Alexander Barder

19 08 2022

Professor Alexander Barder joins the Hayseed Scholar podcast.

Dr. Barder was born in Paris, France, but he and his family moved to Miami very shortly thereafter. He traveled back to France often to visit family, and mainly spoke French until going to a bilingual school. His discussions with his grandpa about World War II sparked an interest in history, which, along with math, were his favorite subjects in school.

Alex went to boarding school in Geneva his senior year of high school, worked at a bank and thought about finance or banking as a major. But after three semesters at American University in DC, he quite college, went back to Miami and worked various jobs (including brokering) for the next seven years.

Alex chipped away at his undergraduate degree, finishing in Spring 2003 with a BS in Mathematics. He became interested in International Relations, and took an IR theory seminar, co-taught by Harry Gould and Nick Onuf, at FIU in the Spring of 2004 that got him interested in being an academic.

After being wait listed that year for the PhD program at Johns Hopkins, Alex got in the following year and pursued his PhD studies there. He talks about writing and publishing with Francois Debrix, including his first book published by Routledge in the Interventions series in 2012. Alex got a job at American University of Beirut in 2013, where he and his family stayed until 2014, seeing first hand the impact of the nearby civil war in Syria. Alex returned to FIU as an Assistant Professor that year, where he has been ever since.

The interview concludes with a chat about how he approaches writing, his practices of decompressing and health, spending time with his family, and more!