Dissertation to be presented as a film tentatively titled In the Pines

20 February 2015

Written and directed by Noam Osband, 34, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, the 28-minute film was produced on a budget of less than $7,000. Released last year, it has been featured at film festivals and is set to air Friday at 10:30 p.m. on WHYY. In the Pines, is about Mexicans who come to the United States as guest workers to plant trees for reforesting in Arkansas.


Timothy Conkling found a completely different story: A look at China’s patriotic martyrs

19 February 2015

For years the Chinese Communist Party justified persecuting unregistered house churches by labeling them as cults that disdained the government. Conkling’s published dissertation, titled Mobilized Merchants—Patriotic Martyrs: China’s House-Church Protestants and the Politics of Cooperative Resistance, is a careful analysis of the current relationship between the unregistered house church and the government, and gives a fascinating glimpse into a world few have access to. Of the hundreds of house church members he interviewed, “never once was there talk about overthrowing the government,” even if they had issues with certain aspects of the government’s policy. Led by a theology of martyrdom, house churches view persecution as a privilege, and thus do not respond violently against their oppressors.


Dissertations in the news

30 December 2014

As quoted in the Washington Post (30 Dec 2014), -- Based on his PhD dissertation, A Populist Zeitgeist? The Impact of Populism on Parties, Media and the Public in Western Europe (University of Amsterdam, 2013), as well as an article with colleagues Sarah de Lange and Wouter van der Brug, he concludes that mainstream parties in Western Europe have not imitated (right-wing) populist parties in terms of their populism. --