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Nicole Truesdell

Nicole Truesdell
Office Location: 2nd Floor, South College
Office Phone: x2120

General Interests:
Nicole is the Senior Director of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness for the Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness (OADI) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Beloit College. Nicole’s general interests are in radical pedagogy, academic hustling, and social justice.  Her research focuses on the intersections of race, racism, gender, citizenship and belonging, nationalism and the nation-state, community organizing and activism, social movements, equity in higher education, mentoring and radical black thought. Currently, Nicole is working on two research projects – the first project looks at the experiences of black women at Primarily White Institutions (PWIs) as a way to develop proactive, versus reactive, inclusion and diversity policies. The second project examines Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) identity in post-Brexit Bristol, England. This is a continuation of her dissertation research on the relationship between race and citizenship on national identity, what Nicole calls racialized citizenship, in England. As a black feminist scholar who uses a decolonizing lens, Nicole is committed to pushing against dominant narratives to ensure marginalized voices, bodies, and thought are seen and heard. 

Nicole’s previous training at a Masters level was in biological/forensic anthropology.  She worked on three forensic cases at Louisiana State University in the FACES Lab and conducted research on questioning the validity of biological notions of race, using nonmetric techniques on crania to identify ancestry.  She uses her biological training to inform her current work around race and racism.

Professor at Beloit Since: 2013

Ph.D., Anthropology. 2011. Michigan State University
M.A., Anthropology. 2008. Michigan State University and 2005 Louisiana State University
B.A., Anthropology. 2003. Beloit College

Teaching Philosophy:
What are the intersections between personal lived experience and academic knowledge consumption and production?  This question underpins the ways in which Nicole engages with her students as they learn to “do” anthropology.  As a teaching philosophy Nicole believes that student self-awareness is the first step in engaging with anthropological theory and practice, therefore she uses social media, theory, and personal reflections and experiences as a means to get students to “see” the world from different worldviews.  The application of anthropological thought and practice underpins all aspects of Nicole’s classes.

2017 Truesdell, Nicole. “Black Lives, Black Women, and the Academy: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Work at PWIs.” Forthcoming in edited volume Difficult Subjects

2016 Truesdell, N. Life in a Black Community: Striving for Equal Citizenship in Annapolis, Maryland, 1902–1952 by Hannah Jopling. Lanham: Lexington, 2015. 380 pp. American Anthropologist, 118: 916

2015 Truesdell, Nicole. “A Call To Action: Bringing The Black Lives Matter Movement Home.” Savage Minds. Electronic Document,

2015 Truesdell, Nicole.  "Motherhood in the Ivory Tower."  Review of Nzinga-Johnson, Sekile.  Laboring Positions. Black Women, Mothering and the Academy.   2013. Demeter Press: Ontario. Electronic document,

2013 Truesdell, Nicole. Researching Race While Being Raced: Reflections on Race Politics in Anthropology. Anthropologies. Electronic document,

2013 Hunt, L.M., and Truesdell, N. Observations on the Tenacity of Racial Concepts in Genetics Research.  IN Rethinking Race and Science: Biology, Genes and Culture. J. Hartigan, editor. Pp. 83-106. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.

2013 Hunt, L.M., Truesdell, N and Kreiner, M.J. Race, Genes and Culture in Primary Care: Racial Profiling in the Management of Chronic Illness. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 27(2): 253-271.

Selected Presentations:
2016 “Lessons on Race, Power, and Privilege at Predominately White Institutions. Roundtable for Annual American Anthropological Association Conference. Panelist. Minneapolis, Minnesota. November 20th.

2016 “Anthropologists of Color in Diversity Officer Roles.” Roundtable for Annual American Anthropological Association Conference and Session Co-Organizer/Chair. Minneapolis, Minnesota. November 18th.

2016 “Black Lives, Black Women, and the Academy: Equity and Inclusion Work at PWIs.”  Keynote speaker for International Women’s Day.  Nazareth College, Rochester, New York. March 15th.

2015 "This Too is Ferguson: Denaturalizing Race in Service, Teaching, Mentoring and the Production of Knowledge by Anthropologists at the Margins.” Roundtable for Annual American Anthropological Association Conference and Session Co-Organizer/Chair. Denver, Colorado. November 18th.

2015 “Mentoring Minority Faculty in the Academy.” Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) Bi-Annual Conference. Invited Panelist Roundtable Discussion. Charleston, South Carolina. November 4th.

2014 “Ways of Knowing: The Struggle to Produce Anthropologists of Color.”  Roundtable for Annual American Anthropological Association Conference and Session Co-organizer/Chair.  Washington, D.C. December 3rd.

2013 “Racialized Citizenship In The UK: The Construction of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) As A Political Identity.” Paper presented at Annual Beloit College McNair Symposium, July 26.

2011 “The Politics of Being Labeled a “Black and Ethnic Minority” (BME) Organization in England: The Narrative of Social Exclusion.” Paper for Annual American Anthropological Association Conference. Session Organizer. Montreal, Canada. November 18.

2010 “Doing Race as Research and Using Creative Non-Fiction as a Method of Self Reflection”.  Race and Ethnicity in the Arts Conference.  Co-organizer. London Southbank University. London, England.  June 10.

2010 “Measuring Fairness and Negotiating Britishness: The Construction of Mixedness within Equality Legislation.” Invited Paper at the Economic and Social Science Research Mixedness and Mixing Seminar. London School of Economics. London, England.  March 16.

Selected Grants/Awards:

2016 Women of Color in Leadership Fellow, National Women’s Studies Association                 

2016 Collaborator SCENCER Post-Institute Sub-Award, Beloit College, Beloit, WI ($3,000)    

2016 Scholar in Resident (3-day residency focused on equity and inclusion work within higher education), Nazareth College, Rochester, New York. March 14-16.

2016 Co-PI, Andrew Mellon Foundation Grant for Inclusive Leadership Project, Beloit College, Beloit, WI. ($600,000)

2015 Touissant Foundation Grant for Student Support Services, Beloit College

2015 Co-PI, WiscAMP Small Grants Award for Using Peer Mentors to Recruit, Retain, and Create STEM majors, Beloit College

2014 Leadership Fellow, American Anthropological Association

2011 Michigan State University Dissertation Completion Fellowship

2011 and 2009 Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Honorable Mention

2009 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (co-PI)

As a Consultant:
2017 Our Heritage Grant for “#ThereISBlackInTheUnionJack" Project, Heritage Lottery Fund, Bristol, England ($88,622) – project that examines Black and Minority Ethnic identity in post-Brexit Bristol, England

2013 Heritage Lottery Fund, Our Heritage Grant, “’Race’ Through The Generations: Digital Stories From BME Communities In Gloucester and Bristol” – a digital storytelling project aimed at understandings the generational place and use of race within BME communities 

2011 Heritage Lottery Fund, Our Heritage Grant, “Back to the Future” - an oral history project aimed at understanding the impact of Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) voluntary and community organizations within the Southwest of England

2010 UK Online Smarter Government Champion Centre grant - a digital inclusion project aimed at training disadvantaged communities

Ongoing Research:
2016-Present. Black Women’s Experiences at Primarily White Institutions (PWIs), Mellon Decolonizing Project Research Team, Beloit College, Beloit, WI

2009-Present. Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Identity in Bristol, England Project

Workshops and Symposia:
2017 #GetWoke: Beyond Police Brutality Series, Beloit College, Beloit, WI, Organized for “Know Your Rights” Panel, February 6th. 

2016 “Reflections on justice, love and the public.” Invited talk for the Justice is what love looks like in public Spiritual Life Speakers Series, Beloit College, Beloit, WI. November 7th.

2016 “Whiteness and the Alt-Right.” Invited talk for the Response to the Alt-Right panel. Invited talk. Beloit College, Beloit, WI. October 27th.

2016 #GetWoke Sessions.  Series of panel discussions through the Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness (OADI) that tackle pressing social justice issues and bring them home in interactive discussions. Beloit College, Beloit, WI.

2016 Organizer and Panelist for “The Complicated Nature of Voting” Panel, October 24th.

2016 Moderator and Organizer for “Colin Kaepernick, Protesting, and Patriotism” Panel, September 26th.

2016 Organizer for “The Wisconsin Primaries and Why Voting Matters” Panel, April 4th.

2016 Moderator and Organizer for “Flint, Human Right, and Environmental Racism” Panel, February 29th.

2015 Black Lives Matter Beloit Co-Organizer and Co-Founder Panel series Beloit College, Beloit, WI.

2015 Co-Organizer for “Hashtag Activism and the New Normal” Panel, February 20th.  

2015 Moderator for “Racism and the Black Body” Panel, March 20th.

2015 Panelist for “Policing in Post 9/11 America” Panel, April 17th.

2015 Moderator for “A Conversation on Whiteness with Tim Wise and Dr. Lisa Anderson-Levy” Panel, October 2nd

2013 “Applying for Funding for Graduate School.” Invited Presentation for Annual SSS/McNair Graduate School Retreat.  Chula Vista, Wisconsin Dells. September 27th.

2013 “Racialized Citizenship In The UK: The Construction of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) As A Political Identity.” Paper presented for Annual Beloit College McNair Summer Symposium. July 26th. 

Professional Service:
2016 Participant, National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity’s 12-week Faculty Bootcamp. 

2015-Present Secretary/Treasurer, Association for Black Anthropologist.

2015-2016 Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter Beloit, Beloit College, Beloit, WI.

2010-Present, Research and Development Consultant for Black Southwest Network – a Black and Minority Ethnic Regional Organization in Bristol, England.