Olivia DrakeMay 31, 202010min
Wesleyan's Board of Trustees recently announced the promotions of nine faculty members, effective July 1, 2020. Five faculty were conferred tenure with promotion. They join six other faculty members who were awarded tenure earlier this spring. Joslyn Barnhart Trager, associate professor of government Anthony Keats, associate professor of economics Andrew Quintman, associate professor of religion Michael Slowik '03, associate professor of film studies Takeshi Watanabe, associate professor of East Asian studies In addition, four faculty members are being promoted. They join one other faculty member who was promoted earlier this spring. Erika Franklin Fowler, professor of government Barbara Juhasz, professor…

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Lauren RubensteinApril 27, 20202min
Wesleyan in the News 1. Washington Post: "Biden Makes End Run Around Trump as the President Dominates the National Stage" Erika Franklin Fowler, associate professor of government and co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, comments on Biden's unusual strategy during an unprecedented time for the 2020 presidential campaign. “There is not a ready off-the-shelf playbook for how you campaign in this environment if you are a nonincumbent, so that’s part of what you’re seeing,” she said. “We’re all being thrown into this new environment, where campaigns are going to need to reinvent, to some extent, how they go about things,…

Lauren RubensteinApril 26, 20202min
Assistant Professor of Government Alyx Mark studies the American separation of powers system, access to justice, and Supreme Court decision-making. She was recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant to study the response of state courts to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Congratulations on receiving the NSF RAPID grant! Can you please explain how this opportunity came about? Near the beginning of the pandemic, NSF sent out a Dear Colleague letter soliciting project proposals related to COVID-19. When I read that letter, my first thought was that this was relegated to epidemiologists and…

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Lauren RubensteinApril 26, 20202min
Assistant Professor of Government Lindsay Dolan specializes in international political economy and comparative politics in developing countries. Her research and teaching interests include international organizations, foreign aid, and development. Together with her co-author Quynh Nguyen of Australian National University, she has been studying how COVID-19 is affecting public attitudes toward globalization. President Trump recently announced that he is suspending U.S. funding for the World Health Organization (WHO). Can you briefly explain the role of the WHO, particularly during a global health crisis, and what will be the implications of the U.S. cutting funding? Which countries or populations will be most…

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Lauren RubensteinApril 6, 20202min
Associate Professor of Government Logan Dancey’s research and teaching interests include the United States Congress, campaigns and elections, and public opinion. We spoke to him about the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. As a scholar of legislative decision-making, can you describe how the workings of the United States Congress look different during a time of crisis? It’s still early, but the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic shows that even this gridlocked and polarized Congress—which doesn’t seem to accomplish much in normal times—is still fairly quick to respond to crises. We’ve seen large bipartisan majorities agree on fairly large-scale…

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Lauren RubensteinMarch 29, 20203min
Professor of Government James McGuire is a political scientist with expertise in the association between democracy and public health. You study the relationship between democracy and population health. Does the literature find that democracy is good for population health? As a political scientist I've long been interested in democracy, and especially in its possible impact on other aspects of well-being. Many other political scientists have studied democracy's impact on economic growth and income inequality. My interest has been in democracy's impact on the risk of early death, and particularly on child mortality in developing countries. For Amartya Sen and Martha…

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Lauren RubensteinMarch 29, 20202min
Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler is an expert on political communication. When she’s not analyzing campaign advertising with the Wesleyan Media Project, she investigates how media, including ads and news, influence opinions and attitudes in a variety of health-related policy areas. Her past studies, many of which are co-authored with Sarah Gollust ’01, have examined media around the Affordable Care Act, mammography screening and the HPV vaccine. “I’m drawn to research on messaging at the intersection of health and politics because it has such important—sometimes life-saving—consequences for citizens, and there are practical actions we can all take to…

Lauren RubensteinMarch 2, 20204min
Wesleyan in the News 1. The Open Mind: "Democratizing the Jury" Associate Professor of Government Sonali Chakravarti is interviewed in connection with her new book, Radical Enfranchisement in the Jury Room and Public Life, in which she offers a "full-throated defense of juries as a democratic institution." "I am very interested in how ordinary people engage with political institutions, and juries are the place where ordinary people have the most power," she says. Chakravarti calls for more robust civic education, continuing into adulthood, in order to have a "more effective, modern jury system." 2. Hartford Courant: "Sen. Murphy, Aiming to…

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Lauren RubensteinFebruary 13, 20204min
Wesleyan in the News 1. Hartford Courant: "Jeanine Basinger, the 'Professor of Hollywood,' Is Wesleyan University's Homegrown Screen Legend" Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, Emerita Jeanine Basinger, whom this article notes has been dubbed “the professor of Hollywood” and “an iconic figure in American cinema, one of the most beloved and respected film history professors in the history of film studies” by The Hollywood Reporter, is interviewed on the occasion of her 60th year at Wesleyan, and the 50th since she created its film program. She talks about her next book on American film comedy, shares some of her favorite things,…

Olivia DrakeFebruary 11, 20203min
Gun-related deaths are on the rise in the United States, and following recent mass shootings, gun policy has emerged as an issue in the 2020 election cycle. In the February 2020 issue of Health Affairs, co-authors Erika Franklin Fowler, associate professor of government and director of the Wesleyan Media Project; Laura Baum, project manager in the Government Department; and alumna Sarah Gollust '01 explain how political advertising is an increasingly important tool for candidates seeking office to use to communicate their policy priorities. Over $6 billion was spent on political ads in the 2016 election cycle, and spending in the…

Lauren RubensteinJanuary 30, 20204min
Wesleyan in the News Connecticut Public Radio: "The Struggle for Sleep: Why More School Districts Are Considering Later Starts" Speaking as both a scholar and a mother, Associate Professor of Psychology Anna Shusterman comments in this story on the movement to push schools in the state to start later. “People ask me, as a developmental psychologist, ‘Oh, we have this mental health crisis in the state, what are we going to do, what should we be funding, what kind of resources do we need to build in?’ And I just think it’s so silly when we have such a straightforward…

Cynthia RockwellJanuary 21, 20202min
Gerald Baliles ’63, Hon. ’88, who had served as the 65th governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, died Oct. 29, 2019. He was 79. A government major at Wesleyan, he earned his juris doctorate degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. After a stint in the Virginia attorney general's office, he practiced law in Richmond, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1976, he became the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1981, and was, during his term, selected by his peers as Outstanding Attorney General of…