Rick Valelly is Claude C. Smith '14 Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College, where he has taught since Fall, 1993. In addition to regularly teaching the Introduction to American Politics in the fall semester and an advanced honors seminar on American political institutions and processes in the spring semester, Valelly's other current course offerings include mid-level courses on Congress, and political parties and elections in the U.S. He has previously taught courses on the Voting Rights Act in historical perspective (on which he is a recognized expert), the presidency, macroeconomic and social policy in the United States, social choice and game theory, and American political development.
Before joining the faculty at Swarthmore, Valelly taught as an assistant and associate professor of political science at MIT and as an instructor and assistant professor of political science at the College of the Holy Cross. Valelly has also had visiting teaching appointments at Harvard University in the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies and at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Political Science.
Prof. Valelly has published scholarly articles in both edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals, and essays in the The American Prospect, the Nation, the New Republic, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He is the author of The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement (University of Chicago Press, 2004) and Radicalism in the States: The American Political Economy and the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party (University of Chicago Press, 1989). His book The Two Reconstructions received the J. David Greenstone Prize for the best book published in 2003 and 2004 in the field of politics and history, awarded by the Politics and History Section of the American Political Science Association, and it won the 2005 Ralph J. Bunche Prize of the American Political Science Association, which honors excellence in scholarship on racial, ethnic, and cultural pluralism, and the 2005 V.O. Key, Jr. Book Award of the Southern Political Science Association for best book on Southern politics.
In Fall, 2009, his edited volume, Princeton Readings in American Politics appeared from Princeton University Press. It offers a broad introduction to the standard topics in the study of American politics using contemporary political science. It can be used as a text in the American politics introductory course or as a supplement in a graduate field seminar.
In 1994, Prof. Valelly was a co-recipient of the Mary Parker Follett Award of the APSA Politics and History Section. The Follett Award was given in recognition of Valelly's article, "Party, Coercion, and Inclusion: The Two Reconstructions of the South's Electoral Politics," Politics & Society (March 1993).
In 2004-2005, Prof. Valelly was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at the Woodrow School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. In Spring 1997, he received a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. His project was selected by the NEH Chairman to form part of a special NEH initiative, the National Conversation on American Pluralism and Identity. Prof. Valelly has also held an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Center for the Study of New England History of the Massachusetts Historical Society (June 1996), a residential research fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C. (Summer 1994), and a residential research fellowship at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University (Spring 1992).
Prof. Valelly's record of professional service is extensive. From 1992 to 1994 he and James Morone co-edited Clio, the newsletter of the APSA Politics and History Section. He has served on several APSA committees and on the Executive Committee of the Social Science History Association. He co-chaired the Program Committee for the annual meeting in 1998 of the Social Science History Assocation. In 2005 and 2006 he co-chaired the Program Committee for the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. In 2010-2011 he will co-chair the program committee for the Politics and History Organized Section of the APSA.
Currently Rick Valelly is a member of the Faculty Editorial Board of the University of Pennsylvania Press. He is also co-editor of a new series at the Press, "American Governance: Politics, Policy, and Public Law." He served on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Politics from 2007-2009.