Rick Valelly is Claude C. Smith '14 Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College, where he has taught since Fall, 1993. Valelly previously taught at MIT and the College of the Holy Cross. Prof. Valelly has also had visiting teaching appointments at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Prof. Valelly has published scholarly articles in both edited volumes and in the peer-reviewed journals Annual Review of Political Science, Politics & Society, and Studies in American Political Development. Essays have appeared in the The American Prospect, the Nation, the New Republic, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
He is the author of American Politics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2013), 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). In 2009 he published Princeton Readings in American Politics.
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 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).
His new research - supported by Swarthmore College, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Philosophical Society -- explores the rise and fall of formal and informal barriers to public service by gays and lesbians within the presidency and the executive branch, the foreign service, the armed forces and national security agencies, Congress, the Supreme Court and the federal courts. It covers the era from the Lavender Scare of the early 1950s through the 2011 repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and its implementation - and will lead to a book tentatively titled Uncle Sam's Closets: How The American State Disgraced Gays and Lesbians -- And How They Rebuilt It In Response.
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).
Valelly has served on several American Political Science Association (APSA) award 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 Association and co-chaired the Program Committee for the 2006 Annual Meeting of APSA. In 2010-2011 he co-chaired the program committee for the Politics and History Organized Section of APSA. In 2011-2012, he was the President of the Politics and History Organized Section. He has also beenAPSA delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies (2011-14).
Rick Valelly is a member of the Faculty Editorial Board of the University of Pennsylvania Press. He is also founder and co-editor of a 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. He was the founding editor-in-chief of Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science, an on-line annual.