Country: United States (Kansas)
Conflict Processes & War
Gender and Politics
Following the terrorist attacks against the US in 2001, the Bush administration reaffirmed the Dover ban, the policy that prohibited press coverage of military coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base from conflicts abroad. Conventional wisdom holds that the Bush administration enforced the ban in the hope of maintaining public support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This understanding, though, is incomplete. If the Dover ban were enforced only in response to eroding public opinion, then other coalition states would have responded likewise to this shared incentive. I argue instead that maintaining public support is only one factor among many that led the US to uphold this policy. In addition to considering the influence of factors such as perceived media bias and casualty aversion, I focus on necropolitics and the related impetus for governments to regulate the observation of death. Through this interpretation, part of the American response to the involuntary loss of sovereignty on 9/11 was to exercise control over the observation of death by enforcing the Dover ban. Through comparing the press policies of the US, the UK, and Canada, I show that the necropolitical blow to sovereignty that only the US experienced triggered a repressive policy that only the US was able to maintain.
Co-authored with Sarah Fisher. Though political science undergraduate courses reflect a rich theoretical tradition, they typically lack opportunities for students to express intangible concepts through the interpretation of creative works, a standard exercise of critical analysis. Educators can address this dearth in many ways, such as through utilization of popular culture texts. We employ the television series The West Wing to ground debates in American politics, specifically American foreign policy. Although this show has been off air since 2006, Netflix and Amazon have recently released the entire series for streaming, significantly reducing the hassle and monetary cost of using this source in the classroom. Using The West Wing as our guide, we enhance political science pedagogy using agency, structure, and ethics as our guiding concepts.
Co-authored with Sarah Fisher. In this article we argue that social science instructors at all levels should openly embrace kinesthetic learning as an everyday pedagogical tool. The standard model of instruction at the college level relies on lecture, perhaps with special alternative activities (e.g., simulations) scattered throughout each semester. We argue that students benefit from alternative instruction styles incorporated into their everyday classes. We outline several alternative instruction techniques we have used in our classrooms centered on kinesthetic learning. The kinesthetic activities that we present require little to no additional work on behalf of the instructor but allow the students to engage more fully with the given material and with each other. Furthermore, these simple examples allow instructors to remain relevant in physical classrooms, offering a straightforward counterpoint to the recent trend toward MOOCs (massive open online courses) in higher education.
Co-authored with Darren Botello-Samson. In 1984 and Philosophy. Part of the Philosophy and Popular Culture Series.