Byron J. Good is Professor of Medical Anthropology and former Chair (2000-2006), Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University. Professor Good conducted research in Iran and Turkey in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and has been working intensely in Indonesia since 1996.
Professor Good holds a BA degree from Goshen College in mathematics, a BD from Harvard Divinity School in comparative religion, and a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Chicago. He joined Harvard Medical School as an assistant professor in 1983.
Dr. Good’s present work focuses on research and mental health services development in Asian societies, particularly Indonesia. He has been a frequent visiting professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, in Jogyakarta, Indonesia. He conducted research with colleagues there on the early phases of psychotic illness for more than 10 years, and co-directed the International Pilot Study of the Onset of Psychosis (IPSOS), a multi-site study of early experiences of psychosis and care-seeking in Indonesia (Jogyakarta, Jakarta), China (Shanghai, Beijing), Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Boston. He and Professor Mary-Jo Good, working in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), spent another ten years evaluating mental health conditions in post-conflict Aceh (Indonesia), and developing mental health interventions in 75 formerly high conflict villages. Their current work has returned to Jogyakarta, where they have worked on mental health projects linking Gadjah Mada University with the public health system, with the support of grants from USAID and the Harvard-Dubai Center for Global Health Delivery.
Professor Good’s broader interests focus on the theorization of subjectivity in contemporary societies—on the relation of political, cultural, and psychological renderings of the subject and experience, with a special interest in Indonesia. He is an editor of two volumes on this topic published by the University of California Press: Subjectivity: Ethnographic Investigations (Biehl, Good & Kleinman, 2007), and Postcolonial Disorders (M. Good, Hyde, Pinto & B. Good, 2008). He continues to investigate how culture and social forms structure the onset, experience, and course of psychiatric disorders, and is an editor of Culture and Panic Disorder (D. Hinton & Good, Stanford University Press, 2009) and Culture and PTSD (DHinton & Good, Penn Press). And he has a special interest in political violence and memory, and in particular in evolving studies of ‘hauntology’.