Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun

In his latest column in the Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller writes about his views on the American justice system in the wake of the Michael Brown and Ray Rice news stories in recent weeks.

Tom SchallerIn the column, Schaller notes, “we remain far from the perfect union to which our Constitution aspires. To get there, we must demand a justice system that’s blind not only to gender, race and socioeconomic status, but also the advantages conferred to some Americans by virtue of their affiliation with powerful institutions.”

To read the complete op-ed titled, “Yet another social bias: institution-based privilege,” click here.

Felipe Filomeno, Political Science, Participates in United Nations Association Consultation with UMBC Students

Filomeno with students

Felipe Filomeno, Aaron Kennet, and Benjamin Fosbaugh pictured with Ed Elmendorf, former president of the UN Association.

Felipe Filomeno, an assistant professor of political science, participated in a United Nations Association consultation in Baltimore on Wednesday, September 17 at the Johns Hopkins offices in Fells Point. Filomeno, along with UMBC students and political science majors Aaron Kennett and Benjamin Fosbaugh, participated in a consultation along with representatives of other organizations (local government and NGOs) to provide input for the post-2015 global development agenda of the UN, considering the needs and interests of Baltimore. The meeting will be followed by a broader event to take place at the JHU Homewood Campus on Nov 11, in which Filomeno will serve as a moderator and other UMBC students will also participate.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, on WJZ 13 and in the Baltimore Sun

Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was in the news this past week analyzing the race for Maryland governor. As the campaign gains steam, Norris was interviewed by WJZ Channel 13 and the Baltimore Sun.

Donald Norris UMBC

As more negative campaign ads emerge between Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Republican opponent Larry Hogan, Norris told WJZ that, “attack ads we know three or four things about. One of them is they work, which is why candidates and their campaigns use them,” said Norris. He also discussed the ads as a potential way to drive more voter turnout: “I know that both camps are trying to get as much turnout as they can. Whether they’re going to be successful or not, I don’t know,” Norris said.

Norris was interviewed by the Baltimore Sun about Larry Hogan accusing Anthony Brown of “blatant lies” and “disgraceful” attack ads, saying Hogan’s complaints could backfire: “Anthony Brown is a real likable guy,” said Norris. “Calling him a liar can just inflame his supporters, and that means higher turnout. It also makes [Hogan] look awfully thin-skinned. Politics, after all, is a combat sport.”

In a Baltimore Sun article focusing on differences on transportation issues between the two candidates, Norris said Brown and Hogan are “polar opposites” on transportation issues as they vie for the support of Maryland voters. Their divergent views matter because Maryland’s governor has the budgetary authority to decide whether a major transportation project goes forward — or not. “Voters have got a really, really clear choice in this election,” Norris said.

Complete coverage can be found below:
Attack Ads Continue as Election Day Nears (WJZ)
Hogan accuses Brown of ‘blatant lies’ and ‘disgraceful’ attack ads (Baltimore Sun)
Governor candidates are on separate tracks (Baltimore Sun)

Roy Meyers, Political Science, in the Herald-Mail

An article published September 13 in the Herald-Mail examines Question 1 on the November 4 Election Day ballot for Maryland voters. The legislatively referred constitutional amendment seeks to ensure money from the state’s transportation fund will be used for transportation-related bond payments and for the construction and repair of highways. If approved, the measure would prevent money from the transportation fund being transferred to the state’s general fund or any non-transportation projects.

Roy Meyers (UMBC)

Political Science Professor Roy Meyers was interviewed for the article and discussed his views on the measure: “I think that if the state had a bad year, it should be allowed to transfer money,” Meyers said. “The state should have flexibility during a crisis.”

“During bad times, why should transportation go on spending merrily while spending is cut in other areas?” he asked. Meyers said that he understands the desire to keep faith with Marylanders who are paying the gas tax: “But the best way of doing that is for the state to have a long-run transportation strategy that promotes mobility at an acceptable cost while protecting the environment. The provision in this referendum doesn’t contribute significantly to that goal,” he said.

To read the full article, click here.

Anne Sarah Rubin, History, in the Washington Post

Through the Heart of DixieAn article published September 13 in the Washington Post examines the legacy of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea during the Civil War. Anne Sarah Rubin, an associate professor of history, was interviewed for the article and provided insight on Sherman’s strategy.

“It’s very much about saying, ‘Here’s the power of the Union army,’ ” said Rubin. Sherman’s purpose, she said, was to convey to the South that “you cannot stop us. You cannot resist us. You just need to give up.” She also commented on Sherman’s background, saying he was “a far cry from any kind of abolitionist.” To read the full article, click here.

Rubin is author of, Through the Heart of Dixie: Sherman’s March and American Memory (UNC Press 2014). In the book, Rubin analyzes stories and myths about Sherman’s March as a lens for examining how Americans’ ways of thinking about the Civil War have changed over time. For more information, click here.

Kate Brown, History, Wins Heldt Prize and Western History Association’s Robert G. Athearn Prize

History Professor Kate Brown has won two additional awards for her book, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford University Press 2013).

Kate Brown

Brown has been awarded the Heldt Prize in the category of Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies. More information about the award, including prior winners, can be found here. Brown won the same prize for her first book, A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard 2004). The prize will be awarded in November.

In addition, Brown is the 2014 recipient of the Western History Association’s Robert G. Athearn Prize for her book Plutopia. This award is given biennially for the best published book on the twentieth century American West. On October 16, Brown is presenting the Robert. G Athearn Lecture at the University of Colorado, Boulder. More information can be found here.

Earlier this year, Brown was awarded the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present. She also received the American Society for Environmental History’s George Perkins Marsh Prize for the best book in environmental history.

Humanities Forum: Children of Rus': Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation (10/2)

On Thursday, October 2 at 4 p.m., Faith Hillis, an assistant professor of Russian history at the University of Chicago, will present the Humanities Forum and Webb Lecture, “Children of Rus': Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation. The event will take place in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery.

Webb LectureDuring the recent crisis in Ukraine, Russian national interests in Ukraine became front-page news. In this talk, Prof. Hillis places the struggle for control of Ukraine in a broader historical context. The nineteenth century saw a powerful and transformative Russian nationalist movement sweep across what is today central Ukraine. Claiming to restore the ancient customs of the East Slavs, the region’s Russian nationalists sought to empower local Orthodox residents and to diminish the influence of non-Orthodox minorities. By about 1910, Russian nationalism had become the preeminent political force in central Ukraine, dwarfing the influence of rival national movements; indeed, the region boasted the most politically successful Russian nationalist movement in the entire tsarist empire.

Reconstructing how and why Russian nationalism took hold on the empire’s southwestern periphery, Prof. Hillis puts forth a bold new interpretation of the relationship between state and society and between center and periphery under tsarism. By examining how intellectual developments in the nineteenth century created the architecture for the horrific violence of the twentieth, this discussion reflects on the causes of and offers potential solutions for the current crisis in Ukraine.

The event is sponsored by the History Department and by the Dresher Center for the Humanities. For more information, click here.