Political Science Academic News

The following graduate students presented papers at the annual ASPECT Graduate Conference titled “Rethinking Otherness in the Age of Neoliberalism”: Judson Abraham, ASPECT, “The Question of ‘Corporatism’ in Left-Populist Discourse”; Caroline Alphin, ASPECT, presented “Bulletproof Neoliberals: Reframing the Biohacker as an Intensified Accelerationist”; Nada Berrada, ASPECT, “The Neoliberal State and Youth Policy in Morocco”; Allie Briggs, ASPECT, “The Perfect Crime: Race as Technology and Modern Liberal Sovereignty”; Jay Burkette, ASPECT, “Utopia as a Verb: Mutual Aid as Its Process”; Linea Cutter, ASPECT, “Spaces of Empire in Popular Culture: A Critical Analysis of To the Bone”; Joshua Earle, Science, Technology and Society, “The Problem of the Sexy Cyborg: Race, Gender, and Otherness in Transhumanism”; Jordan Fallon, Political Science, “‘Omar Comin’: Black Subversive Marginality and Neoliberal Subjectivity”; Rob Flahive, ASPECT, “Aesthetics of the Other: Reinscribing Colonial Urbanism through Preservation”; Jenni Gallagher, History “‘Remove Him to the Poorhouse’: Poor-Relief in Montgomery County, VA, 1830–1880”; Ruth Grene, Hispanic Studies, “Views of the Subaltern in Mexican Film”; Johannes Grow, ASPECT, “The Geopolitics of the ECSC”; Robert Hodges, ASPECT, “Two Differing Intentions Toward Alterning the International System: A Discussion of al-Qaeda and Islamic State Goals”; Jack R. Leff, Science, Technology, and Society, “Enclosable Futures: How Prisons Render Prisoners’ Futures for ‘Public’ Consumption”; John R. Legg, History, “White Lies, Native Revision: Public Memory and the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862”; Leigh McKagen, ASPECT, “An Imperial Journey: Castaway Narratives in Star Trek: Voyager”; Mohammed Pervaiz, ASPECT, “Valorizing and Other-ing Bodies: Examples in Historical and Contemporary Turkey”; Sarah Plummer, ASPECT, “Panoptic Policing: A Theory of Surveillance as Resistance”; Shaun Respess, ASPECT, “Why/When Suicide Offends the Neoliberal Us”; Mary Ryan, ASPECT, “The Last Gasp: How Racial Crisis Threatens U.S. Democracy”; Patrick Salmons, ASPECT, “Althusser’s Reproduction of Race in Society”; Katy Shepard, ASPECT, “Art as the Creative Process, Identity Building, and Liberation”; Faith Skiles, ASPECT, “Decidedly Neo-Confucian: Western Missionaries’ Ordering of Space in Korea”; Spenser Slough, ASPECT, “Consumerism, Material Culture, Gender, and Performance as Historical Method in Investigating Commonplace Financial Records of Rural Communities”; Emma Stamm, ASPECT, “Algorithmic Determinacy and Interpretative Psychedelic Science”; Alexander Stubberfield, ASPECT, “State of the Art: The Habitat Quantification Tool and the Environmental Defense Fund”; Anthony Szczurek, ASPECT, “Sacred Climate Futures: Hindutva Imaginaries of Climate Change (2015–2018)”; Madison Tepper, ASPECT, “Radical Counterperformance: Invoking Bodily Affect as to Global Capitalism”; Molly Todd, ASPECT, “Affective Juxtaposition and the Border Crossing Experience of Pixar’s Coco”; Shelby Ward, ASPECT, “State In/security and War Tourism: Sri Lankan Identity Politics and Tourism Mapping Practices”; Sara Wenger, ASPECT, “The Strange Case of Aura Dolls: Posthuman Anxiety and the Sex Work Debate”; Zachariah Wheeler, ASPECT, “Back to the Future: Symbolic Revolution, Aporia, and the Death of Neoliberalism”; Tara Wilson, Political Science, “Evaluating the Provable Successes of the United Nations Human Rights Council”; and Sengul Yildiz-Alanbay , ASPECT, “Constructing the ‘Other’ through a Discourse of Compassion: The Representation of the Iconic Image of Alan Kurdi in Turkey’s Foreign Policy Towards the EU.” The conference took place March 21–23 on campus.

Timothy W. Luke, a University Distinguished Professor from the Department of Political Science, published “Dismantling the Resilience Machine as a Restoration Engine,” The Resilience Machine, ed. Jim Bohland, Simin Davoudi, and Jennifer Lawrence (New York: Routledge, 2019), pp. 191–208.

Bettina Koch, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, edited Inventing Modernity in Medieval European Thought, ca. 1100–ca. 1550, Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Culture 51 (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications, 2018), with Cary Nederman.

Koch’s individual contributions to the volume were “Introduction: Inventing Modernity,” pp. 1–14, with Nederman, and “Defensor Pacis Transformed: Marsilian Ideas in Sixteenth Century Politics,” pp. 115–34.

Timothy Luke, the University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science, published “Dismantling the Resilience Machine as a Restoration Engine,” The Resilience Machine, ed. Jim Bohland, Simin Davoudi, and Jennifer Lawrence (New York: Routledge, 2019), pp. 191–208.


ASPECT doctoral student Caroline Alphin and François Debrix, director of ASPECT and a professor in the Department of Political Science, presented “‘Necro-geopolitics’ Exploited Vulnerabilities, Disadvantaged Lives, and Death-Making” at the Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association, which was held November 8–11 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Emma Braxton Miller, a sophomore Political Science major, participated in the student conference, SCUSA 70: Cooperation Reimagined: American Influence in Increasing Complex World, which was held October 24–27 at West Point. The conference focused on terrorism and non-state actors; Miller worked with other students from around the world in teams. Participation was funded by the Hume Center and West Point; it is an annual opportunity for a Virginia Tech Political Science or International Studies student.

François Debrix, director of ASPECT and a professor in the Department of Political Science, published “The Viral Mediation of Terror: ISIS, Image, Implosion,” in ISIS Beyond the Spectacle: Communication Media, Networked Publics, and Terrorism, ed. Mehdi Semati, Piotr Szpunar, and Robert Brookey (London: Routledge, 2018), pp. 77–91, with ASPECT alumnus Ryan Artrip.