Miller Center

Richard Valelly, Fellowship Mentor

Claude C. Smith ’14 Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College


Advisee(s): Boris Heersink   

Richard Valelly is Claude C. Smith '14 Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College where he has taught since 1993. Valelly previously taught at MIT and the College of the Holy Cross.  Professor Valelly has also had visiting teaching appointments at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Professor 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 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 and the American Council of Learned Societies -- explores the rise and fall of the formal exclusion of and deep inhospitality towards gays and lesbians within the presidency and the executive branch, Congress, and 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 is meant to lead to a book tentatively titled Exile and Return:  How The American State Disgraced Gays and Lesbians -- And How They Claimed Their Honor.


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