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Christopher Gelpi, currently a professor of political science at Duke University, has been named the new Chair of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. He begins the position in January 2013.

The Chair in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution enables The Ohio State University to pursue in-depth studies of nonviolent resolutions to conflict as well as other peace-related issues. It is a joint appointment between the Department of Political Science and the Mershon Center.

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Eight Ohio State faculty members including five affiliates of the Mershon Center, have received a $175,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to organize a John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures. Mershon affiliates who collaborated on the grant are Theodora Dragostinova (History), Yana Hashamova (Slavic Studies), Pranav Jani (English), Scott Levi (History), and Mytheli Sreenivas (History). Others include Brian Joseph (Linguistics, Slavic), Jessie Labov (Slavic), and Andrea Sims (Slavic).

The grant collaborators will organize a year-long series of events in 2013-2014 focusing on the intersection of language, politics, and human expression in two geopolitically key regions of the world – the Balkans and South Asia. The unique yet similar interplay of language, nationalism, ideology, and religion with literature, film, and other forms of expression within each of these regions compels a comparative approach. The juxtaposition of the Balkans and South Asia will offer academics and policy-makers a transnational perspective on the relationships between culture and politics.

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"Corporal David C. Greene came ashore on Iwo Jima in a Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel, or LCVP on 19 February 1945," writes Caitlin Bentley. "Today, Greene, along with three Navy and seven other Marine veterans, returned for the first time in 67 years. On an island only four miles in diameter, nearly 28,000 out of the 72,000 American soldiers committed were killed or wounded during 36 days of combat."

Bentley was one of eight Ohio State students selected for History 698.02, The Veteran Experience in the Pacific War, 1944-45. The study tour, organized by Mershon affiliates Peter Mansoor and Peter Hahn, paired each student with a veteran from World War II combat in the Pacific.

The Mershon Center co-sponsored the event, contributing $500 in travel costs for each student.

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Parker

Geoffrey Parker, Distinguished University Professor, Andreas Dorpalen Professor of History, and affiliate of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, has been awarded the highly coveted Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for History 2012 by the 200-year old Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The prize is given biennially to recognize international scholars and scientists in five different fields who exemplify the highest levels of accomplishment in their areas. Recipients receive a $150,000 cash award at a special ceremony in Amsterdam. Although several of the past Heineken History Prize winners teach at American universities, Parker is the first Ohio State historian to be selected.

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