Close this search box.

Advisory Board Member

Emmitt Y. Riley, III

Professor, Africana Studies and Political Science, DePauw University

Emmitt Y. Riley III, a political scientist, author and political consultant, is an assistant professor of Africana Studies at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., and the director of the Africana Studies program there. He is a contributing faculty member for both the political science department and the peace and conflict studies program. He is a native of the Mississippi Delta where he was raised in Itta Bena, Miss.
Emmitt earned a bachelor’s degree in English, a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2008 at Mississippi Valley State University and a master’s degree in political science from Jackson State University in 2010.
Dr. Riley continued his education at the University of Mississippi, where he earned a master’s and Doctorate of Philosophy in political science with a specialization in American politics and international relations in 2014. He is an expert in racial and black politics. In 2018, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists named him the 2018 Anna Julia Cooper Teacher of the Year.  He received the 2020 Fannie Lou Hamer Award for Service from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.

The professor’s research explores the degree to which African American political representation impacts the racial attitudes and political behavior of white people. His research focuses on the substantive and symbolic benefits of black descriptive representation and has sparked regional, national and international interest. He has written several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His research has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Black Studies and the Journal of Race & Policy. He is currently writing a book titled “Mississippi Goddamn: The Constraints of Black Politics in Mississippi,” which investigates the political and institutional challenges black politicians face in their quest to represent black constituencies substantively.

His professional and fraternal associations include the American Political Science Association, Southern Political Science Association, the Association for the Study of Worldwide African Diaspora and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.