Matt Nelsen is an assistant professor within the Department of Political Science at the University of Miami. His work examines how local-level institutions, especially schools and neighborhoods, act as microcosms of democracy and has been featured within Perspectives on Politics, Political Behavior, The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, Psychological Inquiry, and the Washington Post.
His forthcoming book The Color of Civics: Civic Education for a Multiracial Democracy explores how civic education courses shape the political attitudes and behaviors of high schoolers along the lines of race and ethnicity. More specifically, he finds that content and teaching practices that center the local knowledge and grassroots political action of marginalized groups have the ability to forge more empowering civic learning experiences for young people. This work grew out of his dissertation, which received three awards from the American Political Science Association, including the E.E. Schattschneider Award for best doctoral dissertation in the field of American government.
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Matt received dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and Asian Studies as a first-generation college student at St. Olaf College and holds a M.A. in social sciences from the University of Chicago. He was also a lecturer in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University and taught American Politics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.