POLITICS 180: MINORITY RIGHTS AND GERRYMANDERING (Professors Rush and Kuettner)

Spring 2021https://libguides.wlu.edu/pol295rush

Introduction

The resources discussed below are based on the University Library's Newspaper and Magazine Databases website, which contains these and other sources.

The current guide is designed to assist W&L researchers to discover coverage in the principal Virginia newspapers -- Roanoke Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk), and Washington Post -- regarding the 2020 round of state legislative redistricting and the current term’s activity on the redistricting commission. 

Articles in the Roanoke Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and the Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk)

W&L researchers can find articles dating back to at least 1990 in the Roanoke Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) via our subscription to the NewsBank Access World News database.

At the bottom of the opening page is a link to about 125 news sources located in Virginia.  Click on that link to restrict your searches to those sources, including the above three newspapers.

At this point, you have two options:

  1. Search through all 125-ish sources and take note only of articles in the three target newspapers; or
  2. Conduct separate searches of each of the three newspapers by clicking on each of the three titles individually.

 

Searching and Saving

It seem likely that the basic search should be:  (redistricting OR reapportionment)

Please note you can:

  • limit your search to only the "Lead/First Paragraph";
  • sort your list of search results by either "Best Match" or "Newest."
  • create a "permanent" link to any article by clicking on the "Copy Link" icon above the article: 
  • use other icons above an article to e-mail the article or download a PDF.

If you want to re-run your search on a regular basis, use the "Create Alert" option above search results to have the database automatically e-mail you new results every day (or other schedule). 

Late Addition: Semi-Brilliant Idea

Click on this link to generate a search of the database for (a) articles from the Roanoke Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk)  that include (b) this search statement in the Opening/Lead paragraph -- (reapportionment OR redistricting)short-cut link

Articles in the Washington Post

W&L researchers can find articles dating back to the early 1908's in the Washington Post  via our subscription to the Factiva database.

 

 

Searching and Saving

After generating the list of Post articles, you need to click on the "Modify Search" button to be able to add search terms: 

Enter these search terms:  virginia AND (redistricting OR reapportionment)

Please note you can:

  • Use the "Search for free-text terms" option on the search page to restrict your search to "Headline and Lead Paragraph";
  • sort your list of search results by either "Relevance" or "Most Recent First";
  • use the "Share" icon above an article to generate a "Within my account" link your can copy and save or e-mail. 

Course Description

 This course introduces students to the history of voting rights discrimination against minorities in the United States with a particular focus on African Americans and gerrymandering. The course begins with a study of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how it has evolved through congressional amendments and Supreme Court decisions. We then investigate theories of minority representation and democracy. To place the theoretical aspects of the course into practical perspective, the class entails a lab component in which students learn to conduct basic spreadsheet and statistical analysis of data and use redistricting software (ArcMap). We will use Virginia elections and census data to produce alternative election maps of Virginia to demonstrate how we can make elections fairer, more competitive and create more opportunities for minority representation. Approved for Experiential Learning credit. (SS2) Rush and Keuttner.