Welcome! I am an Assistant Instructional Professor of Political Science in the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) at the University of Chicago, where I am also affiliated faculty with the Department of Political Science and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. My research draws on interdisciplinary perspectives and methods to advance our understanding of inequality in the United States and its intersections with the politics of sexuality, gender, race, and class. I study how political institutions shape group formation, political behavior, and representation among marginalized groups. My work is motivated by a broad interest in explaining how power and marginalization shape politics and has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Politics, Groups, & Identities, Political Research Quarterly, and Sage Open.
My book project, “Coming out to vote: The political construction of sexuality and gender identity,” draws on theories of constitutive representation, political behavior, and public policy to trace the formation of LGBT collective identities and group boundaries in the two-party system since the 1970s. I explain these dynamics with a theory of “constitutive mobilization,” which argues that activists and parties contest and construct collective identities and group boundaries, which in turn shapes political behavior and attitudes among LGBT people. The project centers how the intersecting politics of sexuality, gender, and race explain which identities and group boundaries become represented in the party system and which do not. The project uses a mixed-method research design, leveraging process tracing of archival materials, such as interest group archival records, newspapers, political party platforms, campaign materials, and analysis of LGBT people’s perceptions of their collective identities, group boundaries, and political attitudes. I use original survey data collected on the 2020 Collaborative Multi-racial Post-election Survey and an independent survey fielded in 2023 . My findings demonstrate that group identities and boundaries are constructed, endogenous outcomes shaped by power rather than exogenous, pre-political inputs in the party system. I also show that individualistic perceptions of LGBT collective identities and group boundaries are associated with support for political parties, candidates, and public policies that target LGBT people. The book is an extension of my dissertation, which won the Ken Sherrill Dissertation Award from the Sexuality and Politics Division of the American Political Science Association.
Before joining the University of Chicago, I was an Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University and a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. I earned my Ph.D. and M.A. in Politics from Princeton University, where I also completed a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I have also worked at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan. I received an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from The Ohio State University.
You can find my google scholar profile here.