Dr. Upton received his degrees in Political Science from The Ohio State University (OSU). He is an Associate Professor Emeritus in the African American and African Studies Department at OSU. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses about African American social and political thought, social science research methodology, and social movements.
His research focuses on racial and ethnic violence and riots, citizen participation and democratic theory, civil rights, and African American political philosophy. He was the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Research Fellowship and received numerous grants for his research and publications. He testified before the Oklahoma House of Representatives' Special Committee on Affirmative Action in Higher Education, and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding desegregation and civil rights in higher education.
Dr. Upton has presented numerous papers at national and international conferences and Fulbright colloquia in England, Northern Ireland, France, and Canada. His recent work includes the reexamination of race as a nationality concept in American society which is reflected in the following publications: "A Culture of Violence," in Managing Divided Cities, Fulbright Papers, Seamus Dunn, ed. 1994, pp. 191-213; "The Politics of Violence in America," in Memoria y Civilizacion 2, 1999, pp. 191-200; "From Civil Rights to National Rights: The Development of Race as a Nationality Concept," (with R. Maples) in Ethnicity and Housing: Accommodating Differences, Frederick W. Boal, ed. Ashgate Publishing Company: Aldershot, England, 2000, pp. 73-83; "Multiculturalism: A New Understanding of Nationality," (with R. Maples) in Community, Difference and Diversity: Implications for Peace; Alison Bailey and Paula Smithka, eds. Amsterdam: Rodopi Publishers, 2002, pp. 117-131; and "Racial Violence in the United States: 1900-1919" in Encyclopedia of Modern Ethnic Conflicts, Joseph Rudolph, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003, pp.299-308.