August 23, 2019 Newsletter

Opportunities and Announcements

     for the Week of August 23, 2019


Welcome back!  Monday is the beginning of the new academic year. I have stepped in this semester as acting chair while Prof. Karen Beckwith takes a sabbatical in Washington, DC as Visiting Scholar at the Centennial Center of the American Political Science Association. Having myself just returned from a year-long sabbatical, I’m very much looking forward to seeing the Political Science students I know and getting to know the ones I don’t.

These are exciting, important yet daunting times to be studying politics. Our small classes, taught mostly as discussion-based seminars, are open to all CWRU students (as no prerequisites are required). They are ideal fora for in-depth consideration of some of the world’s most pressing questions: What constitutes justice? Why are some countries so much richer than others, and why is there so much inequality within national borders? What are the origins and effects of political polarization? Who is a citizen and what is citizenship? Why isn’t there more international cooperation to reduce climate-altering greenhouse gases and to prevent the chances of nuclear accidents? Is it possible to maintain domestic security and still have relatively open borders? Why do we still have war? Our faculty provide the disciplinary structure of political science to help students grapple with these and other real-world issues. We invite you to engage with us in our classes and in this year’s scheduled Department events and programs.

Fall Courses.  Courses this fall include Professor Buchler’s Congress in an Era of Polarization(POSC 310/410); Professor Parris’ News Media and Politics (POSC 321/421); Professor Tartakoff’s Topics of Civil Liberties (POSC 328/428) and Constitutions in Practical Politics (POSC 326/426); Professor Moore’s Revolts and Revolutions in Global Perspective (POSC 360/460) and Introduction to Middle East Politics (POSC 379/479); Professor White’s Making Public Policy (POSC 386/486), Professor Lavelle’s United States Foreign Policy (POSC 376/476) and International Relations Theory (POSC 378/478, A SAGES Department Seminar); Professor McMann’s Transitions to Democracy and Dictatorship (POSC 356/456); Professor Schroeder’s Political Thought and Political Change in China (POSC 353/453); and Professor Hodgett’s Modern Political Ideologies(POSC 355/455). In addition, the Department is offering two sections each of Introduction to International Relations (POSC 172) and The US Political System (POSC 109) and one of Introduction to Comparative Politics (POSC 160). Again, all POSC courses are open to all students and have no prerequisites. There are still openings in several courses. The full list can be found here.

A few reminders: If you’re planning to write a senior capstone paper (POSC 396), remember that you need to ask a department faculty member to be your supervisor. Please let me know if you need my assistance. All of our faculty are currently scheduled to be here and teaching during the spring semester. 

American Political Science Association Annual Meeting.  Finally, in addition to teachers and advisers, your professors are also researchers. This means they periodically miss classes in order to attend conferences, workshops and other events. Unfortunately, this year one of our discipline’s important conferences, the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, coincides with the first week of classes. Five of us (Professors White, McMann, Hodgetts, Buchler and Posner) will be attending. We’ll be available by email and will respond as soon as possible.  And, of course, Ms. Jessica Jurcak, our Department Assistant 3, and Ms. Brook Sabin, our DA1, will also be available to assist you.

Again, welcome back and may you have a vibrant and challenging academic year.

Elliot Posner

General Announcements


Upcoming Events

Welcome Back Students Gathering
September 4, 4:14-5:30pm, Mather House 100
Hang out with the Political Science faculty and enjoy snacks and beverages. All are welcome!

Friday Lunch: Supreme Court Forecast and Review
August 30, 12:30-1:30, Kelvin Smith Library Dampeer Room
Join CWRU Law Professors Jonathan Adler and Jonathan Entin as they review the Supreme Court’s past term and preview what’s to come.

Friday Lunch: Constitutional Errors: What the “Founding Fathers” Got Wrong
September 6, 12:30-1:30, Kelvin Smith Library Room LL06
Join CWRU Political Science Professor Joe White for a discussion on what the authors of the Federalist Papers missed and what that means for us today.

Movie Night with Professor Joe White: The Death of Stalin
September 12, 6:30pm, Mather House 100
Come watch The Death of Stalin with Professor White, complete with a combinations of dinner, snacks, and dessert. The story isn’t exactly true, but versions of a lot of the events did occur, and while what happened between Stalin’s closest aides is not quite known, the version in  the movie has lots of horribly plausible aspects.

Constitution Day Forum: “Battle for the Ballet Box!”
September 16, 4-5:30pm, Moot Courtroom
The CWRU Student Constitution Discussion Roundtable is pleased to welcome Alora Thomas-Lundborg, J.D., and Hans von Spakowsky, J.D., to discuss critical questions on the right to vote.

Check out our Political Science Events page for additional events happening on and around campus!


Internship & Fellowship Opportunities

Freedman Fellows Student Program
Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for funding to complete targeted digital projects.  Students can partake in one of two opportunities:

  • 2019-2020 Internship Track: Support for a student to work in the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship and the University Archives on a library-initiated digital project commemorating the 100th Anniversary of women’s suffrage.
  • 2019-2020 Grant Track: Support for student-proposed digital projects.

Applications are open until September 15, 2019.


Please note that the Department of Political Science alerts our students to a range of opportunities, including internships, fellowships, and jobs.  We do not endorse or sponsor these, and leave it to the judgment of our students what is most useful and appropriate to them.

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