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Meet our new faculty: Elizabeth Bennett

August 19, 2014

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The following Q&A is part of a series created by the college dean’s office to introduce new faculty. Get to know Assistant Professor of International Affairs Elizabeth Bennett, who joins the faculty this fall, in the interview below.

Education: Ph.D. in political science, Brown University; M.A.L.D. in international affairs (focus on political economy), the Fletcher School, Tufts University; B.A. in secondary education, Spanish, and pre-med, Hope College

Research and teaching interests: International political economy, global governance, fair trade, private regulation, consumer activism, inequality

What most excites you about joining the Lewis & Clark community?

The students! I am delighted to be joining a community that is invested in, committed to, and EXCITED ABOUT international affairs, traveling abroad, and sustainability—three of my own passions. (Also, the view of Mount Hood…)

Describe the current trajectory of your scholarly research.

You may have noticed (say, in the grocery store) a growing number of little labels communicating that products are certified as “fairly produced” or “eco-friendly.” I am interested in the international politics behind those labels. Who defines social and environmental justice in international trade? Should we—literally—buy into their standards? I am currently writing about the politics behind the Fairtrade certification system.

What kind of hobbies or special activities do you enjoy outside of work?

Distance running, skiing (of all kinds), surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, backpacking, yoga, travel, and vegetarian cooking.

What were your childhood goals and aspirations?

I desperately wanted to travel to developing countries… but I didn’t even have a passport until my second year of college.

What are you listening to in your car right now?

NPR’s jazz station. I love NPR and jazz, but also the tuner is stuck there. I got lucky on that one.

What was your favorite childhood story?

Anything by Shel Silverstein. Don’t Bump the Glump still cracks me up and The Giving Tree remains a touchstone for how to live and love to the fullest.

International Affairs