Gwen Prowse

I am a joint Ph.D. candidate in political science and African American studies at Yale University. I will be an assistant professor of political science and Africana studies at Tulane University starting in fall '22.


My work examines how members of race-class subjugated communities mobilize in response to social policy failures, particularly at the subnational level. My dissertation and book project, "Racialized Disasters & Grassroots Resistance in American Political Development," challenges the prevailing view in political science that national, federated organizations are the primary agents in mass politics by establishing subnational grassroots organizations’ pivotal role in political transformation.

I am also a co-PI (with Vesla Weaver and Tracey Meares) for the Portals Policing Project, which draws from the largest-known archive of first-hand accounts of policing to examine how police-citizen interactions shape political knowledge and political discourse in majority-Black spaces in the United States. Our collaborative work has been published in The Journal of Urban Affairs, The Journal of Politics, The Journal of Race & Ethnicity Politics, Science, and the Florida Law Review.

I am a research fellow with the Institute for Social Policy Studies (ISPS) and affiliated with the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School. I graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in 2011, with a B.A. in urban planning and public policy. Before attending Yale, I worked as an organizer and educator in southeastern Arkansas and Delaware.

Watching my mom, a single-parent in New Jersey, navigate the bureaucratic labyrinth to which low-income women are subjected and building relationships as a high school teacher in the rural South have informed my belief that those experiencing (intersectional) oppression hold the deepest understanding of the nation’s democratic deficits, and in turn, hold the most promising solutions for a path forward. This conviction is at the heart of my approach to research and teaching.

You can access my C.V. here.