OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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International Film Festival shows in Corvallis Oct. 14-20

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The fifth International Film Festival, showcasing a diverse array of movies from international cultures, will be held Oct. 14-20 in Corvallis.

The International Film Festival is organized by Oregon State University’s School of Language, Culture, and Society. Admission is free and open to the public. All screenings are held at the Darkside Cinema, 215 S.W. 4th St. in Corvallis.

OSU faculty member Sebastian Heiduschke strongly encourages patrons to arrive early to get tickets. Reservations are not available. Tickets are available 15 minutes before show times.

The full program can be viewed at: http://oregonstate.edu/cla/slcs/sites/default/files/iffprogram3.pdf

Here is the schedule of film screenings:

Monday, Oct. 14

  • 5 p.m.: “Blancanieves,” Spain, 2012. Set in southern Spain in 1920s, “Blancanieves” is a Spanish twist on the story of Snow White. It was also Spain’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
  • 7 p.m.: “Rentaneko” Japan, 2012. Translated to “Rent-A-Cat,” this drama tells the story of a young lonely woman who only has her cats left, until a man from her past comes back.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

  • 5 p.m.: “Beijing Flickers,” China, 2012. A young man experiences moments of euphoria amid despair as he roams Beijing with other misfit dreamers in this darkly funny portrait of disaffected youth.
  • 7 p.m.: “Parada,” or “The Parade,” Serbia, 2012. Inspired by true events, this comedy features a Serbian crime boss who recruits his war buddies to provide protection for a gay pride march.

Wednesday, Oct. 16

  • 5 p.m.: “Le Repenti” or (The Repentant), Algeria/France, 2012. As Islamist groups continue to spread terror, Rashid, a young Jihadist, leaves the mountains to return to his village.
  • 7 p.m.: “Children of the Wall,” United States, 2012. This documentary chronicles the cultural changes that have happened since the Berlin Wall fell 21 years ago. Director Eric Swartz and producer Sarah Bolton will be in attendance.

Thursday, Oct. 17

  • 5 p.m.: “Aquí y Allá,” or “Here and There,” Mexico, 2012. Pedro returns home to a small mountain village in Guerrero, Mexico, after years of working in the U.S., and struggles to follow his dreams.
  • 7 p.m.: “Oh Boy!” Germany, 2012. This deadpan comedy follows 20-something Niko as he meanders through modern Berlin with no money, no prospects and no girlfriend.

Friday, Oct. 18

  • 4:30 p.m.: “Shyamal Uncle Turns off the Lights,” India, 2012. An 80-year-old retiree is determined to get the streetlights turned off after sunrise, but he must battle against bureaucracy.
  • 6 p.m.: “Cairo 678” Egypt, 2011. Three Cairo women from different backgrounds warily unite to combat the sexual harassment that has affected each of their lives.
  • 8 p.m.: “Life Kills Me,” Chile, 2007. This comedy is about an unlikely friendship between a grieving cinematographer and a morbidly obsessed drifter.

Saturday, Oct. 19

  • Noon: “Student,” Kazakhstan, 2012. This contemporary adaptation of Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” follows a solitary philosophy student against the backdrop of modern Kazakhstan.
  • 2 p.m.: “Sudoeste” or (Southwest), Brazil, 2012. A young woman gives birth on her deathbed to a child who lives her lifetime in a single day, in this hauntingly dreamlike tale of incommensurable life.
  • 4:15 p.m.: “Darbare 111 Dokhtar,” or “About 111 Girls,” Iraq, 2012. An Iranian state official, his driver and a young guide race to stop 111 young Kurdish women from committing suicide in protest.
  • 6:15 p.m.: “Ludwig II,” Germany/Austria, 2012. This epic drama tells the life story of Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, one of the most fascinating monarchs of modern times.

Sunday, Oct. 20

  • 2 p.m.: “Wickie auf grosser Fahrt,” or “Vicky and the Treasure of the Gods,” Germany, 2011. A Viking tot is abducted in this comedy of misadventure and magic.
  • 4 p.m.: “El Fantastico mundo de Juan Orol,” Mexico, 2012. The true story of Mexico’s half-forgotten B-movie master, “involuntary surrealist,” Juan Orol.
  • 6 p.m.: “Paziraie Sadeh,” or “Modest Reception,” Iran, 2012. Two siblings from Tehran travel the mountainous northern countryside, pushing money on locals—a hilarious exercise with themes of power and corruption.
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Sebastian Heiduschke, 541-737-3957

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Tobias Wolff named recipient of biennial Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Acclaimed author Tobias Wolff is the second winner of Oregon State University’s Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement.

The biennial award is given to a major American author who has created a body of critically acclaimed work and who has — in the tradition of creative writing at OSU — mentored young writers.

Wolff is best known for his work in two genres: the short story and the memoir. His first short story collection, “In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,” was published in 1981. Wolff chronicled his early life in two memoirs, “In Pharaoh’s Army” (1994) and “This Boy’s Life” (1989), which was turned into a 1993 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

In addition to four short story collections, Wolff is the author of the 2003 novel, “Old School.”

In 1989, Wolff was chosen as recipient of the Rea Award for Excellence in the Short Story. He also has been awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Fairfax Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, the PEN/Malamud Award for Achievement in the Short Story, and the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Wolff is the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor in the Humanities at Stanford.

Wolff will be presented with the Stone Award at the Portland Art Museum on May 21, and will visit the Oregon State campus in Corvallis on May 22 to give a public reading. In the spring, OSU Master of Fine Arts program students will lead “Everybody Reads” programs featuring a selected book by Wolff, with events at libraries, book clubs and independent bookstores.

The $20,000 Stone Award — one of the largest prizes of its kind given by an American university — was established in 2011 by a gift from Patrick Stone, a 1974 graduate from OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, and his wife, Vicki. In 2012, the inaugural recipient was Joyce Carol Oates. The Stones established the prize to spotlight Oregon State’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, ranked among the top 25 MFA programs in 2012 by Poets & Writers magazine.

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Karen Holmberg, 541-737-1661

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Tobias Wolff

Auditions for sign language-interpreted play held Oct. 9-10

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auditions are set for Wednesday, Oct. 9, and Thursday, Oct. 10, for the Oregon State University Theatre’s production of “The King of Spain's Daughter.”

Auditions will begin at 7 p.m. at the Withycombe Hall lab theater on the OSU campus. The play will be presented Dec. 5-7.

“The King of Spain’s Daughter,” a one act comedy by Teresa Deevy, will be an unusual presentation. The production will be “shadowed” by interpreters using American Sign Language. For every speaking actor there will be an interpreting actor in costume.

The cast includes parts for a female lead and two male actors. All OSU students and members of the community are welcome to audition.

For more information contact the director, Charlotte Headrick, at cheadrick@oregonstate.edu

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Auditions for OSU Theatre’s fall play held Oct. 7-8

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auditions are set for Monday, Oct. 7, and Tuesday, Oct. 8, for the Oregon State University Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s play “After the Fall.”

Auditions will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Withycombe Hall main stage theater on the OSU campus. Rehearsals will start Oct. 15 and run Sundays through Thursdays. The play opens Nov. 14.

Miller’s highly personal and controversial 1964 “memory play” explores the nature of family, guilt, regret, and love. Set against a backdrop of American history ranging from World War I to the early 1960s, this tragic play is Miller’s fictionalized account of his own experiences, including his devastating marriage to Marilyn Monroe.

The cast includes parts for five males and six females. All OSU students and members of the community are welcome to audition. Scripts are available to check out in Withycombe Hall Room 141.

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New director named for OSU’s Center for Latino/Latina Studies and Engagement

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Sociologist and immigration scholar Ronald Mize has been named the new director of Oregon State University’s Center for Latino/Latina Studies and Engagement (CL@SE).

Mize, formerly with Humboldt State University and Cornell University, conducts research focusing on the history of Mexican immigration to the United States, and how understanding immigration patterns are critical to often-contentious discussions on the subject.

Susana Rivera-Mills, associate dean in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, said that Mize is poised to carry on the dual mission of the center: to engage in research necessary to understand the social issues that Latinos in the region face, as well as work with community partners to create solutions.

"I'm thrilled to have Ron as the new CL@SE director,” Rivera-Mills said. “Not only are his skills and experience as a researcher an asset for the center, but he shares the vision, passion, and commitment to serving Latino communities and advancing community engagement with OSU.”

Mize will also serve as an associate professor in the School of Language, Culture and Society.

“My hope is that we solidify our connections with the Latino community in Oregon, and solidify Latino studies as an area of scholarly inquiry at Oregon State,” Mize said. “It’s mutually beneficial that we know our stakeholders better, and that the stakeholders look to us as a place where knowledge is created, validated, disseminated and relevant.”

In the past year, CL@SE has created partnerships with Casa Latinos of Benton County; PCUN, Oregon’s Farmworker Union in Woodburn; its sister organization, the CAPACES Leadership Institute; and Centro Latino Americano in Eugene.

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Susana Rivera-Mills, 541-737-4586

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Ron Mize

Winter depression not as common as many think, OSU research shows

The study this article is based on can be found at: http://hdl.handle.net/1957/41955.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – New research suggests that getting depressed when it’s cold and dreary outside may not be as common as is often believed.

In a study recently published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers found that neither time of year nor weather conditions influenced depressive symptoms. However, lead author David Kerr of Oregon State University said this study does not negate the existence of clinically diagnosed seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, but instead shows that people may be overestimating the impact that seasons have on depression in the general population.

“It is clear from prior research that SAD exists,” Kerr said. “But our research suggests that what we often think of as the winter blues does not affect people nearly as much as we may think.”

Kerr, who is an assistant professor in the School of Psychological Science at OSU, said the majority of studies of seasonal depression ask people to look back on their feelings over time.

“People are really good at remembering certain events and information,” he said. “But, unfortunately, we probably can’t accurately recall the timing of day-to-day emotions and symptoms across decades of our lives. These research methods are a problem.”

So Kerr and his colleagues tried a different approach. They analyzed data from a sample of 556 community participants in Iowa and 206 people in western Oregon. Participants completed self-report measures of depressive symptoms multiple times over a period of years. These data were then compared with local weather conditions, including sunlight intensity, during the time participants filled out the reports.

In one study, some 92 percent of Americans reported seasonal changes in mood and behavior, and 27% reported such changes were a problem. Yet the study suggests that people may be overestimating the impact of wintery skies.

“We found a very small effect during the winter months, but it was much more modest than would be expected if seasonal depression were as common as many people think it is,” said Columbia University researcher Jeff Shaman, a study co-author and a former OSU faculty member. “We were surprised. With a sample of nearly 800 people and very precise measures of the weather, we expected to see a larger effect.”

Kerr believes the public may have overestimated the power of the winter blues for a few reasons. These may include awareness of SAD, the high prevalence of depression in general, and a legitimate dislike of winter weather.

“We may not have as much fun, we can feel cooped up and we may be less active in the winter,” Kerr said. “But that’s not the same as long-lasting sadness, hopelessness, and problems with appetite and sleep – real signs of a clinical depression.”

According to Kerr, people who believe they have SAD should get help. He said clinical trials show cognitive behavior therapy, antidepressant medication, and light box therapy all can help relieve both depression and SAD.

“Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for depression, whether or not it is seasonal,” he said. “Cognitive behavior therapy stands out because it has been shown to keep SAD from returning the next year.”

Kerr is an expert on the development of depression and risky behavior in youth in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. He received a 2010 New Investigator Award from the Oregon Health and Science University Medical Research Foundation to conduct this research, which is building upon two ongoing studies that have been funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers from OSU, Columbia University, the Oregon Social Learning Center, Iowa State University and the University of California, Davis contributed to this study.

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David Kerr, 541-737-1364

Hospice workers struggle on front lines of physician-assisted death laws

The study this story is based on is available in ScholarsArchive@OSU: http://bit.ly/130Fqi3

 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Laws that allow physician-assisted death in the Pacific Northwest have provisions to protect the rights of patients, doctors and even the state, but don’t consider the professionals most often on the front lines of this divisive issue – hospice workers who provide end-of-life care.

The existing system, a new analysis concludes, has evolved into a multitude of different and contradictory perspectives among hospice organizations and workers, who historically have opposed physician-assisted death but now are the professionals taking care of most of the people who use it.

The study – titled “Dignity, Death and Dilemmas” - was just published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management by researchers from Oregon State University, and outlines a complex system in which many well-intentioned caregivers struggle to organize their thoughts, beliefs and actions when dealing with a concept they traditionally oppose. It was based on an analysis of 33 hospice programs in Washington state.

When first proposed, it was feared by some that physician-assisted death might displace the palliative and supportive care offered by hospice. Now, in practice, between 85-95 percent of the people in Oregon and Washington who choose assisted death also use hospice – but the interplay they have with their caregivers can vary widely.

“It might seem a little surprising that most people who use physician-assisted death also use hospice,” said Courtney Campbell, the Hundere Professor in Religion and Culture in the OSU School of History, Philosophy and Religion. “Some hospice workers were originally concerned this concept would make them unnecessary, but in fact the level of hospice usage has actually increased.”

Hospice is a national program in which trained professionals provide care to terminally ill patients, ensuring they get proper medical care, adequate pain control, are involved in decision-making and have other needs met in a home environment. They work with both the patient and family to help make death a natural and accepted part of life.

However, hastening or actually causing death is not an accepted part of the hospice philosophy, even though hospice programs acknowledge the right of patients to make that choice where it’s allowed by law. But balancing core beliefs, such as compassion and non-abandonment of a patient, with the new laws has been difficult at best for hospice professionals, Campbell said.

“About 75 percent of hospice organizations will not allow their workers to even be present when a fatal dose of medication is used,” Campbell said.

The reaction in hospice to physician-assisted death varies from one national organization to another, from one agency to another, from one worker to another. There is little consistency to many complex questions about how, whether, and when hospice workers will get involved as individuals they care for make this choice. Approaches can range from outright opposition to non-participation or non-interference.

In recent years it’s become even more difficult as assisted-death has become politicized, Campbell said. Even the words used in describing the serious issues involved are emotionally-charged and inherently contentious, the researchers noted in their report, making reference to legislation that embraced “ending life in a humane and dignified manner” while working its way around such topics as “suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing and homicide.”

Somewhat caught in the middle, and caring for the people who are affected by those laws, are the hospice workers with marginal guidance and conflicted reactions, researchers said.

“The conventional approach to the question of legalized physician-assisted death . . . has missed the issue of how the requirements of a new law are carried out by the primary caregiving institution, hospice care,” the researchers wrote in their report.

The OSU research offered no simple solutions to this issue, but rather outlined a broad list of questions that could form the basis for more informed discussions – either among hospice providers, the organizations they work for or the general public.

These includes such topics as the hospice mission, patient access to information, questions about legal options, how to discuss emotional or religious factors, response to specific patient requests, documentation of conversations, responsibility to the patient’s family, and many other issues.

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Courtney Campbell, 541-737-6196

Fear of deportation not an issue for farmworkers who get care from community health centers

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Migrant workers are more likely to receive medical care from community health centers in partnership with faith-based organizations, a new study shows, because fear of deportation is lower than they might face at other medical facilities.

The study was recently published online in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

Daniel López-Cevallos, associate director of research at Oregon State University’s Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement, said this research points to the importance of health services being administered to migrant farmworkers by trusted institutions.

López-Cevallos, who is lead author of this study, is an expert on migrant farmworker health and has worked in public health projects with rural, indigenous, and low-income communities in Ecuador, and with Latino immigrants in Oregon.

“It has been assumed in most of the literature that fear of deportation is associated with use of health services, across the board,” he said. “There is a strong belief by many workers that they don’t want to touch the system because it might hurt their chances of someday becoming documented or jeopardize their children’s well-being.”

However, that fear wasn’t a factor with Oregon migrant workers in this study. The researchers interviewed 179 Mexican-origin indigenous and mestizo farmworkers who attended a community health center in the northern Willamette Valley. While the majority of workers – 87 percent – said they were afraid of deportation, this fear was not tied to their use of medical or dental care.

“So this fear of deportation exists, but in this particular community, it was not associated with use of medical services,” López-Cevallos said.

The researchers found two important factors influencing use of medical services – these workers were being served by a trusted community health organization that has served the area for decades, and those who attended a local church were more likely to use dental care.

“Some churches provide support to migrant farmworkers, which may include connecting them with needed dental care,” he said. “So we see that when services are offered by trusted institutions, such as a community health center or a faith-based organization, it can make all the difference.”

Despite the relative confidence migrant workers expressed about community health centers and churches, only 37 percent of the farmworkers surveyed had used medical care in the previous year, a number similar to national statistics on migrant workers. López-Cevallos believes many workers fear losing their jobs if they take time to see a doctor, and most don’t have health insurance.

Because of these barriers and others, it’s even more important to make sure safe, adequate health care is available to workers, he said, especially at times and locations that work best with fieldwork schedules.

“Migrant and seasonal farmworkers are an integral part of our food system, creating over $3 billion in economic activity annually, just in Oregon,” López-Cevallos said. “We get the benefit of their labor through our inexpensive food. It is in our best interest as a society to make sure that they, and their children, are healthy and cared for.”

Junghee Lee and William Donlan with Portland State University co-authored this study, which was funded by a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation.

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Daniel López-Cevallos, 541-737-3850

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Harvesting potatoes
Historic photo of Mexican braceros harvesting potatoes on an Oregon farm in the 1940s. Photo courtesy of OSU Special Collections

Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” opens at OSU on Aug. 8

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre’s popular Bard in the Quad series is back for its eighth summer of Shakespearean fare, with this year’s production showcasing the popular farce of mistaken identity and coincidence, “Comedy of Errors.”

Set in a wild, contemporary city inspired by the outlandish worlds depicted in “The Jersey Shore,” “The Sopranos,” and “The Godfather,” performances of “Comedy of Errors” run Aug. 8-11 and 15-18 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Quad on the OSU campus.

“Comedy of Errors” is a witty and physical comedy. As a young man, family patriarch and Syracuse native Aegeon and his beloved wife, Aemelia, bore twin sons and soon after adopt a second pair of twins – each pair of twins bearing the same name. After a series of tragedies, Aegeon is separated from his wife and two of his children. Years later, a series of bizarre coincidences leaves both sets of twins in the city of Ephesus, unknown to them or their family. Comedy occurs as the paths of strangers and friends cross throughout a day of confusion, fights, death threats, sex, love and discovery.

The cast features OSU students Irene Drage as Gallow, Richelle Jean-Bart as Balthazar, Chris Peterman as Dromio of Syracuse, Brittany Potter as Luciana, Sam Thompson as Solinus, Erin Wallerstein as Adriana, Joseph Workman as Antipholus of Syracuse, and Ricky Zipp as Nell. OSU Theatre alumni Arin Dooley (Angelo), Alex Johnston (Dromio of Ephesus), and Tucker Minnick (Courtesan) join the cast along with Corvallis community members Craig Currier (Aegeon), Ariel Ginsburg (Aemelia), and Jonathan Thompson (Antipholus of Ephesus).

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors, and $5 for OSU students. Tickets are available for online purchases now at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre or call the OSU Theatre box office at 541-737-2784.

This is an outdoor performance and no seating is provided. Patrons are encouraged to bring low lawn chairs and/or blankets. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and warm clothing or blankets. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m.

For questions regarding tickets, seating, and other accommodations, contact box office manager Bryanna Rainwater at 541-737-2784.

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Comedy of Errors

More Americans want government to stay out of international affairs

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The number of Americans wanting their government to stay out of international affairs is higher than it has been since the Vietnam War, according to a new analysis.

In an article published this week in Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, Oregon State University historian Christopher McKnight Nichols notes that doubts about American involvement abroad are on the rise, up 10 percent in a decade. He connects current reluctance on the part of many Americans to get involved militarily and politically with foreign nations to a long-standing tradition in U.S. politics.

“Virtually all isolationists in the history of the United States have subscribed to some form of international engagement, whether that is economic, cultural, political or intellectual,” he said. “There is no such thing as a complete isolationist. What we do have is a rich history of Americans who have taken on isolationist or anti-interventionist beliefs at different times, and helped transform or influence the political system and policy.”

Nichols, an assistant professor in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at OSU, is an expert on isolationism, internationalism, and the history of U.S. roles in the world and military interventions abroad.

In his article, he links the “heyday” of American isolationism of the 1920s and 1930s to current events, including polls showing nearly 70 percent of Americans reject further U.S. efforts to intervene or to promote democracy abroad.

Nichols also wants to take back the term “isolationist” from its common stereotype of a conservative mindset that wants to wall off from the outside world. Famous figures, ranging from peace activist Jane Addams and racial reformer W.E.B. Du Bois to writer Mark Twain and former U.S. Sen. William Borah, a nationalist who opposed the League of Nations, have all favored anti-war and anti-imperialistic isolationist policies.

“They say politics makes strange bedfellows, and we can certainly trace this with the isolationist movement, which tended to attract people on both the far left and far right,” Nichols said. “Today we see that same sort of tendency with some young anti-war activists supporting someone like Ron Paul.”

Most of these type of isolationist sentiments can be traced to three “policy pillars” – expressed by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe – in laying out the relationship between domestic and foreign commitments, types of diplomatic and military isolation, and debates over foreign policy cautiousness that have had a deep impact on U.S. foreign relations for more than a century.

“These are the touchstones for all foreign policy debate, then and since,” he said. “The key precepts were: no permanent alliances or binding foreign entanglements, peace and honest friendship with all nations, enhancing and protecting international commerce, heralding unilateral action, and asserting U.S. rights to hemispheric defense and a wide sphere of primary U.S. influence abroad.”

Nichols said that isolationism as a strain of thought that informs how American citizens and policymakers evaluate options abroad and sometimes sways policy cannot be overstated. Eight years ago there were far more troops on the ground overseas than today, and he said President Obama has shown a reluctance to put “boots on the ground” in places like Libya and Syria, causing some of his critics to call him a “neo-isolationist.”

“With President Obama, we are back to small-scale, multilateral interventions, more like those that we had in the Clinton era,” Nichols said. “During Clinton’s presidency, the U.S. deployed forces abroad approximately 80 times in foreign humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, but these were mostly conflicts with small troop footprints, or Special Forces, characterized by few American causalities.

“In the wake of the Iraq War, in light of the drawdown in Afghanistan, and given pressing economic and political concerns at home, the U.S. public is increasingly reluctant to sacrifice American lives or to materially support intervention and aid abroad.”

Nichols is the author of “Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age,” which traces the origins of isolationism back to the debates over U.S. imperialism at the end of the 19th century and its continuities over the next-half century.

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