Megan Ming Francis

WISIR Director
Field Director for History and Political Development

Megan Ming Francis is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. She specializes in race, American politics, and the development of constitutional law, and is particularly interested in the construction of rights and citizenship, black political activism, and the post-Civil-War South. She is the author of Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State (Cambridge University Press, 2014), winner of the Ralph J. Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association and the W. E. B. Du Bois Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Francis is currently at work on a second book that examines the role of the criminal justice system in the rebuilding of southern political and economic power after the Civil War.

Christopher S. Parker

Field Director for Social Science of Race and Inequality

Christopher S. Parker is Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. His first book, Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggle Against White Supremacy in the Postwar South (Princeton University Press, 2009), winner of the American Political Science Association’s Ralph J. Bunche Award, takes a fresh approach to the civil rights movement by gauging the extent to which black veterans contributed to social change. A second book, Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America (Princeton University Press, 2013), explores the beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of the Tea Party. This book won the American Political Science Association’s award for the best book in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. A third book, currently in progress, Haven’t We Seen this [Stuff] Before? The Reactionary Right and the Origins of Contemporary Racial Politics, examines the forebears of the Tea Party, and how their resistance to progress resulted in the present political climate in which America remains mired in racial conflict.

Sophia Jordán Wallace

Field Director for Latino Politics and Immigration

Sophia Jordán Wallace is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. She specializes in Latino politics, representation, social movements, and immigration politics and policy. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research, Social Science Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, and Politics, Groups, & Identities. She is a co-founder and co-organizer of SPIRE, Symposium on the Politics of Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity, which is an annual conference of race, ethnicity, and politics scholars. She is currently working on a book, United We Stand: Latino Representation in Congress, which examines the ways legislators serve the interests of Latinos across a variety of legislative behaviors and the substantive impact of Latino representatives.

Jack Turner

Field Director for Political Theory

Jack Turner is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. He specializes in American political thought, critical race theory, and democratic theory. He is the author of Awakening to Race: Individualism and Social Consciousness in America (University of Chicago Press, 2012). With Melvin L. Rogers, he is editing African American Political Thought: A Collected History (Under contract, University of Chicago Press). His articles have appeared in many journals, including Political Theory, Raritan, Modern Intellectual History, and Polity. His most recent study is “Douglass and Political Judgment: The Post-Reconstruction Years,” in A Political Companion to Frederick Douglass, edited by Neil Roberts (University Press of Kentucky, 2018). He is writing a new book entitled Existential Democracy: Death and Politics in Walt Whitman.