Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University

Gender & Politics

Course Description: 

This course provides an overview to the field of gender and politics by examining the influence of gender in politics as well as how politics influences issues related to gender. We will cover the central concepts, questions, and debates within the field, and discuss the theoretical and methodological frameworks for studying gender and politics. Three main questions run through the course:

  • In what ways do women and men think, believe, and act differently with regards to politics, and what might explain these differences?
  • To what extent are political processes and institutions gendered, and how does this gendering shape women’s and men’s political behavior?
  • Why are women underrepresented in politics and what are the effects of increasing women’s representation?

The course will draw on both the current political environment, including the 2016 presidential race, and U.S. political history to frame our discussions.


For the complete syllabus, please click here.

Teaching Evaluations:

For a summary of my teaching evaluations from this class, please click here.

Sample Exercises:

To help students break down dense academic articles, facilitate discussion, and provide variety in the classroom, I regularly distributed handouts or exercises to my students. Some of these exercises were strictly based on the readings for the day. Others combined the readings with a real-world application. Below are links to a sample of some of these exercises.

Welfare Reform – This handout asks students to answer questions about Ange-Marie Hancock’s article “Contemporary Welfare Reform and the Public Identity of the “Welfare Queen”” and then apply these concepts to current state welfare rules.

Gender in the 2016 Campaign – One of the topics students wanted to discuss the most in class was the 2016 presidential campaign. In this exercise, students look at poll results and consider how traditional notions of masculinity and femininity affect the results.

Congresswomens’ Performance – This exercise walks students through the Anzia and Berry article “The Jackie (and Jill) Robinson Effect: Why Do Congresswomen Out Perform Congressmen?” The students must identify hypotheses and explain how key variables are measured, as well as summarize the authors’ findings.


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