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).
Wherever one looks there seems to be an association between wealth and health. With notable exceptions, the greater an individual, family or large social group's access to resources, the better their health status. This rule generally applies across time and space and at the micro- and macro-levels. But just how and how well it applies also varies. In this course we will start with the data showing the connections between wealth, inequalities and health. We will then focus on understanding the processes by which wealth is causally linked to health. A key question concerns whether wealth, per se, drives health or inequalities in wealth. We will explore the changing dynamics of race and class in relationship to health. Ultimately, we will explore the way that health inequalities in the US might be harming everyone and the potential for a political accounting that takes the nation's health and well being into consideration.
Race is at the same time both a misguided way to think about human biological variation and a core socio-political idea, with profound effects on wealth and health. Race is both a biological myth and a tangible reality. Human biological variation is not reducible to race, yet the idea of race continues to "do work" in helping to maintain a racial-class economy. To understand race, and the work that it does, we will critically study both its historical construction from the 1800's forward and the evolving science of human biological variation. We will critically evaluate texts on the historical development of the idea of race in science and sources on how the idea of race is now deployed in sciences such as genetics, anthropology, forensics, medicine, and especially public health. Course requirements include reading 50-100 pages each week, extensive discussion, and a mid-semester and final paper and presentation.
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.