Working Papers

Representing Women’s Interests and Intersections of Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in U.S. State Legislatures

In the U.S. context, political scientists have employed various definitions of women’s political interests: some are more women- or gender-specific (or explicit) than others; some are more feminist, liberal, or radical than others. To what extent do our definitions of women’s interests affect who is or appears to be more or less willing to act for women? Does the relationship between women’s descriptive and substantive representation depend on how we define women’s interests?

Social Justice and Urban Governance in the American South: Towards A New Conceptual Framework for Understanding Race, Politics, and Inequality

Classic” works of political science, history, and sociology have long framed debates and research about the South, books such as John Dollard’s, Caste and Class in a Southern Town, W.J Cash’s famous Mind of the South written in the early 1940’s, Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma published in the same era, V.O.

Gender and Perceptions of State Legislators

The presence of women in the realm of state legislative politics has increased dramatically within the past few decades. Since 1971, the number of women serving in state legislatures has quintupled. In 2011, women make up 23.3% of state legislators throughout the United States (NFWL 2011). While there is an implicit assumption that as more women are elected to political office their power and influence in policymaking will increase, a greater presence of women in politics does not necessarily translate into a proportionate amount of female power and influence (Kathlene 1994).

Inside Jokes: Color-blind Racism and Racial Humor

Research on racial humor emphasizes the subversive role of marginal group humor, while the media studies literature highlights the dominant ideological work reproduced by popular television.  This paper examines racial humor on television.  I analyze two popular sketch comedy shows hosted by comedians of color, Dave Chappelle's Chappelle's Show and Carlos Mencia's Mind of Mencia.  I explore how the frames of color-blind racism are used within the context of these television programs.  How do these two particular comedians of color mediate these contrasting roles with regards to the dominant