Welcome! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University. 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 interactions between social movements and political party institutions co-constitute and mobilize political constituencies and the ways in which institutionalized inequalities affect the political experiences of the members of 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 Journal of Political Science, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Politics, Groups, & Identities, Political Research Quarterly, and Sage Open.
My current book project, “Coming out to vote: The political construction of sexuality and gender identity,” examines how activists and party actors contest and construct group boundaries and identities in American politics. I argue that political party institutions are key sites where identities and group boundaries are constituted as sources of identification and mobilization. In explaining these dynamics in the LGBT case, I center the intersecting politics of sexuality, gender, and race to explain which identities and group boundaries are represented by political parties. I then demonstrate how those dynamics affect LGBT identities and politics at the mass-level. 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 quantitative analysis of measures of LGBT collective identities collected on the 2020 Collaborative Multi-racial Post-election Survey. 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. 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 Wake Forest, I was 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.