Kelly Clancy, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Kelly Clancy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Political Science
Office location

Old Main 306

Office hours

On leave, 2021-2022

"Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war" - Martin Luther King, Jr. 


I joined the Political Science faculty at Nebraska Wesleyan University in the fall of 2015. I did my doctoral work at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. While at Rutgers, I received a Foreign Language and Area Studies grant to study Polish in Krakow, Poland, and a Baden Wurttemberg stipendium to study at the University of Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany.

Before returning to academia, I was a high school debate coach at Westlake High School in Austin, TX, I worked for the Nixon Archives, and the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.


Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University

Courses taught

Political Science

POLSC 1000: US Government and Politics first year writing instructive, social science instructive
POLSC 1100: Introduction to International Politics writing instructive
POLSC 2110: Making Social Change, experiential learning
POLSC 2200: Minority Politics diversity instructive, discourse instructive
POLSC 2460: Media and Politics
POLSC 2610: Politics of Europe global diversity instructive
POLSC 2720: Global Environmental Politics speaking instructive
POLSC 2900: Global Politics and the United Nations speaking instructive
POLSC 2900: Global Politics and the United Nations: Terrorism speaking instructive POLSC 2900: Political Identity discourse instructive
POLSC 3010: Research Methods I
POLSC 3150: Democratization speaking instructive
POLSC 3800: Global Revolution and Rebellion
POLSC 4990: Senior Seminar writing instructive, speaking instructive

Interdisciplinary Studies

IDS 1000: Student Success Seminar
IDS 1010: Archway Seminar: Political Satire
IDS 1010: Archway Seminar: Revolution 1968!
IDS 1300: Justice: An Introductory Experience experiential learning IDS 3900: Culminating Course in Chaos and Gender Threads

Research and academic interests

I am writing a new book: Everyday Activism: Stories of Anti-Trump Resistance! 

My research focuses on questions of social justice and the politics of protest. My first book, The Politics of Genetically Modified Organisms in the United States and Europe (Palgrave Macmillan 2016), examined the puzzle of contentious politics surrounding GMOs on both sides of the Atlantic. Since then, my research has continued to examine different points of protest in Europe and the United States. 

I use multiple methodologies to study these social movements. I start by studying the resistance movement in general, focusing on ways that protestors mobilized after the 2016 election. One of the particular emphases is on “red states rising” and the way that progressive movements have mobilized in traditionally conservative parts of the country. In these red states, I study mobilization around progressive issues, such as the expansion of Medicaid in Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska. Throughout the project, I have been engaged in participant observation research, attending protests and meetings of Indivisible groups and protests. Additionally, I have structured a longitudinal study in multiple phases. I first administered a survey to all Indivisible and Black Lives Matter groups in cities with over 200,000 people, and received 196 responses. Based on these responses, I conducted 44 semi-structured interviews with activists, asking about this political moment, their organizational strategies, and the way their activism intersected with the 2018 midterm elections. I am in the process of following up with these 44 activists, asking about their perceptions of the midterm elections and how they are strategizing for 2020. 

My second area of research focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning, specifically the way that diversity and inclusion manifest themselves in the political science classroom. My collaborator on this project and I are in the third phase of this project. We did research on diversity and inclusion in our own classrooms at Nebraska Wesleyan, publishing several articles. We then received the Holder Award for Instructional Improvement to host a workshop in October 2018 with political science professors from across the state of Nebraska to discuss how diversity manifests itself in our classrooms. We received the Ameritas award to fund a survey and interviews with faculty members to discuss how they understand the impact of diversity and inclusion on curriculum and instruction. We plan to conduct interviews with professors from across the country to understand the way diversity and inclusion manifests itself on the classroom level. We have published a series of articles on this topic, and plan to publish a book on diversity and inclusion in midwestern political science classrooms at the culmination of the research.

Both of these research trajectories feed into my career objective of continuing to evolve as a teacher-scholar by interweaving social justice into my research, teaching, and service, as I contribute to the life of my liberal arts university. I put my teaching and research in close conversation with each other, infusing my courses with deep discussions of the politics of diversity and inclusion. 

Service interests

Political Science Department Chair (2018-2021)

Faculty Secretary, elected member of the Faculty Council (2018-2021)

Coordinator of two interdisciplinary threads: the Chaos Thread (2016-2018) and the Justice Thread (2018-2021)

Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Taskforce for Criterion 2, member 

Action Council on Diversity and Inclusion, member; founder of the subcommittee to advance diversity in hiring

Prestigious Scholarships Committee, member. 

Forum Committee at-large faculty member (brought speakers such as Bryan Stevenson, Hanna Rosin, and JD Vance to campus) (2016-2018)

Institutional Review Board, social sciences representative (2016-2018)

University-wide Writing Assessment Taskforce and the Diversity Assessment Taskforce, member (2017)

NetVUE taskforce on vocational learning (2017)

External member, Psychology search committee (2016)

Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards

2019: Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant to Ireland and Northern Ireland: “The Effects of Grassroots Mobilization on Abortion Legalization in Ireland and Northern Ireland”

2019: NWU Wolf Fund, used to take students in Minority Politics course to the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights’ 2019 Civil Rights Conference

2018: Ameritas Fellowship

2018: Kenneth R. Holder Fellowship for Instructional Improvement

2018: NWU Wolf Fund award, used to bring students to the Justice Summit and opening of the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum in Montgomery, AL.

2017: Aspen Ideas Festival Attendee Award

2017: Advocate for Diversity Award, Nebraska Wesleyan University

2017: John White Internationalization Award, Nebraska Wesleyan University

2017: John White Internationalization Travel Grant, Nebraska Wesleyan University

2016: Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant to Scotland, “Effects of Youth Participation on the Scottish Independence Referendum of 2014”