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Riley, Emmitt Y., Ph.D. - Faculty Bio

Riley, Emmitt Y., Ph.D.




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Political Science, Asbury Hall, Room 103
Greencastle, IN

Africana Studies 

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies

            Dr. Emmitt Y. Riley III, an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, completed a B.A in English Literature and a B.A.in political science (Manga Cum Laude) in 2008 at Mississippi Valley State University. He completed a M.A. (2010) in political science at Jackson State University and a Ph.D. (2014) in political science at The University of Mississippi with a specialization in American Politics and International Relations. He has teaching and research interests in Race Politics, Congressional Representation, Racial Attitudes, Voting Behavior, Political Marginalization and Inequality.

Dr. Riley’s research explores the degree to which African American political representation impacts the attitudes and political behavior of whites.  His research investigates both the substantive and symbolic benefits of black descriptive representation.  Dr. Riley is currently writing a book entitled “Mississippi Goddamn: Why Black Politicians have not used their political capital to transform the Mississippi Delta.” This book investigates the political and institutional challenges faced by black politicians in their quest to represent black constituencies substantively.

 Dr. Riley teaches courses on Race Politics, The Politics of Inequality, The Politics of Marginalized Groups, Problem in American Government, Introduction to Africana Studies and Political Representation. Since arriving at DePauw University he has taught The American Presidency, Legislative Politics and American National Government. This fall he will be teaching a reading course for the Prindle Institute for Ethics entitle “Henrietta Lacks: Law, Politics, and Bio Ethics.” 

Selected Publications


  • “The Great Divider: President Obama's Influence on Trust in Government and Racial Attitudes” with Clarissa Peterson. How the Obama Presidency Changed the Political Landscape.  June 2017. Editors: Larry J. Walker, F. Erik Brooks and Ramon Goings
  • “Economic Anxiety or Racial Predispositions?  White Support for Donald Trump and the Remaking of White Nationalisms in the Era of Obama.”  Forthcoming Race, Gender, and Class Journal.  Co-Authored with Clarissa Peterson.