I will be in Thailand this summer for five weeks teaching a course for the University of Nevada, Reno, as a Visiting Professor. As part of the employment procedure, I had to sign a loyalty oath indicating “I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States, and the Constitution and Government of the State of Nevada, against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign…” Unlike the other papers I signed for the employment, thisone needed to be notarized. This created the amusing situation that I swore allegiance to Nevada in front of a German notary.
The good news for me: I get to teach in a creative study-abroad program in Chiangmai, Thailand. I also got to think about the symbolic importance such oaths in structuring society: Not a bad thing for a social scientist to do now and then.
And the really good news is for Nevada. I signed a similar oath to California when I started working for the State of California in the 1990s, and California is still safe from enemies foreign and domestic! Nevada will be too. Nevada, I got your back!