Anna Meier Profile picture
PhD candidate @uwpolisci; formerly @START_UMD. Critical IR, "terrorism", whiteness in the US & Germany. Activist w/ @TAA_Madison. Hire me. 🏳️‍🌈 she/her
Ruthie Norris 🆘 Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
10 Sep
I went to an #APSA2020 panel on applying for jobs at teaching-oriented institutions—something many R1 grads want but that R1 faculty aren't always equipped to advise them on. Here's a thread with what I learned: 1/
1. Apps for teaching institutions need to look different from apps at R1s. You need to center teaching in your cover letter & CV—don't bury either. Def. don't put teaching at the end of your cover letter like you might for an R1. 2/
2. Teaching institutions know they are often not R1 applicants' 1st choice. If they *are* your first choice, you need to drive that home. Research the institution & explain why you want to work *there* specifically. 3/
Read 12 tweets
9 Aug
I've been moving furniture & subsisting off of applesauce all day, so join me in my delirium & let's talk about how New Zealand designates terrorist organizations, shall we?

(No really, this tells us a lot about counterterrorism, secrecy, & state power.) 1/
Much like the US, NZ maintains a list of organizations legally designated as "terrorist." It is a criminal activity to provide material support to or try to join these orgs. Unlike the US, NZ views its list as an obligation under UNSC resolutions. 2/
UNSC 1267/1989/2253 oblige member states to take action against al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Taliban, and their affiliates. Worth noting the US designates these entities separately. Other entities that default to UNSC resolutions include the EU and India. 3/
Read 19 tweets
26 Jun
I'm a first-generation graduate student. Here is a thread of things I didn't know when I started my program. 1/
I didn't know that citing your undergraduate thesis was a bad idea and would get you ridiculed in a department workshop. I thought I was signaling experience and skill development. 2/
I didn't know how specialized academia is and that there would be no expectation to take core courses in all subfields of my discipline or to know anything about subfields other than my own. I assumed the opposite in a seminar discussion & got an "oh honey" look from the prof. 3/
Read 12 tweets
6 Apr
This is less significant than it might appear. Here’s why. 1/…
First, some outlets are reporting the designation of the Russian Imperial Movement, misleadingly, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation. This is incorrect. It’s a Specially Designated Global Terrorist designation. These are different mechanisms. 2/
An FTO designation is a State Dept category applied to orgs that operate transnationally. It criminalizes providing support to that org, including joining the org. ISIS, al-Qaeda, etc. are designated FTOs. 3/
Read 14 tweets
4 Apr
Many grad student TAs are doing a ton of extra, uncompensated work right now to keep courses afloat, often with minimal institutional support.

They’re also doing a ridiculous amount of emotional labor. I’ll explain. 1/
In a 300-person lecture class, the prof isn’t the 1st point of contact for a student going through a crisis. It’s the TA. Every semester, TAs are the 1st ones to hear about personal hardships, lost jobs, Title IX cases, health emergencies, and so on. 2/
Even in a smaller class w/ a TA, students interact with their TA more than with their professor. Their TA knows their names. Their TA knows how they’re performing. Their TA is the first to spot warning signs that something’s off. 3/
Read 17 tweets
20 Feb
It is 10:38 PM CST on Wednesday, Feb. 19, not even an hour after Elizabeth Warren dominated the Democratic debate, so here is a thread of the current homepages of a number of major U.S. newspapers. 1/
.@washingtonpost mentions some of Warren's comments, though not those about sexism, racial justice, and environmental justice. The coverage centers around Bloomberg and Sanders.

It's not going to get better from here, folx. 2/
@washingtonpost This is from @nytimes. The focus? Bloomberg. Warren is mentioned relative to her speaking time, but the substance of what she said doesn't seem to merit a headline. 3/
Read 9 tweets
2 Nov 19
English-language outlets are reporting that the city of Dresden has declared a "Nazi emergency". I'd like to break down what that actually means (thread). 1/…
First, as shown in the actual text, the motion is not for an explicit declaration of a "Nazinotstand" (public emergency; think about this like declaring climate change a national/global emergency), but rather to debate whether that term is appropriate. 2/
This is important. As Max Aschenbach, the councilor who proposed the motion, explained, "I also wanted to know what kind of people I'm sitting with in the city council of Dresden." This was symbolic, & yet clear lines were drawn. 3/
Read 8 tweets
1 Sep 19
My presentation at #APSA19 was the 1st time I presented my work on white supremacy publicly. I got several Qs as to whether we really need white supremacy to explain variation in responses to terrorism. Here's why I insist on using the term. 1/
1. White supremacy is more than skin color. It's a system of institutions and practices so deeply embedded in our society that we're trained not to look for it if we're white. It is a system that privileges not only skin color, but also behaviors... 2/
...that we've decided are associated with skin color. POC who behave "like whites" receive more favorable treatment in school, from HR departments, & while walking down the street. Whiteness is a culture, not just physical appearance. 3/
Read 11 tweets
19 Apr 19
This week, someone in my department said that if an applicant to our program didn't do undergrad research, they're not getting in, & I just want to make sure people know how fundamentally this statement misunderstands what college is like for many students. 1/
First, there's an assumption here that undergrads have the *opportunity* to do research in the first place. This is likely less true at state schools, small schools, & cash-strapped schools than it is at Ivies, R1s, & small liberal arts colleges. 2/
Second, even if undergrads have the opportunity to do research, they may not have the means. Research is time-consuming—time that might need to be spent working, supporting family, etc. Or they might not be made aware of the opportunity or think it's for them. 3/
Read 9 tweets
17 Apr 19
Things I have had to explain to people who have power over me about how grad student stipends work: a thread. 1/
No, a $1,000 grant that can't be used for rent or food will not cover my living expenses for the three months of summer when I don't get paid. 2/
Yes, it is in fact difficult/impossible to save three months of living expenses on a $17,000 stipend. 3/
Read 7 tweets
10 Sep 18
Today is my favorite day of the semester, because it's the first discussion section meeting for the course on terrorism that I TA, and we get to talk about definitions!
Definitions sound very boring, true, and as such a poor way to get students excited about the class. But the definition of terrorism is a different matter.
I start by showing them Title 22 of the U.S. Code, which is the official legal definition of terrorism in the U.S. It's pretty boilerplate. Then I show them the DoD definition...which is different.
Read 10 tweets
9 Sep 18
Censorship based on the State Department's FTO list is a bad idea. Thoughts incoming.…
The FTO list is and always has been incredibly politicized. ISIS and AQ are on the list, but so are numerous revolutionary & insurgent groups. Devoting scarce resources to censoring those groups' info seems inefficient; they're no threat to U.S. homeland security.
More importantly, though, the FTO list is explicitly the *foreign* organizations list. There are no legal mechanisms in place for blanket domestic designation as a terrorist group. Why is a longer discussion; regardless, creates an imbalance.
Read 4 tweets
29 Aug 18
The #MeTooPoliSci short course today at #APSA2018 was educational, emotional, and empowering. A smattering of things I learned and practices we can all implement: (thread)
1. Title IX leaves a lot of room for interpretation & many universities have different policies regarding things like mandatory reporting. Find out if you're a mandatory reporter, and if you are, put it in your syllabus/discuss on syllabus day.
2. Find out which hospitals in your area have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE nurses) who are specially trained to do rape kits so you have that information if a student needs it.
Read 17 tweets
26 Aug 18
Baghdadi's speech is yet another reminder that thinking about IS as a singular, incomparable group isn't a productive analytic or policy strategy. (thoughts incoming)…
Like Al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram, territorial defeats haven't decimated IS—it's just shifted the balance of its strategy in the Middle East away from governance and toward insurgency.
And, as pointed out here, Baghdadi's description of the relative value of attacks in the West vs. in the Middle East echoes the IRA's valuing of attacks in Britain vs. Northern Ireland. Strategies and rhetoric are mobile from context to context.
Read 4 tweets
6 Aug 18
Why I don't ban laptops: a thread (1/n)
My goal on the first day of class is to establish reciprocity. Here's what I expect from you; here's what you can expect from me. Here's how we'll learn from each other.
The foundation of that reciprocity is trust. And so I tell my students that they are adults and can use whatever method of taking notes and referencing readings works best for them. I trust them to pay attention regardless.
Read 9 tweets
1 Aug 18
The #GTD2017 data is out! Some big-picture takeaways from @START_UMD's overview of the data:…
1. Even though the overall number of terrorist attacks globally seems to be declining, this has to be considered in context. Annual terrorist violence prior to 9/11 was less than one-third of what it is now.
(We might chalk some of this up to better data collection post-2012, but a trend of this magnitude is not a methodological artifact.)
Read 8 tweets
30 Jul 18
I could scream "Camp Bucca" into the void again, or I could point you to work on prisons in Europe also serving as centers for radicalization. Let's do the latter (quick thread).…
Farhad Khosrokhavar has been researching radicalization in French prison for years. He finds that since the start of the 21st century, recruiters in prisons have gotten better at evading detection. ……
Trujillo et al. study 25 Spanish prisons and find that high concentrations of jihadist prisoners create favorable environments for further radicalization. ……
Read 4 tweets
22 Jul 18
My first job was at a library. Let me tell you about a few things libraries do that Amazon wouldn't: (thread)
1. Provide summer camps, book clubs, computer classes, and talks to the community, all free of charge.
2. Provide free internet access and cheap printing to those who might otherwise not have these things (and of course, thousands and thousands of books, instruction manuals, CDs, DVDs, dictionaries, and other resources, all free).
Read 5 tweets
14 Jul 18
There's a lot to take away from this fascinating story on foreign fighters with the YPG in Rojava (northern Syria). Thoughts incoming. (1/?)…
1. Foreign fighters are consequential. The "Antifa Platoon", along with Arab SDF fighters, turned out to be instrumental in turning the tide against the Islamic State in Raqqa. FFs are a diverse group with diverse skills that contribute in a variety of ways in-theater.
2. Ideology is not only the purview of terrorists. Much like in the Spanish Civil War, foreign fighters with the YPG are often leftist-Marxist revolutionaries drawn to the Kurdish independence movement.
Read 5 tweets
4 Jul 18
This oversimplifies some things and exaggerates others (quick thread, speaking as a longtime observer of German politics, not a migration or EU scholar):
1. Germany is not in sync with Hungary. Seehofer is anti-immigrant, but he is not Orban. Get back to me when Germany criminalizes NGOs aiding asylum-seekers.…
2. The AfD concern is real—and downplayed. Much like the Five Star Movement in Italy, its continued presence in politics, even if not in the legislature, says a lot about popular sentiment—essential in democracies and quasi-democracies and missing from this story.
Read 11 tweets
28 Jun 18
We need to have a serious conversation about what violent attacks on the media mean in a democracy. (1/?)
I'll start off with a couple of stories from my time as a student journalist, which may seem entirely different from what happened in Annapolis (and they are), but they're not unrelated. Misunderstanding and hatred of the media have deep roots in this country.
A reporter of mine wrote a story about drug activity at a fraternity. He was later verbally threatened by some of the fraternity's members at a party.
Read 9 tweets