Dr. Rachel Smilan-Goldstein

I am a Social Scientist for the American National Election Studies within Stanford University’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences.

Independently, I study the political psychology of racism and sexism. My dissertation project focuses on the linked politics of protecting White women and criminalizing Black men in the U.S. I assess the modern impact of a narrative that came to political prominence in Reconstruction America: the myth that Black men threaten the safety of White women. Using quantitative methods, primarily surveys and experiments, I show how this historically rooted narrative continues to shape Americans’ thinking on politics and power.

I earned my Ph.D. in Government at the University of Virginia. I also earned my M.A. in Government and a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies at UVa. I completed my B.A. at the George Washington University.

Contact me: rachelsg@stanford.edu