Image: Andrene Wright (she/her) wearing a black and white checkered long sleeve shirt

Dr. Andrene Wright defended her dissertation on September 19, 2022 from Northwestern University and currently serves as a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pennsylvania State University, specializing in urban politics and political behavior at the intersection of race, gender, and class.  In the fall of 2023, she will join the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an Anna Julia Cooper fellow, and in 2024, an Assistant Professor of African American Politics. As a scholar, she primarily focuses on producing work that centers the voices of Black women and girls – perspectives that are often pushed to the margins of both race and gendered scholarship. 

Wright is a first-generation American born to Jamaican immigrants. She was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and earned her Bachelors’s degree from the City University of New York (CUNY) John Jay College of Criminal Justice (2017). Wright was also a Vera Fellow (2016), working for the Center on Youth Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice. At John Jay College, students are encouraged to be “fierce advocates for justice.” She can proudly say that this mantra is reflected in her academic praxis, teaching, and service. Wright’s research agenda uses innovative methods to unpack the complex lived experiences and behavior of Black people, using Black women as her foci.

Wright’s philosophy, shaped by Black feminists before her, believes that tackling the social and political ills that disenfranchise Black women, can create safer and more equitable conditions for all other groups.

Wright’s dissertation serves as an exploratory platform predicated on Black women mayor’s role in African American politics, specifically their leadership, and it’s public reception. This work seeks to advance the discipline’s understanding of identity politics, explore the internal dynamics of Black politics more precisely, and situate a Black feminist consciousness in political decision-making. She continues to champion techniques that best account for intra-group differences within marginalized communities, and is working on her book project that’s committed to the workings of Black racial groups within an urban context.

Wright’s dissertation has been awarded the Byran Jackson Dissertation award on Minority Politics by the Urban and Local Politics section of APSA (2022) and was funded by the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy (CSDD)(2021). Her other scholarship has been supported by the Center for American Women and Politics (2021) and she serves as this years Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior’s (EPOVB) Early Career fellow.

Wright recently published in the journal of Politics & Gender, The Washington Post and the Conversation. She also has a forthcoming book chapter in Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S Politics, Volume 2.

Wright holds a Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Philosophy in Political Science from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and African American studies from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice.