Anthropology Faculty

Brent E. Metz

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Associate Professor; Undergraduate Coordinator
Socio-Cultural Anthropology

Ph.D., SUNY-Albany 1995

Research Areas: Indigeneity, development, indigenous reformulation, culture and power, collective memory, ethnographic representation, masculinity; Ch’orti’ Maya, Mesoamerica, Latin America | Fraser Hall, #609 | (785) 864-2631

My primary research focus since 1990 has been the changing quality of life and the politics of identity among impoverished Ch'orti'-Maya subsistence farmers in eastern Guatemala and western Honduras, and mestizos in the former Ch’orti’-speaking area of northwestern El Salvador.  I am currently writing a book on the contradictory approaches – particularly deconstructionist vs. activist in particular – to indigenous recognition, for which I use my research in the former Ch’orti’-speaking region as a point of departure. The digital version of the book will include video pop-ups, dozens of maps, photos, and audio recordings.  My latest research has emphasized applied anthropology.  I have led two multidisciplinary field schools (offered biannually in January) among the Ch'orti's of Honduras and Guatemala, helped co-found the Engineers Without Borders – Sunflower Professional Chapter to implement sustainable development among the Ch'orti's, and have served on the Board of Directors for the Lawrence Centro Hispano (2006-12), for which my students have performed service learning since 2007.

I am interested in development in the broadest sense, including identity, consciousness raising, technology, health, and political participation.  I have also undertaken ethnographic research among Mexican-American migrant farmworkers in Michigan, on religious festivals in Seville, Spain, and of agrochemical practices among Costa Rican coffee farmers.


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