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Ancestry and Race: What Genetics Research Says About Nationalism

Graciela Cabana, associate professor of anthropology, will present “Ancestry and Race: What Genetics Research Says About Nationalism,” Friday, April 1 at 12 p.m. via Zoom. 

History teaches us that race concepts can be especially harmful when essentialized as “natural” biological or genetic concepts. For this reason, social science scholars have expressed concern over whether recent genetic research, particularly studies of genetic ancestry, may be encouraging a new form of essentialism of race and ethnicity. Current research has revealed considerable complexities in the ways genetics and race are co-configured, depending on individuals’ motivation and social context. In order to understand the dynamic between genetics and race better, scholars are calling for further empirical research in varied social-cultural settings, as well as extending analyses into related notions of ethnicity and national belonging.

In her presentation, Professor Cabana will discuss an ongoing interdisciplinary anthropological project that responds to this call, which investigates how information about human genetic variation affects notions of race, ethnicity, and national belonging in Argentina.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

Register today for the April 1 Science Forum lecture.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash