Shayla C. Nunnally

Associate Professor

Political Science

American Politics, Race and Politics, African American Politics

Ph.D. Duke University

Dr. Nunnally is a summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina Central University.  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at Duke University, and she completed her dissertation as an Erskine A. Peters Fellow in the African/African American Studies Program at the University of Notre Dame. She teaches courses in American politics and African American politics, public opinion, and political behavior. Her research focuses on political socialization, racial socialization, trust, intergroup relations and attitudes, social capital, collective memory and memory transmission, black American partisanship, black institutions, and black political development.

Dr. Nunnally’s research has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Journal of Black Studies, Du Bois Review, Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs, Journal of African American Studies, and several encyclopedias and edited volumes.  She also has published a book with New York University Press, Trust in Black America: Race, Discrimination, and Politics (2012), and she recently learned that her book was cited in an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court for the landmark affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (2013).  Her current research focuses on black partisanship, black intraracial trust, and black elite-cueing. Her latest research project assesses the political dynamism of black public high schools in the State of Virginia, and she has received an internal grant with the Humility in Discourse Project of the UCONN Humanities Institute. She is working on several book monographs and articles related to these subjects.

Dr. Nunnally has appeared on several international, national, and local radio and TV shows (local and national) to discuss American politics and race and politics. She was awarded the 2009 Fannie Lou Hamer Award for Outstanding Community Service by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Additionally, in 2009, she was awarded the Outstanding Young Professionals Member for the Eastern Region of the National Urban League.  In 2014, she was recognized by her alma mater, North Carolina Central University, as one of its top 40 under 40 Alumni.

In March 2017, she was installed as the 39th President of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS), wherein she will serve through March 2019.  Dr. Nunnally also currently serves as the Campus Coordinator/Director of the UCONN Collaborative for Equity in Research on Women and Girls of Color, an institutional commitment with Wake Forest University’s Anna Julia Cooper Center and Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry (Executive Director), with over 50 institutions contributing.  Dr. Nunnally has served as an appointee on the American Political Science Association’s (APSA, 2014-2016)  Committee on the Status of Blacks in the Profession. Recently, she has been invited and will serve as an editorial board member with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s new biennial journal, Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research.


Selected Publications


Nunnally, Shayla C. 2012. Trust in Black America: Race, Discrimination, and Politics. New York:  New York University Press.



Nunnally, Shayla C. 2016. “How We Remember (and Forget) in Our Public History.” Invited Response in Perspectives on Politics (September), featured in the Reflections Symposium on President Woodrow Wilson.

Nunnally, Shayla C. 2014.  “Zero-Sum Politics as a Trust Dilemma? How Race and Gender Affect Blacks’, Whites’, and Latinos’ Trust in Obama’s and Clinton’s Representation of Group Interests.” Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs 3(1): Article 8.

Building Cultures of Trust, by Martin E. Marty (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2010).  Invited Book Review and Response in Trust Series, Journal of Lutheran Ethics (September 2012).

Nunnally, Shayla C. and Niambi M. Carter. 2011. “Moving from Victims to Victors: African American Attitudes about the ‘Culture of Poverty’ and Black Blame.” Journal of African American Studies 16(3): 423-455.

Nunnally, Shayla C. 2011. “(Dis)Counting on Democracy to Work: Perceptions of

Electoral Fairness in the 2008 Presidential Election.” Journal of Black Studies 42(6): 923-942.

Nunnally, Shayla C. 2010. “Learning Race, Socializing Blackness: A Cross-Generational Analysis of Black Americans’ Racial Socialization Experiences.”  The Du Bois Review 7(1): 185-217.

Nunnally, Shayla C. 2010. “Linking Blackness or Ethnic Othering? African Americans’ Diasporic Linked Fate with West Indian and African Peoples in the U.S.” The Du Bois Review 7(2): 335-355.

Nunnally, Shayla C. 2009. “Racial Homogenization and Stereotypes: Black American College Students’ Racial Stereotypes.” Journal of Black Studies 40(2): 252-265.


Book Chapters

Nunnally, Shayla C. 2013. “The Role of Race in the 2012 Presidential Election and the Future of the American Party System.” In Winning the Presidency 2012. William Crotty, ed. Paradigm Publishers.

Nunnally, Shayla C. 2012. “African American Perspectives on the Obama Presidency.” In The Obama Presidency: Promise and Performance. William Crotty, ed. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 

Nunnally, Shayla C. 2008. “Advantage, Agency, and Unrest: The Quest for Socio-Political Capital and Voting Rights among African Americans in Petersburg, Virginia, 1929-1956.” 2008. William H. Alexander, Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander, Charles H. Ford, eds. Voices from Within the Veil: African Americans and the Experience of Democracy.  Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.




Graduate Courses

African American Politics

American Public Opinion and Political Behavior


Undergraduate Courses

African American Politics

Race, American Politics, and Public Policy (Writing-Intensive Course)

Race, American Politics, and Public Policy

Congress in Action: Theory and Context (Internship, Writing-Intensive Course)

Political Behavior and Public Opinion

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-3257
Nunnally CV Shayla Nunnally
Office LocationOak Hall 403
Office HoursMW 2:30-3:30pm, and by appointment