University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Jesse Rhodes

Professional Title: 

Professor of Political Science


Thompson 502


Office Hours: 

Fall 2023: Mondays & Wednesdays 2:30-4 PM at the office


Ph.D., University of Virginia


I am a Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

My research revolves around struggles over race, representation, and civil and voting rights, and their consequences for politics and policymaking in the United States. I have written extensively on inequality in representation, voting rights politics, education politics, economic, racial, and political inequality, presidential rhetoric, and party politics. New research with Paul Collins and Doug Rice, funded by NSF, examines issue attention and legal consciousness in the LGBTQ+ community using a large corpus of articles from LGBTQ+ media. Additional research examines the influence of racial attitudes on beliefs about the January 6 insurrection and perceptions of voting policies among whites; the impact of implicit racism on the behavior of state judges; and the influence of partisan bias on the behavior of jurors.

My first book, An Education in Politics: The Origin and Development of No Child Left Behind, was published by Cornell University Press in 2012. My second book, Ballot Blocked: The Political Erosion of the Voting Rights Act, was published by Stanford University Press in August 2017. My third book, Hometown Inequality: Race, Class, and Representation in America's Local Politics, with Brian Schaffner and Raymond La Raja, examines racial and economic inequalities in representation at the municipal level, and was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020.

I have also published articles in the American Political Science Review, Law & Society Review, Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Political Communication, Perspectives on Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Political Behavior, Party Politics, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Polity, Research and Politics, and other journals.

I am the recipient or co-recipient of several awards, including the 2022 Best Paper Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association; the 2021 Outstanding Academic Title from Choice; and the 2017 Best Paper Award from the Class and Inequality Section of the American Political Science Association. I am also the recipient of major grants from the National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation.

I have received several teaching awards, including the Pi Sigma Alpha Instructor of the Year; a Microsoft IMPACT grant to improve Introduction to American Politics; a Lilly Teaching Fellowship; and a FlexLearning Fellowship to develop a multimodal certificate in Public Opinion and Survey Research.

Area of Study: 

  • American politics

Curriculum Vitae: 

Download pdf (155.29 KB)


  • Political Science