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December 7, 2007
Contact: Deborah Baum
(401) 863-2476

Anthropologist Awarded Fulbright to Study Masculinity in Mexico

Matthew Gutmann, associate professor of anthropology, was awarded a 2007-08 Fulbright fellowship to document and analyze perceptions and opinions in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca regarding democracy, the armed forces, and masculinity. The program also brings three international scholars to Brown this year: Alfredo Edmundo Huespe of Argentina, Nam Gyun Kim of Korea, and Qing Liu of China.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University Associate Professor of Anthropology Matthew Gutmann has been awarded a 2007-08 Fulbright Scholar grant to conduct research in southern Mexico. His project is titled “Military Service, Masculinity, and Democratic Citizenship in Mexico.” Additionally, the Fulbright program will bring three international visiting scholars to Brown this academic year.

Over the course of three months in the summer and early fall, Gutmann began the project to document and analyze perceptions and opinions in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca regarding democracy, the armed forces, and masculinity. In particular he looked at the relationship between conscription and citizenship, as well as late-modern concepts of manhood and the contemporary role of the military in democratic societies.

Through ethnographic interviews and archival research, Gutmann was able to draw on his past studies of men, masculinities, and political anthropology to examine how and why poor Mexicans choose or avoid a military career. In addition he examined whether Mexicans look at the military as an institution that can train their young men in discipline, service, and social values, and, within the context of Oaxaca, the extent to which military service is seen as an alternative to migration to the United States. During his fieldwork in Oaxaca, Gutmann was affiliated with the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social Pacífico Sur.

Brown was also selected to host three international scholars through the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, which sends approximately 800 foreign faculty and professionals annually to teach and do research in the United States. Alfredo Edmundo Huespe, assistant professor and researcher in the Department of Material Engineering at the National University of the Litoral in Santa Fe, Argentina, is working in Brown’s Division of Engineering on his project titled “Ductile Fracture Simulation by Using a Strong Discontinuity Approach.” Nam Gyun Kim, associate professor in the Department of American Studies at Pyeong-Taek University in Pyeongtaek-si, Korea, is researching “American Civilization in a Global Era: A Comparative Approach.” Qing Liu, associate professor of history at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China, is working on a project titled “As Ideas Travel: The Impact of Western Ideas on the Chinese Perceptions of America.” Their visits to Brown range from four months to one year.

The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 279,500 people with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic, educational, and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas, and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants. To date, approximately105,400 Americans have studied, taught, or researched abroad and 174,100 students, scholars and teachers from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States.

Additional information about the Fulbright Program is available at

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