PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Matthew Gutmann, professor of anthropology, has been named vice president for international affairs at Brown University. He will begin his duties Sept. 1, 2009, a week before the University formally opens the 2009-10 academic year. Gutmann succeeds David Kennedy, the University’s inaugural vice president for international affairs.
“Professor Gutmann is an insightful observer and interpreter of social, political and cultural change and has developed a broad range of international research collaborations,” said Brown President Ruth Simmons. “His perspective as an anthropologist and the international reach of his research and publications will serve him and the University well in this position. I look forward to his work as a member of the senior administration.”
In October 2006, following a strategic discussion session on international education, the Corporation endorsed a series of measures to encourage further development of the University’s international relationships and programs and provide greater coordination and strategic oversight. Those measures led to creation of the vice president for international affairs.
As vice president, Gutmann will work with Simmons and Provost David Kertzer to shape and carry out an ambitious international agenda that ranges from the undergraduate international academic experience to the University’s institutional relationships with international organizations and universities. He will help ensure that Brown students are well prepared for lives and careers that will have an international dimension; that the University competes effectively on an international stage for the best students and faculty; that the University’s programs for international academic exchanges remain robust and growing; and that the University will expand its role in addressing global problems.
“The world may appear to be a smaller, closer place now, but that apparent closeness has not eliminated global challenges,” Gutmann said. “Brown University, with its particular strengths at collaboration across boundaries of all kinds, can find new, productive ways to address these challenges while enriching the academic experience of faculty and students alike. I am eager to help expand and enrich programs through which the University community engages with the people and nations of the world.”
An honors graduate of the University of California–Berkeley (A.B., 1975), Gutmann majored in modern and classical Chinese. He settled in Chicago, where he worked as a community organizer on the city’s west side, confronting poverty, violence, gang activity, inadequate housing, and other urban issues. After more than a decade of urban community work, he returned to Berkeley and pursued his new interests in cultural anthropology and public health.
Following his graduate studies at Berkeley (M.A., 1991, and Ph.D., 1995, in cultural anthropology; Master of Public Health, 1997), Gutmann accepted an appointment as assistant professor of anthropology at Brown. He was named the Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of the Social Sciences in 2000, advanced to associate rank in 2003, and became a full professor in 2007. Earlier this year he was named director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Gutmann’s research covers a broad range of social and cultural topics. He has studied democracy and social change; military service and democratic citizenship; inequality, gender, and families; and areas of public health, including AIDS and reproductive health.
His books, many translated into Spanish, include The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City (1996); Mainstreaming Men into Gender and Development: Debates, Reflections, and Experiences (2000, with Sylvia Chant); The Romance of Democracy: Compliant Defiance in Contemporary Mexico (2002), and Fixing Men: Sex, Birth Control, and AIDS in Mexico (2007). A forthcoming work with Brown University colleague Catherine Lutz examines dissenting views of the Iraq war among veterans themselves — Breaking Ranks: Iraq Veterans Speak Out Against the War (2010).
Gutmann’s research and writings have had a strong international dimension. His collaborators include colleagues at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City, the London School of Economics, Colegio de México, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and many U.S. colleges and universities. He has also served as a visiting faculty member at universities in Spain, France and Mexico.