Professor Goldstein, who joined the CU faculty in 1994, received her B.S. in Rural Sociology from Cornell University, Ed.M., Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Goldstein has written extensively on the intersection of race, gender, poverty and violence in Brazil. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence, and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown (University of California Press 2003), and winner of the 2005 Margaret Mead award for her contributions to public anthropology. Laughter Out of Place focuses on the lives of impoverished domestic workers living in Rio de Janeiro’s infamous shantytowns who cope with unbearable suffering, violence, and social abandonment. The book came out in second edition with a New Preface in 2013.
Currently, Professor Goldstein is working on a series of interconnected projects within medical anthropology and the anthropology of science. She is writing about pharmaceutical politics and neoliberalism in Argentina and the United States, and is investigating the history of genetics, Cold War science, the health of populations, and the future of nuclear energy in Brazil. She is currently leading a collaborative and interdisciplinary research project with colleagues at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Brazil and at CU. The team is investigating issues related to the health of populations living proximate to the Angra nuclear complex in Brazil.
Professor Goldstein served as Director of the Center to Advance Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences (CARTSS) (2012-2016) where she worked on the initiative Human Survival in a Nuclear Age and other initiatives to support research in the social sciences at CU. She is one of the founders of the Latin American Studies Center (LASC) and is currently serving as the Director. as where she is organizing two new initiatives on the Community Impact of Energy Sources. One initiative is titled, Human Survival in a Nuclear Age and the second is titled, The Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing on Communities.
Professor Goldstein is one of the founders of the Latin American Studies Center (LASC) at CU and currently serves as its Director (2014-2015).
- 2022 —Goldstein, Donna M. and Kristen Drybread, eds., Corruption and Illiberal Politics in the Trump Era, London: Routledge Press.
- 2017a—Goldstein, Donna M. "Fieldnote as Political Weapon: James Comey’s Ethnographic Turn?." Dispatches, Cultural Anthropology website, June 22, 2017. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/1162-fieldnote-as-political-weapon-james-comey-s-ethnographic-turn.
- 2017b—Goldstein, Donna M. “Conclusions: Anthropological Pasts and Futures,” for edited volume titled, These ‘Thin Partitions’: Bridging the Growing Divide between Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology, Joshua Englehardt and Ivy Rieger, eds, Boulder, Co: University Press of Colorado, pp. 253-267.
- 2017c—Goldstein, Donna M. “Commentary: Science, Politics, and Risk: Catastrophic Asia From the Perspective of a Brazilianist Anthropologist,” Special Issue: Catastrophic Asia Journal of Asian Studies 76(2) (May), pp. 481-497.
- 2017d—Goldstein, Donna M. and Kira Hall. “Postelection surrealism and nostalgic racism in the hands of Donald Trump,” in Goldstein and Hall, eds. HAU Colloquium titled, “From Candidacy to Governance: Rethinking ‘The Hands of Donald Trump’,” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7(1), pp. 397-406.
- 2016a—Goldstein, Donna M. Book Review of Rebekah Park’s The Reappeared: Argentine Former Political Prisoners. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2014, American Anthropologist, 118, (1), March 2016, 208-9.
- 2016b—Hall, Kira, Goldstein, Donna M. and Matthew Ingram. “The Hands of Donald Trump: Entertainment, Gesture, Spectacle,” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 6(2)71-100.
- 2015a —Goldstein, Donna M. and Kira Hall. “Mass Hysteria in Le Roy, New York: How Brain Experts Materialized Truth and Outscienced Environmental Inquiry.” American Ethnologist 42.4: 640-657.
- 2015b—Goldstein, Donna M. and Stawkowksi, Magdalena E. “James V. Neel and Yuri E. Dubrova: Cold war debates and the genetic effects of low-dose radiation.” Journal of the History of Biology (2015) 48:67-98.
- 2014a – Goldstein, Donna M. Book Review of Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer’s The Slumbering Masses: Sleep, Medicine, and Modern American Life. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2012. American Ethnologist 41.1, pp. 213-214.
- 2014b – Goldstein, Donna M. “Toxic uncertainties of the nuclear era: Anthropology, history, memoir,” American Ethnologist, Volume 41, No. 3, August 2014, pp. 579-584.
- 2013a – Goldstein, Donna M. Book Review of Angela Garcia’s The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession along the Rio Grande. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2010. American Ethnologist 40.4, pp. 805-807.
- 2013b – Goldstein, Donna M. Book review of Michael J. Montoya’s Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2011. American Ethnologist 40.1, pp. 232-233.
- 2013c – Goldstein, Donna M. “Nancy Scheper-Hughes.” In: R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms, eds. The Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Theory: An Encyclopedia. London: Sage Publications, pp. 756-758.
- 2013d – Goldstein, Donna M. “Preface to the 2013 Edition,” Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence, and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, pp. xix-xxxv.
- 2012a – Goldstein, Donna M. “Experimentalité: Pharmaceutical Insights Into Anthropology’s Epistemologically Fractured Self.” In: Susan Levine, ed. Medicine and the Politics of Knowledge. Cape Town, South Africa: HSRC, 2012, pp. 118-151.
- 2012b – Goldstein, Donna M. “How Corruption Kills: Pharmaceutical Crime, Mediated Representations, and Middle-Class Anxiety in Neoliberal Argentina.” Vol. 24, No. 2, City and Society, pp. 218-239.
- 2012c – Goldstein, Donna M. Book Review of Roberto Abadie’s The Professional Guinea Pig: Big Pharma and the Risky World of Human Subjects. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2010. American Ethnologist 39.4, pp. 835-6.
- 2012d – Goldstein, Donna M. Book Review of Alexander Edmonds’ Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2010. American Ethnologist, 39.3, pp. 627-8.
- 2009 – Goldstein, Donna. “The Perils of Witnessing and the Ambivalence of Writing: Everyday Violence in the Shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro,” In: Martha K. Huggins and Marie-Louise Glebbeek, eds., Women Fielding Danger: Negotiating Ethnographic Identities in Field Research. Boulder and New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., pp. 227-249.
- 2008 – Goldstein, Donna. Book Review of Desmond Arias’ Drugs and Democracy in Rio De Janeiro: Trafficking, Social Networks, and Public Security, Contemporary Sociology 37(6): 578-9.
- 2007a – Goldstein, Donna. “Life or Profit?: Structural Violence, Moral Psychology, and Pharmaceutical Politics.” Anthropology in Action, vol. 14, No. 3, Winter 2007. In Special Issue titled, “The Location of Culture and Politics in Latin American and Caribbeanist Anthropology,” pp. 44-58.
- 2007b – Goldstein, Donna. “Gun Politics: Reflections on Brazil’s Failed Gun Ban Referendum in Rio de Janeiro,” In: Charles Fruehling Springwood, ed., Open Fire: Understanding Global Gun Cultures, Oxford, England: Berg, pp. 28-41.
- 2003 – Goldstein, Donna M. Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence, and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. (Winner of the Margaret Mead Award, Society for Applied Anthropology and American Anthropological Association 2004, Eaton Faculty Award, CU-Boulder 2006-7).
- 2001 – Goldstein, Donna. “Microenterprise Training Programs, Neo-Liberal Common Sense, and the Discourses of Self-Esteem.” In: Judith Goode and Jeff Maskovsky, eds. The New Poverty Studies: The Ethnography of Politics, Policy and Impoverished People in the United States. New York: New York University Press, 236-272.
- 2000 – Debert, Guita and Donna M. Goldstein, eds. Políticas do corpo e o curso da vida. (trans. Body Politics and the Life Course) São Paulo, Brazil: Editora Sumaré.
- 1999 – Goldstein, Donna M. “‘Interracial’ Sex and Racial Democracy in Brazil: Twin Concepts?” American Anthropologist 101 (3): 563-578
Graduate Studies Information
Projects and Research
- Pharmaceutical politics
- Neoliberalism in Argentina and the United States
- Cold War science and the history of nuclear energy in Brazil
*Professor Goldstein is currently accepting Ph.D. applicants for Fall 2024