Gist from the Mill
In this issue you will read about Staci Bilbo’s (Psychology and Neuroscience and Arts and Sciences) research into how a mother’s touch protects against later drug use. Her ongoing research goal is to understand the role of the immune system in brain activity and behavior. She is especially interested in the role of innate CNS immune cells, in particular microglia and astrocytes, and their inflammatory products such as cytokines and chemokines, on cognitive processes in rats. Recently, Bilbo received the Frank Beach award in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.
Read about how Paula McClain (African and African American Studies and Political Science), Kerry Haynie (African and African American Studies and Political Science) and visiting faculty Ralph Lawrence (REGSS) have contributed to the interdisciplinary nature of the study of race, ethnicity and politics. McClain’s book, American Government in Black and White, was selected by the Race, Ethnicity and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association as the best textbook on topics of race, ethnicity and politics in 2010.
Terrie Moffitt (Duke Psychology & Neuroscience and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) continues her research on the interplay between nature and nurture in the origins of problem behaviors. In her latest research publication, “A prospective longitudinal study of children’s theory of mind and adolescent involvement in bullying,” Moffitt finds that children who are bullied become more anxious and depressed. In turn, these changes prime children for negative outcomes. A strength of the study was a focus on twins where one was bullied and one was not. This quasiexperiment and the longitudinal examination of these children selected to be broadly representative of different socioeconomic groups makes Moffitt’s work the strongest and most credible on this important topic.
This issue also reports on Women Studies’ exciting research initiative “The Future of the Feminist 70s” that will be displayed throughout the year with a variety of events, projects and courses. The initiative seeks to understand how some of the major interventions of the 1970s, for example, feminist art and film practices, Marxist and radical feminism, eco-feminism, lesbian separatism, human and civil rights discourse, cold war divisions and nonaligned movements, and postcolonial internationalism, continue to have an impact on feminist thought, offer important interventions into contemporary questions or map the futures of feminism.