Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: April 13, 2005 University of Colorado at Boulder Associate Professor Donna Goldstein has been named winner of the national 2005 Margaret Mead Award, given every other year to a promising young anthropologist for scholarly accomplishments. Awarded jointly by the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology, or SFAA, the award was given to Goldstein in 2005 in recognition of her recent book, “Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown.” The award is named for the late Margaret Mead, who was once among the best-known women in the world and instrumental in bringing anthropology into the public arena. Presented to Goldstein April 8 at the annual SFAA meeting in Santa Fe, N.M., the award is given to celebrate the tradition of “bringing anthropology to bear on wider social and cultural issues,” according to the society. “Laughter Out of Place” is a portrait of everyday life among the women of an urban shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who have adopted story telling and black humor as a way of coping with trauma and tragedy. The joking and laughter of the women helps define the political and economic desperation of life in Brazil’s shantytowns, Goldstein said. Written for general audiences as well as academics, the book includes photos taken by Goldstein during her time there in the 1990s. While black humor is found across the social classes in Brazil, the humor of the shantytown women helps define their identity and verbal resistance to the wealthy elite for whom they work, Goldstein said. “While humor is often the last thing anthropologists understand about another culture, it is also a key to knowing something beyond the surface-level material, ” she said. The book was published in 2003 by the University of California Press as part of its prestigious Public Anthropology Series. Goldstein originally went to Brazil to study the AIDS epidemic among women in the shantytowns. The Margaret Mead Award was designed to recognize a person clearly associated with anthropology research or practice. The winner’s work exemplifies skills in broadening the impact of anthropology — skills for which Margaret Mead was admired widely, according to the SFAA.