Institute for the Study of Race and Social Justice - Guest Speaker Professor Kim Tallbear, UC Berkeley

Start: Friday, October 23, 2009 - 8:00 am

End: Friday, October 23, 2009 - 10:00 am

HIbben Center Room 105

 “DNA and the Re-Articulation of Native American Race” is part of the Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice's 2009-2010 Colloquium Series - "Troubling Race: Cutting-Edge Theory and Research Design Across Disciplines".

“DNA and the Re-Articulation of Native American Race”

Professor Kimberly Tall Bear
Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management, UC Berkeley
Friday, October 23, 2009
Hibben Center Room 105 2-4pm

Different types of DNA tests--both genetic ancestry tests and the more common "DNA fingerprint"--target Native American identity at two levels of conceptual and social organization: "race" and "tribe." In order to understand the complexity of Native American identity in an age of genomics, I compare notions of kinship, race, and tribe embodied in genetic ancestry technologies with how those concepts are embodied in symbolic blood as it is evoked in tribal enrollment rules. I conclude with an analysis of how human genetic diversity research (the basis for genetic ancestry tests) is articulating a new form of genetic indigneity and what that might mean for tribal

Dr. Kimberly TallBear is Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from UC Santa Cruz, a Master's in Environmental Policy and Planning from M.I.T., and a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Next year, the University of Minnesota Press will publish TallBear's book "Native American DNA: Origins, Ethics and Governance." TallBear is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe (South Dakota), where she previously worked as an environmental consultant.

The Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice is an initiative within the RWJF Center for Health Policy to address the pressing social and economic issues that affect the health and well-being of all Americans.  Its mission is to promote the establishment of empirical, theoretical and methodological clarity about “race” that draws on cutting-edgethinking from multiple disciplines and diverse empirical traditions.