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Faculty and Staff

Mark Allan Goldberg
Assistant Professor

Professor Mark Allan Goldberg

Phone: (713) 743-3091
Office: 545 Agnes Arnold Hall

Mark Allan Goldberg received his BA from the University of Texas at Austin and his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Goldberg’s work has been supported by fellowships from the University of Houston, the Doris G. Quinn foundation, Colonial Dames of America, and the Texas State Historical Association. He also received a research grant from the Hispanic History of Texas Project, housed in the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project here at the University of Houston.


Professor Goldberg’s teaching interests include borderlands history, Latina/o history, medical history, and the history of race and ethnicity in the U.S.

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Research Interests

Professor Goldberg’s research examines the role of health and healing in imperial expansion, nation building, and race formation in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Texas borderlands. Health concerns drove Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo colonization in Texas. Mindful of the health of the environment, colonists also grew attentive to the health of Texas inhabitants. They constantly articulated what behaviors fostered healthy and successful settlement and what behaviors threatened human bodies. In the process, Spaniards, Mexicans, and Anglos defined nonwhites’ everyday practices as medical threats to society.

Science and medicine were central to Spanish imperialism, Mexican nation-state formation, and U.S. expansion in Texas. Despite the perception of indigenous and, after 1848, Mexican residents as unhealthy, colonist physicians appropriated Native and Mexican medical knowledge to treat settlers and soldiers. Along with colonists’ definitions of what constituted healthy and unhealthy behaviors, healing became another site of racial differentiation. Doctors introduced new therapies into the profession by stripping them of their Indianness or Mexicanness and giving them new “scientific” identities.

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Selected Publications


  • “Curing the Nation with Cacti:  Native Healing and State Building before the Texas Revolution,” in Precarious Prescriptions: Contested Histories of Race and Health in North America, ed. Laurie Green, John Mckiernan-González, and Martin Summers (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2014).
  • “‘It can be cultivated where nothing but cactus will grow’: Local Knowledge and Healing on the Texas Military Frontier,” in Recovering the Hispanic History of Texas, ed. Monica Perales and Raúl Ramos (Houston: Arte Público Press, 2010).

  • “Negotiating Nacogdoches: Hasinai Caddo-Spanish Relations, Trade Space, and the Formation of the Texas-Louisiana Border, 1779–1819,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 33, no. 1 (2009): 65-87.