Jill Locke Wins 2017 Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award

The professor of political science was recognized by her peers at the annual Honors Day Convocation on May 6.
Posted on May 15th, 2017 by

Professor Jill Locke

Gustavus Adolphus College Professor of Political Science and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Jill Locke received the 2017 Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award at the College’s annual Honors Day Convocation on Saturday, May 6.

“This award carries special significance because it comes from my peers. It’s an honor to be in the company of previous winners and the Gustavus faculty as a whole,” Locke said. “This award strengthens my commitment to advocating for more support for faculty research at Gustavus, especially in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.”

Locke, an expert in feminist political theory, democratic theory, critical race theory, and the history of political thought, has taught at Gustavus since 2000. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Whitman College and a doctorate in political science from Rutgers University. A sought-after lecturer, Locke has presented internationally in addition to authoring dozens of articles, reviews, and papers along with two books.

Her most recent book, Democracy and the Death of Shame: Political Equality and Social Disturbance, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016 and has drawn wide praise in the field. “In this extraordinary and profound book, Locke argues that egalitarian political moments have throughout history provoked laments from elites that shame is dead. Working as a historian, Locke offers us a genealogy of this ‘lament’; working as a political theorist, she offers a powerful cautionary tale to those who hope to tap into shame in pursuit of egalitarian ends,” Harvard University professor Danielle Allen wrote in her review of the book.

Previously, Locke was one of only 200 academics selected to join the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey during the 2014-2015 academic year. The organization was founded on the principles that members should be selected on the basis of their abilities alone and that the Institute should enable curiosity-driven pursuit of knowledge with no expectation of meeting predetermined goals. The first-ever Gustavus faculty member to serve the Institute, she joined a prestigious group whose members have included 33 Nobel Laureates, many MacArthur Fellows, and numerous other winners of top prizes in their respective fields.

Combining good pedagogy and scholarly work in a liberal arts setting is challenging, but rewarding, Locke says. “My research and my teaching go hand in hand. This spring, I am teaching a new senior seminar, POL 399: Revolting Children, based on my current research,” the professor explained.

In the course, students are working on research projects ranging from the Supreme Court’s treatment of children in First Amendment cases to child refugee relief in the Kindertransport, Operation Babylift, and current Syrian crisis. “I am learning right alongside my students,” Locke said. “I hope that some of my enthusiasm for asking hard questions and looking for ways to answer them inspires our students’ future endeavors, both as citizens and in the professional fields they pursue.”

First awarded in 1986, the Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award was reestablished in 2004 and is now announced during the annual Honors Day Convocation. Award recipients are nominated for this honor by fellow faculty members based on professional accomplishments regarding research activities in private, public, or corporate settings; publication; presentations at scholarly meetings or conferences; and exhibits or performances.

To learn more about the Department of Political Science at Gustavus, visit the departmental website.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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