Racial Politics

This course is an upper division political science course on the topic of Latino and African-American Politics. I assume general knowledge of government institutions, political science concepts, and research methods. However, this course will be accessible to students from all academic majors.


This course has three objectives:

  1. We will learn what race is, including attempts to measure race and the methodological limitations of race as a research variable.

  2. We will explore the deep entanglement of race and politics in America, primarily with respect to residential location and elections. Oftentimes, politics determine who gets to use what space. Thus, a narrow focus on geographical location permits us to leverage the correct analytical framework for understanding how race is institutionalized through property rights. Particular attention will be paid to election politics in the Chicago context.

  3. We will examine policy areas that disproportionately affect Latinx and African-American populations, including education, criminal justice, and housing. This course leverages the academic disciplines economics, sociology, and psychology toward these ends.

© Matt Lesenyie 2020