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Carol M. Swain

Professor of Political Science
Professor of Law

Carol Swain is passionate about empowering others to raise their voices in the public square. She has authored award-winning books, including Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress (Harvard University Press, 1993, 1995). Black Faces won the Woodrow Wilson prize for the best book published in the U. S. on government, politics or international affairs in 1994, and was cited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in Johnson v. DeGrandy, 512 U.S. 997 (1994) and by Justice Sandra Day O' Connor in Georgia v. Ashcroft, 539 U.S. (2003). Professor Swain’s other books include Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise (Thomas Nelson Press, 2011); Debating Immigration (Cambridge University Press, 2007); The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration (Cambridge University Press, 2002), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; and Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2003, edited with Russ Nieli). Professor Swain has served on the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and currently serves on the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her opinion pieces have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and USA Today. Professor Swain has appeared on BBC Radio, NPR, CNN's AC360, Hannity, Lou Dobbs Tonight,  the PBS NewsHour, The Washington Journal and ABC's Headline News, among other media. She is a foundation member of the Virginia Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Before joining Vanderbilt in 1999, she was a tenured associate professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Research Interests

Immigration reform, religious liberty, campaigns and elections, and racial politics

Representative Publications