Professor Donathan Brown's classes that focus on intercultural communication, elections, and campaigns have inspired students to get involved with local governments and law offices and have made them reflect and question socio-political conflicts. He is the current editor of the Journal of Race and Policy.
Q: What research are you working on now?
A: I’m looking at the far-reaching policy domain housed under the term “immigration reform.” Just recently, I authored an article in the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy pertaining to English-only laws in Arizona and the fallout pertaining to the Escamilla v. Cuello case. A colleague and I are just completing a book examining contemporary debates on both the state and federal level pertaining to immigration policies and how race continues to steer such policies in a misguided direction.
Q: What makes your classes — such as Electing the President and Campaigns and Elections — so popular?
A: In courses like these, I place heavy emphasis upon analyzing campaign strategy in relation to the many moving variables campaigns must account for. Conversations about past and present trends in voter turnout, age, gender, race, voter outreach, television commercials, and other variables occupy a great presence in these courses. In Campaigns and Elections, there is rarely a dull moment, as we engage a good portion of the political spectrum.
Q: What do you want students to gain from your classes?
A: In every class, I always ask students to remember one thing: It is not always about what you see or hear; oftentimes it is about what you do not see or hear. I ask students to look past what appears on the surface to investigate what rests below.
Q: What might surprise students about you?
A: (1) I have a great interest in meteorology. (2) I have not ruled out the possibility of running for Congress. (3) I listen to country music. (4) I’ve always wanted to experience an Iditarod race from Anchorage to Nome. (5) I really enjoy watching old episodes of Northern Exposure.