Dr. Clealand received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Political Science and joined the faculty at Florida International University in 2012. Her research examines comparative racial politics, group consciousness, black public opinion and racial inequality with a focus on the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the United States.
Dr. Clealand’s book, The Power of Race in Cuba: Racial Ideology and Black Consciousness during the Revolution, winner of the 2018 Best Book Award from the Race, Ethnicity and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, examines racial ideology and the institutional mechanisms that support racial inequality in Cuba as well as black public opinion. The book outlines structural racism the island and the experiences of discrimination that create a foundation for black solidarity. Through survey, ethnographic, and interview data, The Power of Race in Cuba draws from the many black spaces on the island, both formal and informal, to highlight what constitutes black consciousness in Cuba.
Dr. Clealand’s current projects focus on racism and black consciousness in Puerto Rico and political attitudes and identity among Afro-Latinos in the United States. Dr. Clealand teaches courses such as Caribbean Politics, Cuban Politics, Black Politics in the Americas, Latino Politics, and Race and Politics in the United States. She is the recipient of the McKnight Junior Faculty Fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year. Before joining the faculty at Florida International University, she was a visiting fellow at the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.