Professor Simien is a joint-hire with the Department of Political Science and Institute for Africana Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her first book, Black Feminist Voices in Politics (SUNY Press, 2006), examined black feminist consciousness and its effect on political behavior using national survey data. Her second book, Gender and Lynching: the Politics of Memory (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011), focused on African American women who suffered racial-sexual violence at the hands of lynch mobs in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Her third book, Historic Firsts: How Symbolic Empowerment Changes U.S. Politics (Oxford University Press, 2015), considers whether candidates like Shirley Chisholm in 1972 and Jesse Jackson in 1984 as well as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008 mobilize voters through emotional appeals while combating stereotypes and providing more inclusive representation.