Allison Dale-Riddle, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science recently won a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship.  Dale-Riddle was one of the seventy-two graduate students who won the award. The selection process was extremely competitive with approximately 240 nominations from multiple departments. The fellowship will be used to support her dissertation work for 2012-13.  

“I am very pleased and honored to receive the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship.  It is generous of Rackham to provide this grant, and it will provide me the flexible support I need to complete my dissertation,” said Dale-Riddle.

Dale-Riddle co-authored The End of Race? Obama, 2008, and Racial Politics in America with Donald R. Kinder in 2011. The book seeks to understand how race affected the 2008 presidential election that gave America its first African American president. The authors assert that racism was in fact an important factor in 2008, and that if not for racism, Barack Obama would have won in a landslide.

In addition to the co-authored book project, Dale-Riddle’s independent work concerns the strategic nature of campaign ads. Her dissertation explores the strategy behind appeals to social group animosities in campaign ads. In particular, she seeks to identify the demographic and contextual factors that prompt campaigns to demonize different groups in different locations, during different election years.  

She traveled to D.C. in January to conduct interviews with campaign consultants who produce these ads, and will continue her research with a survey of campaign operatives, and an analysis of the content of ads from previous elections.

Allison Dale-Riddle received a B.A. in Peace and Global Studies with college and departmental honors from Earlham College in 2000 and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2007.