Banner Image

Nicole Truesdell

Nicole Truesdell
Office Phone: x2120

General Interests:
Nicole’s interests are twofold:  one is in political and legal anthropology with an emphasis on rights of citizenship and belonging, the modern nation-state, Neo-Gramscian notions of race and racism, biological and genetic understandings of human difference, ethnographic methods, and class in the United Kingdom and the United States.  Her ongoing work examines the place and use of race by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community organizations in the UK as a legal, political and social tool to enact their rights with the state.

As the Director of the McNair Scholars program, Nicole is also interested in, and researches on, the retention and success of first-generation, low-income and underrepresented groups in higher education.  Her current project examines the role and impact mentoring, research opportunities, and social identity has within McNair Scholars Program at liberal arts colleges. 

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
M.A., Anthropology. 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 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.

Selected Publications:
2013 Truesdell, Nicole. Researching Race While Being Race: Reflections on Race Politics in Anthropology. Anthropologies. 18: May

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:
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.

2009 An American in Britain: Reflections on fieldwork around issues about Britishness. Presidential Invited Session at the American Anthropological Association Conference. Philadelphia, PA.  December 3

2008 Discrimination in Anthropology and the Academy.  Invited Roundtable Discussant at the American Anthropological Association Conference. San Francisco, CA. November 21

Selected Grants/Awards:

2011 Michigan State University Dissertation Completion Fellowship, $6,000

2011 and 2009 Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Honorable Mention

2009 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (co-PI), $14,956.00

2005-2010 University Enrichment Five-Year Fellow, Michigan State University

As a Consultant:
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,  £49,335

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, £45,000

2010 UK Online Smarter Government Champion Centre grant - a digital inclusion project aimed at training disadvantaged communities, £45,000

Ongoing ethnographic study on BME organizations in Bristol and London, England

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