Nancy Wadsworth portrait image

I am a Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver. Most of my research and writing are at the intersection of culture and politics, with an eye on the ever-shifting dynamics of popular culture, social movements, race, religion, and identity. Having earned my PhD at the New School for Social Research, I am also informed by and enjoy teaching political theory.

My scholarship on the intersection of race and religion in American politics culminated in my book Ambivalent Miracles: Evangelicals and the Politics of Racial Healing. Following that, I explored the mobilization of zombies as a multivalent metaphor in contemporary politics, looking at cases in Slovenia and the U.S. More recently, I am pursuing a new, comparative project on the strategic mobilization of emotion in global youth climate activism.

I enjoy the challenge of combining scholarship with public advocacy and analysis. In 2014, I chaired the committee at the University of Denver that issued a report on the role of our founder in the Sand Creek Massacre. I have written public essays for Vox, The Washington Post, The Denver Post and Political Theology Today. I am also a frequent speaker in the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art’s Mixed Taste: Lectures on Unrelated Subjects series.


Ambivalent Miracles: Evangelicals and the Politics of Racial Healing

Ambivalent Miracles traces the rise and ongoing evolution of evangelical racial change efforts within the historical, political, and cultural contexts that have shaped them.

Faith and Race in American Political Life

Drawing on scholarship from an array of disciplines, this volume provides a deep and timely look at the intertwining of race and religion in American politics.

Blog Posts

The Whitest White

I spent this past weekend at what I’m pretty sure is the whitest event I’ve ever attended—which is saying something,...

Bad Pandemic Days

Bad Pandemic Days

Pandemic bad days are wars with myself, chaos in my thought patterns, and a sick stone just under my ribcage. Bad pandemic days have no sense of humor. Because, really: none of this is funny.

Contact me

Sturm Hall, Room 469
2000 E. Asbury Ave.
Denver, CO 80208