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College of Humanities and Social Sciences begins spring seminar series Feb. 9

Feb. 4, 2010 -- The College of Humanities and Social Sciences will be sponsoring a seminar series with speakers and presentations from different departments in the college. The seminars will be held on Tuesdays from 4-5 p.m. in Wilson 217C ( the Konold Room). The series will begin Tuesday, Feb. 9, with Dr. Rollin Tusalem, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. The series runs through Tuesday, April 6.

For more information, contact Dr. Veena Kulkarni, series coordinator, at (870) 972-3331, or e-mail her at A complete program for the series is below.

Spring 2010 College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Seminar Series

Tuesday, February 9, 4-5 p.m., Wilson 217C (the Konold Room)

Speaker: Dr. Rollin Tusalem, Department of Political Science
Title: The Politicization of the Military and Democratic Consolidation
Abstract: Extant scholarship on democratic consolidation has not explored the empirical relationship between states that have a politicized military apparatus and its inability to strengthen and deepen its democratic politics. As Diamond asserts, the key to any consolidated democracy occurs when the, “military is subordinate to the authority of elected civilian officials,” (Diamond 1999:11). Indeed, the military in transitional states is considered to be one of the most important agents that can determine the outcome of democratic politics, but there is a systematic lack of empirical work to assess the military’s effect on democracy’s consolidation. Established research has shown the causal relationship between the role of institutions, civic culture, colonialism, the political economy, and the type of transition on the stability of democracies, but none has explored the role of the military as an institution that can drastically affect democratic outcomes (See for instance Bunce 2002). This led many scholars to notice how the omission is striking since the military is the most consequential actor in postauthoritarian transitions and the success or failure of these processes to a large extent hinges on its political behavior (Barany1997:1). Indeed, democratization research has been state-centric, but it has led to a complete neglect of the military as a central topic of empirical research. Thus, this empirical study takes on this challenge by examining the role of the military in the consolidation process more than 30 years after the third wave of democratization. This paper also advances the notion that when the military has institutionalized its role in politics as being interventionist, that is, it has engaged in coups, counter-coups, and coup plots in the recent past, the likelihood for democratic consolidation becomes difficult.

Tuesday, February 23, 4-5 p.m., Wilson 217C (the Konold Room)
Speaker: Dr. Gregory Hansen, Department of English and Philosophy
Title: Pranks, Tall Tales, and Old-Time Fiddle Tunes 
Abstract: Old-time fiddling consists of a wide variety of traditional tunes passed along for more than 200 years in America.  Historically, the style has been recognized as an important form of dance music used for a variety of styles including clogging, square dancing, waltzing, and other social dances that were often held in community centers or individuals' homes.   These dance sessions are known as "frolics," "free-for-alls," or "house parties," and researchers have recognized the place of these events in creating and affirming social connections within various communities.  One little studied aspect of these events is the popularity of playing practical jokes on unsuspecting dancers.  This presentation looks at this pranking tradition by connecting it to a related cultural tradition also present at these social events, namely, the telling of tall tales.  An examination of connections between dancing, playing practical jokes, and storytelling yields a richer understanding of the complexity of the fiddler's role within the little communities that supported the old-time dance tradition.

Tuesday, March 2, 4-5 p.m., Wilson 217C (the Konold Room)
Speaker: Dr. Kevin Shafer, Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Geography
Title: Reconsidering Marital Exchange: A Comparison of First Marriage and Remarriage Patterns in the United States
Abstract: Divorce and subsequent remarriage have become an important part of American family life in recent decades. However, there are significant gender differences in the likelihood and formation of remarriage. In first marriage, both men's and women's socioeconomic status is positively associated with first marriage formation—a move away from traditional marriage where men's, but not women's, economic status was important in the marriage market. However, empirical work focusing on the claim that first marriage and remarriage formation are similar is lacking. In this paper I analyze the individual characteristics associated with the likelihood of both first marriage and remarriage by gender. The results show that education, income, and employment status have positive effects on first marriage for both men and women, regardless of future divorce status.  However, in remarriage, the characteristics associated with union formation are different.  Instead, the patterns are consistent with traditional marriages where economic status has a positive effect on remarriage for men, but not for women. For women, family background, race/ethnicity, age and parental status are associated with remarriage.  My findings raise questions about how gender dynamics in remarriage differ from those in first marriage and if higher order marriages are unique from first marriages.
Tuesday, March 16, 4-5 p.m., Wilson 217C (the Konold Room)
Speaker: Lisa Perry, Department of Heritage Studies  
Title: Wheelwright, Kentucky: Building an Appalachian Camelot
Abstract: In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, national demand for natural resources, particularly coal necessary for steel production, made it economically viable for expansion of rail lines into Central Appalachia. This previously sparsely populated region experienced rapid growth as coal companies began constructing towns to support the mining industry. These captive towns were solely owned by the coal companies - the homes, stores, mines, hospitals, and often the churches and schools. The quality of these towns varied widely, as did the care companies invested in worker quality of life. These paternalistic practices were integral to the development of community identity. In one of these towns, Wheelwright, Kentucky, former residents recall the period when the town was owned by Inland Steel Company as a time of Camelot. This is particularly true of those who grew up there in period from 1945 to 1960. The study, completed over a period of nearly three years, seeks to analyze how the shared community identity came about (and continues to be shared through annual reunions) and to investigate the limits of this shared identity. One of the key findings of the study is that this identification of Camelot seems to be limited to whites, particularly whites who were children, adolescents, and young adults during these years. Although the community was racially and ethnically diverse, non-white residents, while remembering the time with nostalgia, are more tempered in their praise.

Tuesday, March 30, 4-5 p.m., Wilson 217C (the Konold Room)
Speaker: Dr. Veena Kulkarni, Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Geography 
Title: Wives’ Earning Contribution: The Case of Asian Households in the United States

Abstract: One of the notable features of the family lives of Americans in the recent decades is the steady rise of paid labor force participation by married women. The specific nature of this overall trend has been documented to vary by measurable characteristics such as socioeconomic circumstances but by less measurable ones like gender ideology. Further, the interaction between the above sets of characteristics has been seen to systematically differ by race/ethnicity and immigration statuses. The existing literature on race-ethnic differentials in economic outcomes of married women tends to be limited to Black-White-Hispanic comparisons. The present study using the 2000 Census data examines wives’ earning contribution in married couple households for six major Asian groups disaggregated by their immigration status. The results show the significance of human capital and immigration specific factors. Wives from groups with husband’s high human capital of their husbands are less likely to make earnings contribution to household income than those whose husbands have lower earning ability. However, for groups such as the Filipinos, the higher earnings contribution even after controlling for the husband’s human capital are suggestive of  the role of factors like the historical context of Filipino migration to the U.S. or the occupational niche of Filipinas in the health care industry. Further, there are significant differences between the foreign and the native born. The wives in foreign born households relative to their native born counterparts are more likely to work when the husbands’ human capital is low. Overall, the findings indicate that the dichotomous frameworks of ‘gender-specialization’ (bread winner- homemaker) versus ‘economic independence’ may not always be able to fully capture the heterogeneity in the patterns of Asian wives’ economic contribution in the United States.

Tuesday, April 6,
4-5 p.m., Wilson 217C (the Konold Room)
Speaker: Dr. Michael Botts, Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Geography 
Title: Internment in the U.S.A.:  Review of Past Internment Practices and Future Possibilities
Abstract: The U.S. has had a diverse use of internment.  Beginning with the Native Americans, the U.S. has utilized the internment of groups of peoples, ostensibly for the security of the nation.  Utilization of internment for national security creates a structural contradiction (Chambliss) in which the overt values of political freedom and national security oftentimes conceal a maintenance of the status quo or the advancement of a power elite (Mills).  Various past implementations and plans for internment are explored.  In addition, present political climate and future possibilities are examined.  Pertinent international and domestic law is reviewed.


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