This course focuses upon the evolution, nature, and role of African-American politics within the American Political System. The concern is with African Americans as actors, creators and initiators in the political process. Specifically, this course will examine various political controversies that surround the role of race in American society and how these controversies affect public opinion, political institutions, political behavior, and salient public policy debates. This course will assess and evaluate the contemporary influence of race in each of these domains while also exploring their historical antecedents.
Race, Media, and Politics
This course examines the ways in which the media shape how we think about race. In doing so, this course will first explore the nature and construction of race. Second, it will examine the media establishment and its role in politics. Third, it will apply theories of media norms to explore how racial stereotypes of the four largest minority groups in the U.S. are created and perpetuated. Finally, this course will examine the effects of racialized media images on political processes.
African-American Women’s Political Activism
This course explores how racial, gender, and class dynamics in the United States have shaped Black women’s participation in the American Political System. We will critically examine what impact Black women’s position as a marginalized group has had on their ability to benefit from citizenship and equal protection under the law and how this has affected their political behavior. Topics will include Black women’s engagement in protest politics, social movements, electoral politics, judicial politics, and nontraditional forms of political activism. Further, this course will discuss how representations of Black women’s aesthetics, sexuality, and reproductive behavior have been used to shape historical and contemporary policy debates.
Framework for Social Science Research
This course is an introduction to research methods and design in the social sciences. We will concern ourselves not with the analysis of data, but rather with questions of what sorts of data are worth analyzing, and how researchers (should) approach their collection. Our goal is for you to emerge from this course better prepared to undertake your own research, as well as better able to evaluate the work of others.
Statistical Analysis in Political Science I
This course is an introduction to statistics, probability, and data analysis. Topics include properties of data, probability and sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and significance tests. The course is meant to provide a solid foundation for understanding the basics in quantitative analysis but is not meant for students interested in continuing the graduate quantitative methods sequence in Government.
Race and Politics in the U.S.
This course is designed to examine the various controversies that surround the role of race in American society. In doing so, we will explore the role of race in public opinion, political institutions, political behavior, and salient public policy debates. The scope of these examinations will be both historical and contemporary. Although focusing principally on matters relating to African Americans, the logic as it applies to other racial/ethnic groups will be examined whenever appropriate.