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Shayla C. NunnallyShayla C. Nunnally

Professor, Chair of the Africana Studies Program

Phone: 865-974-5052

Professor Nunnally's Vita

Field of Study:


  • Ph.D. Duke University


Shayla C. Nunnally is a professor of political science and chair of the Africana Studies Program at the University of Tennessee, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in American politics and African American politics, public opinion, and political behavior. She is a summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina Central University. She received her MA and PhD in political science at Duke University. Professor Nunnally specializes in research on political socialization, racial socialization, trust, intergroup relations and attitudes, social capital, collective memory and memory transmission, black American partisanship, black (political) institutions, and African American political development.

Her 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, Politics, Groups, and Identities, 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 her book was cited in an amicus curiae brief to the US Supreme Court for the landmark affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (2013). Her current research projects focus on black partisanship, black intraracial trust, black elite-cueing, and the political dynamism of Jim Crow black public high schools in the State of Virginia. She is working on several book monographs and articles related to these subjects. Nunnally has appeared on several international, national, and local radio and TV shows (local and national) to discuss American politics and race and politics. Nunnally served as the 39th president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS, 2017-2019). She has served as the campus coordinator/director of the University of Connecticut’s Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research on Women and Girls of Color. She also is an inaugural editorial board member with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s new journal, Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research.

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