Objective: My primary objective in the classroom is to express to students that the material is part of a larger theme that connects our understanding of political and social phenomena. My teaching strategy reinforces students’ ability to remember information through answering high-level questions, applying and processing material, and integrating the material into a broader framework. I tailor the discussion to motivate students to identify the relevance of the topics. This helps students apply the material to understand political phenomena that exist outside of the classroom and beyond the university.
Complexities of Political Representation: A complicated link exists between the represented and those delegated authority to act in the interests of the represented. This course is designed to clarify that link and reveal diverse behaviors associated with political representation. We evaluate how different institutional environments structure politicians’ responsiveness to the interests of the represented. Our primary concern is to understand the concept of political representation, broad theoretical explanations for elite behavior, and political responsiveness to group interests—women, race & ethnicity, and LGBT communities. The course concludes with a focus on the effects of successful and failed political representation on democratic governance.
Gender and Ethnic Politics: This course is a survey of the cross-national literature that explores the political relationship between the state and citizens associated with historically underrepresented groups. The nature of the course emphasizes themes related to democratic political institutions. Our primary concern is to understand the basis for group incorporation, the institutional mechanisms that accelerate incorporation, and the political effects of incorporation (both legislative and non-legislative).
Latin American Politics: The course is organized to emphasize broader themes of democratic development in the political science literature and how those themes specifically relate to democratic development in Latin America. Those broader themes explore the different types of political regimes in Latin America, regimes in transition, and democratic governance.
Human Rights in Latin America: This course is a historical comparative study of human rights in Latin America. It systematically explores the origins of abuse, the sources of reform, and the challenges of accountability. We will also explore how concepts of human rights have developed since the regional transition to democracy. This course takes a general approach to studying the quality of government in Latin America and how it relates to the protection of human rights.