Panel Discussion on U.S. Foreign Policy and ISIS to be Held Nov. 20

The SUNY New Paltz Center for Middle Eastern Dialogue and the Department of Political Science and International Relations will sponsor a panel discussion on “U.S. Foreign Policy in Regard to ISIL/ISIS/IS” on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in Lecture Center 102 on the New Paltz campus. This event is free and open to the public.

Panelists will include professors Vijay Prashad (Trinity College), James P. Ketterer (Bard College), and Lewis Brownstein (SUNY New Paltz). Stephen Pampinella, a professor at SUNY New Paltz, will moderate the discussion.

Prashad serves as the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and is the author of 16 books, including “The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South” (2013), “Arab Spring. Libyan Winter” (2012), and “The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World” (2007). He edits the “Dispatches” series of books for LeftWord Books and is a columnist for Frontline (India), a regular contributor to The Hindu (India), and a contributing editor for Himal South Asia (Nepal) and for Bol (Pakistan).

Ketterer is Senior Fellow, Institute for International Liberal Education and Director of International Academic Initiatives for the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College. He is affiliated with the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program, and the Middle Eastern Studies and Political Studies Departments at Bard. Ketterer is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on international and comparative politics. He has been a Boren Fellow in Morocco, a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Tunisia and a State Department Fellow at the White House. He has served on international missions and consultancies for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations Development Program, and the U.S. Agency for International Development in a host of countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Brownstein is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at SUNY New Paltz, having taught for 45 years in the Political Science and International Relations Department.  His major areas of expertise include American Foreign Policy, which he taught and lectured on for many years, and the International Relations of the Middle East with particular emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  After the attacks of 9/11, Brownstein created a course on Terrorism in World Politics which has been offered regularly.

Support for this event has been provided by the Office of Academic Affairs, the Honors Program, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Campus Auxiliary Services. For more information contact Professor James Schiffer at or (845) 257-3637.

About the Center for Middle Eastern Dialogue
Founded in 2009, the Center for Middle Eastern Dialogue promotes constructive dialogue about the Middle East that explores ways to establish lasting peace in the region, encourage economic collaboration, and stimulate cultural and educational exchange. The Center provides a forum for students, faculty, community members, scholars and diplomats of various points of view to exchange ideas in a respectful way that will promote greater understanding of this complex and volatile region of the world.

History Department Colloquium Series Begins Nov. 12

Heather Morrison

Heather Morrison

Associate Professor Heather Morrison’s talk, “The Emperor’s New Plants: The Limits of Imperial Power in an Eighteenth Century Botanical Expedition,” will kick off a new History Department colloquium series, which will feature talks by department members on research in progress. The first talk will be held Wednesday, Nov. 12 from 2-3 p.m. in Jacobson Faculty Tower 1010.

The colloquium is not a series of lectures, but rather group discussions of unpublished works such as the paper by Morrison, who is writing a book on an Austrian botanical expedition in the Age of Enlightenment.

Colloquium papers will circulate beforehand. All are welcome, but participants should read the essay in advance. To receive a copy of the essay, please contact History Department Chair Andy Evans at

Below is a description of Morrison’s paper:

Towards the beginning of Joseph II’s sole rule in the 1780s, an unfortunate greenhouse disaster ruined much of the exotic plant collection for the palace of Schönbrunn. The Emperor was in the midst of internal reforms and cost-cutting and had little interest in financing a large-scale scientific endeavor, yet an emperor in the eighteenth century must have his plants. The court chose five men with background in the theoretical knowledge of the natural sciences or practical experience with collecting or drawing plants, outfitted them, and sent them off with detailed instructions and elaborate financial arrangements to journey to the “four other parts of the world.” Things did not work as minutely planned. The five managed to make it to North America after months of waiting in the Netherlands, and then the expedition divided and collapsed in the face of personal divisions, financial problems, and large-scale destruction of living plants and animals. Imperial patronage for a scientific expedition was expected to produce an increase in the Empire’s prestige through both the expansion of its collections in the gardens, menagerie, and natural history cabinet and its ability to support a grand international scientific endeavor. This paper will explore how the structure of the Habsburg Monarchy’s internal and international power led to some of the organizational failures of their Imperial Expedition.


Award Winning Author to Conduct Poetry Reading and Workshop

Karina Borowicz, author of the award-winning volumes, The Bees are Waiting and Proof, will read from her latest volume and also conduct a poetry workshop on Thursday, Nov. 6.  The reading will be at 7 p.m. in the Honors Center, and the workshop will be held on the same day from 2-3:15 p.m. in Jacobson Faculty Tower, Room 1010.

Borowicz’s debut poetry volume, The Bees are Waiting (2012), won the Marick Press Poetry Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry, the First Horizon Award, and was named a Must-Read by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.  Her second book, Proof (2014), won the Codhill Poetry Award and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series.  Her poems have appeared in many journals including AGNI, Nimrod, Poetry Northwest and The Southern Review, and her work was recently featured on The Writer’s Almanac.

Students should contact Pauline Uchmanowicz ( to sign up for the workshop.

Mapping Team Assists in West Africa Ebola Fight


Geography Department Associate Professor Lawrence McGlinn is training others to map West African roads, paths and villages to aid doctors and nurses working to fight the Ebola virus. Center for Disease Control/Getty Images

By Despina Williams Parker

Assisting with the Ebola crisis in West Africa can be as easy as clicking a mouse.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, Lawrence McGlinn, an associate professor in the Geography Department, held a seminar in Sojourner Truth Library, Room 18, to train others to create detailed maps of West African regions impacted by the Ebola virus using the OpenStreetMap mapping website.

“Doctors and nurses working for the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders to fight Ebola in West Africa do not know where many potential victims are, or how to get to them,” noted McGlinn. “Infrastructure and detailed maps do not exist for much of the region, and many weeks and lives can be wasted missing significant, infected populations.”

McGlinn trained the seminar’s 13 attendees to examine OpenStreetMap’s high-resolution satellite imagery and mark minor roads, paths and villages. The maps will then verified by experts and published for use by medical personnel in the field for a more efficient effort against the disease.

McGlinn said only four of the attendees were geographers, and the only technical experience required to create the maps is the ability to use a mouse to draw lines and outline areas on satellite images. McGlinn has hosted a similar workshop in his Cartography class.

McGlinn said the mapping project is critical for health workers in West Africa to respond to Ebola cases quickly, and thus, contain the disease.

“World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders request these maps, and do use them,” said McGlinn, noting that humanitarian mapping projects also extend to other projects around the globe, including recovery efforts in war zones, malaria control and flooding reclamation.

To join the OpenStreetMap project, contact McGlinn at