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Genetics and the Unsettled Past The Collision of DNA, Race, and History

ISBN-10: 0813552559
ISBN-13: 9780813552552
Edition: 2012
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Description: Our genetic markers have come to be regarded as portals to the past. Analysis of these markers is increasingly used to tell the story of human migration; to investigate and judge issues of social membership and kinship; to rewrite history and  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 3/15/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 370
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Our genetic markers have come to be regarded as portals to the past. Analysis of these markers is increasingly used to tell the story of human migration; to investigate and judge issues of social membership and kinship; to rewrite history and collective memory; to right past wrongs and to arbitrate legal claims and human rights controversies; and to open new thinking about health and well-being. At the same time, in many societies genetic evidence is being called upon to perform a kind of racially charged cultural work: to repair the racial past and to transform scholarly and popular opinion about the “nature” of identity in the present. Genetics and the Unsettled Pastconsiders the alignment of genetic science with commercial genealogy, with legal and forensic developments, and with pharmaceutical innovation to examine how these trends lend renewed authority to biological understandings of race and history. This unique collection brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines—biology, history, cultural studies, law, medicine, anthropology, ethnic studies, sociology—to explore the emerging and often contested connections among race, DNA, and history. Written for a general audience, the book’s essays touch upon a variety of topics, including the rise and implications of DNA in genealogy, law, and other fields; the cultural and political uses and misuses of genetic information; the way in which DNA testing is reshaping understandings of group identity for French Canadians, Native Americans, South Africans, and many others within and across cultural and national boundaries; and the sweeping implications of genetics for society today.

Alondra Nelson is associate professor of sociology at Columbia University, where she also holds an appointment in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She is coeditor ofTechnicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday LifeandGenetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History.

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Genetic Claims and the Unsettled Past
History, Race, and the Genome Era
Who Am I? Genes and the Problem of Historical Identity
Reconciliation Projects: From Kinship to Justice
The Unspoken Significance of Gender in Constructing Kinship, Race, and Nation
Decoding the Genomic Age
A Biologist's Perspective on DNA and Race in the Genomics Era
The Dilemma of Classification: The Past in the Present
The Informationalization of Race: Communication, Databases, and the Digital Coding of the Genome
Forensic DNA Phenotyping: Continuity and Change in the History of Race, Genetics, and Policing
Forensic DNA and the Inertial Power of Race in American Legal Practice
Making History via DNA, Making DNA from History: Deconstructing the Race-Disease Connection in Admixture Mapping
Waiting on the Promise of Prescribing Precision: Race in the Era of Pharmacogenomics
Stories Told in Blood
French Families, Paper Facts: Genetics, Nation, and Explanation
Categorization, Census, and Multiculturalism: Molecular Politics and the Material of Nation
'It's a Living History, Told by the Real Survivors of the Times--DNA': Anthropological Genetics in the Tradition of Biology as Applied History
Cells, Genes, and Stories: HeLa's Journey from Labs to Literature
The Case of the Genetic Ancestor
Making Sense of Genetics, Culture, and History: A Case Study of a Native Youth Education Program
Humanitarian DNA Identification in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Conclusions: The Unsettled Past
Forbidden or Forsaken? The (Mis)Use of a Forbidden Knowledge Argument in Research on Race, DNA, and Disease
Genetic Claims and Credibility: Revisiting History and Remaking Race
Contributors
Index

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