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Department of Political Science

Faculty Directory

Todd Shaw

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Political Science
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-3109
Office: Gambrell, 331
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
African American Studies Program
Todd Shaw


Todd Shaw has been on faculty since 2003 and has appointments both in USC's Department of Political Science and the African American Studies Program. He was appointed the College of Arts & Science Distinguished Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies by Dean Mary Ann Fitzpatrick in August of 2012. He currently is the Associate Director of African American Studies. He researches and teaches broadly in the areas of African American politics, urban politics and public policy, as well as citizen activism and social movements.

His current research agenda is to explore the political, sociological, and ideological ramifications of changes in the post-Civil Rights Movement African American community. Specifically he is very interested in how class, gender, age and other social factors create differing definitions of what constitutes African American group interests and how groups of African Americans and their allies have acted upon these perceived interests. Toward these ends, he has a 2009 book out from Duke University Press, Now Is the Time! Detroit Black Politics and Grassroots Activism. In it, he explores the dynamics between black grassroots housing activism and the responsiveness of black elected officials in Detroit, MI and other sister cities and devises what he calls the EBAM --- the Effective Black Activism Model, which argues to be effective activism and protest must be the right tool, at the right time, and in the right place. Among other scholarly journals, Shaw has published in the Journal of Politics, the National Political Science Review, and the Annals of the American Academy as well as chapters in edited volumes and book reviews in journals.  Athena King, Lester Spence, and he have a chapter, “Hype, Hip Hop, and Heartbreak:  The Rise and Fall of Kwame Kilpatrick,” in the volume Whose Black Politics?  Cases in Post-Racial Black Leadership, edited by Andra Gillespie (Routledge Press.)

He currently is working on a large project with Dr. Kirk Foster in Social Work at USC and Dr. Barbara Combs in Sociology at University of Mississippi that asks questions about African American group identity is becoming distant from neighborhood attachments and what would such a development mean relative to investments in social capital and local political participation in the city of Atlanta and elsewhere.  He also has a course textbook under contract with CQ Press --- co-authored with Dianne Pinderhughes, Louis Desipio, and Toni-Michelle Travis and entitled, Uneven Roads:  Introduction to U.S. Racial and Ethnic Politics.

Shaw is a recipient of the 2008 USC Black Faculty and Staff Scholarship and Teaching Award, has served as a member of the Executive Council of the Southern Political Science Association as well as the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, a recipient of the 2002 Department of Political Science Charles Berdahl Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award at the University of Illinois, and a 1999-2000 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Minority Fellowship.  

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