University of Richmond Professor Nicole Sackley Awarded NEH Grant to Support Research and Book Project on Co-ops

April 23, 2021


Above: Image courtesy of Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, Claremont College

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Nicole Sackley, associate professor of history and American Studies at the University of Richmond, has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities to advance her book project, which explores the history of cooperatives in the United States. This award is competitive, with only 11% of applicants from all humanities fields selected.

Sackley’s NEH grant will provide $6,000 in summer funding to further her research on post-World War II U.S. cooperatives for her upcoming book Co-op Capitalism: Cooperatives, International Development, and American Visions of Capitalism in the Twentieth Century. The book is slated to be completed in 2023 and published in 2024.

"My project reveals an important but unknown history of Americans who debated the nature of U.S. capitalism and furthered their own economic development dreams through international cooperative ventures,” Sackley said.

Sackley will spend the summer researching and writing and also plans to visit the Minnesota Historical Society and the Wisconsin Historical Society. She will specifically focus on the 1970s. 

“This is a pivotal chapter in the book because it turns from supporters of U.S. development policies to a new generation of co-op critics,” Sackely explained. “In the 1970s, a new wave of countercultural co-ops and development NGOs, such as Food First and Oxfam America, promoted small-scale, peasant cooperatives, which became a tool to transform international development regimes.”

Sackley, who has worked at UR since 2005 has previously been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship and a Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges Mednick Memorial Fellowship. Her research has also been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, and the Rockefeller Archive Center.

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The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency of the U.S. government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.