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Eric Selbin was a political sociologist whose primary research interests were revolutions and related forms of collective behavior (resistance, rebellion, social movements) as well as International Relations Theory. Much of his work had focused on Latin America and the Caribbean, and his volume on Modern Latin American Revolutions is frequently used as a textbook in courses in Latin American Studies and contentious politics. He held a PhD from the University of Minnesota and was Professor of Political Science at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where he had also been appointed a University Scholar. In 2013, Selbin was appointed a research fellow at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) at the University of Texas at Austin and he has held appointments at Sweden’s Umeå University (2003-2006) and at the Tallinn Postgraduate Summer School in Social and Cultural Studies (2012). In 2014, he was appointed to the Lucy King Brown Chair, one of six endowed, Brown Chairs at Southwestern University.
Selbin's most well-known work is Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance: The Power of Story (2010), which puts forth four different types of "revolutionary story" that have accompanied revolutionary struggles from the French Revolution to the present day: Civilizing and Democratizing, The Social Revolution, Freedom and Liberation and The Lost and Forgotten. For Selbin, these narratives, conducted across time and space through processes of myth, memory and mimesis, are the crucible of revolutionary action.
Selbin has also collaborated on topics related to homeschooling and feminism with Helen Cordes, the writer and editor to whom he is married, and their two daughters.
Revolution, Rebellion, and Resistance: The Power of Story (2010), Zed Books. Revolution, Rebellion, and Resistance: The Power of Story (2010). Published in German as Gerücht und Revolution: Von der Macht des Weitererzählens (WBG, 2010), in India (Books for Change, 2011), in Spanish as El Poder del Relato: Revolución, rebelión y Resistencia (Interzona Editoria, 2012), in Arabic as ثورة تمرد المقاومة: قوة قصة (NCT, 2013), and forthcoming in Turkish (Abis Yayinlari, 2014).
Decentering International Relations (2010), co-authored with Meghana Nayak, Zed Books.
Modern Latin American Revolutions (1993), Westview.
“What Was Revolutionary About the Iranian Revolution? The Power of Possibility” (2009), Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
"Zapata's White Horse and Che's Beret: Theses on the Future of Revolution" (2003), in John Foran, ed., The Future of Revolutions in the Context of Globalization, (London: Zed Books), pp. 83–94.
“Is This the Educational System You Wanted? Feminism and Homeschooling” (2003) with Helen Cordes, Jesse Cordes Selbin, and Zoe Cordes Selbin, in Robin Teske and Mary Ann Tetreault, eds. Partial Truths and the Politics of Community: Feminist Approaches to Social Movements, Community, and Power, Vol. 2.
"Contentious Cartography: A Response to Mapping Contentious Politics," Mobilization, vol. 2, no. 1 (1997), pp. 99–106.
- Schneider, Wolfgang. "Erzählungen der Revolte [Review of Selbin's Revolution, Resistance, Rebellion]". Deutschlandradio. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
- Faculty page at Southwestern University Department of Political Science.
- Interview with Eric Selbin on human rights in Latin America in the wake of Operation Condor, by Chilam Balam Films.
- Eric Selbin: The Revolution Will Be Televised, from Tallinn Summer School, Tallinn University.