The September issue of Political Research Quarterly includes two articles by UConn POLS professors. Prof. Thomas Hayes published an article entitled, “Responsiveness in an Era of Inequality: The Case of the U.S. Senate.” Meanwhile, Prof. Fred Lee addressed, “Reconsidering the Jefferson–Hemings Relationship: Nationalist Historiography without Nationalist Heroes, Racial Sexuality without Racial Significance.”
The abstracts follow below. Congratulations!
“Responsiveness in an Era of Inequality: The Case of the U.S. Senate”
by Thomas Hayes
To what extent do members of Congress respond unequally to people in different economic situations? How does partisan control of the agenda change the way in which Senators respond to the poor? Using data from the 2004 National Annenberg Election Survey, and multiple roll call votes, I examine Senate responsiveness for the 107th through 111th Congresses. The results show consistent responsiveness toward upper income constituents. Moreover, Republicans are more responsive than Democrats to middle-income constituents in the 109th Congress, and a case study of the 107th Senate reveals that responsiveness toward the wealthy increases once Democrats take control of the chamber.
“Reconsidering the Jefferson–Hemings Relationship: Nationalist Historiography without Nationalist Heroes, Racial Sexuality without Racial Significance”
by Fred Lee
This essay examines how two Jefferson biographies represented the Thomas Jefferson–Sally Hemings relationship in the post–civil rights movement era: Fawn Brodie’s Thomas Jefferson (1974), a controversial publication that claimed that Hemings and Jefferson loved each other, and Joseph Ellis’s American Sphinx (1996), one of the last mainstream biographies to deny that they had any children together. The story in both cases serves as an allegory of founding authority and national membership. The author finds that Ellis and Brodie characterize Jefferson as a fallible founder to affirm that founding ideals can accommodate and overcome racial differences and injustices.