REED HOME Gryphon icon
NEWS OF THE COLLEGE
reed magazine logoAutumn 2007

Two Professors Receive Research Support

 

Paul Gronke
Paul Gronke

   

Paul Gronke, professor of political science and director of Reed’s Early Voting Information Center (EVIC), will continue his examination of U.S. voting behavior with two contracts from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The first enables Gronke, an expert on early voting, to expand his research to residual voting—votes by uncounted, unmarked, and overmarked ballots—in a study that aims to capture precinct-level variables, such as time and mode of voting. The Residual Voting Project will be conducted primarily in Florida through September 2008, and may expand to several other states.

A second award funds Gronke as a consultant to Pew’s broader Make Voting Work initiative, which seeks to improve the accuracy, convenience, efficiency, and security of U.S. elections. EVIC will become a subsidiary of Electiononline.org, and assist in updating early voting statistics, releasing information on election reforms, and more. “I’m excited to be drawn into research areas that have an immediate impact on the way we conduct elections in the United States,” Gronke says. “I have met with more elected officials and election administrators in the past three years than I have in my first 20 years in the profession. It’s a bit intimidating, but obviously rewarding, when the Senate Rules Committee calls you up for your opinion on legislation being considered by Congress.”

A member of the Reed faculty since 2001, Gronke earned a B.A. from the University of Chicago, an M.A. from the University of Essex, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He is the author of The Electorate, The Campaign, and the Vote (Michigan, 2000).

Benjamin Lazier, assistant professor of history and humanities, is spending the 2007–08 academic year at Stanford University on a $55,000 fellowship from the Stanford Humanities Center. His research explores humankind’s relationship to nature: specifically, the 20th-century revival of the ancient notion that natural organisms are endowed with will, autonomy, and purpose.

Lazier notes that anxieties about the eclipse of the natural world by the human-made world, of earth by artifact, pressed 20th-century thinkers to reimagine natural objects as subjects, as agents that act upon human beings. Lazier’s project examines this reaction to modernity in arguments about law, philosophy, politics, and biotechnology.

The Stanford Humanities Center awards approximately 30 fellowships each year to scholars who form a collaborative intellectual and social community. “Our only obligations are to pursue our individual research projects and to present our findings to one another,” says Lazier. “It’s a real honor for me.” A scholar of modern European intellectual history, Lazier has taught at Reed since 2005.

 

reed magazine logoAutumn 2007