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ShefnerFootball fans can learn more about austerity policies before the Vols vs. Tigers football game on Saturday at the College of Arts and Science Pregame Showcase.

Jon Shefner, head of the Department of Sociology, will present “Making the Cuts: Austerity Policies and Their Social Implications,” explaining the effects of spending cuts, tax hikes, and other measures governments use during adverse economic conditions.

Now in its twenty-fourth season, the Pregame Showcase gives fans the chance to hear from esteemed UT faculty prior to each gridiron matchup. This week’s showcase will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 9, in the Carolyn P. Brown University Center Ballroom (Room 213).

Free and open to the public, the showcase will feature a thirty-minute presentation and a fifteen-minute question-and-answer session followed by a brief reception. Door prizes will be awarded.

Shefner, who has been studying the aftermath of austerity policies for more than twenty-five years, will discuss how these policies affect governments and people across the globe and what these policies say about political futures.

“For the last five years, we have heard a great deal about ‘austerity’ from policymakers, journalists, and academic researchers, but what is it really? It is best to answer this question from a historical and global perspective, examining economic and political consequences of austerity policies,” he said.

Shefner’s research focuses on the political economy of development and how the poor push for political change, paying special attention to the links between the poor and groups representing interests of the state, the elite, or the middle class. His research is multidisciplinary, drawing from sociology, anthropology, economics, history, and political science, and he has conducted field research in Knoxville, New Orleans, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Ecuador.

The final pregame showcase for the 2013 season, on Nov. 23, will be “Simulations of Solutions: Solving Problems Through Scientific Computing.” Steven Wise, associate professor of mathematics, will discuss the evolution of scientific computing and look at the challenges that lie ahead, including how we might—and might not—be able to solve some of our biggest problems with the help of computers.

C O N T A C T :

Lynn Champion (865-974-2992,

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,