students.

Tomkiewicz and Sanchez spent the day meeting with staff members from the offices of Rep. Brad Roae, Rep. Mike Schlossberg, Rep. Peter Schweyer, Sen. Michele Brooks, Sen. Pat Browne, and Gov. Tom Wolf. At each meeting, they handed out fact sheets and information detailing how financial assistance helps students at private colleges and universities, including Allegheny, and the return on investment in higher education.

For Sanchez, an 18-year-old economics major from Allentown, Pennsylvania, the issue is a personal one.

“I receive a lot of federal and state aid. Cutting down these programs could eventually affect my tuition and what I receive in financial aid,” Sanchez said. “This (state budget proposal) is going to affect a lot of students. … This isn’t something that just affects Allegheny. This affects the whole state. I felt it was my responsibility to go and speak on behalf of the people I know and also some of the students I know here who might be affected by this.”

Investing in education just makes sense, Sanchez said.

“When you invest in school you’re investing in future taxpayers,” he said.

Tomkiewicz, 19, a philosophy and political science major from Freeport, Pennsylvania, sees the value of college degree — and the financial aid necessary to make it possible — when he looks around his hometown.

Workers at the steel mill in Freeport recently held an eight-month strike. The brick factory closed. Family-sustaining manufacturing jobs once available to high school graduates are disappearing.

“You can’t just graduate high school with a C-average, go to the steel mill and make $70,000 or $80,000 in a union with great benefits and have a great life right out of high school. You can’t really do that anymore,” said Tomkiewicz, who is a first-generation college student.

A college education is necessary, he said, but only possible for many students with the help of financial aid. In addition to the fact sheets outlining their case for funding, Tomkiewicz and Sanchez brought along student profiles to “humanize” the issue for legislators.

“It puts a face to who receives this aid,” Tomkiewicz said. “It shows that it’s not just numbers on a sheet. Funding has real consequences and real effects for people.”

Both Sanchez and Tomkiewicz said it’s important for students to get personally involved, on the issue of higher education funding or any other issue that is important to them. Communicating with legislators is one way to do that.

“If you go up to them and go up and talk to them, they see your issue,” Sanchez said.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Mattiace to Discuss Mexican Drug Cartels, Violence

Shannan Mattiace will explore “Indigenous Resistance to Drug Violence in Mexico,” as part of the Karl Weiss Faculty Lecture Series. The talk will be held on Wednesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in Room 301/302 of the Henderson Campus Center. It is free and open to the public.

Mattiace is the chair of the Political Science Department at Allegheny, with a focus on Latin America. She is currently working with Guillermo Trejo, an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, and Sandra Ley, assistant professor at the Center for Economic Research in Mexico City, to shed light on what experiences within indigenous communities facilitate resistance to criminal organizations, in the hope that policy changes will ensue.

The talk will take a closer look at Mexico’s inter-cartel wars, as well as overall levels of violence, and the connection to the drug trade. Mattiace’s project draws on fieldwork done in Chihuahua and Guerrero to contrast the two cities. Guerrero is an area with an empowered indigenous community which enables them to deter drug cartels, while Chihuahua has a weaker indigenous mobilizing network, which was easily penetrated by the drug trade and now suffers from turf wars in the community.

The Karl Weiss Faculty Lecture Series hosts seven to eight lectures per year by faculty members from various departments with the intent to represent the diversity of scholarship at Allegheny.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny College’s Mattiace to Discuss Mexican Drug Cartels, Violence

Shannan Mattiace will explore “Indigenous Resistance to Drug Violence in Mexico,” as part of the Karl Weiss Faculty Lecture Series. The talk will be held on Wednesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in Room 301/302 of the Henderson Campus Center. It is free and open to the public.

Mattiace is the chair of the Political Science Department at Allegheny, with a focus on Latin America. She is currently working with Guillermo Trejo, an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, and Sandra Ley, assistant professor at the Center for Economic Research in Mexico City, to shed light on what experiences within indigenous communities facilitate resistance to criminal organizations, in the hope that policy changes will ensue.

“I have known Guillermo Trejo since 1990, and I have been working with indigenous communities in Mexico since 1994, focused on questions of political and social organization,” Mattiace said. “It seemed natural to extend this work into the area of (in)security and criminal violence, which is the number one problem Mexico faces at present. Approximately 150,000 people have died in Mexico since the beginning of the so-called drug war in 2006 and at least 25,000 have disappeared.”

The talk will take a closer look at Mexico’s inter-cartel wars, as well as overall levels of violence, and the connection to the drug trade. Mattiace’s project draws on fieldwork done in Chihuahua and Guerrero to contrast the two cities. Guerrero is an area with an empowered indigenous community which enables them to deter drug cartels, while Chihuahua has a weaker indigenous mobilizing network, which was easily penetrated by the drug trade and now suffers from turf wars in the community.

“We argue that Indian communities with a long history of indigenous mobilization that have developed regional ethnic autonomy institutions experience lower levels of criminal violence than those without mobilization networks and no regional autonomous institutions,” Mattiace said.

The Karl Weiss Faculty Lecture Series hosts seven to eight lectures per year by faculty members from various departments with the intent to represent the diversity of scholarship at Allegheny.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research