North Central College - Naperville, IL

Caliendo publishes two majors works on race

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Jan. 24, 2011—Professor of Political Science Stephen Maynard Caliendo is co-author and co-editor (with Charlton McIlwain) of two recently published books: "The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity," published November 2010, and "Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns," available Jan. 21, 2011.

“The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity” is a comprehensive guide and thought-provoking introduction to the field of race and ethnicity. It’s designed for use in an undergraduate classroom; Caliendo is considering using it spring term in his PSC 313 Politics of Race, Gender and Class course. The first section includes 10 chapters, written by different authors as if they’re presenting a classroom lecture. Bill Muck, North Central College assistant professor of political science, is one contributing author. The second part consists of a critical dictionary of key names and terms on race and ethnicity written by respected scholars from a range of academic disciplines.

“Routledge approached us to write the book, saying they didn’t have a companion on race and ethnicity,” Caliendo says. “We were able to do such a large project, which involved 80 contributors from around the world, with the help of student research assistants. The students helped develop and research the terms and communicate with all the contributors, ensuring deadlines were met. Charlton and I edited the manuscripts, which involved many different language challenges, and brought consistency throughout.”

The second book, “Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns,” is an innovative work that represents the most extensive and thorough treatment of race-based appeals in American political campaigns to date. Written for the general public and the classroom, it’s a rigorous analysis with in-depth case studies—including an examination of race-based appeals in the historic 2008 presidential election. Caliendo and McIlwain attempt to add depth and breadth to the ways people conceptualize, theorize and understand the relationship between racial discourse and the public sphere of U.S. political campaigns.

These two books on race are products of a 10-year professional partnership between Caliendo and McIlwain. The two met in 2000 at Princeton University when both were teaching in the Junior State of America, a summer program for talented high school students. In 2001, the two realized their interests were complementary and devoted their careers to understanding race-based political communications.

Caliendo, a Caucasian with expertise in political science, and McIlwain, an African-American with expertise in communications, bring different perspectives and a shared passion to research and bring understanding to the issue of race. Together, they regularly give talks, write papers for conferences and journals and, in 2001, launched The Project on Race in Political Communication at 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the RaceProject.

Caliendo says, “From an early age I had a realization, an awareness of the American racial history. So, when I acquired the skills to research this phenomenon, I pursued it and strive to bring better understanding to the race complexities in America. Our book ‘Race Appeal’ is a compilation of our years of research and presents information in an accessible, enjoyable way.”

Both books are available for purchase. Visit and for more information.

Subsequent to this article, Caliendo shared his personal journey in co-creating The Project on Race and co-athoring "Race Appeal" at

The authors:
Stephen Maynard Caliendo, Ph.D., is professor of political science at North Central College. He is the author of Inequality in America: Race, Poverty and Fulfilling Democracy's Promise and Teachers Matter: The Trouble with Leaving Political Education to the Coaches.

Charlton D. McIlwain, Ph.D., is associate professor of media, culture and communication at New York University. He is the author of When Death Goes Pop: Death, Media and the Remaking of Community and Death in Black and White: Death, Ritual and Family Ecology.