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ISA South 2019 - Closing Remarks

With the support of the ISA HQ staff, we had a well-attended and well-reviewed ISA-South conference at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. The conference took place on October 4-5, 2019.

Nikolaos Zahariadis (Rhodes College) was the 2019 program co-chair along with Adam Van Liere (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse). Both put together a program that featured 28 panels and roundtables. A total of 128 participants from around the country in addition to eight countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Registration and submission levels increased from last year’s conference in Ashland, Virginia, hosted by Randolph-Macon College.

We awarded 16 travel grants, up to $200, to graduate students – 14 were disbursed, one was declined and the other was a no show – for a total of $2,800.00. These grants were paid out of the region’s membership dues. This year’s winner of the Jim Winkates Graduate Student Paper Award was Abdiasis Issa from Queen’s University, Kingston, CA for a paper titled Cities and Global Governance: Conceptualizing the Rise of Human Rights Cities in Practice. Abdiasis Issa received a $250 prize from ISA-South funds and a one-year membership in ISA.

The welcome speaker was Dr. Cameron Thies, ISA President, from Arizona State University, who spoke about the importance of linking the academic to the practitioner world. The keynote speaker at the well-attended annual ISA-South awards luncheon was Dr. Cary Fowler, Rhodes College, Chair of the Board of Trustees, with a presentation entitled “A Lunch Date with Darwin.” Dr. Fowler is a world-famous agriculturalist who has led the first global assessment of the state of the world’s crop diversity in addition to being influential in creating the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which preserves more than 800,000 distinct crop varieties. Special events at the conference included The Women’s Caucus Mentoring Town Hall, which brought together junior and senior women for mentoring conversations on Friday morning, followed by panels and our traditional ISA-South Women’s Caucus Breakfast meeting on Saturday morning. The discussion was led by Jamie E. Scalera (Georgia Southern University) and Mary K. Meyer McAleese (Eckerd College). Other notable events included a visit to the memorable National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the James F. Rinehart Memorial Panel on Political Violence, and the Joseph M. Scolnick Memorial Roundtable on the Challenges of U.S. Foreign Policy.

Deepest appreciation goes to the Office of the President, the Departments of International Studies, History, Political Science, Business and Economics, and the Programs of Political Economy, Asian Studies, Environmental Studies and Sciences, and Latin American and Latinx Studies at Rhodes College and The Women’s Caucus Mentoring Town Hall for their generous financial support. Special thanks are given to ISA headquarters leadership and staff for their assistance and more importantly the Rhodes student volunteers who made everything work so much better

As is tradition, the ISA-South conference moves each year within the Southern Region. The 2019 conference was in Memphis, TN. The 2020 conference will be in Atlanta, GA hosted by Kirsten Taylor of Berry College on October 8-10, 2020. We will be joined for the first time by the ISA Innovative Pedagogy Conference. Both conferences will be linked to make this an exciting and informative three-day event. Members will receive additional details and an invitation to submit proposals in Spring 2020.

- Nikolaos Zahariadis , ISA-South Region President, 2020

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