Morgan Head shot Jana Morgan
Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar, 2017-2018
Associate Professor of Political Science

Chair of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Department of Political Science
University of Tennessee
1001 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0410
Office: 865-974-7043
Fax: 865-974-7037
Office Location: 1015 McClung Tower


Van Cott Award,


Fernando Coronil Award,

Honorable Mention

Bankrupt Representation and Party System Collapse.

My research considers issues of inequality, exclusion and representation. I am particularly interested in exploring how economic, social and political inequalities affect marginalized groups and undermine democratic institutions and outcomes.

Currently, I am working on a project examining how representative institutions interact with the social structures of  economic inequality and poverty to influence how citizens, especially the most marginalized, engage with the state in Latin America and the Caribbean. I am particularly interested in breaking apart income distributions to understand how racial, ethnic, regional and gendered dynamics structure inequality and how these structures are filtered through opportunites for representation in ways that shape how different groups interact with and perceive the state. In a second collaborative project, I am exploring how the relative power of competing interests in the U.S. system shapes the policy process by influencing the congressional agenda. This project employs text analysis of the Congressional Record to explore the linkages between campaign finance, political rhetoric and the persistence of inequality in the United States. 

My work has been supported by funding from a variety of sources including the Russell Sage Foundation, the Pew Foundation and the Fulbright-Hays program. In addition to my award-winning book, I have published numerous journal articles in outlets such as American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, Latin American Research Review, Latin American Politics and Society and Politics & Gender. See my research and papers pages for more details.

In addition, I co-direct the AmericasBarometer survey in the Dominican Republic, and I have spoken to audiences of experts and policymakers concerning the challenges of representation and marginalization in Latin America.

I have taught courses on comparative politics, political parties and party systems, the politics of marginalization, the politics of the developing world, Latin American politics, and research methods. My teaching interests also include democracy and democratization, comparative public opinion, and gender and politics.

I hold a PhD and MA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA in Political Science and Modern Foreign Languages from Wheaton College.