Chryl N. Laird

Assistant Professor of Government

Teaching this semester

AFRS 1005/GOV 1005. Women of Color in Politics

Explores the significant roles that women of color have played in American politics and around the world. Begins with the US context, starting in the antebellum era and moving forward by reading biographies/autobiographies that provide voice to the experiences faced by women of color in both traditional and non-traditional political spaces. These include women of color as close confidants to male political figures (first ladies, wives, and mistresses) and as politicians, judges, activists, and revolutionaries. Then shifts to a more global context considering the perspectives of women of color in countries where they have championed gender equality and feminism, and where they have become powerful political actors.

GOV 2050. Public Opinion and Voting Behavior

Examines the political behavior of ordinary citizens. Begins with a broad focus on the importance of citizen participation in a democracy, and the debate over how much or how little participation is best. Examines the reasons for citizen (non)participation, and focuses on the effects of campaigns and social capital on different forms of participation.

Chryl Laird teaches courses in race and ethnic politics, urban politics, American politics, and political behavior. For her teaching, she was awarded the Ernest A. Calloway Jr. Excellence in Teaching Award (2015) from the African American Studies Program at Saint Louis University.

Laird’s ongoing research agenda and dissertation, Black Like Me: The Malleability of African American Political Racial Group Identification, examines the importance of black political discourse in black opinion formation. Her second line of work focuses on how group norms shape black political behavior. She has received several awards for research including the Rodney Higgins Best Faculty Paper Award (2014) from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the Best Paper Award: Race & Ethnic Politics Section (2014) from the American Political Science Association. Her work has been published in the American Political Science Review and Politics, Groups, and Identities.



  • Ph.D. Political Science, The Ohio State University, 2014
  • M.A. Political Science, The Ohio State University, 2008
  • B.A. African American Studies, University of Maryland College Park, 2005
  • B.A. Government and Politics, University of Maryland College Park; 2005

PDF Curriculum Vitae


McClerking, Harwood K., Chryl N. Laird, and Ray Block Jr. 2018. “The Fragility of Racial Transcendence: An Analysis of Oprah Winfrey’s Endorsement of the Barack Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign.” American Politics Research.

Laird, Chryl N. 2018. “Why Black Voter Turnout Fell in 2016.” Vox Mischiefs of Faction.

Laird, Chryl N. 2017. “Black Like Me: How Political Communication Changes Racial Group Identification and Its Implications.” Politics, Groups, and Identities.

Fenderson, Jonathan and Chryl Laird. 2016. “Shifting Blackness: Immigration, Ethnicity & Black Political Futures A TBS Conversations with Christina Greer & Candis Smith.” The Black Scholar.

White, Ismail K., Chryl N. Laird, and Troy D. Allen.  2014. “Selling Out?: The Politics of Navigating Conflicts between Racial Group Interest and Self-Interest.” American Political Science Review 108(4): 783–800.