The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation is pleased to announce Rayvon Fouché, Ph.D., as the inaugural Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellow.
Fouché will use his residency to continue his research at the intersection of sports technology, innovation and human performance, including by making use of objects and archival materials in the national collections at the National Museum of American History for his project, The Machine in the Game: Technology, Design, and the Evolution of Contemporary Sport. Fouché will also contribute to Lemelson Center programming and a conference on the topic of innovation in sports.
The Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellowship was endowed by The Lemelson Foundation in recognition of Lemelson Center founding director Dr. Arthur P. Molella’s contributions to scholarship and recording and celebrating the history and present day importance of invention and innovation in American society. The Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellowship provides financial support for a senior scholar, author, or inventor/entrepreneur to spend up to six months in residence at the Lemelson Center to advance his/her scholarship while participating in the intellectual life and programmatic activities of the National Museum of American History.
“Ray has spent the last two decades earning an international reputation as a leading scholar of American history and culture, with a focus on race and technology. We are excited to support his ongoing research at the nexus of competitive sports, technology and human performance, which will advance interdisciplinary scholarship and inform the Center’s own research and programming in this area,” said Arthur Daemmrich, director of the Lemelson Center. “We are delighted that Ray Fouché will hold the inaugural distinguished fellowship named in honor of our emeritus colleague and mentor, Arthur Molella.”
Rayvon Fouché is the Director of the American Studies Program and Associate Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Purdue University. His work explores the multiple intersections between cultural representation, racial identification and technological design. He has authored and edited Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation (Johns Hopkins University Press), Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power (University of Minnesota Press), and Technology Studies (Sage Publications). Fouché is currently completing a book related to his fellowship project entitled Game Changer: Technoscience and the Fate of Athletic Competition (Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming). He holds a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University. He has served on the faculty of the Science and Technology Studies Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the History Department and the Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and as a postdoctoral fellow in African & African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.
About the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
The Lemelson Center engages, educates and empowers the public to participate in technological, economic and social change. The Center undertakes historical research, develops educational initiatives, creates exhibitions, and hosts public programming to advance new perspectives on invention and innovation and to foster interactions between the public and inventors. The Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation, featuring Draper Spark!Lab, “Places of Invention” and “Inventive Minds,” is a signature part of the National Museum of American History’s 45,000-square-foot space centered on the theme of innovation. For more information, visit invention.si.edu.