Institute for Religion, Politics & Culture

Melissa Deckman

Chair and Professor of Political Science

Melissa Deckman is the Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs and Chair of the Political Science Department at Washington College.  She also chairs the board of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). 

Education
  • B.A. in Political Science, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 1993
  • M.A. in Political Science, American University, 1997
  • Ph.D. in Political Science, American University, 1999
Research

Download CV here.

 I study religion, gender and American politics.  My latest book is Tea Party Women: Mama Grizzlies, Grassroots Leaders, and the Changing Face of the American Right(NYU Press 2016) and the fourth edition of my best-selling textbook, Women and Politics(Rowman & Littlefield), written with Julie Dolan and Michele Swers, will be available August 2019.  

In addition to more than a dozen scholarly articles, I am the author of School Board Battles: the Christian Right in Local Politics (Georgetown University Press 2004), winner of the Hubert Morken Award, given by the American Political Science Association biennially to the best work on religion and politics.  Along with Laura Olson and Sue Crawford, I am the co-author of Women with a Mission: Gender, Religion, and the Politics of Women Clergy (University of Alabama Press 2005), and the editor, along with Joseph Prud’homme, of Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools (Peter Lang 2015). 

Currently, I am researching how gender impacts the political engagement of Generation Z, the impact of masculinity on American political attitudes, and Americans’ views about civility in politics.  

Teaching

At the introductory level, Professor Deckman teaches American Government and Politics.  She also offers advanced courses about women and politics, religion and politics, state and local politics, and empirical political research methods. She also coordinates the Maryland General Assembly Internship, which allows students to spend two days per week as state legislative interns in Annapolis during the spring semester.