Harvard College (A.B., 1989); University of Chicago (M.A., 1995; Ph.D., 2000)
I am an Associate Professor of Politics, specializing in American politics. My research concerns the development of the U.S. Congress, with particular attention to the way members of the House reshaped the institution in order to respond to constituent demand. I am the author of Common Ground: Committee Politics in the U.S. House of Representatives (Stanford University Press, 2006) and am currently working on a book tentatively titled The People’s House: Representation and Responsiveness in the Antebellum House of Representatives. I have a second concurrent book project underway which shows how and why members of the House during the Antebellum period gradually developed a complex internal organization, including a system of standing committees, in order to legislate more effectively.
The courses I teach cover both the study of American political institutions and inquiry into mass political behavior. A recent highlight was a collaborative teaching project with my Politics colleague, Clarisa Pérez-Armendáriz, to combine her Short Term course on immigration policy with mine simulating the legislative process wherein her students played the role of interest groups seeking to lobby mine on possible immigration reform legislation.
I am in my sixteenth year at Bates College and am a former chair of the Politics Department. Prior to coming to Bates, I served as a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, as well as on the staffs of U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and British Member of Parliament Rhodri Morgan.
Teaching for Academic Year 2015-16
PLTC 115: American Political Institutions and Processes
PLTC 211: American Parties and Elections
PLTC 310: Public Opinion
Short Term 2016
PLTC s49: Political Inquiry
Other Courses that I Teach
PLTC 215: Political Participation in the United States
PLTC 230: The U.S. Congress
PLTC 328: Representation in Theory and Practice
PLTC s32: Simulating the Legislative Process