Woodrow Wilson

Department of Politics

Race, Ethnicity & Gender

One of the core strengths of the Department of Politics is the commitment of a wide range of faculty to research and teaching with a focus on race, ethnicity, and gender, and their interconnections. Accordingly, a group of faculty members and a Postdoctoral Fellow have constituted a research group on race, ethnicity, and gender (REG) to collaborate on future scholarship, develop a workshop program, strengthen graduate and undergraduate course offerings in these areas, and attract and retain students who wish to work on REG questions. Our group includes faculty at all levels of seniority and representatives from three of the four traditional subfields of politics (comparative politics, American politics, political theory).  Note that Race, Ethnicity, and Gender is not a formal subfield in the graduate program.

Our group seeks to encourage co-teaching among REG faculty; create classes for graduate students working in REG; work to invite REG scholars to the department’s existing colloquia in American politics, foreign affairs, and political theory; develop workshops to give feedback to faculty and graduate students on their research and to bring outside REG scholars to UVa; and encourage co-authorship by faculty and students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Over the longer term, we aim to create graduate and undergraduate concentrations; establish dissertation fellowships in REG; promote new faculty hiring; and establish research prizes for graduate and/or undergraduate research projects in collaboration with REG faculty.

Recent REG Graduate Student Research

A number of current and recent graduate students conduct research in the REG area, including: 

  • Sally Bonsall (CP): gender equality policy and its intersections with other identities
  • Olyvia Christley (CP): how the state creates and upholds unequal power dynamics between genders
  • Mylene Freeman (PT): contemporary political thought, feminist theory, democratic theory, continental philosophy, notions of self, political agency, deliberation, and identity
  • Dan Henry (PT): race and the politics of sympathy
  • April Herlevi (IR): gender and political economy
  • Brittany Leach (PT): intersectional feminist theory
  • Kal Munis (AP): race and ethnic politics
  • Hana Nasser (CP): multiculturalism in the European Union
  • Nicole Pankiewicz (AP): citizens’ understanding of citizenship and what makes a good citizen
  • Brenton Peterson (CP): ethnic identification in Africa/Kenya
  • Arani Sanyal (PT): ethnicity
  • Paromita Sen (CP): protest against violence against women in India and Turkey
  • Jen Simons (CP): nationalism, identity, and the rise of the Far Right in Europe
  • Rachel Smilan-Goldstein (AP): political psychology of intersectional race/gender stereotypes 
  • Chen Wang (IR): ethnicity, nationalism and violence
  • Theo Yakah (CP): ethnic identity and ethnic cleavages in sub-Saharan Africa

Recent Courses in REG

Undergraduate Courses

  • Women, Men, and U.S. Politics, PLAP 3500, Jennifer Lawless
  • Europe in Crisis, PLIR 3500, Hannah Alarian (Politics Department Post-doctoral Fellow)
  • Campaigns and Elections, PLCP 4500, Rodrigo Castro Cornejo (Politics Department Post-doctoral Fellow)
  • Gender Politics in Comparative Perspective, PLCP 3350/WGS 3500, Denise Walsh
  • Racial Politics, PLAP 3700, regularly taught by Lynn Sanders
  • Comparative Legislatures (includes the study of legislative underrepresentation on the basis of gender, race, and ethnicity), PLCP 4200, Carol Mershon
  • Comparative Political Parties (includes the study of parties making appeals on the basis of race, ethnicity, and/or gender), PLCP 4201, Carol Mershon
  • Politics, Poverty, and Health (with the study of disparities along lines of race, ethnicity, and gender), PLAD 2500, Fall 2016, Carol Mershon
  • Gender and American Political Behavior, PLAP 4140, Nicholas Winter
  • Political Psychology, PLAP 4150, Nicholas Winter
  • The Political Psychology of White Supremacy, PLAP4500, Nicholas Winter
  • African American Political Thought, PLPT 3200, Lawrie Balfour
  • Politics and Literature (with a focus on gender, race, and literature), PLPT 4060, Lawrie Balfour
  • Feminist Political Theory, PLPT 4200, Lawrie Balfour
  • Freedom, Empire & Slavery, PLPT 4500, Lawrie Balfour
  • Slavery – Ancient, Modern, Contemporary, PAVS 4500, Lawrie Balfour
  • Culture and Human Rights, (ethnicity, gender and sexuality) PLCP 4500, Denise Walsh
  • Identity Politics, (race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, nation, religion) PLCP 4500, Denise Walsh
  • Gender Politics in Africa, PLCP 4840 Denise Walsh
  • Inequalities (race, ethnicity), PLCP 4500
  • Politics of Sub Saharan Africa (race, ethnicity), PLCP 4810, Robert Fatton
  • The Political Brain, PLAP 3500, Liya Yu
  • US Immigration Politics, PLAP 4500, Lucila Figueroa
  • Latino Politics, PLAP 4500, Lucila Figueroa

Graduate courses

  • Gender and American Politics, PLAP 7500, Jennifer Lawless
  • Racial Politics, PLAP7500, Lynn Sanders
  • Comparative Institutions, PLCP 8200, Carol Mershon
  • Political Psychology, PLAP7500, Nicholas Winter
  • Race, Gender, Power (formerly named “Theorizing Race and Racism” and “American Political Cultures”), PLPT 8500, Lawrie Balfour
  • American Political Cultures, PLPT 8500, Lawrie Balfour
  • Race, Gender, Power, PLPT 8500, Lawrie Balfour
  • Identity and the State, PLCP 7500, Denise Walsh
  • Democratic Theory, Democratic Practice, (gender, ethnicity, multiculturalism) PLCP 7500, co-taught by Jennifer Rubenstein and Denise Walsh
  • Feminist Theory and Feminist Practice, PLCP 8500, co-taught by Lawrie Balfour and Denise Walsh

Post-Doctoral Fellows 

The REG Group collaborates with the department to bring to Grounds Postdoctoral Fellows who work in the REG area.  Current and past fellows include:

  • Lucila Figueroa
  • Hannah M. Alarian
  • Verónica Zebadúa-Yáñez
  • Rodrigo Castro Cornejo