The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Affiliated FacultyPh.D., Duke University

Affiliated Lecturer
Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto



Campaigns and elections; political marketing; political psychology; immigration; race, ethnicity, and gender;


GOV 370K • Latina Politics

37829 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM JGB 2.202
(also listed as MAS 374, WGS 340)



This course will analyze the participation of Latinas in American political life.  The course will give an overview of women and how they have participated in American politics – as activists, voters, and politicians.  In particular, we will consider how the intersection of gender, race, and class influence women’s political participation and activism.  The first half of the course will examine women’s participation in politics and the second half will focus on women’s behavior, influence, and policy agendas as officials within governing institutions.


Bejarano, C. 2014. The Latino Gender Gap in U.S. Politics, Routledge Press.

Bejarano, C. E. 2013. The Latina Advantage: Gender, Race, and PoliticalSuccess, University of Texas Press.

Carroll, Susan J. and Richard L. Fox.  2013  Gender and Elections:  Shaping the Future of American Politics. Cambridge.   

Hardy-Fanta, Carol.  1993.  Latina Politics, Latino Politics: Gender, Culture, and Political Participation in Boston.  Temple University Press. 

Reading packet of relevant current journal and news articles.


In order to tangibly illustrate the theoretical course material each student in the course will conduct an independent inquiry project – a portfolio – to be turned in at the end of the semester.  The portfolio will make up half of the student’s grade and for this project each student will choose a Latina elected or appointed official to research and interview.  A mid-term, current events weekly article diary, and a policy memo will make up the remainder of the student’s grade. 

MAS 362 • Mexican Amer Policy Stds Smnr

35425 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 204


This course is an advanced public policy seminar that builds upon the tools and theoretical frameworks developed in the introductory component of this course series. This seminar will rely on the issue of immigration, relating to Mexican-Americans and the larger Latino population, as our policy case study.  Issues such as economic policy, social services, security, and education will all be viewed through the lens of immigration.  This course will consist of two parts.  The first part of the course will establish the theoretical and historical foundation for understanding U.S. immigration policy.  Having laid this groundwork, the course moves into the area of contemporarypublic policy.  We begin by looking at current federal level immigration policy proposals. We then complicate this policy issue by considering the effects of immigration on the economy, the labor market, social policies, state and local governments, and national security.

At the end of the course, you will be prepared to be producers and consumers of advanced policy analyses. You will also have a particular expertise in the politics and policy of immigration.

Careful and thoughtful preparation before each class is essential.  All readings must be completed before class.  Participation in the seminar is critical to your success in the course as a result attendance is required.  Grades will be based on one mid-term, an article diary, a policy memo (including an outline and oral briefing), a final, and attendance.

Readings: Tichenor, Daniel J.  2002.  Dividing Lines:  The Politics of Immigration Control in America.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press.

Course Requirements:

1. Article diary. During each week of the course, students need to find one article (from a respectable news source) on a U.S. immigration issue, read it thoroughly, provide a one-page comment (not to exceed 250 words) on how the contents of the article relates/contradicts/responds, etc. to the course materials. Each week we will take the first 15 minutes of the course for each student to give a brief update on their diary entry for the week. Article diary: 20%

2. Mid-term examination. The in-class exam will be closed book, but you will be allowed one page of notes (front and back).  You will be responsible for all of the readings, in-class films, and all of the lecture materials, including those of guest lecturers. Mid-term: 20% of final grade.

3. Final examination. The exam will take place during the University’s allotted exam period. The exam will be posted on Blackboard at the beginning of the period and it is due at the end of the exam period. You must email the exam to the Professor and she will send you a receipt confirmation. The exam will be open book/note and you will be responsible for all of the readings, in-class films, and all of the lecture materials, including those of guest lecturers. Final: 20% of final grade.

4. Policy memo, outline, and briefing. A 5-6 page memorandum that analyzes a state or federal immigration policy enacted since 2000. Policy memo, outline and briefing: 30%

5. Attendance.  Regular class attendance and participation. Class participation: 10% of the grade.

MAS 308 • Intro To Mex Amer Policy Stds

36450 • Fall 2013
Meets T 5:00PM-7:00PM PAR 206


See syllabus.

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