Bookmark and Share

May 16, 2011
Contact: Victor Valle
Cal Poly Ethnic Studies
Contact: Karla Strobel
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

Cal Poly Professor Selected Radcliffe Institute Fellow 

SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University has selected Cal Poly Ethnic Studies Professor Victor Valle as a 2011-2012 Radcliffe Institute fellow.

He is among 6 percent of applicants accepted to explore the boundaries of innovative, multidisciplinary study. He will join 51 distinguished women and men at the forefront of the sciences, humanities, social sciences, arts and professions at the institute for the academic year. Valle and his colleagues will focus on innovative individual projects and research while benefiting from a multidisciplinary community of fellows.

“We welcome Victor Valle and his distinguished colleagues to the Radcliffe Institute, and we look forward to the important discoveries, artistic creations, and collaborations – within the Radcliffe Institute and the wider Harvard and local communities – that will emerge during their time here,” said Judith Vichniac, associate dean of the fellowship program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Valle, a graduate of Medill’s MSJ journalism program, will dedicate his time at Radcliffe to researching and writing “The Aesthetics of Fire: On The Art of Chile Eating.”The book will blend “cultural history, memoir and aesthetic philosophy that interprets the ways North America’s capsicum (pepper) aficionados understand and express the fruit’s beauty, including its piquancy,” Valle said.

A leader among the world’s institutes for advanced study, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University annually hosts award-winning artists, writers, academics and professionals in the fields of music, mathematics, film, anthropology and biology.  The complete list of 2011–2012 fellows is available online at

# # #

About the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program
Now in its 11th year, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program has awarded more than 550 fellowships. Past fellows include Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law professor who now leads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Mulatu Astatke, founder of the hybrid musical form Ethio Jazz; Debra Fischer, who has participated in the discovery of roughly half the known extrasolar planets; critically acclaimed theater director John Tiffany; Susan Lindquist, whose discoveries about protein folding affected our understanding of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and mad cow disease; and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists Geraldine Brooks and Junot Díaz.

About the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is a scholarly community where individuals pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions and creative arts. The institute sustains a continuing commitment to the study of women, gender and society. For more information, visit
# # #