- History of African American Education (Specialization in 20th Century African American Higher Educational History)
- Critical University Studies (Specialization in Conservative Philanthropy and the Corporatization of the Academy; Politics of Curriculum)
- African American Women’s Educational Leadership and Teaching (Cultural-Identity Taxation; Identity and Pedagogy)
Current Research Projects
Race, Conservative Philanthropy and the Funding of the Academic Culture Wars (scholarly monograph)
Black Woman on Board: Trustee Claudia Hampton and the Rise and Fall of Affirmative Action in the California State University System (scholarly monograph)
Peer Reviewed Publications
Donna J. Nicol, (forthcoming, October 2019) “Chairing as Self-Care: Strategies for Combating the Cultural Identity Taxation Trap for Black Women Chairs (Special Issue on Black Women Department Chairs Discuss Academic Service, Leadership and Balance) Palimpsest: A Journal of Women, Gender and the Black International.
Donna J. Nicol and Jennifer A. Yee. 2017. “Reclaiming Our Time: Women of Color Faculty and Radical Self-Care”, Feminist Teacher (Special Issue on Learning to Teach: Women of Color Reflect on Graduate School Pedagogical Praxis). 27, no. 2-3, 133-156.
Donna J. Nicol “Movement Conservatism and the Attack on Ethnic Studies”, 2013. Race, Ethnicity and Education. 16, no. 5, 653-672.
Donna J. Nicol. “Abolition” (2013). In Cortes, Carlos, E. and Golson, G. (eds). Encyclopedia of Multiracial America. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Donna J. Nicol, “Teaching Agency and Analysis Using Racist and Sexist Imagery: Implications for Cultural Studies in the College Classroom”, 2012. Feminist Teacher, Vol. 22, no. 2, 89-107.
Donna J. Nicol and Jennifer A. Yee. “The Girls from Compton Go to College” (2012). In H. Skhott-Myhre and C. Richardson (eds.) Habitus of the ‘Hood, 159-188. London: Intellect Press.
Donna J. Nicol, “Women’s Studies” (2011). In Diner, Hasia (ed.) Encyclopedia of American Women’s History. New York: Facts on File.