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Susan Eckstein, a professor in Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, has been awarded the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for her research on what she calls “Cuban immigration exceptionalism.”
Eckstein, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of international relations and sociology, has written four books, including The Immigrant Divide: How Cuban Americans Changes the U.S. and Their Homeland. She is editor or co-editor of another four books; her most recent is How Immigrants Impact Their Homelands, co-edited with Adil Najam, dean of the Pardee School. She has also published two books in Spanish and written several dozen articles.
“I am both honored and surprised to have received a Guggenheim,” Eckstein says. She plans to produce a book on the history and future of Cuban immigration policy.
“With the recent renewal of relations with Cuba, it is time to reassess US-Cuban immigration policy,” she says. “Cubans get immigration privileges no other foreign-born gets. Any Cuban who touches U.S. land has a right to stay, get a green card, and enjoy a path to citizenship.” This “exceptionalism” and its impact is what Eckstein will examine during her research as a Guggenheim fellow.
Guggenheim fellows are “appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise” and come from a “great variety of backgrounds, fields of study, and accomplishments,” according to the announcement by the foundation. In 2015, its 91st competition for the United States and Canada, a diverse group of 175 scholars, artists, and scientists were recognized for the award, and chosen from a group of more than 3,100 applicants.
Najam says that “this is a wonderful, and wonderfully deserving, recognition of Susan Eckstein’s excellent work.” He adds that “for one of our faculty members to be recognized by this very prestigious award is an honor for the Pardee School. Susan’s scholarship is exemplified by rigorous research, policy relevance, and an inherent respect for multiple disciplinary perspectives. This is, quintessentially, what the Pardee School wants to be known for.”
James Iffland, director of the Latin American Studies Program (LASP), an affiliated regional center of the Pardee School, adds, “Needless to say, this is a feather not only in Susan’s cap, but an honor for LASP in general.” Eckstein formerly was a director of LASP.
Eckstein has held grants and fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Institute for World Order, a Mellon-MIT grant, the Ford Foundation, and the Tinker Foundation. She has also served as president of the Latin American Studies Association and of the New England Council of Latin American Studies.
Since its establishment in 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $325 million in fellowships to almost 18,000 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates and poets laureate, as well as winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal, and other important, internationally recognized honors.
A version of this article originally appeared on the BU Research website.