Race, Gender and Politics in the US


In 2021 the Phelan US Centre and Department of International History hosted a new interdisciplinary seminar series which brought together historians and political scientists to share current research on the theme of ‘Race, Gender and Politics in the US in historical and contemporary perspective'.

Given the recent rise in white supremacy, sexism, police brutality, and the global Black Lives Matter movement, scholars reflected on the longer arch of these issues historically and how their complexity shapes our present moment.



Black Women and Political Leadership in the US
26 October 2021

The first seminar, led by Professor Nadia E. Brown (Georgetown University) and Dr. Anastasia Curwood (University of Kentucky), focused on the issue of Black women and political leadership. It highlighted the links between figures like Shirley Chisholm, who in 1972 became the first African American woman to run as a candidate of a major party for the US presidency, and current US Vice President Kamala Harris.



The Slow Death of Sagon Penn: Police Violence in Reagan-era San Diego
9 November 2021

In the second seminar, Dr. Adriane Lentz-Smith (Duke University) used the case of Sagon Penn, a young black martial-arts expert who was acquitted of the murder of a white police officer in 1985, to examine police racism and violence in Reagan-era San Diego.



Jim Crow 2.0: Voter Suppression in the 21st Century
9 December 2021

The third seminar, with Professor Carol Anderson (Emory University), reflected on the intersection of race and rights in the contemporary US. Professor Anderson discussed the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, voter suppression, and the resistance against this anti-democratic trend.



Header image: Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash


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