Professor of Biological Anthropology
Before coming to Hampshire, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts and was a postdoctoral fellow in international nutrition at University of Connecticut and a research fellow in stress physiology at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.
Goodman previously served as Hampshire's dean of faculty and the president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). He continues to co-direct the AAA's public education project on race (understandingrace.org).
Are we what we eat? We eat foods for social and cultural reasons, and we eat foods because they contain nutrients that fuel our cells and allow us to function -- grow, think, and live. The quest for food is a major evolutionary theme and continues to profoundly shape ecological, social, and human biological systems. In this course we will consider some of the many ways that food and nutrition are related to the human condition, for example: (1) symbolic meanings of food, (2) the evolution of food systems to genetically modified foods, (3) the deadly synergy of malnutrition and infection, (4) the ecological and political-economic causes of undernutrition and obesity, and (5) "nutritional epidemiology" and the role of diet and nutrition in the etiology of diverse diseases. Throughout the course, we will focus on "doing nutritional anthropology," including assessing the dietary and nutritional status of individuals in our community.
This course focuses on the science of human genetic and biological variation. How does variation come about in evolution? Which variations have adaptive and functional significance and which are "just differences?" What is the evolutionary explanation, distribution, and significance of human variation in, for example, sickle cell anemia, skin color or sports performance? How are individuals grouped, how are differences studied, and to what purpose? This semester we will focus on the idea of race as a genetic construct versus lived social reality and, in particular, how race is used in biomedical research. How did the idea of "natural" races arise, and how and why, despite key scientific flaws, does it persist? Finally, we will examine health inequalities by race and the potential mechanisms by which racism may lead to poor health.