MAIS Students Present their Research at this year’s ISA West Conference in Pasadena, CA

ISA-West, a regional division of the International Studies Association, held its annual conference in September 2017 in Pasadena, California. ISA-West brings together students, faculty, and scholars from around the region, the U.S., and the world to present their research and discuss global issues. This year, with generous assistance from the Rue W. Ziegler Scholarship Fund, two MAIS students presented their Capstone work. Jessica Tran presented her paper entitled “Increasing US militarization of the Asa-Pacific region and its impacts on regional stability from a critical security perspective”. Tristan Burger presented her research project “Small Arms: An Applied Approach to Children in Armed Conflict Prevention Initiatives”. Below, Jessica shares her experience:

After conducting preliminary research on my thesis project throughout the summer, I had the opportunity to share my work at the ISA West Annual Conference in Pasadena, California. Presenting in a panel on U.S. Foreign Policy and International Conflict, I was excited to share my thesis project and gain valuable feedback from peers and established scholars.

Not only did I receive constructive responses for my project, but I also had the opportunity to connect with many scholars whose area of expertise relate to my academic interests. I met my rockstar, J. Ann Tickner, whose tremendous work in Feminist IR and critical security studies inspired me to think more critically about the analytical approach to my project. I engaged in a lively discussion with IR Professor Sanjoy Banerjee on China’s security infrastructure; he promised we could stay in touch and provide guidance on the case study portion of my project.

Additionally, David Lake—the discussant for my panel—offered considerable support to myself and other panelists, including extending the discussion of our papers and general career advice over coffee. These interactions were truly the highlight of the trip. I enjoyed sharing and discussing IS ideas, but the immense support of the IS community in developing emerging scholars was what really blew me away. I left tremendously encouraged with not only my thesis project but also the prospects for life after MAIS.

In participating in the conference, I faced a lot of personal fears—fear of public speaking, fear of presenting my ideas to the world, and fear of rejection. I can’t say I’ve been completely cured of these insecurities, but I’m grateful for the experience to tackle it head on and come out the other side a bit more confident and determined.


Interested in Feminist Foreign Policy?

Then you need to know about Professor Wibben…

A. Wibben

Politics professor and International Studies adviser, Annick T.R. Wibben, gave a Keynote Lecture on “Feminist Foreign Policy” at the Swedish Political Science Association conference in Stockholm in October 2015, having been interviewed by Swedish National Radio in December 2014 on her research. In November 2015, she led a webinar on the same topic for the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom on whose Academic Network she has served since 2013.

In spring 2016, she published a book chapter on “The Promise and Dangers of Human Security“, an article on “Opening Security: Recovering Critical Scholarship as Political” and a new (edited) book, Researching War: Feminist Ethics, Methods and Politics. She also continues to blog at the Duck of Minerva and occasionally writes pieces for a non-academic audience, like this one “The Value of Feminist Scholarship on Security“.

Annick recently finished her term (2014-2016) as chair of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies section of the International Studies Association, on whose Executive Committee she has served since 2008, but continues her service to the organization as Vice-Chair of the Women’s Caucus in International Studies.