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Allison Rank

Dr. Allison Rank

Associate Professor
Department Chair

Contact Information

435A Mahar Hall
[email protected]

Office hours

Spring 2024:
Wednesdays 10:30 - 11:30am
Thursdays 1:00 - 2:00pm
Or by Appointment

An associate professor of American Politics, Dr. Rank's research agenda focuses on the role of youth in politics, civic engagement, and pop culture & politics. Her work has appeared in New Political Science, Journal of Political Science Education, the eJournal of Public Affairs, and the Journal of General Education among others. In addition to teaching traditional political science courses, she serves as the campaign manager for the campus-wide, nonpartisan voter mobilization program Vote Oswego which trains interested students in campaign strategies and tactics. In 2019, her work on this innovative program was recognized with the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders (American Democracy Project, June 2019) as well as the Stand Out Faculty Award (ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, November 2019).

Her current projects include a monograph drawing on the recent crop of female-led television crime narratives to engage in political imagination about the intersections of gender, power, harm, and the state (co-authored with Heather Pool, Denison University), an edited volume bringing together the theory and practice of civic engagement pedagogy to offer political science and government instructors resources to do this important work in a changing educational and political landscapes (co-edited with Lauren Bell and Carah Ong Whaley), as well as ongoing research into the connection between student success and participation in civic engagement initiatives. 

When not at work, Dr. Rank can be found out on a run, practicing her patisserie making skills, or devouring the latest release from Shonda Rhimes or Michael Schur. 



  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Washington, 2014
    • Dissertation: Bums, Revolutionaries, or Citizens? A Political History of Youth in Twentieth Century America
    • Fields: American Political Development, Political Theory, and Political Communication
  • MA, Political Science, University of Washington, 2010
  • BA, Political Science and Women's Studies, Miami University, 2004


Selected Awards/Fellowships

  • June 2022:  American Democracy Project - Civic Fellow
    • Selected as an ADP Civic Fellow to research the pedagogical outcomes of civic engagement programming facilitated by a range of nonprofit organizations in collaboration with campuses
  • November 2019:  ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Champion - Stand Out Faculty
    • Award given by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (a national civic engagement project of Civic Nation involving over 500 higher ed institutions and 900 campuses as of September 2019) to recognize a faculty member for exemplary leadership during the previous election cycle. One of two faculty given this award for the 2018 election cycle.
  • June 2019:  John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement
    • Award given by the American Democracy Project, a collaborative effort of the New York Times and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, to recognize an emerging leader in the civic engagement field from any AASCU Institution or ADP partner campus.


Research Interests

Youth and politics, civic engagement, pop culture and politics


Teaching Interests

American political history, political activism and organizing, the intersection of politics and popular culture (with a particular focus on television), the role of race and gender in American politics (past and present)


Selected Publications 

  • With Lauren Bell and Carah Ong Whaley, eds. Civic Pedagogies (Edited Volume for Palgrave's Political Pedagogies Series - under contract with Palgrave, with anticipated publication in February 2024. Link to series:
  • Rank, A. and Pool, H. 2022. "Building Worlds: Three Paths Toward Racial Justice in Black Panther," in The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, eds. Lilly Goren and Nick Carnes. University of Kansas Press.
  • Rank, A. and Mushtare, R. 2021. "Accessibility as a Foundation for an Equitable Digital Civic Engagement Infrastructure." eJournal of Public Affairs, 10(3).
  • Rank, A. and Pool, H. 2019. "Exposing the War on Women: The Limits of Law and Power of Care to Address Sexual Violence in Contemporary Crime Drama." New Political Science, DOI:
  • Rank, A. D. and Tylock, A. 2018. "Vote Oswego: The campaign-as-course model." Journal of Political Science Education, 14(3) p. 376-389. (Co-authored with a SUNY Oswego undergraduate student),


Classes taught 

  • POL 203 - Critical Thinking in Politics
  • POL 205 - American Government and Politics
  • POL 306 - African American Political Thought
  • POL 316 - American Political Thought
  • POL 328 - Politics and Literature
  • POL 336 - Pop Culture and Politics
  • POL 346 - American Political Development
  • POL 386 - Vote Oswego
  • POL 415 - Women and Politics
  • GWS 200 - Introduction to Gender Studies