Vanessa Tyson will use her fellowship year to research the politics and policies surrounding sexual violence against women and children in the United States. More specifically, she will explore political discourse surrounding sexual assault, corresponding policies, and the unique identities of sexual assault survivors.
Her first book, Twists of Fate: Multiracial Coalitions and Minority Representation in the US House of Representatives (Oxford University Press, 2016), explored structural inequality in the United States, and how members of Congress have formed multiracial coalitions as a strategy to provide for their diverse constituencies. As a scholar of policy formulation, race, gender, and social justice, Tyson has an extensive background in both US and California politics. Having worked on political campaigns since her teenage years, she carefully considers how political dynamics affect policy formulation and consequent outcomes.
Tyson spent years volunteering as an advocate for sexual violence awareness and prevention, serving as one of the founding members of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Survivor Speakers’ Bureau, and starting a self-esteem/self-awareness program for female juvenile offenders through the Department of Youth Services in the State of Massachusetts.
Tyson currently serves as associate professor in the department of politics at Scripps College. She has a BA from Princeton University in politics, coupled with a certificate in African American studies, and an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago in political science.