Catherine Nelson

Title: Professor

Concentration: Political Theory; American Government

Education: Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz

Office: Stevenson 2070L

Phone: (707) 664-3963



Professor Nelson joined the faculty in 1996. She currently serves as Chair of the Political Science Department. She teaches political theory and American government courses and the department's signature capstone Senior Research Seminar. Professor Nelson specializes in contemporary political theory and race, gender and politics.  Her current research investigates the presence of neoliberal ideology in political campaign commercials. Her faculty development activities involve the integration of appropriate technology into the classroom and migration to an accessible syllabus format.  She also serves on the Statewide Academic Senate as an elected representative of the SSU faculty.


  • POLS 200: American Political System
  • POLS 201: Ideas and Institutions
  • POLS 311: Modern Political Thought: Machiavelli to Bush
  • POLS 312: American Political Thought
  • POLS 313: Critical Theory: Race and Gender
  • POLS 315: Democracy, Capitalism and Socialism
  • POLS 330: Race, Ethnicity and Politics
  • POLS 390: Theories of Popular Culture and the 2012 Presidential Election
  • POLS 391: Gender and Politics
  • POLS 494: Race, Gender and the 2008 Election
  • POLS 498: Senior Seminar

Selected Scholarship