WAPPP Seminar Series: Defining Progress: Gender and Intersectional Dynamics in Election 2020


Thursday, April 22, 2021, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Hosted Online

Register here to receive the Zoom link.

Kelly Dittmar | Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University–Camden

Campaigns are gendered and raced institutions, where the behavior of candidates and expectations of voters are shaped by stereotypes of gender, race, and candidacy. Likewise, the gendering and racialization of U.S. campaigns are influenced by the strategic decisions made by candidates and campaign practitioners. Each election – and the specific campaigns that populate it – provides indicators of both maintenance and disruption of gender and intersectional dynamics within these institutions that have long privileged masculinity, whiteness, and men. In this talk, Dittmar analyzes multiple types of evidence – including candidate emergence, strategy, and success – to evaluate institutional change (or stasis) in the 2020 election cycle. She will challenge simplistic measures of electoral success and suggest more complex approaches to assessing both short-term and long-term progress, especially for women, in U.S. political institutions.

Kelly Dittmar is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University–Camden and Director of Research and Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is the co-author of A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen’s Perspectives on Why Their Representation Matters (Oxford University Press, 2018) (with Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan J. Carroll) and author of Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns (Temple University Press, 2015).