Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences faculty James Druckman and Steven Epstein and School of Communication faculty member Lynn Spigel are among the 2012 Guggenheim Fellows newly named by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

The “midcareer” fellowships were awarded this year to a diverse group of 181 scholars and artists from a pool of almost 3,000 applicants from the United States and Canada. They reward exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

Druckman, Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research, is a specialist in public opinion, political communication and experimental methodology whose recent work examines how citizens’ make political, economic and social decisions. In prior work, he explored the relationship between citizen’s preferences and public policy, and how political elites make decisions under varying institutional conditions. Druckman, who edits the journal Public Opinion Quarterly, has just been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Epstein, professor of sociology and John C. Shaffer Professor in the Humanities, directs Northwestern’s Science in Human Culture Program and is a co-convener of the Sexualities Project at Northwestern. He studies the “politics of knowledge” — more specifically, the contested production of expert and especially biomedical knowledge with an emphasis on the interplay of social movements, experts and health institutions. The author of “Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge,” he currently researches the topic of “sexual health as buzzword.”

Spigel, professor of radio/TV/film and Frances Willard Professor of Screen Cultures, is studying the history of smart homes and digital technologies for everyday life. She will use her fellowship for her book project, “’Imagining the Smart Home: The Fabulous Future of Everyday Life.” Her most recent book, “TV by Design: Modern Art and the Rise of Network Television” explores the important but virtually forgotten links between commercial television and the cold war. She also is the author of two books exploring midcentury media, “Make Room for TV” and “Welcome to the Dreamhouse: Popular Media and Postwar Suburbs.”

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