Judith L. Goldstein
Professor of Anthropology
- Office: Blodgett Hall 221
- Office hours: On Sabbatical Leave B term 2012/13
- Phone: 437-5298
- Box: 144
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JUDITH L. GOLDSTEIN (BA University of Chicago, PhD Princeton University), Professor of Anthropology, Vassar College, has done ethnographic and archival research in Iran, Israel, Paris, and Rome. She has published on ethnic, religious and sexual identity; on folk theater and popular culture; on diasporic literature; on consumer culture in nineteenth-century Paris and the contemporary United States; and on aesthetics and modernity. Her written work includes, “The Things They Left Behind” (forthcoming); “Purity and Danger: Its Life and Afterlife” (2012); “The Tear Jar” (2009); “The Flaneur, the Street Photographer and Ethnographic Practice” (2008); “The Origin of the Specious” (2004); “Bought in Italy” (2003); "Realism Without a Human Face" (1995); "The Female Aesthetic Community" (1993, reprinted 1995); "The Devil and the Art World: Notes on the Reenchantment of Art" (1986); “An Innocent Abroad: How Mulla Daoud was Lost and Found in Lebanon, or the Politics of Ethnicity in a Nation at War” (1990); “Iranian Ethnicity in Israel: The Performance of Identity” (1984, reprinted 1998); "Iranian Jewish Women's Magical Narratives" (1984); “The Paradigm of Protection: Minority ‘Big Men’ in Iran” (1981) and several encyclopedia articles on Iran, including the entry on women storytellers for the Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Cultures (2006). Her doctoral fieldwork was done in Yazd, Iran in the 1970s among Shi’i Muslims, Jews and Zoroastrians. After the 1978-1979 Iranian revolution, she did research with Iranian immigrants and on Farsi language theater in Israel. In the 1980s, she researched descriptions of early consumer culture in nineteenth-century Parisian illustrated popular literature as a basis for a comparative inquiry into ethnographic and journalistic accounts of everyday life. She began fieldwork in the 1990s with Jewish ambulant vendors of souvenirs in Rome. This project explores the role of peddling in a modern economy, and considers issues of taste and appropriateness in the juxtaposition of souvenirs and spirituality in a city identified with art and religion. Professor Goldstein has been a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey (1982-1983); the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University (1989, 1994); and The Frankel Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan (2010). Her work has been supported by the Fulbright Foundation, NSF, NEH, NIMH, the Mellon Foundation, and Vassar College Research Grants. She has been a member of a number of working groups outside Vassar College including “Secularism, Religious Authority and the Mediation of Knowledge” (Pew Center for Religion and Media, New York University, 2006-2007); Faculty Seminar on "People and Things: the Forms, Formations, and Experience of Material Culture" (Center for Media, History, and Culture, New York University, 1998—2000); the Columbia University Faculty Seminar in “Modern Italian Studies,” 1998—present; and “Rethinking the Gift” (Humanities Council, New York University, 1986).
Professor Goldstein was a founding member of Jewish Studies and Women’s Studies at Vassar College. She currently teaches “The Senior Seminar in Anthropological Theory,” “Consumer Culture,” “The Anthropology of Art,” “Memoirs and Modernities,” and “Ethnography and Detective Fiction.” Her courses have been cross-listed with Jewish Studies, Media Studies, American Culture, Women’s Studies and the Department of Art History.
Professor Goldstein co-organized the faculty research trip to China, “Memory and Monuments: Ethnic Identity in Western China and Inner Mongolia,” funded by a Mellon Inter-Institutional Initiative Grant (2005) and the subsequent Mellon funded Faculty Conversation on “Research on Western China” (2005-2006). She and Professor Jennifer Church of the Philosophy Department received a Mellon Faculty Conversation Grant for their project, “Objects: Theory and Practice” (2008-2009). In 2001, Professor Goldstein and Professor Brian Lukacher of the Department of Art History co-taught “The Museum, the Ruin, and the Archive,” and took their class to London and Rome under the auspices of the Delmas Foundation.