Meet Guggenheim Fellow Diana Mutz

Often characterized as “midcareer” awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. The Foundation receives between 3,500 and 4,000 applications each year. Approximately 200 Fellowships are awarded each year.

Diana MutzDiana C. Mutz, Ph.D. Stanford University, teaches and does research on public opinion, political psychology and mass political behavior, with a particular emphasis on political communication. At Penn she holds the Samuel A. Stouffer Chair in Political Science and Communication, and also serves as Director of the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics. In 2011, she received the Lifetime Career Achievement Award in Political Communication from the American Political Science Association. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008. Mutz has published articles in a variety of academic journals including American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, Journal of Politics and Journal of Communication. She is also the author of Impersonal Influence: How Perceptions of Mass Collectives Affect Political Attitudes(Cambridge University Press, 1998), a book awarded the Robert Lane Prize for the Best Book in Political Psychology by the American Political Science Association, and the 2004 Doris Graber Prize for Most Influential Book on Political Communication published in the last ten years.

How has the Guggenheim Fellows Program impacted your research and overall career?

Mutz: I have not started the fellowship yet, so I can’t say at this point. But I suspect that this coming year will allow me the time to explore all aspects of controversies surrounding globalization. Although I’m an Americanist, I plan to explore the relevant work in political theory, international relations and comparative politics as well.  Without the Guggenheim, I would not have time to pursue this project in the same way.

What topics in research do you primarily focus on? How can people access your work?

Mutz: My expertise is in political psychology and the media, primarily in the American context. But human psychology is pretty much the same everywhere, and I see people in many countries reacting to similar issues involving globalization these days. My work can be accessed through my Penn website: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/polisci/people/standing-faculty/diana-mutz or through the Institute I direct: www.iscap.upenn.edu

What would be one piece of advice you would give aspiring social science and humanities students?

Mutz: Study whatever fascinates or puzzles you most.  If you limit yourself to what is popular in your field at the moment, you’ll miss out on important opportunities to innovate.

Read more here about Diana Mutz’s work.