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Aidan Smith

Administrative Associate Professor and Director of the Newcomb Scholars Program, Tulane University
Chapter Leader: New Orleans SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Aidan

Smith’s research focuses on gender and politics, ranging from the executive branch to grassroots activist work. As an interdisciplinary feminist scholar, her work explores perceptions of appropriate masculine and feminine leadership in American contexts. Overarching themes in Smith’s writings include the deployment of motherhood, fatherhood, and heterosexuality for political gain. She conducts both quantitative and qualitative analysis of cultural materials to consider larger arguments within popular discourse, from campaign commercials to social media engagements. She is involved in several organizations in the New Orleans community.

In the News

Opinion: "When Black Women Use Motherhood’s Power To Advocate for Black Lives," Aidan Smith, The Washington Post, May 9, 2021.
Opinion: "The Overlooked Significance Kamala Harris Brought to the Biden-Harris Ticket," Aidan Smith, The Hill, November 11, 2020.


"Gender, Heteronormativity, and the American Presidency" (Routledge, 2018).

Reveals how each presidential candidate used his or her campaign to position themselves as a defender of traditional gender roles, and how this investment in "appropriate" gender behavior was made manifest in both international and domestic policy choices.