Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy 2013

Happy 2013 to everyone! We hope that the new year will be productive and successful for all members.
As everyone knows, we were preoccupied in November-December with the First Global South International Studies Conference held in Menton, France. Thanks to the hard work of Imad Mansour and his team of dedicated and proactive students at Sciences-Po, the conference was widely deemed to be a success. Despite the travel distances, despite the rather busy time of year, despite the impact of Sandy in the United States, and even, in a lighter vein, despite the intermittent rainy weather in the normally-sunny Mediterranean -- participants came from around the world: India, Brazil, Sudan, Nigeria, Korea, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, U.S.-based scholars, French, British and other academics. The presence of younger scholars was particularly noticeable. The 17 panels covered the three themes of teaching, research and theorizing, introducing many innovative ideas and materials. There were no back-to-back panels - which made for a long intense day of discussions and critiques of each paper.Most of all, the conference provided participants with the opportunity to network and get to know one another, and provided the Caucus hierarchy with an opportunity to expand the membership and gather ideas about our focus and future.

      For more on and about the conference, please see the chair's report in the winter/spring GSCIS newsletter which will be out soon. If you are interested, some of the papers from the conference are still available at Apart from thanking Imad and his students, we thank all the participants, Sciences-Po Menton director Bernard el Ghoul, and those who provided administrative support at ISA HQ. (Note: photos here are from
      One initiative discussed by EXCOM members who attended the conference was the establishment of an African Initiative similar to the Developing Eurasia initiative currently sponsored by Jason Strakes in Georgia. Africa is indisputably underrepresented in terms of teaching and research in international studies, and scholars from Africa are underrepresented at international conferences. Pending further discussion by Council, Eric Deguila of Benin will begin work on the initiative.  

The San Francisco ISA annual conference will be here before we know it (early April). You probably have noticed that most of the caucus panels are clustered on the last day, Saturday,which is admittedly inconvenient for participants who like to or have to attend during the earlier part of the week. However, it also means that we have one convenient day to network and discuss. So if you have to choose, perhaps you can skip the earlier part of the week this time around and make sure to be there for the latter half of the conference. Please note that on Friday we will hold our Distinguished Scholar event which begins with a presentation by our nominee Dr. Jomo Sundaram (FAO: ). This will be followed by a luncheon for no more than 20-25 people (because of the size of the room available). The luncheon will be co-sponsored with the Academic Council for UN Study (ACUNS). All caucus members are invited to this lunch ($10 contribution), on a first-come, first served basis. Please let us know if you will attend by emailing Treasurer Seifudein Adem at, cc'd to the Chair at Finally, our business meeting will be held immediately after these events. Please put all of this on your calendar.