Assistant Professor of Political Science
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Professor Olson is engaged in an ongoing research project looking at the consequences of Black disenfranchisement for state legislative politics in the American South. The project draws on significant new data collection on roll call voting, committee affiliations, and bill introductions in southern legislatures around the turn of the twentieth century to explore how the formal removal of African Americans from the electorate affected patterns of representation and set the stage for white supremacy in the American South over subsequent decades. Other research projects explore the consequences of one-party rule in the South for legislative behavior and the medium-to-long run consequences of slavery for white political attitudes.