Thursday, August 15, 2013

DAEMEN VOICE: feature story on Poland study abroad

Click here to access the story in The Daemen Voice
The August 12, 2013, issue of The Daemen Voice has a feature story about the new student exchange established by Dr. Andrew Wise between Daemen College and East European State Higher School (PWSW) in Przemysl, Poland.  You can read it here.     

Monday, August 12, 2013

Faculty Research and Publication

A collection of essays on Russian and East European history, co-edited by Dr. Andrew Kier Wise (Associate Professor of History and Chair, History & Political Science Department), has just been published (see below). Dr. Wise also wrote the introduction and contributed a chapter based on original research. The volume is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Charles E. Timberlake (1935-2008), long-time Professor of History at the University of Missouri-Columbia and prominent expert in Russian and Soviet studies.

Co-editors for the volume are Dr. David M. Borgmeyer, Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for International Studies at Saint Louis University; Dr. Nicole Monnier, Associate Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Russian at the University of Missouri-Columbia; and Prof. Byron T. Scott, Professor Emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism and Director Emeritus, European Union Center (both at the University of Missouri-Columbia).

The volume brings together a selection of papers presented at the first three meetings of the Charles Timberlake Memorial Symposium. Co-founded by Dr. Wise in 2009, the Symposium convenes each November at the Central Slavic Conference annual meeting in St. Louis. Now in its 5th year, the Symposium also presents an award for the best graduate paper delivered each year.

Dr. Timberlake served as the undergraduate mentor for Dr. Wise and countless other students at the University of Missouri-Columbia. This collection of essays includes contributions from former students and colleagues, as well as a preface by his wife, Patricia Timberlake, who continues to provide support for the Symposium.

For more information about the book, click here:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Alumni Updates

Updates on some of our Past History & Political Science Graduates:

Alexander Marks (2008, History & Government) graduated from Massachusetts School of Law in 2011.  He is currently serving as In-House Counsel & Government Affairs Director for the Arizona Student's Association in Phoenix, Arizona.

In his time at Daemen, Alex was president of the Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA) and Vice-President of the History & Government Club.  Alex says that participating in the Pre Law Student Association's (PLSA) Annual Moot Court Experience was one of his favorite experiences for his time at Daemen.  

Saladi Shebule (2013, Political Science) is a Power Organizer for the Coalition of Economic Justice in Buffalo, New York.  

Saladi wrote his senior thesis on the Acculturation Challenges of the Somali Bantu Refugees in Buffalo, New York, which he presented at a "Seminar on Engagement with Refugee Students and Communities in Buffalo" (A conference held on Daemen College Campus, October 18, 2012 and co-hosted by the History & Political Science Department and Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement).  Saladi was also a presenter at World Refugee Day (A conference held on Daemen College Campus, June 20, 2013 and co-hosted by the History & Political Science Department's Refugee Studies Program and the Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement).  

In his time at Daemen, Saladi was an active member of the History & Government Club and a frequent participant in the Pre Law Student Association's (PLSA) Annual Moot Court Experience. 

Tyler Threehouse (2011, Political Science) is in his final year at the University at Buffalo School of Law and is currently serving as Head Law Clerk at Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, in Buffalo, New York.  While at Daemen, Tyler was active in the Pre Law Student Association (PLSA) and a regular participant in the Annual Moot Court Experience.  

Congratulations to all of our graduates and best wishes on your continued success!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Political Science Course-Fall 2013

PSC 347: Security Studies

Dr. Tandon will be offering a new course this Fall. 

International security is one of the prominent subfields in International Relations, and has gained further momentum since 9/11. The Security Studies course offers students in-depth study of traditional forms of security including military, strategic, arms and national security. In addition, it offers a broad perspective on defining security by introducing students to human, food and environmental security. Conceptualized and taught as seminar on international security, this course is ideal for beginners in the field who may or may not be familiar with major theoretical paradigms in international relations. This course has a global focus and covers up-to-date coverage on issues such as cyber security. Pending EPC approval, this course fulfills the Critical Thinking and WI (Writing Intensive) Core Competencies. 

Dr. Tandon recently presented two papers at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention in San Francisco, California: India's Non-Alignment Strategy: Choice or Constrain? and Rational Design of Security Institutions: Conflict Management Alliances

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Architecture and the Generation Gap in Przemysl. Posted by Chelsea Sieczkarek.

The National Museum of the Land of Przemyśl (above and below) was built in 2008. It is located near the heart of the city of Przemyśl, Poland. The museum was erected in an area of town that was heavily damaged during World War II. There are mixed feelings about the location and design of this museum.

With its unique shape and neutral sandstone color, older citizens of Przemyśl feel that the modern design doesn’t fit with the style of architecture that surrounds the museum. Many citizens of Przemyśl dislike this museum because they feel that the style takes away from the history of pre-World War II Poland. Some citizens also believe that the museum darkens the town because many of the surrounding buildings are painted in bright and vibrant colors (see below).

There are some local residents who approve of the building. They feel that the location is symbolic and plays an important role in telling the story of the city’s past. Most of the citizens who approve of the building are from the younger generation and they feel that the modern design creates a nice contrast to the surrounding area. This modern design also helps the museum get noticed because it stands out and is so different.

The different generations may have different opinions about the architecture and style of the building, but they can both agree that the content inside the building plays a large role in preserving Przemyśl’s past.

Chelsea Sieczkarek

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Catholic and Jewish Traditions in Poland. Posted by Caitlyn J. Ebert.

Religion played an integral part in keeping Polish culture alive, even while three different empires colonized the country during the period of partitions (1795-1918). During our stay in Poland, we have seen many sites connected to Catholicism and Judaism. Both of these religions have deep roots in Poland.  

While many European countries were expelling Jews in the medieval and early modern periods, Polish communities welcomed Jewish merchants.The link to Judaism was severely damaged by the Nazi occupation, beginning in 1939. Many of the synagogues throughout Poland were destroyed as the ghettos were established. While many of the sites related to Judaism reflect the horrors of the Nazi regime, the Old Synagogue in Krakow's Kazimierz district has been converted to a  museum that is dedicated to depicting Jewish life in Poland.

Old Synagogue in Kazimierz district of Krakow
This museum still has the storage place for the Torah intact (see photo below). This small closet-like area’s doors are kept open to indicate that the Torah is no longer housed in the synagogue. There are also several Torah covers like the lion cover (see below), which incorporated symbols of power and prominence to depict the importance of religion in the daily lives of the community.

Jewish cemeteries also show the important aspects of Jewish life. We were able to learn about the burial and grieving tradition in Judaism. For example, placing stones on the tops of tombstones symbolizes wishes and prayers the living have for the dead.

Many of the headstones in the Jewish cemeteries have images of animals or objects that were used to depict aspects of the deceased’s life. A menorah, or candelabrum, on the tombstone often indicates that the deceased is a woman.

Tombstone in Jewish cemetery in Przemysl

Animals like lions indicate that the deceased was a man and head of the household, therefore the most powerful/prominent person in his household.

Tombstone in Jewish cemetery in Warsaw

The Catholic faith has played a crucial role in Polish history. Catholicism has helped preserve “Polishness” when there was no sovereign state, during wars, and during the period of Communism. Catholic symbols were built into the palaces and castles of Poland, such as the Wawel Castle (the home of medieval Polish kings in Krakow) and Wilanow Palace (the Baroque-style home of Polish kings in Warsaw).


Wawel Castle, Krakow

Wilanow Palace, Warsaw

Modern Poland is still closely tied to Catholicism. For example, there are many sites with relics and memorials to Pope John Paul II, whose canonization was announced in July while we were in Poland.

Exhibit dedicated to Pope John Paul II inside St. Florian's Church in Krakow

On Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, there is a marker (see below) at the location where John Paul II celebrated Mass during his first visit to Warsaw as Pope in June 1979.

And in Przemysl, a large memorial dedicated to the Polish Pope is located in the heart of the Old Town.

Caitlyn J. Ebert at the John Paul II memorial in Przemysl

Caitlyn J. Ebert