David Theo Goldberg

Research expertise: race and racism, social and political theory, social-legal studies/law and society, South Africa, social impacts of digital technology

For the past decade, David Theo Goldberg has held a joint faculty appointment between the Department of Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences and the Department of Comparative Literature in the School of Humanities at UCI. This fall, the widely renowned expert on critical race theory has moved fully over to social sciences as a Distinguished Professor of anthropology. 

A multidisciplinary scholar, Goldberg’s research focuses on race and racism, social and political theory, social-legal studies/law and society, and his native South Africa, as well as the social impacts of digital technology. He’s authored numerous books including his most recent work, The War on Critical Race Theory (Polity 2023) which takes aim at the political actors and motivations underpinning the theory’s villainization. Other notable publications include The Threat of Race (2008), A Companion to Gender Studies (2005), The Racial State (2002), A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies (2002), Between Law and Culture: Relocating Legal Studies (2002), and Racial Subjects: Writing on Race in America (1997). He’s currently working on a Mellon Foundation-funded project on the future of liberal arts education. 



Goldberg earned his bachelor’s in law and economics from the University of Cape Town and Ph.D. in philosophy from The City University of New York Graduate School. He was a professor at Arizona State University for 10 years, five of which he spent helming the School of Justice Studies. In 2000, he joined the UCI faculty as director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute – a role in which he served until 2022. He’s excited to continue collaborating with campus colleagues on the study of structural racism and other pressing topics from his new home in social sciences.

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