Melynda J. Price

Melynda J. Price is the Robert E. Harding, Jr. Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky and Director of the African American and Africana Studies Program in its College of Arts and Sciences. She was named University Research Professor for the 2017–18 academic year by the UK Board of Trustees, in recognition of her outstanding achievements in more than 10 years of research at UK Law on race and citizenship, the politics of punishment, and the role of law in the politics of race and ethnicity in the United States and at its borders.

The Sonia Sanchez Series honors the indelible spirit of the poet and her many visits to the neighborhoods of Lexington by bringing a major thinker whose writing impacts Black culture and social justice issues. She participates in the Kentucky Woman Writers Conference and gives a keynote address, free and open to the community, on Thursday, September 14, 7 p.m., at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, 251 W. Second Street, in Lexington.

Professor Price is the author of At the Cross: Race, Religion and Citizenship in the Politics of the Death Penalty (Oxford University Press, 2015).  Her work has been published in both peer-reviewed social science and law journal, newspapers and literary journals. Professor Price joined the University of Kentucky College of Law as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2006 after completing the doctorate degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation was awarded the 2007 Best Dissertation Award from the Race, Ethnicity and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. In addition to her degree in political science, she also earned a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 2002. While at the University of Texas, she was a member of the Texas International Law Journal and was awarded both the University of Texas Coop Award for Public Interest Law and the Baron and Budd Scholarship for Public Interest Law. She completed her undergraduate studies in Physics at Prairie View A&M University in 1995.

Professor Price’s research focuses on race, gender and citizenship, the politics of punishment and the role of law in the politics of race and ethnicity in the U.S. and at its borders. In 2008, she was awarded a Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her host institution was the Capital Punishment Center at the University of Texas School of Law.