University News

Two UCLA social scientists named Guggenheim Fellows

Both scholars will use their 2014 awards to complete book projects

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Two UCLA social scientists are among an esteemed group of 178 of scholars, artists and scientists from the United States and Canada to receive 2014 Guggenheim Fellowships. The new fellows were chosen from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowships, now in their 90th year, recognize "prior achievement and exceptional promise" and provide grants to support each fellow's work. The foundation has distributed more than $315 million in fellowships to more than 17,700 individuals since its establishment in 1925.

This year's UCLA recipients and the projects they will pursue as Guggenheim Fellows are:

Miriam A. Golden
Golden, a professor of political science and vice chair of graduate studies for the political science department, will work on a book-length study of bad government in rich and poor democracies, with a focus on political corruption, political criminality, electoral violence and electoral fraud. The project draws on extensive empirical materials collected in Italy, India and Ghana over more than a decade of research. During her fellowship year, Golden will be away from UCLA and will serve as a visiting professor at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University and an associate member at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield College in England.

Robin D.G. Kelley
Kelley, a distinguished professor of history who holds UCLA's Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in United States History, will use the fellowship year to complete a biography of the journalist and adventurer Grace Halsell. Halsell, the granddaughter of Confederate slave owners, worked as a correspondent for several Texas papers during the 1940s and '50s, traveled the world as a freelance journalist during the '50s and early ‘60s (including a stint in Vietnam), lived in Peru for four years and worked as a staff writer under President Lyndon B. Johnson — all before setting out in 1968 to chemically darken her skin and live as a black woman for several months, an experience she chronicled in her best-selling 1969 book "Soul Sister." Halsell would go on to write 11 more books, including exposes about living as a Navajo, an undocumented worker from Mexico and a right-wing Christian fundamentalist. Kelley’s research will take him to Boston; Fort Worth, Texas; and Lima, Peru. He won’t teach during the 2014–15 year.

The two UCLA scholars join a prestigious group of previous Guggenheim Fellows from all sectors of the arts and sciences, including Ansel Adams, W.H. Auden, Aaron Copland, Martha Graham, Langston Hughes, Henry Kissinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Isamu Noguchi, Linus Pauling, Philip Roth, Paul Samuelson, Wendy Wasserstein, Derek Walcott, James Watson and Eudora Welty.

full list of the 2014 Guggenheim Fellows is published on the Guggenheim website.

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