New Members of the Executive Committee (2018-2019)

Andre Audette – Monmouth College

Academic Biography:
I am what you might call a lifelong politics nerd. In kindergarten my claim to fame was that I could name all of the U.S. presidents in order, so studying political science was a natural fit for me. (But don’t worry, naming presidents is not a prerequisite for taking political science classes!) What I find truly fascinating about politics is that it is all around us; it affects everyday choices like the foods we eat, to the people we associate with, and how we see the world. I am a political scientist because I enjoy exploring how politics shapes our identities and our communities. I hope to inspire students to think about these connections and then apply them to their own diverse interests.

Research Interests:
My main areas of teaching and research are within American politics, focusing on political behavior, identity politics, and political inequality, especially among religious groups and racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. In my research, I often draw on three major themes: 1) how individuals, especially those from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups, gain political voice, 2) how churches and other linkage institutions mobilize members for political action, and 3) how inequality is reflected in political institutions and affected by a range of public policies.

Selected Research and/or Creative Work:
Audette, Andre P., Maryann Kwakwa, & Christopher L. Weaver. Forthcoming. “Reconciling the God and Gender Gaps: The Influence of Women in Church Politics.” Politics, Groups, and Identities.

Audette, Andre P., Mark Brockway, & Christopher L. Weaver. 2017. “Adapting Identities: Religious Conversion and Partisanship among Asian American Immigrants.” American Politics Research 45(4): 692-721.

Audette, Andre P. & Christopher L. Weaver. 2016. “Filling Pews and Voting Booths: The Role of Politicization in Congregational Growth.” Political Research Quarterly 69(2): 245-257.


Andrea Hatcher – Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Politics, Sewanee, The University of the South

A native of Bagdad, Florida, Andrea Hatcher received a B.A. and M.A. in political science from the University of West Florida. She began teaching at Sewanee as she was completing a Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University.

Her research and teaching interests focus on American political institutions. As well as survey courses in American government and politics, she offers courses on the Presidency, Legislative Process, Constitutional Law, Religion and American Politics.

Selected Activities:
Among her campus activities, she serves as faculty advisor to Sewanee’s delegation to the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature as well as a legal team that competes in the annual Appellate Moot Court Collegiate Challenge.

She is also director of Sewanee’s Pre-Law Program.

Selected Research:
Her book, Majority Leadership in the U.S. Senate: Balancing Constraints (Cambria Press, 2010), is the first comprehensive study of the office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader and finds, among other trends, that Senate Majority Leaders emerge from the party’s ideological median but tend to become more ideologically extreme as their margin of majority increases.

“The Electoral Risks of Senate Majority Leadership, or How Tom Daschle Lost and Harry Reid Won” explains the (rare) conditions under which Senate Majority Leaders lose re-election.

Currently, her research interests diversify to include a comparative study of the political behaviors of American and British Evangelicals. On this, she has contributed to Is There A ‘Religious Right’ Emerging in Britain? A book, Political and Religious Identities of British Evangelicals, was published in 2017 from Palgrave Macmillan.


Amy Erica Smith – Associate Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University

My research examines how citizens around the world interact with each other and their representatives to shape democracy and authoritarianism. In my recent work, I focus on the religious communities and ideas that mold politics. My areas of greatest regional expertise are Latin America, and particularly Brazil. Over the past couple of years, I have also been studying the intersection of gender and academia.

My book, Religion and Brazilian Democracy: Mobilizing the People of God, is forthcoming at Cambridge University Press, and my articles have appeared in a number of peer-reviewed outlets, including the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies. I am on the editorial board of Politics & Religion and an Associate Editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion and Politics. I’ve recently joined the in-house blogging teams of Vox Mischiefs of Faction and Religion in Public, and I’ve also blogged for the Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage and Duck of Minerva, among other venues.

In September 2016, I received the Award for Early Achievement in Research from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State. My work has been funded by Fulbright and the National Science Foundation; I have been a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies (2016-2017 academic year); and I am proudly affiliated with the Latin American Public Opinion Project.

Sacred Writes

Northeastern University will train religious scholars to work more effectively with the media

When it comes to writing about religion for the general public, the media and religious scholars are equally at a loss. Both sides struggle to convey cultural insights in a way that won’t fan the flames of a cultural war.

To bridge this chasm, Northeastern will launch a program that will train religious scholars to work with the media more effectively.

{more here}{see also Sacred Writes on twitter}

Call for Nominations for Executive Committee (2018)

From the Chair:

The Religion and Politics Section of the APSA is pleased to announce a Call for Nominations for candidates to stand in an upcoming online election to serve a two-year term on the Executive Committee of the Religion and Politics Section. There are three vacancies on the Committee to be filled in this election.

Section members who wish to self-nominate as candidates should forward a short biography, including their institutional affiliation, to the Section Chair, Matthew Scherer, at mschere2@gmu.edu no later than August 10, 2018.

Nominees who do not self-nominate will be asked by the Chair to consent to having their name on the ballot. An online election held be held shortly after nominations close. According to APSA online elections are administered as follows:

1. APSA will send an email to all current section members with a message from the Chair that includes the names of the candidates, candidate bios, the number of positions open, the voting dates, and a link to the ballot.

2. The ballot typically gives the candidates’ names, and the option of choosing yes, no, or abstain.

3. When the voting period has concluded APSA will send a detailed report of the results to the Section Chair, who will convey the results via email to the section. I look forward to receiving your nominations.

Matthew Scherer
Section Chair
Religion & Politics

2018 Section Meeting and Reception

To Section Members

From Jeremy Menchik:

Dear Religion and Politics Section Members,

With the support of the Executive Board and the sponsorship of Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA) and Cambridge University Press, I am very pleased to invite you to a special section business meeting and reception at CURA’s historical building in the Cottage Farms neighborhood of Brookline.

Thursday, August 30, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Details & RSVP (for catering purposes) here

The business meeting will be held on from 6:30-7:30, followed by a reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres from 7:30-9:00pm. From the conference hotel, CURA is a 30 minute walk (past Fenway), a 17 minute train ride, or a 10 minute drive.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns.
I look forward to seeing you all in Boston!

Best wishes,

Jeremy

Assistant Professor
Pardee School of Global Studies
Boston University

Notes from the 2018 MPSA Conference

By Allyson Shortle, University of Oklahoma:

“As this year’s Politics & Religion (P&R) section head for the Midwest Political Science Association meeting, I was able to take a closer look at the work that pushes our field forward at the intersection of politics and religion, informing our understanding of institutions, behavior, and theory. After reading through an extensive amount of research proposals I received in October, I put together a set of panels that will interest anybody who is puzzled by religion’s influence on national and international political landscapes. These panels will also interest those who might alternatively be puzzled by politics’ potential influence on religion.

There are several panels this year that highlight emerging trends of P&R research. The first noteworthy addition is a fascinating set of studies that use experimental and psychological approaches to examine religion’s impact on political attitudes. This panel highlights a push some scholars of P&R have made over the last decade to incorporate more diverse methodological techniques into our analyses covering a dynamic range of topics, from  …” See more here.