Virginia Sapiro, Ph.D.

Boston University

Address: 232 Bay State Road

City: Boston, Massachusetts - 02215

Country: United States

About Me:

Education:  High School of Music & Art;  B.A. Clark University, Worcester, MA.; Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Michigan.  Career: I held a joint appointment in Political Science and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison 1976-2007, where I spent some years as the Sophonisba P. Breckinridge Professor of Political Science & Women's Studies. For my last few years there I served as Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, then Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost.  I moved to Boston University in 2007 to serve as Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. I stepped back from this position in 2015, and currently serve on the faculty of the Department of Political Science and the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.  The Honors and Awards of which I am most proud, other than the professorial chair I held at Wisconsin, are: American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002); the APSA Frank J. Goodnow Award for public and professional service; the International Society for Political Psychology Harold Lasswell Award for scientific contributions in the field of political psychology; the First Annual Award for Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate (UW-Madison); Mentor of Distinction Awaard (APSA), and way back when: Phi Beta Kappa. Nowadays: I now seek more balance within my professional life and across my various lives. Professionally, I am moving more toward a "public intellectual" focus in writing and media work, and mentoring younger faculty and those interested in academic administration. Personally, I am increasingly invested in donating my skills to nonprofits whose mission moves me, notably Shelter Music Boston (classical music as a social service, doing concerts in homeless shelters), and Gilmanton's Own, a nonprofit org supporting farmers and artisans, especially by developing an every-day farmer's market. Still a specialist on gender politics and political psychology, but working on a major book on the history of higher education in the U.S.  emphasizing its relationship to the development of American state and society.

Research Interests

Gender and Politics

Political Participation

Political Psychology

Public Opinion

Higher Education Politics

Gender & Politics

Political Psychology

Countries of Interest

United States

My Research:

Most of my research has been on gender politics and political psychology.My current project is on the history of higher education in the United States, considered from 2 points of view: (1) what role has higher education played in the development of American state and society from the beginning, and (2) how has the development of American state and society shaped higher education from the beginning. Further, this project shows that far from facing the first major crisis now, as many people claim, higher education has always -- from the beginning - faced a set of fundamental challenges usually perceived as 'crises.' I also continue my better-known work in the area of gender politics and political psychology, most recently with work on sexual harassment, and occasional writing on feminist and political theory, including Mary Wollstonecraft.


Journal Articles:

(2018) Sexual harassment: Performances of gender, sexuality, and power., Perspectives on Politics

“Sexual harassment: Performances of gender, sexuality, and power.” Perspectives on Politics 16 (4), 2018.

(2011) Campaigning for Congress in the 9-11 Era: Considerations of gender and party in response to an exogenous shock., American Politics Research

Patricia Strach and Virginia Sapiro. 2011. “Campaigning for Congress in the “9-11” Era: Considerations of Gender and Party in Response to an Exogenous Shock.” American Politics Research, 39: 264-90.

(2011) Gender, Context, and Television Advertising: A Comprehensive Analysis of 2000 and 2002 House Races, Political Research Quarterly

Virginia Sapiro, Katherine Cramer Walsh, Patricia Strach, and Valerie Hennings. 2011. “Gender, Context, and Television Advertising: A Comprehensive Analysis of 2000 and 2002 House Races.” Political Research Quarterly 64 (1).

(2004) Not Your Parents’ Political Socialization: Introduction for a New Generation, Annual Review of Political Science

Critical review of the political socialization literature with pointers to research needs.

(1984) Women, Citizenship, and Nationality: Immigration and Naturalization Policies in the United States, Politics and Society

Classic article on this subject, cited in 2 Supreme Court cases by RGB.

(1981) If U.S. Senator Baker Were a Woman: An Experimental Study of Candidate Images, Political Psychology

Classic experimental study of gender stereotyping in the perception of candidates.

(1981) When Are Interests Interesting? The Problem of Political Representation of Women, American Political Science Review

Classic review of the political science literature as it then existed, trying to understand what "representation of women" means, and when it occurs.

Books Written:

(2003) Women in American Society: An Introduction to Women's Studies, Mayfield

5th edition of a widely-used interdisciplinary social science introduction to women's studies textbook.

(1992) A Vindication of Political Virtue: The Political Theory of Mary Wollstonecraft, University of Chicago Press

Award-winning book: the first full-length work on the political theory of Mary Wollstonecraft.

(1983) The Political Integration of Women: Roles, Socialization, and Politics, University of Illinois

Study of the impact of variation in women's role and gender ideology on their political attitudes and participation, using a panel survey study.

Book Chapters:

(2019) Virtue with and without Gender, Routledge

“Virtue with and without Gender,” in Sandrine Bergès, Eileen Hunt Botting, and Alan Coffee, eds., The Wollstonecraftian Mind, New York: Routledge. (in press 2019).

(2014) Reading Mary Wollstonecraft in Time, Yale University Press

In Eileen Hunt Botting, ed. Eileen Hunt Botting, ed. Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp.280-88. An autobiographical discussion of Mary Wollstonecraft, her work, and its significance.

(2006) Gender, Social Capital, and Politics, Routledge

In Brenda O’Neill and Elisabeth Gidengil, eds., Gender and Social Capital, Routledge, pp.151-83. A critical review of the social capital literature from a feminist theory and gender politics point of view.

(2003) Theorizing Gender in Political Psychology Research, Oxford University Press

In David O. Sears, Leonie Huddy, and Robert Jervis, eds. Handbook of Political Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, pp.601-36.

(1999) Race, Gender, and the Clinton Presidency, Chatham House

Virginia Sapiro and David Canon. 1999. “Race, Gender, and the Clinton Presidency.” In Colin Campbell and Bert Rockman, eds., The Clinton Legacy. Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House Publishers, pp.207-41.

(1993) ‘Private' Coercion and Democratic Theory,, Pennsylvania State University Press

In George E. Marcus and Russell Hansen, eds., Reconsidering the Democratic Public. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. A study of the relevance of violence against women for democratic theory.