Portrait of Professor Moffett-Bateau. She has a blue dress and gold glasses on, with a short afro haircut.
Alex J.
Moffett-Bateau, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Ph.D., Political Science, University of Chicago

M.A., Political Science, University of Chicago

B.A., Political Science and Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (high honors), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Alex Moffett-Bateau (she/they) is originally from Detroit, Michigan. They hold a Ph.D in political science from the University of Chicago and BA in political science and African American studies from the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. She is an Assistant Professor of political science at John Jay College, City University of New York.

Their research and writing focus on extra-systemic and subversive politics. Professor Moffett-Bateau’s book, Redefining the Political: Black Women Living Below the Poverty Line in Chicago, Black Feminism, and the Politics of Everyday Life, is forthcoming from Temple University Press in 2024. In Redefining the Political Dr. MB argues, in order to accurately capture the political engagement of Black women living in poverty in the U.S., a fundamental expansion and redefinition of what is considered, “political” is needed.

Dr. Moffett-Bateau has won multiple grants and fellowships for her work on poverty and resistance politics. This includes but is not limited to, the University Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Dr. Moffett-Bateau was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at UConn as a part of the Collaborative for Equity Through Research on Women and Girl’s of Color. Other awards include, the BRES Research Faculty Fellowship as part of the BRES Collaboration Hub at the CUNY Graduate Center. Prior to her arrival in New York Dr. Moffett-Bateau was a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia Carter G. Woodson Center.

Dr. Moffett-Bateau’s academic work has been published in the Urban Affairs Review“‘I Can’t Vote if I Don’t Leave My Apartment’: The Problem of Neighborhood Violence and its Impact on the Political Behavior of Black American Women Living Below the Poverty Line.” For a free PDF copy, please see the preprint available here.

Her commentary and analyses have also been featured in RH Reality CheckThe Feminist Wire, and Rooflines.

In addition to their political work, Prof MB volunteers for grassroots’ organizations. Using her experience as a researcher and writer, they work to support organizations who engage in socio-political outreach to local communities.

Updated June 2023

Dr. Alex Moffett-Bateau’s Curriculum Vitae: Moffett-Bateau CV [updated June 2023]


Courses Taught

Violence and the Politics of Black Women, University of Connecticut – Storrs, CT.

Qualitative and Ethnographic Methods, CUNY Graduate Center – New York, NY.

Race, Politics, and the Law, John Jay College – New York, NY.

Race and Politics, John Jay College – New York, NY.

Gender and the Law, John Jay College – New York, NY.

Research and Government, John Jay College – New York, NY.

Professional Memberships

American Political Science Association 

Midwest Political Science Association

Western Political Science Association

National Conference of Black Political Scientists

Ronald E. McNair Scholars, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Scholarly Work

Click [preprint] links to access pre-publication manuscript versions for free.


Moffett-Bateau, Alex J. Redefining the Political: Black Women Living Below the Poverty Line in Chicago, Black Feminism, and the Politics of Everyday Life. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, forthcoming. 2024.

Moffett-Bateau, Alex J. The Development of Political Identity in Public Housing Developments. Chicago: Dissertation: The University of Chicago Division of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, 2014. [Preprint available at SSRN].


Moffett-Bateau, A. J. "'I Can’t Vote if I Don’t Leave My Apartment’: The Problem of Neighborhood Violence and its Impact on the Political Behavior of Black American Women Living Below the Poverty Line.” Urban Affairs Review. March 28, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1177/10780874231162930. [preprint available here].

Moffett-Bateau, Alex J. “Strategies of Resistance in the Everyday: The Political Approaches of Black Women Living in a Public Housing Development in Chicago. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy. Forthcoming. 2023. [preprint available here].

Moffett-Bateau, Alex J., and Jenn M. Jackson. “Moving Beyond Niceness: Reading bell hooks into the Radical Potential for the Discipline.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy. Vol. 43, Issue 3, May 18, 2022. pp. 409-416. https://doi.org/10.1080/1554477X.2022.2075681. [preprint available here].


Moffett-Bateau, Alexandra J. “The Violence in Ferguson is More Than Physical.” The Echoing Ida Collection. Greenlee, Cynthia R., Alabi, Kemi, and Janna A. Zinzi (eds). New York City: The Feminist Press at CUNY. 2021. https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/90/edited_volume/chapter/3020892. [preprint available here].

Moffett-Bateau, Alexandra J. “Equal Pay Day for (Some) African-American Women.” The Echoing Ida Collection. Greenlee, Cynthia R., Alabi, Kemi, and Janna A. Zinzi (eds). New York City: The Feminist Press at CUNY. 2021. https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/90/edited_volume/chapter/3020897. [Preprint available at here].

Moffett-Bateau, Alexandra J. “Feminist Erasure: The Development of a Black Feminist Methodological Theory.” Feminist Erasures: Challenging Backlash Culture. Silva, K. and Mendes, K. (eds.) Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. 2015. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137454928_4. [preprint available here].


Honors and Awards

BRES Research Faculty Fellowship, BRES Collaboration Hub at the CUNY Graduate Center. 2023.

Institute for Civically Engaged Research [ICER], American Political Science Association. Virtual. 2021.

Faculty Scholarship Program Award, Office of Academic Research, John Jay College – CUNY. 2020.

University Postdoctoral Fellow, Africana Studies Institute, School/College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Connecticut. 2016. 

University Advisory Council on Diversity for the Diversity Projects Development Fund Grant, CUNY. 2015.

Research Summary

Alex J. Moffett-Bateau, Ph.D. (she/they) is a political scientist and Black feminist political theorist whose research agenda is invested in political behavior, urban politics, Black feminist political theory, and Black politics. Specifically, her work theorizes around the impact of spatial context and local neighborhood community on individual socio-political identity formation. Their research considers how the activity within, as well as the look and feel of neighborhoods, contributes to individual political self-confidence. 

Dr. Moffett-Bateau's research is focused on the external forces shaping individual political capacity. She examines how the intersections of race, class, and gender, can make populations especially vulnerable to the places they live, the conditions they work in, and the actions of the local government actors in their neighborhoods and cities. The sum total of her work argues spatial and governmental realities can have a significant impact on the extent an individual imagines political possibilities for herself or others. Violent, isolated, and toxic environments, all function to limit the political development of individuals, and troubles the functioning of democracy in the United States.

As Dr. Moffett-Bateau argues in her forthcoming book Redefining the Political (Temple University Press, 2024), some of these factors can be mitigated via interpersonal relationships within neighborhoods offering support, protection, and political education opportunities. However, in the last twenty-years, mass demolitions of public housing developments have become frequent all over the country, and more people living below the poverty line are finding themselves in unfamiliar and remote neighborhoods with little access to their friends or family. Politically, not only does this mean voting blocks which have been in place since the 1960’s, no longer exist, it also means grassroots organizations and extra-systemic community supports are being dismantled. Functionally, this can work to de-mobilize an entire generation of people who now must work twice as hard to get their daily needs met, let alone consider their socio-political engagement and political education.