Melissa Nobles is the Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Nobles’ research and teaching have focused on the comparative study of racial and ethnic politics, and issues of retrospective justice. Her current research centers on constructing a database of racial killings in the American South, 1930–1954. Working closely as a faculty collaborator and advisory boardmember of Northeastern Law School's Civil Rights and Restorative Justice law clinic, Nobles has conducted extensive archival research, unearthing understudied and more often, unknown deaths and contributing to legal investigations. She is the author of two books, Shades of Citizenship: Race and the Census in Modern Politics (Stanford University Press, 2000), The Politics of Official Apologies (Cambridge University Press, 2008), and co-editor with Jun-Hyeok Kwak of Inherited Responsibility and Historical Reconciliation in East Asia (Routledge Press, 2013). Her scholarship has also appeared in the Annual Review of Political Science, Daedalus, American Journal of Public Health, and several edited books.