History, Politics & Global Studies Faculty Focus
Applied History major JoAnne Rublemann ('17) recently conducted short interviews with each of the full-time faculty members in the department about their current research projects.
Dr. John Hinshaw has been working diligently to advance research in the field of Hispanic migration to south-central Pennsylvania. He also refers to his work as the Dutchiricanization of Central Pennsylvania. In order to showcase this research, Dr. Hinshaw recently submitted an article to the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. His favorite project of late was the opportunity to create an exhibit for the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and Lebanon Valley College. In that process, he interviewed a number of prominent authorities in the field. He is excited to see where this research takes him next. Here is Dr. Hinshaw (wearing a green t-shirt, hat and sunglasses) on a recent summer service trip to Peru with a group of LVC students and faculty.
Dr. Michael Schroeder's current research focuses on the US military intervention in Nicaragua in the 1920s and 1930s. In the photo here, he's being interviewed on Nicaraguan television. Dr. Schroeder is working on a book with the working title The Sandino Rebellion: Empire-Making, Social Revolution, and Counterinsurgency in Las Segovias, Nicaragua, 1927-1934. A second book project, under contract with Lexington Books, is tentatively titled Los Voluntarios: A Failed Counterinsurgency Experiment of the US Marines in the Mountains of Northern Nicaragua. Both of these projects are genuinely hybrid print-Web texts that combine a hard-copy printed book with an online documentary annex, so that readers can engage with the primary documents. They're linked to his website, www.SandinoRebellion.com. "I just find this research so engrossing at so many levels," said Dr. Schroeder. "From figuring out little puzzles about who did what when and where to whom, to engaging in debates with other scholars about how to interpret these events, to making fresh discoveries in the archives, to traveling to Nicaragua and talking to people whose lives were forever changed as a result of the US intervention and Sandino's rebellion. It's just an exciting set of projects to work on, because you never really know what you're going to uncover or where the research is going to take you next." Dr. Schroeder is planning a 10-day research trip to Nicaragua in summer 2016.
Dr. Diane Johnson has made a half-dozen research trips to Argentina and Uruguay since 2000. Dr. Johnson developed her interest in the Southern Cone region of South America while in graduate school. Since then, she's published articles and book chapters on the mass media, lobbying, and interest group activity in that region. Over the years, she has interviewed dozens of important political journalists, editors, federal Deputies and Senators and their staffs, bureaucrats, and members of think tanks and non-profits organizations in Argentina and Uruguay. Dr. Johnson has formed many strong professional and close personal relationships there, and has come to think of Buenos Aires as her second home. Currently, Dr. Johnson is working on a few projects, including an article on Argentina's controversial media law of 2009, and one on efforts to pass freedom of information acts in Latin America. She also is working on a book manuscript on press freedom and democracy in the 21st century. This photo was taken at the weekly fair in the Mataderos neighborhood of Buenos Aires, named for the livestock market and slaughterhouses that historically supplied the famous Argentine beef. These days, it showcases gaucho traditions, cuisine, and crafts.
Dr. James Broussard has spent the past couple of years researching the intense career of our nation's 40th US president, Ronald Reagan. Dr. Broussard’s study has provided a wealth of knowledge regarding this iconic leader. In 2014, Dr. Broussard published a book with Routledge, Taylor & Francis called Ronald Reagan: Champion of Conservative America. His goal was to cut through the mythology of both sides to produce a nuanced portrait of Reagan in his historical context. He discusses just how Reagan was able to shift the direction of American politics toward a newly vigorous conservatism. Dr. Broussard’s favorite part of doing this research was learning about Reagan’s career in Hollywood. He says he also enjoyed studying Reagan’s governorship and learning about some of the less-known aspects of Reagan's life. In the photo here, Dr. Broussard is giving a presentation about his research to fellow faculty members.
Dr. Chris Dolan is currently working on a book concerned with the continuity and change of American foreign policy during the Obama Administration. Dr. Dolan regularly presents his research at professional meetings. In 2016, he delivered two papers on the Obama administration's foreign policy. At the "Obama Legacy Conference" at the University of Mount Union in Ohio, he presented a paper on Obama's retrenchment-protraction doctrine toward the Middle East and Asia and the Pacific and at the New England Political Science Association, he presented a paper on offshore balancing in U.S. foreign policy. In the last several years, he has presented his research on U.S. foreign policy and international relations at meetings of the International Studies Association, ISA-Northeast, Northeast Political Science Association, and the New York Political Science Association. His favorite part about all of this research was making policy judgments regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the Obama administration. This photo was taken in summer 2015 at the EU headquarters in Brussels.
Dr. Rebecca McCoy frequently travels to France to conduct her research. She's worked in a variety of archives there, including the Archives Nationales in Paris, various departmental archives in the south, particularly in Montpellier and Nîmes, and at the palace of the bishop of Nîmes. She always enjoys her time in France. She says, “I like living in another language, and I like being in Europe when I really am not just a tourist. There is nothing like going to work every day in Paris!" The photo here was taken in Lezan, which is northwest of Avignon at the foot of the mountains. Dr. McCoy has gotten to know the villagers there, and has attended festivals, parties, and the VE Day celebration in 2012. She has presented her work on French history at conferences in England, Canada, and the US. Another of Dr. McCoy's recent projects is a faculty-student research collaboration on LVC history. The result of this project will be a campus-wide exhibit on the College's 150th Anniversary. This has provided hands-on archival experience for students in the Applied History program. Dr. McCoy says the best part about her research is working in the archives, because she likes the excitement of discovery. She says: "History involves telling stories and then explaining them. I like finding and telling the stories because they are about the lives of real people. The LVC history project has the same pleasure of discovery in the archives, but has had the added fun of working with students as partners on a team."
Dr. Philip Benesch is currently assessing Karl Popper’s post-1961 reformulation of the relationship between the historical sciences and the social sciences. Dr. Benesch's work on Popper has taken new directions since he published a book on his political thought in 2012. In September 2014, Dr. Benesch organized the only international symposium in the US to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Popper’s death. The symposium opened with a talk by George Soros, and drew to LVC’s campus scholars from Turkey, Italy, Britain, Australia, Ukraine, Canada, and the US. Scholars also participated by video link from Romania, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine. A follow-up conference was held in Ankara, Turkey, in September 2015, where the photo here was taken. Dr. Benesch has presented his work on Popper at numerous conferences here and abroad. He may publish some of those papers separately, but says that his "wilder ambition" is to produce a second book on Popper and historical science. Dr. Benesch also has been involved in a collaborative project on the future of free speech, which convenes in Washington DC each month. The end product should be a collaborative report exploring contrasting options for policy safeguarding or regulating speech. He says that he absolutely loves his work, and regarding research says, “Too many people confuse research with fact-collecting and rote hypothesis testing, followed by conformist publishing. The real joy in research is in innovation and discovery – in upsetting the applecart by coming up with new ideas, new explanatory theories, or by recognizing hitherto overlooked and inconvenient facts. In short, the best part of research is participation in a serious argument over serious matters that engage the attention of equally serious thinkers. Don’t play it safe. Be bold, be critical, and be creative – and expect others to be equally bold and critical in their response to your contribution.”