Faculty Talks

Faculty Talk: Evelyn Simien on Historic U.S. Elections

2024 Faculty Talk. "The Last Shall be First: Historic Candidates in US Elections." Professor of Political Science and Interim Director of Africana Studies, Evelyn Simien. Humanities Institute Conference Room, Homer Babbidge Library fourth floor, Feb 7, 3:30pm.

The Last Shall Be First: Historic Candidates in U.S. Elections

Evelyn Simien (Professor, Political Science, UConn)

Wednesday February 7, 2024, 3:30pm, Humanities Institute Conference Room (HBL 4-209)

The event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning.

Register to attend virtually

Evelyn Simien’s book project, “The Last Shall Be First: Historic Candidates in U.S. Elections,” will show that historic first candidates have long-standing effects on new segments of the American polity, whether they win or lose, their campaigns revitalize American democracy and legitimize our political institutions. Utilizing in-depth, mixed methods case studies of historic candidates at the local, state, and national levels, the book length project situates historic firsts in terms of their ability to restore confidence in a polarized nation by renewing faith in fair elections, inspiring civic engagement, and cultivating trust in government. These case studies are complemented by opinion data, voter turnout reports, election maps, textual analysis of campaign rhetoric, and content analysis of newspapers. The rich array of sources—photographs, speeches, interviews, and election maps—used for this project will take the form of a digital archive.

Evelyn M. Simien is professor of political science at the University of Connecticut. She is also Interim Director of the Africana Studies Institute at UConn. Simien received her B.A. in political science from Xavier University of Louisiana, along with her master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University. Simien is the author of two books Black Feminist Voices in Politics (State University of New York Press, 2006), and Historic Firsts: How Symbolic Empowerment Changes U.S. Politics (Oxford University Press, 2016), and editor of Gender and Lynching (Palgrave/Macmillan 2011) and Historic Firsts in U.S. Elections: Trailblazing Candidates (Routledge, 2022).

Access note

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpretation, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.