About MPG

Matthew Pratt Guterl is presently Chair of American Studies, Director of Graduate Studies in Africana Studies, and the Co-Chair of the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Board at Brown University. 

He earned his BA degree from Richard Stockton University in 1993, and his PhD in History from Rutgers University in 1999. Before coming to Brown, he taught at Washington State University and Indiana University. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Museum of American History, Yale University, Rice University, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. As Director (and later Chair) of American Studies at Indiana, he was the winner of the 2010 Mary C. Turpie Prize, given by the American Studies Association, for distinguished teaching, service, and program development in that field. He is a Rutgers 250 Distinguished Alumni, a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Richard Stockton University, and an OAH Distinguished Lecturer. 

A historian by training, Guterl is the award-winning author of The Color of Race in America, 1900-1940, American Mediterranean: Southern Slaveholders in the Age of Emancipation, and Seeing Race in Modern America. His most recent book is Josephine Baker and the Rainbow Tribe, which focuses on the cosmopolitan civil rights heroine’s late-in-life adoption of twelve children from around the world, who were raised in a castle in the rural French countryside and wielded as a weapon in the war against racism. Guterl has also also co-authored, with Caroline Levander, a book on the institutional politics of the modern hotel, titled Hotel Life.

He is presently finishing three books: a memoir, titled Skin; a biography of the queer human rights activist Roger Casement, and a history of racial deception in American life since 1970.

His official Brown page  – with a fuller academic biography and a CV – is right here.