A team led by INSCT Director of Research/Research Assistant Professor Corri Zoli and INSCT Faculty Member, SU Maxwell School Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, and Professor of International Relations Robert Rubinstein has secured a grant from the Maxwell Citizenship Initiative to support the project “Citizenship, Military Service, and Perspectivism.”

The team—which also will be led by Department of Anthropology Chair John Burdick and Anthroplogy Professor Susan Snow Wadley (invited)—will organize an interdisciplinary summer reading session for interested faculty and graduate students. It will discuss research questions in the context of a recent, significant anthropological contribution on the subject of military service and citizenship: Ken MacLeish’s Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community (Princeton UP, 2013).

“Ken MacLeish was a recent visitor to the SU Maxwell School, during which he discussed his new work,” says Zoli. “His volume is proving useful to military-related research discussions because it provides a foundation on which to debate qualitative methodologies, culture and citizenship, and perspectivism.”

Zoli says the discussion group will examine the following research questions that arise from MacLeish’s visit and scholarship:

1. Why are contemporary US military servicemembers often considered exemplars of American citizenship?
2. Where do such citizenship assumptions come from? Are they based in norms, ideals (“service to country”), practice, history, institutions, bureaucratic politics, and/or other areas? Are they distinctive to the US?
3. Which social science fields have investigated this link between military service and citizenship, and how do qualitative and ethnographic data collection methods figure into this research? What role do especially recent servicemembers’ perspectives play in this research?

Among the goals that Zoli describes for the project are the strengthening of social science faculty networks for a topic of increasing interdisciplinary interest at SU; networking opportunities for graduate students beyond their immediate disciplines; and a co-authored written report on the research discussion parameters, which will form the basis of a workshop slated for spring 2017.

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