The 13 American Studies seniors who are doing honor’s theses this year presented their research proposals this week and seven of the topics are related to U.S. foreign policy. Two of them examine changes in U.S. foreign policy toward Central Asia since 9/11, particular the creation of the Greater Central Asia Partnership. The others look at the imperial roots of the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal, the role of Christianity in mobilizing in U.S. public support for the war on Iraq, the role of the mass media in manufacturing public consent for the war, predicting the next U.S.-led war for natural resources, and how Operation Enduring Freedom helped to boost opium production in Afghanistan (much of which is routed through Bishkek before going to Russia and then Western Europe).
I’m supervising three of those theses and two others, so this job has become more and more like a "old-fashioned" professorship at a liberal arts college, which I had to go all the way to Central Asia to find. Now shitfire, don't that beat all?
Our department office, however, is a liitle cramped by U.S. standards. A full-time office manager, three full-time and five part-time faculty members share a one-room office (about 12' x 12) with three computers, a copy machine, a small print and audio-visual library, a coat rack, some standard office furniture, and a steady stream of students.