Dr. Brent E. Metz

Associate Professor
Associate Chair, Curriculum Coordinator -- Dept of Anthropology
Primary office:
785-864-2631


Research Areas: Indigeneity, indigenous reformulation, culture and power, collective memory, ethnographic representation, masculinity; Ch’orti’ Maya, Mesoamerica, Latin America

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 – 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. The next phase of my career, which I have already begun with the co-founding and service to the Lawrence Centro Hispano, an applied field school in Honduras, and the co-founding of an Engineers Without Borders professional chapter, involves development in the broadest sense, including identity, consciousness raising, technology, health, and political participation. Besides my Mayan research, 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.

Teaching Interests

  • Latin America
  • Central America
  • Mexico
  • Indigenous
  • Development
  • Teaching of anthropology
  • Masculinity
  • Applied field school
  • Service learning
  • Ethnography

Research Interests

  • Indigeneity, development, indigenous reformulation, culture and power, collective memory, ethnographic representation, masculinity
  • Ch&rsquo
  • Orti&rsquo
  • Maya, Mesoamerica, Central America, Mexico, Latin America

Announcements
  • Dr. Gamze Kati Gumus defended her dissertation with honors on May 10, 2018. Congratulations, Dr. Kati Gumus!
  • KU-AUMI InterArts was recently featured by the Commons in a video on improving inclusive communities at KU. You can watch the video, which features our own Sherrie Tucker amongst other founders of the movement at KU, and learn more about AUMI here!
  • Congratulations to Professor Robert Warrior on being elected to a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • This articlewritten by Ph.D. candidate Hannah Bailey, was published in the latest edition of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Congratulations, Hannah!
  • We would like to recognize Patrick Sumner, 2005 alumni, for his work in this article about the defacement of the John Brown memorial in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Burrow-Branine for successfully defending his dissertation with honors January 25, 2018.
  • Please read this article about Professor Robert Warrior titled: Native scholar uncomfortably at home in American studies field.
  • Congratulations to Daniel Carey-Whalen, an alumni that was recently promoted as UTEP's Centennial Museum director.
  • Congratulations to Josh Parshall, an alumni who was recently featured in this article.
  • Congratulations to Christopher Perreira for receiving the National Academies Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center for 2017-2018.
  • How a motion-tracking musical software is breaking down barriers for people with disabilities: click here to read more about the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), a one-of-a-kind piece of inclusive technology that promotes musical improvisation. The article recognizes Professor Sherrie Tucker, who started AUMI jam sessions and helped to bring the grant and symposium for it to Lawrence. Written by Omar Sanchez
  • Ph.D. candidate, Rachel Schwallerhas been awarded the Hall Center's Sias Fellowship for Spring 2018.  Congratulations, Rachel!
  • KU Special Education Department: With Ray Pence
  • Tribute Or Tribulation? How do we commemorate history? What is the best way to remember a conflicted and painful past? And who gets to decide? Listen here »
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