Mershon Center for International Security Studies
January 18, 2017
In This Issue
Dorothy Noyes
Professor of English and Comparative Studies

Dorothy Noyes has been elected president of the American Folklore Society for the 2018-2020 term. She will serve 2017 as president-elect, 2018-19 as president, and 2020 as past president. Noyes is the author of two recent books, Humble Theory: Folklore's Grasp on Social Life (Indiana, 2016), and Sustaining Interdisciplinary Collaboration: A Guide for the Academy, with Regina Bendix and Kilian Bizer (Illinois, 2017). Humble Theory includes a chapter based on Noyes' opening statement at Mershon's conference on Sustainable Pluralism, and a chapter paying homage to the work of past Mershon affiliate Alexander Stephan.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social and Behavioral Sciences

"Barack Obama's Legacy"
Bear Braumoeller
Associate Professor of Political Science

"Trump's tweets can be a distraction, but do they signal a real threat to international institutions?"
The Washington Post
January 18, 2017
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History

"To Crush ISIS, Will Trump Send U.S. Troops Into Syria?"
January 8, 2017

"Barack Obama's Legacy"
Mershon Center
Event Publicity

"Centerville HS grad prepares to step down as Army secretary"
January 11, 2017

"Secretary of Army discusses careers in government, transition of power"
January 12, 2017
About Mershon Memo
Mershon Memo is a weekly e-mail newsletter distributed by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, a unit of the Office of International Affairs at The Ohio State University.
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Mershon Events
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jason W. Moore
"Work, Energy, and the Value of Nature: From Planetary Conquest to Epochal Crisis in the Capitalist World-Ecology"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jason W. Moore Jason W. Moore is associate professor of sociology at Binghamton University, and coordinator of the World-Ecology Research Network. He writes frequently on the history of capitalism in Europe, Latin America, and the United States, from the 16th century to the neoliberal era. His latest book is Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital (Verso, 2015). In this lecture, Moore argues that rise of capitalism in the centuries after 1450 marked an environment-making revolution greater than any since the dawn of agriculture. Arguing that capitalism develops not only through economic process but by cultural and territorial conquests, Moore shows how the modern world was forged in a peculiar - and destructive - relation of work and energy. Read more and register at
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jocelyn Olcott
"The Geopolitics of Feminism: International Women's Year, the United Nations, and the Globalization of Social Policy"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jocelyn Olcott Jocelyn Olcott is a scholar on the feminist history of modern Mexico. Her first book, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico, explores questions of gender and citizenship in the 1930s. She is currently working on two book-length projects: a history of the 1975 U.N. International Women's Year Conference in Mexico City (under contract with Oxford University Press), and a biography of the activist and folksinger Concha Michel. In this talk, Olcott will consider the 1975 UN International Women's Year Conference in Mexico City to discuss the ways that 1970s feminism and the explosion of women's organizing around the world reoriented global policies around a host of issues ranging from population and food security to labor policies and environmental accords. Read more and register at
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jonas Bunte
"Troops or Cash? Analyzing the Interdependencies Between Security and Financial Cooperation"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jonas Bunte Jonas Bunte is assistant professor for public policy and political economy at University of Texas at Dallas. He is a political economist with a particular interest in the politics of finance. Bunte analyzes how distributional consequences of financial flows provide domestic actors the incentive for political action, and how domestic institutions shape this process. In this talk, Bunte will discuss how defense cooperation and economic cooperation are related. His research reveals that (1) defense and economic cooperation mutually increase the other, (2) countries that are highly active creditors in the loan network make for unattractive defense partners, (3) countries that borrow from the same creditors are more likely to cooperate in defense, and (4) governments tend to make loans to the same debtors as their defense partners. Read more and register at
Monday, February 13, 2017

Paul Staniland
"Armed Politics and the State in South Asia"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Paul Staniland Paul Staniland is assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago, where he co-directs the Program on International Security Policy. His research interests are in civil war, international security, and ethnic politics, primarily in South Asia. His current book project and related articles examine organizational cohesion and fragmentation in insurgent groups. In this talk, Staniland will offer a new theory of how states evaluate armed groups, arguing that ideological perception and instrumental incentives combine to assign groups to six different political roles. These roles, ranging from mortal enemies to business partners to undesirable, determine the strategies that governments pursue and the orders they seek to construct. Read more and register at
Mershon News

Eric Fanning and Zachary Mears
Eric Fanning (left), secretary of the U.S. Army, spoke with Zachary Mears, assistant vice president of national security research and programs, on January 11, 2017.

Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning is days away from leaving his post as head of the U.S. Army, but he believes others should answer the call to public service.

Fanning spoke last week to a full theater at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. He was a featured speaker for the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

Fanning's career path has led him to jobs in and out of Washington, D.C., and to leadership roles in three branches of the military.

"Do whatever you are asked to do as well as you can do it," Fanning said.

His message to the audience: if you are too focused on following a career path, you may miss opportunities along the way.

"Seize opportunities as they come so you can learn that next thing," Fanning said. "Work with someone you admire and it will lead to something else."

Fanning, the first openly gay Secretary of the Army, spoke about the need for and value of diversity. He said he has worked to conscientiously pick diverse teams to get all points of view in his decision-making. Fanning said it is critical to have an Army that reflects the country it serves.

Fanning is a graduate of Dartmouth College but is no stranger to the Buckeye state. He went to Centerville High School, just outside of Dayton.

Zachary Mears, assistant vice president for national security and research programs at Ohio State, moderated the conversation. Mears and Fanning served in the Department of Defense together.

Other Events
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Danielle Fosler-Lussier
"The United States Information Agency and American Music Abroad"
5 p.m., Faculty Club Grand Lounge, 181 S. Oval Dr.
Sponsored by College of Arts and Sciences

Danielle Fosler-LussierIn the 1950s and '60s, the United States Information Agency shipped sound recordings and printed music all over the world. The USIA's music collections embodied an attractive portrait of America's ethnic and stylistic diversity: jazz, classical, folk, musical theater, and popular songs were well represented. This talk, given by Mershon affiliate  Danielle Fosler-Lussier of the School of Music as part of the 2016-17 Arts and Humanities Inaugural Lecture series, shows that the USIA's program not only documented American music as it was, but also offered incentives that meaningfully shaped its creation. Her research has been funded by several grants from the Mershon Center.  Read more and register
Thursday, January 19, 2017

"The Tumult of Terrorism: Counter-Terrorism at Home and Abroad"
6 p.m., Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave.
Sponsored by Alexander Hamilton Society

Matthew KroenigThe Alexander Hamilton Society will be hosting a debate over the best policies with which to combat terrorism, whether it is home-grown, ISIS or al Qaeda-inspired, or ISIS/al Qaeda directly, at home or abroad. We will be featuring  Matthew Kroenig (left), associate professor in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and senior fellow in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council, and Jason Keiber, assistant professor history and political science at Otterbein University. Faculty advisor and Mershon affiliate Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Chair in Military History, will be moderating. As always, we will be serving FREE Coke and Wings over products.  Read more and register
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"The United States and the Middle East: Policy Challenges for the New Administration"
11:30 a.m., Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Dr.
Sponsored by Columbus Council on World Affairs

Richard HerrmannHeadlines about the Middle East are part of our daily news cycle. There's political turnover, volatile oil prices, Islamic extremism, and a refugee crisis that affects the entire world. Join us as we explore current hot spots in the Middle East and U.S. policy implications for the new administration. Richard K. Herrmann, professor and chair of political science, concentrates on international relations, international security, and political psychology. He is also interim director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, and has served as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and on the Secretary of State's policy planning staff. Read more and register
Other News
'Origins' examines history of native American sovereignty

Origins has published its new article: "Treaties and Sovereign Performances, from Westphalia to Standing Rock" by David Nichols.

On the face of it, the protests, court filings and the stand-off between activists and authorities over the Dakota Access Pipeline pits those who want to boost energy production against those who want to protect water resources around the Missouri River. At a deeper level, however, the controversy over the pipeline is part of a much larger and older fight over the idea of Indian nationhood. This month David Nichols traces the history of Native sovereignty and the struggle to make the United States honor the obligations of treaties it has signed with Native nations. Read the article at

About Origins: Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective is a monthly ad-free magazine that features top scholars on today's most pressing topics. Published by The Ohio State History Department, its authors include National Book Award winners and world-renowned scholars. You can also explore reviews of popular history books on the Origins website as well as the new monthly feature Milestones.
Spring 2017 Environmental Film Series begins

Join us for the Spring Semester 2017 Student Environmental Film Series, hosted by the School of Natural Resources and the Office of Energy and Environment. The film series will begin at 7 p.m. for six Tuesday evenings, beginning January 24 in Room 130 of the CBEC Building, 151 W. Woodruff Ave.  The film series will include:
  • January 24: Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time
  • January 31: Before the Flood, a climate/environmental film featuring actor/activist Leonardo DiCaprio
  • February 7: Red Gold, an environmental documentary of the planned Pebble Mine in Alaska, now perhaps abandoned
  • February 14: Years of Living Dangerously, Season Two, Episode 1: A Race Against Time, solar energy development in India and the U.S.
  • February 21: Return of the River: story of the largest U.S. dam removal project, Elwha River, Olympic Peninsula and salmon habitat recovery
  • February 28: Years of Living Dangerously, Season Two, Episode 8: Uprising, the U.S. dependence on coal plants and China's impact on the global environment.
Refreshments will be available prior to the screenings. Read more
Academy of Teaching Annual Conference Call for Proposals

The Ohio State University's Academy of Teaching will host the 11th annual Conference on Excellence in Teaching and Learning on Thursday, May 4, 2017, at the Fawcett Center. The conference will be a venue for members of The Ohio State University community to share innovative and interesting, evidence-based ideas for the improvement of teaching effectiveness and student learning outcomes. This year's conference theme is "Building a Community of Teacher-Scholars."

We invite all who teach at Ohio State to consider submitting a proposal for a session. We welcome proposals for presentations on any topics related to enhancing the quality and effectiveness of university teaching and student learning. Proposals are due Friday, January 20, 2017. Read more
Apply for University Engagement Recognition Awards

The Offices of Outreach and Engagement, International Affairs, Service-Learning, Student Life and Undergraduate Education have joined together to recognize faculty, staff, students and community partners with the University Engagement Recognition Awards program. Awards will be given in the community engagement, international engagement, service-learning, staff, student, student group and community partner categories. A total of $16,000 will be awarded. Applications are due February 28, 2017.

To submit an application:
Contact: 247-7795 or
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