FACULTY | Melissa Nobles
Melissa Nobles Professor Nobles is the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science. Nobles is a graduate of Brown University where she majored in History. She received her MA and PhD in Political Science from Yale University. Nobles has held fellowships at Boston University's Institute for Race and Social Division and Harvard University's Radcliffe Center for Advanced Study. She has served on the editorial board of Polity, and currently serves on the editorial boards of Perspectives on Politics and the American Political Science Review. Nobles is also involved in faculty governance at MIT, serving as the Associate Chair of the MIT Faculty, 2007-2009.
Professor Nobles' teaching and research interests are in the comparative study of racial and ethnic politics, and issues of retrospective justice. Her first book, Shades of Citizenship: Race and the Census in Modern Politics (Stanford University Press, 2000), examines the political origins and consequences of racial categorization in demographic censuses in the United States and Brazil. Her second book, The Politics of Official Apologies, (Cambridge University Press, 2008), comparatively examines the political uses of official apologies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. At present, Prof. Nobles is conducting research for a third book manuscript that will analyze the prospects for "transitional justice" in the American south. This book, and related projects, proposes to include the southern region of the United States in the comparative study of democratization and transitional justice. For a variety of reasons, which the book will examine, the south is not often included in comparative study.
"Democratic dilemmas of census categorization in the post-civil rights era," in How Public Institutions Assess Identity Claims, ed. Avigail Eisenberg and Will Kymlicka. University of British Columbia Press, in press.
"The Prosecution of Human Rights Violations," Annual Review of Political Science, (2010) 13:165-82.
The Politics of Official Apologies .New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008).
"Reparations Claims: Politics by Another Name," Political Power and Political Theory, (2007) 18:253-258.
"The Myth of Latin American Multiracialism," Daedalus, (2005) 82-87.
"Lessons from Brazil: The Ideational and Political Dimensions of Multiraciality," in The New Race Question: How the Census Counts Multiracial Individuals, ed. Joel Perlmann and Mary Waters, New York: Russell Sage Foundation press. (2002).
"Racial Categorization and censuses," in Census and Identity: The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Language in National Censuses, ed. David I. Kertzer and Dominique Arel. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
17.50: Introduction to Comparative Politics
17.55J: Introduction to Latin American Studies
17.523: Ethnic Conflict in World Politics
17.504: Ethnic Politics I
17.516: Transitional Justice