Mershon Center for International Security Studies
February 22 , 2016
In This Issue
Amy Shuman
Professor of English
Amy Shuman has received the 2016 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the university's most prestigious teaching award. She is professor of English specializing in folklore, narrative, and critical theory. She is author of books and articles on conversational narrative, literacy, political asylum, disability, food customs, feminist theory and critical theory. At the Mershon Center, Shuman has organized numerous conferences and symposia, as well as recevied grants for her research on political asylum. Shuman was nominated by a group of her current and former graduate students.
In the Media
Paul Beck
Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Sociology and Communication

"Frothing political undercurrent fuels Boehner race"
Cincinnati Enquirer
February 18, 2016
"Democratic Socialism, Deconstructed"
WOSU Public Media
February 16, 2016
Peter Shane
Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law
"How Antonin Scalia punched down"
Washington Monthly
February 15, 2016
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.
Stay Connected

Facebook bug Twitter bug Picasa bug give
Mershon Events
Thursday, February 25, 2016
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Kelly Greenhill Kelly Greenhill is associate professor at Tufts University and chair of the Conflict, Security and Public Policy Working Group at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.  She is author of Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy (Cornell); of Sex, Drugs and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict (Cornell, with P. Andreas) and The Use of Force, 8th ed (with R. Art). She is currently completing a cross-national study that explores why, when, and under what conditions, contested (or "extra-factual") sources of political information - such as rumors, conspiracy theories, and myths - materially influence the development and conduct of states' foreign and defense policies. Read more and register at
Friday-Saturday, February 26-27, 2016
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

The Nature of War: American Environments and World War II will examine American involvement in World War II through an environmental lens, focusing on how the war reshaped American landscapes, institutions, and environmental thinking, and how wartime developments helped shape the contours of postwar American environments and environmental thinking. It will also explore the ways in which American environmental endowments structured and delimited the U.S. war effort - that is, how nature and natural resources set the parameters for what is possible in total war. In exploring the case of World War II, the workshop will delve into broad questions of the relationships among environment, war, and security, both in the United States and globally. The aim is an edited volume that will be engaging enough for undergraduates and general readers but deep enough for scholars. Read more and register at
Monday, February 29, 2016
"Hearts, Minds, Voices: Cold War Public Diplomacy and the Formation of the 'Third World'"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Jason Parker Jason Parker, associate professor of history at Texas A&M, has research interests in U.S. foreign relations, decolonization and the Cold War, race and diplomacy, and Caribbean/inter-American affairs. He is the author of Brother's Keeper: The United States, Race, and Empire in the British Caribbean, 1937-1962 (Oxford, 2008) and of articles in Diplomatic History, Journal of African American History, and International History Review. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Mershon Center in 2007-08 researching U.S. Cold War public diplomacy in the Third World. In this talk, Parker will examine U.S. public diplomacy outside of Europe, and how the non-European world responded. Read more and register at
Thursday, March 3, 2016
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Vipin Narang Vipin Narang is Mitsui Career Development Associate Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of MIT's Security Studies Program. His first book, Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era (Princeton, 2014) on the deterrence strategies of regional nuclear powers, won the 2015 ISA International Security Studies Section Best Book Award. He is currently working on his second book, Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation (Princeton, under contract), which explores how states pursue nuclear weapons. In this talk, Narang will explore the strategies of proliferation available to states - hedging, sprinting, sheltered pursuit, and hiding - and develop a theory for which strategies are likely to be chosen. Read more and register at
Friday-Saturday, March 4-5, 2016
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

The Cold War was not simply a bipolar political confrontation between the communist East and the capitalist West. Rather, there was a variety of multipolar interactions among the First, Second, and Third Worlds. Historians of eastern Europe have been at the forefront of redefining the nature of these interactions. The goal of Iron Curtain Crossings is to investigate the variety of ways in which eastern Europe emerged as an important international player, by promoting its own ideas of modernity, progress, humanism, culture, and everyday life. This workshop will bring together scholars to debate the meaning of the global Cold War as it unfolded in diverse settings between eastern Europe and the outside world. Read more and register at
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
6 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.
Co-sponsored by the Middle East Studies Center

Amr Al-AzmThe symposium will address the complex issues related to extremist jihadi groups in the Middle East. Panelists will provide detailed background information on these groups as well as the on area they operate in. They will then provide an up-to-date analysis of the current situation in these regions. They will conclude with a discussion of the implications for U.S. foreign policy followed by a Q and A session. Panelists include Amr Al-Azm (left), associate professor at Shawnee State University and an active member of the Syrian opposition; Alam Payind, director of the Middle East Studies Center; and Richard Herrmann, director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Read more and register at
Thursday, March 10, 2016
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Elizabeth Hurd Elizabeth Hurd is associate professor of political science at Northwestern University with a courtesy appointment in religious studies. She teaches and writes on religion, politics and international public life. Her work pursues an integrative approach to the study of politics and religion focusing on dilemmas of national and international governance involving difference, equality, power, law, and pluralism. Her books include The Politics of Secularism in International Relations (2008) and Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion (2015), both published by Princeton. In this talk, Hurd introduces the central argument of Beyond Religious Freedom. The book is a study of state-sponsored global efforts to promote religious freedom, religious engagement and the rights of religious minorities. Read more and register at
Other Events
Monday, February 22, 2016

Robert Glenn Howard
5 p.m., 004 Scott Lab East, 201 W 19th Ave.
Sponsored by Center for Folklore Studies

Robert Glenn Howard From doctors to ministers and from scientists to instructors of all subjects, experts and expertise have become less and less trusted by our networked society. With instant access to a huge volume of ideas, claims, and debates through our mobile devices, why not access "expert" information ourselves? From examples on YouTube about how to play guitar to gun forum debates about which firearms the U.S. military should buy, everyday or "vernacular" authority is empowered by network technologies. But in an age where these corporate owned and controlled technologies sometimes magnify our individual expressions into aggregate voices even louder then that of institutions, who is being empowered over whom? Robert Glenn Howard is chair of comparative literature and folklore studies, director of digital studies, and professor of rhetoric, politics, and culture at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Read more and register
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Film Screening
4 p.m., 165 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Sponsored by Middle East Studies Center

Nefertiti's Daughters A story of women, art and revolution, this vibrant film documents the critical role that revolutionary street art played-and is continuing to play-in the political uprising of Egypt. Introducing a cadre of courageous and gifted female artists who are deeply involved in the struggle for social and political justice, Nefertiti's Daughters illustrates the surprising ways that artwork, instead of being relegated to dusty museums and academia, can instead become a powerful tool in the ongoing fight for civil and human rights. Read more
Mershon News
Leif Wenar-enl
Lecture by Leif Wenar on 'Blood Oil' now on available

A streaming video is now available of Leif Wenar, Chair of Philosophy and Law at King's College London, speaking about his most recent book, Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence and the Rules that Run the World (Oxford University Press, 2015), on February 1, 2016, at the Mershon Center. Wenar discussed how the world's most coercive regimes depend on trade of stolen natural resources, and how the West can lead a peaceful global revolution by ending dependence on authoritarian oil. Read more and see the video at
Other News
Doping in Olympics has long history, 'Origins' author says

Origins has published its new article: "Cops and Robbers? The Roots of Anti-Doping Policies in Olympic Sport," by Ian Ritchie.

Scandals involving performance enhancing drugs have repeatedly rocked the sporting world. Governing bodies of sport at the highest levels now work aggressively to prevent the use of banned substances and to test and catch those who have used them.

This month, Ian Ritchie reminds us that doping to improve performance has been around for more than a century. It is only recently that sports leaders have become determined to ban certain substances, a shift that coincided with the end of the Olympic amateur ideal. The whole article can be found 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.
1501 Neil Avenue     |     Columbus, OH 43201     |     (614) 292-1681     |     Fax: (614) 292-2407