Newswise — The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has selected Florida Atlantic University’s Phillip A. Hough, Ph.D., an associate professor of the Department of Sociology within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, to receive the prestigious Fulbright Global Scholar Award (academic year 2022-2023).  

The Fulbright program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists and teachers.

Fulbright alumni include 61 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 76 McArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Since its inception in 1946, more than 400,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the program.

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Hough for being selected for a Fulbright Global Scholar Award to represent the United States, Florida and Florida Atlantic University, which he has received based on his important sociological research in rural Colombia,” said Michael J. Horswell, Ph.D., dean, FAU Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.  “He joins other exceptional Fulbright U.S. scholars around the world who are expanding the scope and reach of their research and networks to address local and global challenges.”

Hough has spent the last two decades researching and writing about labor and agrarian relations in remote commodity-producing regions of Colombia. His Fulbright U.S. Global Scholar Award will provide him with the opportunity to study the plight of coffee-producing farmers living across the “global coffee belt” regions of Latin America, Africa and East Asia.

“I am very excited to have been recently awarded the 2022-2023 Fulbright U.S. Global Scholar Award, which will expand my research on the experiences of rural communities in the Global South by examining how coffee farmers in three major coffee-producing countries have adapted to the economic and ecological turbulence of the 21st century,” said Hough.

Hough’s research will be conducted in three rounds. The first round of qualitative fieldwork will occur this summer in the coffee region of Caldas, Colombia. The second round will be in the coffee-producing regions in and around Nairobi, Kenya. Finally, the third round will be in the highland regions north of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. His goal is to use this qualitative data to write a second book, which he has tentatively titled, Post-Neoliberal Possibilities: Production, Livelihoods, and Development across the Global Coffee Belt.

In 2007, Hough received his doctoral degree from The Johns Hopkins University. His main areas of expertise are political economy, labor and agrarian movements, global commodity studies, comparative and world historical sociology, and Latin American development.

His research focuses on questions related to labor/agrarian struggles and global capitalism, state and paramilitary violence, class and state formation, and the social contradictions of global commodity chains. The bulk of his research draws upon qualitative and comparative-historical methods of analysis. 

Hough’s recent work has been published in various scholarly journals, including Politics and SocietyGlobal Labour Journal; the Journal of World Systems ResearchInternational Journal of Comparative SociologyReview: A Journal of the Fernand Braudel CenterEnvironment and Planning AJournal of Agrarian Change; among others.

Hough is also the principal investigator of a research team of graduate students that uses qualitative methods to explore the social struggles of Florida’s migrant agricultural workers. Finally, he writes more broadly on issues of displaced persons, migrant livelihoods, and surplus populations from a world-historical perspective.

He was awarded a prestigious American Council for Learned Society (ACLS) fellowship in addition to a full-year academic sabbatical (2018-2019) to complete writing his book: At the Margins of the Global Market: Making Commodities, Workers, and Crisis in Rural Colombia (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

Hough is an active member of various sections of the American Sociological Association (ASA) and serves as the acting editor-in-chief for the International Journal of Comparative Sociology. When he’s not teaching or conducting research, he spends time with his family, plays music with friends, or enjoys a fútbol match.

- FAU -

About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across six campuses located along the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and outpaced its peers in student achievement rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps vanish. FAU is designated a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked as a top public university by U.S. News & World Report and a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit