The Aronson Center for International Studies kicked off its fall Aronson Center Speaker Series on Sept. 22 featuring new faculty member Glory Liu. During the event, Liu spoke about her academic background as well as her position as assistant director for the newly created Center for Economy and Society (CES).
Liu began by describing her background, including receiving her doctorate in political science from Stanford University in 2018. Last year, she published her first book, Adam Smith’s America: How a Scottish Philosopher Became an Icon of American Capitalism, which focuses on Smith’s influence on different aspects of American identity since the 18th century.
Liu is currently working on two new projects. One of them is a course on Asian American political thought. The course weaves together Liu’s personal interest in how Asian Americans fit into American politics and her academic interest in developing different perspectives of American political thought.
”I was always very interested as to why there was this subtle erasure or at least neglect of what was happening in Asian American politics beyond political behavior,” she said.
Liu then introduced the CES, which aims to bring together the subject areas of politics, economics and international studies to provide students with new majors, minors and research opportunities.
Her second project takes place at the CES and is on feminist political economy. Economic discussions tend to forget the economic contribution of women within the household, so Liu wants to examine the home and family during the industrial late 19th and early 20th centuries.
”How do we make dual income families work when both the mom and dad have to earn enough in order to take care of the children, but the burden still falls on the mom? How do we re-envision the political economy of a family?” she inquired.
These are just some of the questions that Liu asks for her research.
In an interview with The News-Letter, Liu spoke about the new undergraduate major Moral and Political Economy, which will be introduced to Hopkins next year.
“[The Moral and Political Economy major] seeks to introduce students to the thematically driven approach to some of the biggest questions in social, political and economic thought today,” she said. “It's really meant to give students a strong and rigorous introduction to theoretical texts in the sophomore year.”
Liu emphasized the multidisciplinary approach of this major, as students will have the freedom to choose their own focus area and topics of interest.
“Students will be designing their own focuses oriented around a specific theme or problem, [like] industrialization in Southeast Asia or democratic backsliding in Eastern Europe,“ she said. “Students will be asked to take courses that relate to that theme but across different social science disciplines and our cognate fields such as political science, history and economics.”
In addition to the Moral and Political Economy major, the CES will introduce a Civic Life minor as well as several new courses, including an East Asian Studies class taught by Liu.
In an interview with The News-Letter, Sydney van Morgan, program director for International Studies and one of the main administrators of the Aronson Center Speaker Series, encouraged students within the International Studies Program to take advantage of these new opportunities. She also conveyed her ongoing partnership with the CES.
“I want to emphasize that anyone majoring in International Studies will be able to double major in the new major that they're developing in Moral and Political Economy. We're also really excited to see our students minoring in the new Agora minor Civic Life,” she said. “We're going to be working together, and I've already had a couple conversations with the directors about the new center. I was very excited to be partnering with them.”
Senior Daniel Quezada, an International Studies major, felt that he learned a lot about Professor Liu’s focus area. In an email to The News-Letter, he expressed his appreciation for how she engaged with students interested in her new courses.
“I feel that I learned a lot about Professor Liu's research into the importance of figures like Adam Smith as scions of capitalist market economics, in spite of the deeper nuances of Smith's thinking as a moral philosopher rather than an archetypical economist,” he wrote.
As an International Studies major, Quezada finds the Aronson Speaker Series to be a valuable opportunity to meet with professors in his field.
“I feel it is incredibly important to familiarize myself with the research and academic interests of my professors, and these events provide the perfect fora for doing so,“ he said.
The theme for the speaker series this semester is “Faculty Globetrotters,” which focuses on the new faculty on the Homewood Campus. Past themes have included emerging global threats and climate change.
Van Morgan expands upon the reasons why Liu fits into the theme of Faculty Globetrotters.
“One of the faculty that we really wanted to have as part of the series was Professor Liu, given the topics that she covers in her involvement with the new Center for Economy and Society,” she said. “I think we have a lot of students that are going to be really interested in what she has to say.”