UW News

April 14, 2022

Historian Bailkin, astronomer Levesque receive Guggenheim Fellowships

Two University of Washington faculty members are among 180 experts in the arts, humanities, law and the sciences chosen as 2022 Guggenheim Fellows, according to an April 7 announcement from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Jordanna Bailkin, a professor in the Department of History, and Emily Levesque, an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy, are among the new class of fellows, which were selected from a pool of nearly 2,500 applicants.

Bailkin, a UW professor of history, is a scholar of modern Britain and its empire who focuses on the global dimensions of British studies and Britain’s shifting status in the world. Her research interests include decolonization, legal history, urban identity, gender history and the history of material culture and emotions.

Bailkin earned her doctoral degree from Stanford University in 1998. She’s written three books, most recently “Unsettled: Refugee Camps and the Making of Multicultural Britain,” published in 2018. Her book “The Afterlife of an Empire,” exploring how decolonization transformed British society in the 1950s and 1960s, won the Morris D. Forkosch Prize from the American Historical Association, the Stansky Book Prize from the North American Conference on British Studies and the Biennial Book Prize from the Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies.

Bailkin will use her time as a Guggenheim Fellow to advance a new project on friendship and loneliness in Britain, which more broadly discusses emotions and the welfare state.

Levesque, a UW associate professor of astronomy, investigates the life cycles of massive stars. These are stars at least eight times more massive than our sun and account for the bulk of light detectable in young, star-forming galaxies. Levesque studies how these stars form and interact with other matter in their galaxies – as well as how they end their lives, often as massive supernovae.

Levesque earned her doctoral degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder before joining the UW faculty in 2015. In 2017, she received an early-career fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Levesque is the author of “The Last Stargazers,” a popular science book about the history of observational astronomy, and last year unveiled a series for The Great Courses on major discoveries and personalities in astronomy titled “Great Heroes and Discoveries of Astronomy.”

Since its inception in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded more than 18,000 individuals nearly $400 million in support as Fellows, including Nobel laureates and recipients of the Pulitzer Prizes, the National Book Award, the Fields Medal and other honors, according to the Foundation.