Professor Julie Novkov
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Chair, Department of Political Science
Professor of Political Science and Women's Studies

Department of Political Science
106A Milne Hall, 135 Western Avenue
University at Albany, SUNY
Albany, NY 12222

Telephone: 518-442-5256
Fax: 518-442-5298

About Me

I am a faculty member in Albany's Political Science and Women's Studies Departments. I'm currently the chair of the Department of Political Science. I teach mostly law-related courses, though I also teach courses on race, feminism and women's history in the United States. I moved to UAlbany in the fall of 2006 after spending ten years as an assistant, then associate, professor in the University of Oregon's Department of Political Science.

Research and Organizations

My fairly modest, low-tech research page has samples of my work in progress. Much of the stuff featured here is preliminary and sketchy, so don't hold me to it! Racial Union: Law, Intimacy, and the White State in Alabama, 1865-1954, my most recent solo book, was honored as a co-recipient of APSA's Ralph Bunche Award for best scholarly work in political science which explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism. The other award winner in 2009 was Richard Iton's brilliant book, In Search of the Black Fantastic. I also have some information on the research page about other projects, including two recently published co-edited volumes. Race and American Political Development, published in June 2008 by Routledge, is co-edited with Joe Lowndes at the University of Oregon and Dorian Warren at Columbia University. A second, Security Disarmed, on race, gender, and militarization (co-edited with first editor Barbara Sutton, who's here with me in Albany and Sandi Morgen, associate dean for graduate studies at the University of Oregon, came out in fall 2008 from Rutgers University Press.

My current research projects include a reference book for CQ Press on the presidency and the American Supreme Court. I am also working on a new book project on the expansion of rights in times of military conflicts, which I consider through the lenses of race, gender, and sexuality. I am also working on a few articles that address questions about law and political development.

In my legal research, I tend to use Cornell's excellent web site, the Legal Information Institute, for current Supreme Court rulings. For older materials, try U.S. Supreme Court Resources, which has good coverage of those obscure old rulings that no one else cares about. The Law and Politics Book Review provides good short reviews of leading books published in the field.

I'm a member of a number of organizations, four of which are the American Political Science Association, the Western Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association, and the Law and Society Association. APSA is the main disciplinary organization for political scientists. WPSA is a regional association that has a reputation for great theory, courts, and environmental politics panels, and Law and Society draws together scholars from a variety of disciplines to exchange research ideas at our rockin' annual meeting.

Racial Union is in part a political history of prosecutions of mixed-race couples in Alabama for violating laws against interracial intimacy. The Alabama Department of History and Archives has been enormously helpful to me with this project. My other major research has been on women's protective labor legislation and the courts' response to it. For more information, you can check this link to the University of Michigan Press's information about my book, Constituting Workers, Protecting Women. The long and boring version of my CV is also available here.

Studying Politics at Albany

Undergraduates at UAlbany who major in Political Science have a wide variety of opportunities for academic and practical training. See the department's undergraduate program overview. Some unique features of Albany's program are the availability of great internships due to the location in the state's capital, and the Washington Semester Program. I do most of my teaching in the public law field, though at least one of my courses each year cross-lists with Women's Studies.

On the graduate level, our graduate field in public law has three faculty lines: me, Assistant Professor Udi Sommer, who joined our department in the fall of 2007. For the 2009-12 academic years, we are pleased to host Jennifer Fredette from the University of Washington as a visiting assistant professor in the field. We will be hiring a full-time tenure-stream scholar in public law in 2011-12. We aim to provide a comprehensive education in public law for political science graduate students, as well as to provide expertise for graduate committees in other areas that touch on law. We are unusual as a group in our breadth of coverage in substantive, methodological, and epistemological terms.

Another area of the Department in which I am involved is the US political development group. Here, we have Professor Bruce Miroff, Associate Professor Patricia Strach, and me. We also have a faculty History and Politics reading group that regularly incorporates Victor Asal, Cheng Chen, Peter Breiner, and occasionally others with academic interests in these questions.

The political science department's graduate program offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. We are a full service political science program, with training available in the graduate fields of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, public policy, and public law. Many of our students develop projects that cross traditional subfield lines as well, and I am working or have worked with graduate students in political theory, American politics, public policy, and women's studies as well as public law. To get a sense of the breadth of interests of our students, please check out our graduate student list.

Please note: This is a personal web site and any opinions, views or endorsements of any kind
encountered on this page are not the policy of the University at Albany.