Core Faculty

david-embrick-photo-150x150David G. Embrick is an Associate professor in the Sociology Department and African Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut. Formally, he spent a decade at Loyola University Chicago in the Sociology Department. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2006. He is a former American Sociological Association Minority Fellow, Past-President of the Southwestern Sociological Association, and current Vice President-Elect of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. In addition, Dr. Embrick serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Humanity & Society (the official journal of the Association for Humanist Society), Founding Co-Editor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, the newest ASA sponsored journal of the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, and Associate Editor of Social Problems.

Dr. Embrick’s research has centered largely on the impact of contemporary forms of racism on people of color. While most of his research is one what he has labeled “diversity ideology” and inequalities in the business world, he has published on race and education, the impact of schools-welfare-and prisons on people of color, and issues of sex discrimination. Dr. Embrick has published in a number of journals including American Behavioral Scientist, Critical Sociology, Race and Society, Sex Roles, Sociological Forum, and Symbolic Interaction, among others. He has been invited to give talks on his work in over 60 venues, both academic and public.

Jordan Lewis

Lewis Gordon is Professor of Philosophy, with affiliations in Asian and Asian American Studies, Caribbean and Latino/a Studies, and Judaic Studies, at UCONN-Storrs; Honorary President and Core Faculty Member of the Global Center for Advanced Studies; European Union Visiting Chair in Philosophy at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France; Honorary Professor at the Unit of the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU), South Africa; and Chairman of the Anna Julia Cooper, Frantz Fanon, Nicolás Guillén, and Claudia Jones awards committees of the Caribbean Philosophical Association.  He was also recently Nelson Mandela Distinguished Visiting Professor of Politics and International Studies at Rhodes in South Africa (2014 and 2015).  A graduate of Yale University and the Lehman Scholars Program of the City University of New York, his publications include the influential monographs Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism (Humanities International Press, 1995; Humanity Books, 1999), Fanon and the Crisis of European Man: An Essay on Philosophy and Human Sciences (Routledge, 1995), Her Majesty’s Other Children: Sketches of Racism in a Neocolonial Age (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), which won the Gustavus Meyer Award for Human Rights in North America, Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought (Routledge, 2000), Disciplinary Decadence: Living Thought in Trying Times (Routledge, 2006), An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 2008), What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought (Fordham UP; Wits UP; Hurst, 2015; Swedish translation, Vad Fanon Sa, TankeKraft förlag 2016), La sud prin nord-vest: Reflecţii existenţiale afrodiasporice [Eng. Trans.: “South by Northwest: Africana Existential Reflections”](Cluj, Romania: IDEA Design & Print, 2016), with Jane Anna Gordon, Of Divine Warning: Reading Disaster in the Modern Age (Routledge, 2009), and with Walter Mignolo, Alejandro de Oto, and Sylvia Wynter, La teoría política en la encrucijada descolonial [Eng. Trans.: “Political Theory at Decolonial Crossroads”] (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Del Signo ediciones, 2009)His anthologies include Existence in Black: An Anthology of Black Existential Philosophy (Routledge, 1997) and the co-edited Fanon: A Critical Reader (Blackwell’s, 1996), A Companion to African-American Studies (Blackwell’s, 2006), which was a NetLibrary Book of the Month in February 2007, Not Only the Master’s Tools (Routledge, 2006), Journeys in Caribbean Thought: The Paget Henry Reader (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2016), and Geopolitics and Decolonization: Perspectives from the Global South (Rowman & Littlefield International,  2017).   He has written a few hundred academic journal articles, book chapters, and reviews, many of which have been translated into several languages, and interviews and essays for a variety of public forums, including The Mail & Guardian and Truthout, on which he now serves on the Board of Directors. He is also completing a series of monographs in such languages as French, Portuguese, and Spanish.  His work is the subject of articles, essays, dissertations, anthologies, and monographs in varieties of languages across the globe.  He co-edits the book series Global Critical Caribbean Thought. Gordon is also a musician.  He plays drums, among other instruments, with a group of his colleagues in a band called Blues without Borders, jazz with various musicians in the Hartford area, and alternative rock with the band ThreeGenerations ( His website is:, and he is on twitter at:  See also the GCAS website:

jane_gordonJane Gordon is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science. Her first book, Why They Couldn’t Wait: A Critique of the Black-Jewish Conflict over Community Control in Ocean Hill-Brownsville was listed by the Gotham Gazette as one of the four best recent books on civil rights. She is co-editor of The Companion to African American Studies, which was the NetLibrary Book of the Month in February 2007, and Not Only the Master’s Tools: African-American Studies in Theory and Practice, Creolizing Rousseau, and Journeys in Caribbean Thought. She is also co-author of Of Divine Warning: Reading Disaster in the Modern Age and author of Creolizing Political Theory: Reading Rousseau through Fanon. She is completing a co-edited volume, A Political Companion to Richard Wright and a monograph entitled, Statelessness and Contemporary Enslavement. She was the President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association from 2013–2016 during which time she founded the association’s Summer School and its two book series, Creolizing the Canon and Global Critical Caribbean Thought, with the London-based Rowman and Littlefield International.

Fred Lee received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He works across the fields of contemporary political theory, comparative ethnic studies, and American political development. His current book project, Extraordinary Racial Politics: Four Events in the Informal Constitution of the United States, expansively conceptualizes “the U.S. constitution” as an ongoing racial project; Lee argues that the U.S. constitution has been repeatedly reshaped by extraordinary events—including 1830s-1840s Southeastern Amerindian removals, the Japanese internment, the civil rights movement, and 1960s-1970s racial empowerment movements.  In other writings, Lee has engaged questions of historical memory, cultural politics, and gender/sexuality.

shayla_nunnallyShayla C. Nunnally is an Associate Professor, jointly appointed in the Department of Political Science and the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut (UCONN). She 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. Her teaching specialties include American politics, African American politics, race and politics, and public opinion and political behavior. Similarly, her research specialization includes American public opinion, African American public opinion and political behavior, race and politics, political socialization, racial socialization, trust, intergroup relations and attitudes, social capital, collective memory and memory transmission, black American partisanship, and black political development. Professor 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). She has appeared on several international, national, and local radio and TV shows to discuss American politics and race and politics. 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. Professor Nunnally also currently serves as the Campus Coordinator/Director of the UCONN Collaborative for Equity Through 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 52 institutions contributing. She has received several national and local awards. Some of them include the 2009 National Conference of Black Political Scientists’ Fannie Lou Hamer Award for Outstanding Community Service and the 2009 Young Professional Member of the Year Award for the Eastern Region of the National Urban League.

bhakti-sm2-150x150Bhakti Shringarpure received her PhD in Comparative from the City University of New York (The Graduate Center). She works in the fields of postcolonial literature and theory, gender and sexuality studies, digital humanities, culture studies, media, and film. Her recent publications include two edited anthologies titled Literary Sudans: An Anthology of Literature from the Sudan & South Sudan (Africa World Press) and Imagine Africa (Archipelago Books) as well as a translation of Senegalese writer Boris Boubacar Diop's novel Kaveena (Indiana University Press). Shringarpure is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Warscapes magazine which publishes art and writing from and about contemporary conflicts. 

Her current book project Cold War Assemblages: Decolonization to Digital destabilizes existing Cold War genealogies by viewing the Cold War as a postcolonial event and as the afterlife of European colonialism. The book explores impactful moments during the Cold War in order to establish that these set into motion several irreversible trajectories, which include embedding an episteme of violence within the decolonized Third World and facilitating intrinsically connected literary and academic interventions that have shaped literary canons and digital cultures today. 

Evelyn SimienEvelyn M. Simien is Professor of Political Science, and Director of the REP Graduate Certificate program. She graduated cum laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with a bachelor's degree in political science. Professor Simien received her MA and Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University.  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 (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. Professor Simien has published several peer-reviewed articles and scholarly essays in such journals as DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race, Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies, the Journal of Black Studies, Perspectives on Politics, Politics, Groups, and Identities, Political Research Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, Politics and Gender, Social Science Quarterly, as well as Women and Politics.  She has contributed chapters to the following books: Winning the Presidency 2008 (Paradigm Publishers, 2009); Still Brave: The Evolution of Black Women’s Studies (The Feminist Press, 2009); African American Perspectives on Political Science (Temple University Press, 2007); Speaking Our Minds: Black Women’s Intellectual Traditions (University of Vermont Press, 2007). 

A nationally recognized teacher, Professor Simien was awarded the 2006 Anna Julia Cooper Teacher of the Year Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, and the 2007 Teaching Promise Award from the American Association of University Professors. She was also recognized as the 2017 Faculty Member of the Year by the UConn chapter of the NAACP. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes—for example, African American Politics, Black Feminist Theory and Politics, Black Leadership and Civil Rights, as well as Race, Gender, and Ethnic Politics.

charles_venatorCharles R. Venator-Santiago is an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut, where he holds a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and El Instituto: Institute for Latino/a, Caribbean and Latin American Studies.

His most recent book is titled Puerto Rico and the Origins of U.S. Global Empire: The Disembodied Shade (Routledge 2015).

He is currently completing a history of the extension of U.S. Citizenship laws to Puerto Rico (1898-Present) and is studying the legal histories of the citizenship and status legislation for the remaining U.S. unincorporated territories. Some of his research will be published in the forthcoming Puerto Rican Citizenship Archives Project.

He teaches courses on U.S. territorial law and policy, Public Law, Latino/a Politics, immigration law and politics, and political theory.

He is a former President of the Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA) (2013-2014) and Board Member of Latino/a Critical Theory (LatCrit) (2004-2014).