Clements Center Monthly Talks

Identity in the State Legislature

Danielle Lemi
Postdoctoral Fellow in Latino Public Policy at the John Tower Center for Political Studies, SMU

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 |  Heroy Hall #153, 3225 Daniel Avenue, SMU     |  12 noon to 1 p.m. | 
No registration necessary. 

How do legislators view the connection between their racial backgrounds and their legislative duties and priorities? Often we assume that legislators identify with the racial categories to which they have been ascribed, but this assumption is tenuous for multiracial legislators, who in theory, may choose different racial identities. She will present findings from personal interviews with legislators. 

Danielle Casarez Lemi is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Latino Public Policy at SMU's John Tower Center for Political Studies.  She studies race and ethnic politics, political behavior, and identity politics within legislative institutions. She is especially interested in how skin tone, racial ambiguity, and racial identification all impact how voters evaluate minority candidates and how legislators understand their work.  Her essay, coauthored with Augustine Kposowa, “Are Asian Americans who have Interracial Relationships Politically Distinct?”  was published by the Cambridge University Press’ in Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race.

Maps and directions to SMU.