From women's representation to immigration, the 2018-2019 Hannah Atkins Series tackles major questions about diversity

magda webDuring the 2018-2019 academic year, we continued to honor Hannah Atkin’s legacy as a political trailblazer by featuring leading scholars who spoke on issues related to women and minority empowerment.  The fall semester kicked off with our our Third Annual Hannah Atkins Memorial Lecture on September 25.

  Dr. Magda Hinojosa, Associate Professor of Political Science at Arizona State University, presented her latest research, entitled “Women’s Inclusion in Politics: The Dynamics of Representation and Democratic Engagement.”  A specialist in women's representation, Dr. Hinojosa's research examines how increasing women's inclusion in politics can build trust in political institutions and increase political interest.

piscoppo talk webThe spring semester was especially busy.   After hosting a networking panel about the N.E.W. Leadership program in February, the Hannah Atkins lecture series continued on March 28 with Dr. Jennifer Piscopo, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Dr. Piscopo spoke on “Falling Behind: Why Other Countries Elect More Women than the United States.”  Drawing from considerable cross national research, Dr. Piscopo discusses how gender quotas and other electoral rules help explain why women make up less than a quarter of the U.S. Congress, but are nearly 50% or above in countries like Bolivia, Mexico, Sweden, and Rwanda.

Our series concluded on April 30 with a presentation by Dr. Adriano Udani, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Dr. Udani presented “The Kids are Not Alright: American Backlash to Harmful Effects of Migrant Child Detention.”  Using a nationally representative survey of U.S. voters in the 2018 elections and a series of experiments, Dr. Udani examines the tendency of people’s policy views to rely on misinformation and identify strategies to correct misinformed values.  Focusing on the issue of immigration - especially the issue of child detainment that has been in the news recently - Dr. Udani demonstrates how lessons we learn as children shape our current beliefs about how migrant children should be treated in the United States.

udani talk web

All Hannah Atkins events highlight the democratic consequences related to the incorporation (or lack thereof) of minorities and women in the public sphere. Our speakers do not limit their engagement to their public lectures but also directly connect to our students at classes and social events. These interactions showcase our department’s commitment to discussing important political issues of the day, mentorship, connecting students to cutting-edge research, and creating a welcoming environment to explore diversity.