Biographical Information

Name: Robert A. Saunders, Ph.D.
Title: Professor
University: Farmingdale State College, a campus of the State University of New York (SUNY)
Department: History, Politics, and Geography
Mailing Address: 2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, New York 11735 USA
Office: Memorial Hall, 231
Phone: (631) 420-2721
Email: robert.saunders (at) farmingdale.edu
Twitter: @boratologist

Links to scholarship profiles:

Google Scholar
ORCID
ResearchGate

Affiliations

Curator
Popular Culture and IR Blog, E-International Relations

Steering Committee Member, Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media

Campus Liaison, United Nations Academic Impact

Director, Politics Minor (FSC)

Director, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Minor (FSC)

Member of the European International Studies Association (EISA), Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), American Political Science Association (APSA), and Association of American Geographers (AAG)
Dr. Robert A. Saunders is a Professor in the Department of History, Politics, and Geography at Farmingdale State College-SUNY, having joined the college in 2006. He also served as Chair of the Science, Technology & Science B.S. program from 2012-2015 and Director of International Education and Programs (2015-2016). Prior to joining Farmingdale, he held a one-year appointment at Rutgers University-Newark at the rank of Assistant Professor of Political Science. Dr. Saunders has taught as an adjunct instructor at the American Public University (APU), Wagner College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Monmouth University. He has also held short-term teaching positions in Lithuania, Denmark, and Germany. In the autumn of 2014, he was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, hosted by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures' Leeds Russian Centre.

Dr. Saunders holds a Ph.D. in Global Affairs from Rutgers University, an M.A. in History from the Stony Brook University, and a B.A. in History from the University of Florida. He teaches a wide variety of courses in history, international relations, and geography.

Prior to completing his doctorate at Rutgers University, he held the position of Director at The Eastern Management Group, an international management consultancy specializing in information and communication technologies, where he managed the firm’s public policy division. During his tenure at TEMG, he developed Venture Compass, a proprietary database and tracking system for technology start-ups, focusing on venture capital funding, product offerings, and executive profiles. He also published regularly and was a guest speaker on National Public Radio and various syndicated television programs. His articles, editorials, and analysis appeared in BusinessWeek, Washington Post, Forbes, and other publications.

Dr. Saunders' research explores the changing nature of national, religious, and political identity in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. His dissertation focused on the impact of the Internet on national identity among minority populations in the former Soviet Union. He is particularly interested in mass media and popular culture and their often unpredictable influence on international relations, world politics, and geographical imagination. This interest led him to investigate the battle for Kazakhstan's national image against the backdrop of Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat" parody of the Central Asian republic. More recently, Dr. Saunders has focused on the role of film, novels, comics, and other popular media in the everyday conceptualization of international relations, nationalism, and geopolitics.

Press Appearances

Conversation with Vlad Strukov about soft power and nation branding for Soft Power, Cinema and the BRICS (7 June 2016)

"The Winners and Losers of Nation-Branding,"World Affairs (23 December 2015)

"Imagine There's No Country..." on Life Matters, RTE - Irish National Radio (15 March 2015)

"At Patch Debate Forum, Laughter, Engagement," Long Island Patch (17 October 2012)

"Students Pick Majors that Pay," CNN's Your Bottom Line (14 April 2012)

Interview with Cultural Diplomacy News (12 March 2011)

"At U.S. Colleges, Chinese-Financed Centers Prompt Worries About Academic Freedom," Chronicle of Higher Education (22 October 2010)

"Kremlin 'Soft Power' Keeping Participatory Internet In Check," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (25 October 2008)

"Cultural Learnings of Kazakhstan," Wilson Quarterly (Summer 2008)

"The Albanians: A Tale Filled with Lore but Little Motivation," Philadelphia Inquirer (9 May 2007)

"A Recap From the World's Leading Boratologist," Harper's Magazine (4 October 2006)