Cravens wins two awards for research paper

kyleklien

Dr. R.G. Cravens, lecturer in political science, has won two recent awards from the American Political Science Association (APSA). Both awards were presented for a paper he presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the APSA titled “Queer Politics in Practice,” which examines predictors of LGBT political behavior and finds gender, racial and economic differences in the ways LGBT people engage in politics.

The first is the Bailey Award from the LGBT Caucus of the APSA. The award is given for the best paper on the subject of LGBT politics presented at any American political science conference in the previous year. The second, the Cynthia Weber Award, is similar but is from the Sexuality and Politics Section of the APSA.

Cravens' research analysis builds on queer theory which suggests queer politics in practice is more nuanced than dominant academic theory presupposes, and that, just as all people engage in politics differently, queer people’s participation is influenced by such factors as their income, level of education, race and identity. This adds a level of subtlety to political research, which tends to view queer people as a homogenous group of financially comfortable or white LGBT people and gay men focused on social justice and their distinctive identity.

“I hypothesize that shared concern with the LGBTQ community, personal experience with stigmatization, and economic resources predict queer political orientations,” Cravens said.

In addition to his teaching and research, Cravens is participating in the Wikipedia Fellows pilot, an interdisciplinary program through Wikipedia’s Wiki Education arm to get more academics involved as subject-matter experts to help ensure that its entries are accurate and bring more rigor and diversity to the resource. Dr. Niki Kalaf-Hughes, an assistant professor of political science, is also a Wikipedia Fellow.