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Political Scientist Rick Valelly ’75 Receives Guggenheim Fellowship

Rick Valelly

Political scientist Rick Valelly ’75 was recently named a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, joining a decorated and diverse list of scientists, scholars, and writers.

Valelly, the Claude C. Smith ’14 Professor of Political Science, is one of 175 fellows this year, drawn from more than 50 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields across the U.S. and Canada. Fellows were appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, through a rigorous peer review of almost 3,000 applicants.

With his fellowship, Valelly will continue his ongoing project “Uncle Sam’s Closet: Lesbian and Gay Enfranchisement and the American State.” His research at Swarthmore, where he has taught since 1993, focuses on the political development of LGBTQ rights in America, from the “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s through the aftermath of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Valelly is the author of the award-winning The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement (2004), American Politics: A Very Short Introduction (2013), and Radicalism in the States: The Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party and the American Political Economy (1989). 

Since 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted more than $375 million in fellowships to over 18,000 individuals, including scores of Nobel laureates; Fields Medalists; poets laureate; members of the various national academies; winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Bancroft Prize, Turing Award, and National Book Award; and other internationally recognized honors. The foundation offers fellowships “to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed.”

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