Winant Visiting Professors of American Government appointed for 2024–27

The Rothermere American Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Winant Professors of American Government for the three academic years from 2024. The John Gilbert Winant Visiting Professorship in American Government, based at the RAI, is named after John G. 'Gil' Winant, who served with great distinction as United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James's from 1941 until 1946. The Chair has been held by some of the most distinguished scholars of American politics and government. The Winant Professor for 2022–23 was Lawrie Balfour (Virginia).

Professor Kimberley Johnson (2024–25)

Kimberley S. Johnson is a Professor of Politics and Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University. She is the author of two books, Reforming Jim Crow (OUP, 2010) and Governing the American State (Princeton UP, 2007), and numerous articles and chapters on American political development and its intersection with racial and ethnic politics. Her work has appeared in Perspectives on Politics; Politics, Groups and Identities; Studies in American Political Development; Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race; and other journals.

Her current research includes a book manuscript on the Black Power movement and urban politics entitled Dark Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Black Power Urbanism. In addition, Johnson is working on several further projects: African American urban and suburban politics; black urban geographies of the Jim Crow era; and the Reagan presidency and the rise of the neoliberal metropolis.

Since 2018, Johnson has served as co-editor of Studies in American Political Development. She has served in a variety of leadership roles in professional associations including the American Political Science Association, Urban Affairs Association, the Social Science History Association, and the Living New Deal.

Kimberley Johnson

Professor Emily Zackin (2025–26)

Emily Zackin is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and her B.A. from Swarthmore College. She has also been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.

Zackin's research focuses on constitutional theory and American political development. Her book, Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America’s Positive Rights (Princeton UP, 2013) highlights America's neglected positive rights tradition and explores its origins in a variety of social movements. Her other research in constitutional theory has been published in the American Political Science ReviewLaw and Society ReviewLaw and Social Inquiry, Studies in American Political Development, and the Oxford Handbook of the US Constitution.

Zackin's current book project (co-authored with Chloe Thurston and forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press) examines the political development of debt relief in the United States. 

Emily Zackin

Professor Fredrick Harris (2026–27)

Fredrick C. Harris is the Class of 1933 Professor of Political Science and former Dean of Faculty in the Social Sciences at Columbia University. His research interests are primarily in American politics, with a focus on race and politics, political participation, social movements, religion and politics, political development, and African-American politics.

Harris's most recent books are The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and the Rise and Decline of Black Politics (OUP, 2012) and, with Robert Lieberman, Beyond Discrimination: Racial Inequality in a Post-Racist Era (Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2013). His current research explores the history of Black political thought and will be published by Oxford University Press under the title Critical Thinkers: A Journey into the Public Ideas of Black Intellectuals. His other publications include Something Within: Religion in African American Political Activism (OUP, 2001) and, with Valeria Sinclair-Chapman and Brian D. McKenzie, Countervailing Forces in African-American Civic Activism, 1973-1994 (CUP, 2006). Harris’s essays have appeared in Dissent, the London Review of Books, The New York Times, Society, Souls, Transition, and the Washington Post.

Harris is co-editor, with Cathy Cohen, of the Oxford University Press book series ‘Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities’. He is also the creator of the Dean’s Table podcast, which features the life and the scholarship of faculty in the social sciences at Columbia.

Fredrick Harris