ATLIS previews undergraduate centred conference and journal

The Atlantic International Studies Organization has always put undergraduates first. The organization is undergraduate-run. They fill their annual journal’s pages exclusively with undergraduate work. And on Nov. 2, four undergraduate students studying at Mount Allison University presented three internationally-focused summer research projects, taking up the majority of ATLIS’s mini-conference.

The mini-conference previewed the organization’s plans for the winter semester. These include the release of an undergraduate-written and curated journal, which is now an annual tradition for ATLIS, and a series of undergraduate presentations.

“Our mandate is to promote informed undergraduate participation in international issues through scholarship, and social and political involvement,” said Sharoni Mitra, ATLIS president and fourth-year international relations student.

The undergraduate centred approach extends beyond the research that will be featured in ATLIS’s conference and journal. The entire executive consists of Mount Allison students.

“It’s in its twelfth year,” said Mitra. “It has been student run since its conception.”

ATLIS has already put out eight journals of undergraduate work. The focus of this year’s journal and its surrounding conference is “Rights, Institutions and Truth: Pursuing International Justice.”

“It is one of the few opportunities for undergraduates to get published,” said Mitra. “Most journals tend to be post-doctoral.”

Joanna Quinn, associate professor at the University of Western Ontario, is the keynote speaker for the larger conference in the winter semester. Quinn’s research focuses on transitional justice both abroad and in Canada, which is a major theme of the conference. Transitional justice broadly defined is the judicial and non-judicial processes associated with human rights abuses.

“It’s different than a lot of our past themes,” said Mitra. “Rather than being extremely timely, like Revolutions in the Arab Spring in 2011, this is something that continually does need to be addressed. Transitional Justice is always going to be a question since there is always going to be conflict.”

Revolution was the theme of the 2011 conference.

The call for submissions will come in either November or December. Any ‘high quality’ paper that has been written can be submitted.

The Nov. 2 mini-conference was a taste of ATLIS’s plans for spring.

The three presentations were all given by current undergraduate students. Brynne Langford’s research considered how the inclusion of organizations representing people with disabilities had affected disability policies. She concluded that their involvement was crucial for positive change. Madeleine Kruth’s research investigated the implications of the label “terrorist” and the dehumanizing effects it can have. Kevin Levangie and Dan Marcotte focused on their summer research on Canadian ties to the Spanish Civil War. Starting with a brief history of the civil war itself, the pair’s presentation also concentrated on their research about the literature of the time. (Editor’s note: Levangie and Marcotte are Argosy staff members.)

The conference drew in a crowd of approximately 35 students and professors from a wide variety of disciplines. They filled more than half of the seats in Avard-Dixon 118, despite horrific weather that continued through the day.

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