PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — New leadership is yielding new research, conversations and initiatives at Brown University’s Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy.
Wendy J. Schiller, a professor of political science at Brown and a respected national political expert, took the reins of the Taubman Center in late 2021. In just a year, Schiller has built on the center’s reputation as a leading source of political and policy information by kickstarting student-centered research projects, hosting talks and conversations focused on issues of racial and gender inequality, and transforming the center’s digital presence into a one-stop shop for information on pressing policy issues of the day.
Since 1984, the Taubman Center — housed within Brown’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs — has been at the forefront of discussions and debates about pressing political issues. In a Q&A with the Watson Institute, Schiller shared her vision for the Taubman Center, discussed a new student-led research project on voting access, and revealed details about her upcoming book on the real-world effects of different domestic violence policies across U.S. states.
Q: You are in your second year as director of the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy. What are your overarching goals for this year?
I want the Taubman Center to be the one-stop shop resource on American politics for Brown students and the greater Rhode Island community. We hired a terrific new program manager, Othniel Harris, who previously worked for the general counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce and in North Carolina on voting rights issues. He has an excellent mix of skills and an inherent sense of politics.
We’ve updated our website to make it a prominent focal point and resource for students interested in American politics. There’s a whole new section on voting and the impact of new voting restrictions on a state-by-state basis. We’re working on our own research project that will report on these state-level changes to voting rights. We want the Taubman Center to be a place where students can not only engage in dialogue and hear provocative speakers but can also rely on the website as a comprehensive resource on key topics of the day, such as the rule of law, governmental politics and policy, women’s rights, and security and voting rights.