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Stephen Engel


Stephen Engel is Professor and Chair of Politics at Bates College and an Affiliated Scholar of the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, IL. After serving on the faculty in political science for two years at Marquette University, Professor Engel came to Bates College in 2011. His research and teaching focuses on American political development, inter-branch relations, constitutional law, and social movements, particularly LGBTQ socio-political and legal mobilization.

His recent book, Fragmented Citizens: The Changing Landscape of Gay and Lesbian Lives (NYU Press 2016), utilizes concepts in the field of American political development (particularly the notion of a fragmented polity and the partiality of political change) to evaluate how and why inequalities for gay and lesbian citizens persist in the United States, even as formal rules mandating equal treatment are put into effect. His second book, American Politicians Confront the Courts: Opposition Politics and Changing Responses to Judicial Power (Cambridge University Press 2011), is a cross-institutional analysis that examines how changing understandings over time of loyal opposition has influenced elected branch relations with the federal judiciary.  His first book, The Unfinished Revolution: Social Movement Theory and the Gay and Lesbian Movement (Cambridge University Press 2001) evaluates how the distinct political institutional environments of the US and the UK affected the development, strategies, and goals of the LGBTQ rights movements in each country. Professor Engel has also completed a fourth volume (co-edited with Stephen Skowronek of Yale University and Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School), The Progressives' Century: Political Reform, Constitutional Government, and the Making of the American State (Yale University Press 2016), which evaluated a century’s worth of progressive legal, political, and constitutional reform to consider its resilience or exhaustion and to propose alternative formulations that might advance the cause of democratic renewal.

Professor Engel is currently working on two projects. His latest project examines the concept of dignity in the United States and through a comparative constitutional context, specifically how dignity has been used in legal argumentation, especially in the context of LGBT rights litigation, and what the limits of that concept might be. He has written two articles associated with the project. His first article (a collaboration with Timothy Lyle, assistant professor of English at Iona College), “Fucking with Dignity: Public Sex, Queer Intimate Kinship, and how the AIDS Epidemic Bathhouse Closures Constituted a Dignity Taking” (Chicago-Kent Law Review), utilizes a queer theoretical lens to examine whether and how the bathhouse closures during the early years of the AIDS crisis in New York City and San Francisco constituted a dignity-taking and considers the limits of the dignity-restoration that is proceeding through Supreme Court rulings, including Lawrence v. Texas, United States v. Windsor, and Obergefell v. Hodges. His second article (forthcoming in Constitutional Studies) explores the conservative jurisprudential implications of “dignity” and offers a developmental explanation of why same-sex marriage rulings may be more secure than rights related to abortion access and race equality. Professor Engel is also currently collaborating with Lyle on a book-length project that explores the unintended possibilities of dignity and its invocation in LGBTQ jurisprudence, public policy, and media.

Research Focus

American political development, inter-branch relations, constitutional law, and social movements, particularly LGBTQ socio-political and legal mobilization

Publications

1. “Dynamics of Constitutional Development and the Conservative Potential of US Supreme Court Gay Rights Jurisprudence, or How Neil Gorsuch Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Same-Sex Marriage”

   Forthcoming 2018, Stephen Engel, (Constitutional Studies)

2. “Fucking with Dignity: Public Sex, Queer Intimate Kinship, and how the AIDS Epidemic Bathhouse Closures Constituted a Dignity Taking”

   2018, Stephen Engel, Chicago-Kent Law Review

3. Fragmented Citizens: The Changing Landscape of Gay and Lesbian Lives

   2016, Stephen Engel, New York University Press

4. The Progressives' Century: Political Reform, Constitutional Government, and the Making of the American State 

   2016, Stephen Engel, Yale University Press

5. “Seeing Sexuality: State Development and the Fragmented Status of LGBTQ Citizenship.” 

   2016, Stephen Engel, Oxford Handbook on American Political Development

6. “Developmental Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Politics: Fragmented Citizenship in a Fragmented State” 

   2015, Stephen Engel, Perspectives on Politics 

7. “Frame Spillover: Media Framing and Public Opinion of a Multifaceted Rights Agenda” 

   2013, Stephen Engel, Law and Social Inquiry 

8. American Politicians Confront the Court: Opposition Politics and Changing Responses to Judicial Power

   2011, Stephen Engel, Cambridge University Press

9. “Assessing Presidential Manipulations of Federal Judicial Power”

   2010, Stephen Engel, Johns Hopkins University Press

10. “Before the Countermajoritarian Difficulty: Regime Unity, Loyal Opposition, and Hostilities toward Judicial Authority in Early America”

   2009, Stephen Engel, Studies in American Political Development 23

11. “Political Education in/as the Practice of Freedom: A Paradoxical Defense from the Perspective of Michael Oakeshott”

   2007, Stephen Engel, Journal of the Philosophy of Education 41

12. “Organizational Identity as a Constraint on Strategic Action: A Comparative Study of Gay and Lesbian Interest Groups”

   2007, Stephen Engel, Studies in American Political Development 21

13. “'History of Racial Politics in the US' in Racism, Xenophobia, and Distribution: A Study of Multi-Issue Politics in Advanced Democracies"

   2006, Stephen Engel, Harvard University Press and Russell Sage

14. “Marketing Everyday Life: The Postmodern Commodity Aesthetic of Abercrombie & Fitch”

   2004, Stephen Engel, Advertising & Society Review 5

15. “Making a Minority: Understanding the Formation of the Gay and Lesbian Movement in the US.”

   2002, Stephen Engel, Handbook of Gay and Lesbian Studies, Sage

16. The Unfinished Revolution: Social Movement Theory and the Gay and Lesbian Movement

   2001, Stephen Engel, Cambridge University Press

17. “Seeing Sexuality: State Development and the Fragmented Status of LGBTQ Citizenship”

   Forthcoming, Stephen Engel, Oxford Handbook on American Political Development

18. “Frame Spillover: Media Framing and Public Opinion of a Multifaceted Rights Agenda”

   Forthcoming, Stephen Engel, Law and Social Inquiry

Presentations

1. Roundtable: "Conscription, Family, and the Modern State: Author Meets Critics." April 2014

2. "The Fragmented Citizen: Developmental Insights into Sexuality Citizenship in the United States and the Persistence of Inequalities." April 2014

3. "Intersecting Paths: The Public and Private in American Political Development." April 2014

4. "Developmental Insights into Gay and Lesbian Politics and Law: Persistent Inequalities from Military to Marriage."March 2014

5. "Common Themes across the Progressives’ Century." November 2013

6. "The Evolution of Supreme Court Rulings on Sexual Orientation: Rebutting the Accusation of Activism." November 2013

7. "Fragmenting the Citizen: State, Power, and LGBT Politics from a Developmental Perspective." August 2013

8. "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on LGBT Human Rights Advocacy." February 2013

9. "Why the Political Homophobia of the 1950s?" February 2013

10. "On the Responsibility of a Liberal Arts Education."- Convocation Faculty Address September 2012

11. "American Politicians Confront the Court." April 2012

12. “The Decision Raises Questions about Custody for Gay Couples and about Marriage for Gay Couples…”: Media Framing of Lawrence v. Texas and Dynamics of Public Opinion Shifts on a Multifaceted Gay and Lesbian Rights Agenda. September 2011

13. "Legal Construction of Homosexuality and Public Sentiment about Gay Rights Claims: Examining the Implications of Privacy and Equality." Workshop on Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Legal and Political Development May 2011

14. "Opposition Disloyalty and Illegitimacy in American Political Development." April 2011

Professional Service & Recognition

  • Marquette University Faculty Development Award (2011)
  • American Political Science Association-Member
  • New England Political Science Association-Member
  • Yale UniversityDoctoral Dissertation Writing Fellowship (2008-2009)
  • American Bar Foundation Dissertation Research Fellowship (2007-2008)
  • Yale University Doctoral Fellowship (2003-2007)
  • Yale University Sterling Academic Fellowship (2003-05)

Bates College faculy page: http://www.bates.edu/politics/faculty/stephen-engel/

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