News from Jun 25, 2017
This talk considers how genetic ancestry entered into political projects of post-apartheid belonging for Lemba South Africans who had been genetically linked to Jews. It asks how DNA articulated with ideas of Lemba difference, how difference mattered in Lemba post-apartheid politics, and what difference genetic difference made in their claims. In doing so, it locates genetic ancestry within questions about post-colonial citizenship and belonging. I ultimately argue that while such a perspective on genetic ancestry is critically important, we also need to pay attention to the gap between what genetic ancestry is imagined to be able to achieve and the transformations it can produce in practice.
Noah Tamarkin is assistant professor at the Department of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University and a research associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER) at Wits University. He is a cultural anthropologist (PhD 2011 University of California Santa Cruz) with interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences training and experience in science and technology studies, African studies, Jewish studies, and feminist studies. His research analyses the social circulation and cultural meanings of DNA in relation to postcolonial and indigenous citizenship and the politics of belonging. His book manuscript in progress, "Genetic Afterlives: Evidencing Black Jewish Indigeneity in South Africa", examines the politics of race, religion, and recognition among Lemba South Africans leading up to and in the aftermath of their participation in genetic tests that aimed to demonstrate their links to Jews. His current ethnographic project evaluates the intersections between genetic technologies and postcolonial law and policing in South Africa, and specifically the implementation of recent legislation to expand and regulate a national criminal DNA database, and the varied people and processes that make this possible.
Time: Wednesday 28th June 2017, 6-8h
Venue: Landoltweg 9-11, Raum 014 (Seminarraum)
Everyone interested is cordially invited.
Prof. Dr. Katharina Schramm