I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. My research on US political participation and racial politics appears in American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, University of Chicago Press, and is forthcoming at Perspectives on Politics.
My work examines the mechanisms – psychological, social, and structural – that facilitate engagement in politics, from voting to social movements. My book, The Obligation Mosaic: Race and Social Norms in US Political Participation, shows how social norms and racial segregation create variations in political participation across racial groups in American society. Other scholarship looks at participatory spillover from felony disenfranchisement policies, the effects of the Black Lives Matter movement on race socialization choices among White parents, and racial divisions in carceral state attitudes.
I am a member of Vanderbilt’s RIPS Lab and a Cornelius Vanderbilt Dean’s Faculty Fellow. I am a former Summer Fellow through the Center for Democracy and Organizing at the University of California, Berkeley and the former Donna Schweers and Thomas Geiser Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow through Stanford’s Office of the Vice Provost of Graduate Education.
Previously, I was the Ameri*Corps VISTA for Community Engagement and Scholarship in the Office of Community Engagement at The College of William and Mary. I graduated with honors from The College of William and Mary in 2009 with a double major in American Studies and Government.
Anoll’s recent book: The Obligation Mosaic (2022, University of Chicago Press)
Many argue that “civic duty” explains why Americans engage in politics, but what does civic duty mean, and does it mean the same thing across communities?
In The Obligation Mosaic, Anoll shows that the obligations that bring people into the political world—or encourage them to stay away—vary systematically by race in the United States, with broad consequences for representation. Drawing on interviews, surveys, and experiments with Asian, Black, Latino, and White Americans, Anoll uncovers two common norms that centrally define concepts of obligation: honoring ancestors and helping those in need. Whether these norms lead different groups to politics depends on distinct racial histories and continued patterns of segregation.
Anoll’s findings reveal opportunities for change, suggesting how activists and parties might better mobilize marginalized citizens.