Quantifying Bloodlines: DNA, Family Histories, and the Myth of Purity
Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM (EST)
Quantifying Bloodlines is a monthly reading group organized by anthropologist and oral historian Jennifer Scott. Join others interested in exploring the relationship between biology and race, as we discuss two widely acclaimed books. Through stories, we will discuss how we segment heritage and explain descent, paying close attention to past and existing ideas of purity, racial and economic privilege, and scientific thinking.
For more information on the Quantifying Bloodlines series, click here.
All registrants must purchase their own copies of books. Workshop is limited to 15 participants. Active participation is key.
Session 1: What's Biology Got to Do with It? The Social Life of Genetics
Saturday, November 16th, 2013
3:00PM – 6:00PM
Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
What do we learn about ourselves through genetics and genealogy? How does DNA connect with what we know about our family’s ancestry and cultural heritage? Join anthropologist, Jennifer Scott in conversation with sociologist, Ann Morning, author of The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference (2011) for a discussion, examining the “social life of DNA.”
We will explore the tremendous social impact of one woman’s cellular legacy upon the world and the personal impact upon her direct descendants as her family discovers how their biological genes were used to make unprecedented medical advancements and enormous profits without their consent. Looking at the connections between biology and culture, this discussion session will explore the meanings of heredity, inheritance, and questions of bioethics.
Registration Deadline: November 1st, 2013
Session 2: What's Purity Got to Do with It? Searching Family History and Genealogy
Saturday, December 7th, 2013
3:00PM – 6:00PM
Reading: The Fiddler on Pantico Run: An African Warrior, His White Descendants, A Search for Family by Joe Mozingo
How do stories help us to understand the ways in which we dissect lineage? Bring in your own family tree, genealogical research, family photos, or family name origins, while we take a close look at one man’s search for family history through a surname, that both haunts and intrigues him, confuses some and unlocks hidden history. Short multi-media pieces will be screened.
If you are just beginning to search for your family history or have searched for many years, this discussion session will help to illuminate the discovery process about lineage, identity and race.
Registration Deadline: November 22nd, 2013
Jennifer Scott is a Part-Time Professor at The New School for Public Engagement, Parsons School of Art and Design History and Theory, and Pratt Institute’s Graduate School of Arts and Cultural Management, where she teaches courses in cultural anthropology, museology and global studies. An anthropologist and oral historian, she performed historical and curatorial research for a number of museums, non-profits, arts and history organizations for almost 20 years.
Most recently, Jennifer served as the public historian for almost a decade at Weeksville Heritage Center, a historic house museum specializing in innovative study and applications of history, culture, the arts and civic engagement. There, she launched Weeksville’s oral history and genealogy projects. Before Weeksville, Jennifer worked with City Lore for the Place Matters Project on the Lower EastSide of Manhattan documenting historic places and the diverse stories of communities throughout New York City. Jennifer researches, writes and lectures locally and internationally, and is a contributor to a number of publications on museums, cultural heritage, and social relevancy.
Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations, an oral history and public programming series, examines the history and experiences of mixed-heritage people and families, cultural hybridity, race, ethnicity and identity. For inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718.222.4111. Ext 217.