CAS Department Updates for September 2010

New Department Chairpersons and Directors Begin Fall Semester


Global and Regional Studies Program wins NAFTA Mobility Grant

By Luis Vivanco, Director, Global and Regional Studies Program

The Global and Regional Studies Program has, along with Georgia Southern University, won a FIPSE North American Mobility in Higher Education Program grant. Commonly called a "NAFTA Mobility Grant" because the free-trade agreement calls for student mobility, it is a substantial grant that provides funding to create a consortium of six universities in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to send and receive exchange students.

Over the next four years, the grant provides our GRS program with funding to help create the consortium, as well as scholarships for eight UVM students to study abroad at other consortium universities between fall 2012 and spring 2015. In addition to the two American universities, the other members of the consortium include, in Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University (Ontario) and the University of New Brunswick, and, in Mexico, the Universidad Veracruzana (Veracruz) and Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico City campus). This grant will be especially appealing to students in Global Studies, Canadian Studies, and Latin American Studies, as well as students in foreign languages.

Grant winners must identify and develop curricular and extracurricular programming around a particular theme. In our case, the consortium will focus on investigating how perceptions and misperceptions within each NAFTA country about the others shapes public policy, such as immigration and social services policies. It also explores the conditions under which continental--as opposed to strictly national--frameworks for policy can emerge or be developed.


Faculty are invited to apply to the second UVM Sustainability Faculty Fellows Program, hosted by the Environmental Program, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Office of Sustainability, and the Greenhouse Residential Learning Community.  We seek to develop a learning community/a multidisciplinary faculty cohort engaged in a yearlong exploration of sustainability, the scholarship of teaching, learning, collaboration and community building.  Fellows participate in a two-day January training at Shelburne Farms and three luncheons across the year and receive $400 in professional development incentive funds.  For more information and application instructions, please see:

Applications are due September 30, 2010.


News from the Department of Political Science

UVM Political Science Students Win National Recognition
For the second consecutive year, a graduating UVM political science student has received a major national award from Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.

Peter Johannessen - 2009, won outstanding senior honors thesis in the U.S. (presently a graduate student in political science at Princeton University). Read thesis (PDF)

Caryn Devins - 2010, runner-up for the same prestigious award (presently a law student at Duke University). Read thesis (PDF)

Each was the winner of the Alan P. Wertheimer award for the outstanding senior thesis in political science at UVM. Approximately ten to fifteen students per year write honors theses in political science, each working intensively with an individual faculty member.

“They exemplify what we hope to achieve with our students". -- Professor Patrick Neal, student advisor of the UVM chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha.

Faculty Publications:

Robert Bartlett (with Walter Baber), Global Democracy and Sustainable Jurisprudence: Deliberative Environmental Law (MIT University Press, 2010)

John Burke, Honest Broker? The National Security Advisor and Presidential Decision Making (Texas A&M University Press, 2009)

Michele Commercio, Russian Minority Politics in Post-Soviet Latvia and Kyrgyzstan: The Transformative Power of Informal Networks (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010)

Alec Ewald, The Way We Vote: The Local Dimension of American Suffrage (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009)

F. Gregory Gause, The International Relations of the Persian Gulf (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Garrison Nelson (with co-authors), The Austin-Boston Connection: Five Decades of House Democratic Leadership, 1937-1989 (Texas A&M University Press, 2009)

Bob Pepperman Taylor, Horace Mann’s Troubling Legacy: The Education of Democratic Citizens (University Press of Kansas, 2010)

Peter VonDoepp, Judicial Politics in New Democracies: Cases from Southern Africa (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009)

Alex Zakaras, Individuality and Mass Democracy: Mill, Emerson, and the Burdens of Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2009)


Luther Martin Luther H. Martin, Professor of Religion Emeritus, was recently honored by the executive committee of the International Association for the History or Religion (IAHR), which named him as an "Honorary Life Member" of the IAHR. This honor is conferred every five years to no more than five senior scholars "who have distinguished themselves through life-long service to the history of religions through their scholarship, regular participation in IAHR conferences, service as national or international officers, and/or other outstanding contributions."

Faculty, students, and former students from the Department of Religion were a significant presence at the XXth Quinquennial World Congress, which was held in Toronto this past August and attended by over 700 participants. Through support from the Dean's office, the department was able to sponsor a plenary speaker, Professor David Sloan Wilson, Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology, at Binghamton University.

A high point of the Congress for Professor Martin was when he was recognized at a reception attended by some 60 colleagues and was presented with a Festschrift (a volume of writings by different authors presented as a tribute or memorial especially to a scholar), that was titled: Chasing Down Religion: In the Sights of History and Cognitive Sciences: Essays in Honor of Luther H. Martin.


Mirja Hamalainen Mirja Hämäläinen is a member of the faculty at the University of Tampere in Finland and has arrived at UVM on a Fulbright Grant to serve as a debate coach while she learns all she can to create a debating explosion in Finland. She became interested in debating as a way to teach English and has now become a convert to the cause of debating. She originally met the Edwin Lawrence Debate Union (LDU) through her attendance at the International Debate Academy Slovenia in 2009. Mirja is blogging about her experiences in Vermont and at UVM, and you can follow her at


Gregory Ramos Gregory Ramos, assistant professor of theatre and interim director of ALANA U.S. Ethnic Studies, recently performed his solo play When We Danced as part of the Stonewall celebration on September 17 and 18 at the FlynnSpace in Burlington, VT. The play is inspired by interviews with senior and elderly LGBT people Ramos interviewed in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and California. According to Ramos, "The idea for this new play came to me after reading an article that my partner shared with me which appeared in The New York Times in the fall of 2007. The article explored the challenges facing aging gay and lesbian people. The article was accompanied by a photo of two men in a nursing home. One man in the photo is feeding his partner. I wondered if that would be me and my partner one day. Then I started thinking about all the gay, lesbian, and transgender people in this country and in other places around the world who have seen the changes of attitudes and representations of queerness over the last 50, 60, 70 years. I know in my heart there are enlightening, important, and vital stories to be heard from LGBT/queer people who lived through much of the 20th and into the 21st Century." Previously the play had workshop productions in Los Angeles and most recently at the Ko Festival in Amherst, MA.


Terence Cuneo Terence Cuneo, associate professor in the Philosophy Department, recently presented "Reply to the Expressivists" at the American Philosophical Association meeting in San Francisco and “Clarke's Insight" at the Boston University Ethics Colloquium. This semester he is slated to speak at McGill University on "Moral Realism: Substance and Strategy."

Two volumes edited by Professor Cuneo were recently published by Cambridge University Press: Nicholas Wolterstorff's collected papers, Inquiring about God and Practices of Belief.

Several of Professor Cuneo’s essays have also been published recently:

"Duty, Goodness and God in Thomas Reid's Ethics," in S. Roeser, ed. Reid's Ethics, Macmillan; "Thomas Reid's Moral Philosophy," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; "The Myth of Moral Fictionalism" (w/ Sean Christy) in New Waves in Metaethics, M. Brady, ed. Macmillan; and "If These Walls Could Only Speak" Faith and Philosophy.


Louis deRosset Louis deRosset, assistant professor in the Philosophy Department, presented a paper entitled "Grounding Explanations" at Because II, a conference on grounding and non-causal explanation, held at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, in Berlin, Germany on September 1. Attendees comprised a group of leading scholars and students from three continents and dozens of universities around the world.