Donna M. Goldstein in front of a pond
(Ph.D. • U. of California-Berkeley • 1994)

HALE 445


Office Hours
Fridays on Zoom from 12-2 and longer in-person meetings by appointment; email for times available

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).

Selected Publications:

Graduate Studies Information

Projects and Research 

  • Pharmaceutical politics
  • Bioethics
  • Regulation
  • 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