Rachel Newcomb, assistant professor of anthropology, has been selected to receive a Fulbright Scholar grant to study women's reproductive practices in Morocco during the 2010-11 academic year. Newcomb is one of approximately 800 U.S.
faculty and professionals selected to travel abroad through the core Fulbright Scholar Program each year.
Her proposed research will focus on how Moroccan women’s great gains in the social sphere correspond with personal and societal expectations concerning motherhood and infertility. “Very little anthropological work has been done on the topic of reproduction in Morocco, and in the few studies that exist, infertility merits only a mention,” shares Newcomb. “By comparing women’s reproductive healthcare decisions across generations and social classes, I hope to better understand the creative ways urban Moroccan women respond to biomedical and traditional discourses concerning reproductive health.”
This research will be useful not only to the discipline of anthropology, where medical anthropology studies of North Africa and the Middle East are few and far between, but also to Moroccan public health officials interested in qualitative data concerning urban women’s reproductive healthcare choices. “A study of reproduction and infertility can tell us a great deal about the continued existence of diverse healthcare practices and women’s changing roles in the family and the public sphere,” Newcomb explains.
The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 294,000 people – 108,160 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 178,340 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States – with the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.
Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.
Fulbright recipients are among over 40,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. For more than sixty years, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has supported programs that seek to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.
For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please