Author: Alexis Henshaw

Let’s Talk About Contingency

Contingent Faculty: Always on the move

Ah, the spring semester: When the thoughts of many turn to the promise of summer, while the thoughts of panicked ABDs turn to the question of what they’re going to be doing beyond the end of this academic year.


Right on schedule, the jobs boards are filling up with this year’s crop of “visiting” professor positions–inviting young (and not-so-young) ABDs and early-career faculty to gamble on a choice that will uproot their lives without any promise of permanent or even long-term employment. Having spent my early career off the tenure track, I wanted to take this opportunity to make a couple of posts that highlight the issues contingent faculty are facing in the profession. Continue reading


El Salvador’s Restless Peace at 25


FMLN banners at the 24th Anniversary celebration, 2016

Amidst all the political drama this week, one could be forgiven for not noting the 25th anniversary of the Chapultepec Peace Agreement. Chapultepec was the agreement that brought a negotiated end to El Salvador’s civil war, a 12-year conflict between a repressive military government and leftist rebels united under the banner of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). The Salvadoran conflict was notable for its tremendous human cost. By the conflict’s end, over a million people had been internally displaced or fled abroad and an estimated 75,000 Salvadorans were killed, many of them civilians. All this, in a country whose territory is slightly smaller than New Hampshire. Continue reading


No More Vietnams? Reforming the Selective Service

Vietnam protestWhen I was young, I dreamed of Italy. Once in a while, my father would pull out the slide projector and show us pictures from his life on a mountain near Colle Isarco, not far from Italy’s border with Austria. He taught me to speak a little in both Italian and German, which I loved. My father, though, is not Italian, and his sojourn at a mountaintop telecom site (still the only time he’s ever been outside North America) came all-expenses-paid courtesy of the U.S. Air Force, which he joined after being drafted during the Vietnam War. Continue reading


Is the International Criminal Court’s “Legitimacy” Problem Also a Gender Problem?

Photo of  Fatou Bensouda

Fatou Bensouda, ICC Prosecutor

Yesterday, Russia became the fourth country in recent weeks to announce its intent to withdraw from the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court. In doing so, it joins South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia in expressing concern about the institution’s functionality and legitimacy as an international institution. The Philippines is also reportedly contemplating departure. Continue reading


The United Nations and Diplomacy’s Glass Ceiling

Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres

While the election of Antonio Guterres as the UN’s new Secretary-General was hailed by many, it has sparked renewed debate about gender issues in the United Nations system. While Guterres has a distinguished resume—including time spent as the Prime Minister of Portugal and as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees—this election cycle was also the focus of an unprecedented (and, ultimately, unsuccessful) campaign to get the United Nations to elect its first female S-G. Continue reading


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