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Integrating Diversity Across the Curriculum: Lessons from Teaching Gender & Race in the American Presidency
Unformatted Document Text:  Table 1. APSA Presidency Research Organized Section Membership, January 2008 Total Section Members 384 Male Section Members 300 (78%) Female Section Members 84 (22%) Source: Infocus, management company for APSA mailing lists, as of January 23, 2008, personal communication with author. Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that women are also grossly underrepresented in the leading scholarship in the field. Although claims about race and ethnic distributions cannot easily be determined, a scan of recent books and peer-reviewed articles listed in the APSA’s Presidency Research Group Newsletter, The PRG Report, suggests that women are indeed under- represented in presidency research, publishing under just under 7% of peer reviewed articles and less than 16% of singularly-authored books in the field. Gender access remains an issue. Access for marginalized racial and ethnic groups, if less visible on section mailing lists and book jackets, is even more pressing; only 4% of APSA members are African American, suggesting a similar or lower representation among scholars of the American presidency. At a minimum, the lack of visible women and people of color on course syllabi contribute to “chilly climate” issues, affecting student learning (Smith 1997) and, potentially, course enrollments and student course selection. 4 4 When I share this data with my students they are frequently stunned. Indeed, simply providing my students with this data is often enough to launch them into a thoughtful discussion about diversity and equality in the study of the presidency and in the presidency itself. 7

Authors: Mathews-Gardner, Lanethea.
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Table 1. APSA Presidency Research Organized Section Membership, January 2008
Total Section Members
384
Male Section Members
300 (78%)
Female Section Members
84 (22%)
Source: Infocus, management company for APSA mailing lists, as of January 23,
2008, personal communication with author.
Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that women are also grossly underrepresented in
the leading scholarship in the field. Although claims about race and ethnic distributions cannot
easily be determined, a scan of recent books and peer-reviewed articles listed in the APSA’s
Presidency Research Group Newsletter, The PRG Report, suggests that women are indeed under-
represented in presidency research, publishing
under just under
7% of peer reviewed articles and
less than 16% of singularly-authored books in the field. Gender access remains an issue.
Access for marginalized racial and ethnic groups, if less visible on section mailing lists and book
jackets, is even more pressing; only 4% of APSA members are African American, suggesting a
similar or lower representation among scholars of the American presidency. At a minimum, the
lack of visible women and people of color on course syllabi contribute to “chilly climate” issues,
affecting student learning (Smith 1997) and, potentially, course enrollments and student course
selection.
4
When I share this data with my students they are frequently stunned. Indeed, simply providing my students with
this data is often enough to launch them into a thoughtful discussion about diversity and equality in the study of the
presidency and in the presidency itself.
7


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