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derek bentley, mexico, 2013-2014

Fulbright Scholar Derek Bentley

DEREK BENTLEY
Fulbright Year: 2013-2014
Country: Mexico
Proposal Type: Research Grant
Field of Study: History
Proposal Title: The Regional Roots of Mexican Neoliberalism: Northern Businessmen and the Rise of Market Values
Degree: PhD in History
Hometown: Fayetteville, Georgia

Derek Bentley is fascinated by Mexico and its history, as evidenced by the four research sojourns he took there from 2008-2012.

And in his upcoming Fulbright year, Derek is returning to Mexico to continue research for his dissertation, which details the birth of the country’s economic transformation in the 1970s and the conditions influencing the financial welfare of different regions.

Derek, who has also spent time in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru on both research and volunteer experiences, will be working in association with the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology. With the luxury of time at his disposal, Derek anxiously awaits his Mexican residency.

“I am most looking forward to the opportunity to immerse myself in Mexican society and culture, and the chance to regularly see friends with whom I have only limited contact while in the United States,” Derek, who is a PhD candidate in history at UGA, says.

With the project title of “The Regional Roots of Mexican Neoliberalism: Northern Businessmen and Market Values,” Derek says he developed his dissertation concept while visiting Mexico in 2008 on a month-long summer institute in Oaxaca and then reconnecting with his “adoptive Mexican family” in the northern industrial city of Monterrey.

“The differences between Oaxaca and Monterrey are striking and I was mesmerized by the contrasts embodied in these distinctive models of economic development and social organization,” he says. “Since then, I have devoted my energies to understanding how regional differences in Mexico, especially in the North, have shaped the transformations of recent decades. I am eager to help illuminate this crucial aspect of Mexican history.”

When he returns from his year in Mexico, Derek will complete work on his dissertation and become a professor of Latin American history.

“My ultimate goal is to help U.S. students and citizens to better understand Latin America, its peoples, and the ways that they have shaped our own society and culture.”

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