Dr. Beckwith has made outstanding contributions to scholarship in a range of areas including social movements, mass political participation, parties and elections, women and politics, and comparative politics. She is the author of American Women and Political Participation (1986), co-editor of Political Women and American Democracy (2008) and Women’s Movements Facing the Reconfigured State (2003), and author of dozens of articles and book chapters. Over her career to date, Beckwith’s research has been critical to advancing debates about the meaning of gender, methodological approaches to comparative gender research, the study of gender and masculinity within social movements, the nature of women’s movements and interests, and women’s election to office. To provide just one example of her recent intellectual leadership, the results of her 2007 research conference “Toward a Comparative Politics of Gender,” sponsored by a special grant, were published as a ten-article Perspectives in Politics symposium (2010). This symposium raised the visibility of comparative gender research within the discipline, and the essays have been influential.
Professor Beckwith was the lead founding editor of the APSA Women and Politics Research section’s official journal, Politics & Gender. The founding of this journal was an important event in the history of the section and gender research in the discipline. With Professor Lisa Baldez, Professor Beckwith co-edited the journal for its first volumes and worked tirelessly to launch the journal, introduce it within the discipline, give it an identity, and leave it on a secure intellectual and reputational footing for future generations of gender scholars.
Professor Beckwith has served women in the profession in numerous ways, beyond her intellectual contributions to gender scholarship and the Politics & Gender service. She served as an Executive Council Member of the MPSA, the Secretary for the Women’s Caucus for Political Science, the President of the APSA Women and Politics research section, and as a member of the APSA Presidential Task Force on Interdisciplinarity, among other positions. She has also served on award committees including the Midwest Women’s Caucus Award Committee for this award (the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award) and the MPSA Sophonisba Breckinridge Committee.
Finally, Professor Beckwith has informally advocated for women and mentored women throughout her career. She has been a respected and important voice for women and for gender scholarship in the discipline. She has repeatedly been instrumental in bringing people together around scholarly questions to create synergies and to help sustain and nurture young scholars.
At Case Western Reserve University and The College of Wooster, where she has worked, she has been actively engaged with her students and supervised countless theses and projects. She has also served as the outside reader for dissertations in the field.
Dr. Beckwith will be honored at a roundtable reception on Friday, April 12 at 4:35-6:15 with comments by Lee Ann Banaszak, Mona Lena Krook, Laurel Weldon, and Kathleen Dolan. All are invited to come celebrate her achievements.