Scientific explanations for and appreciations of human genetic variation often remain at odds with social views on human diversity. In this unit, students will learn how biological anthropologists address genetic variation. They also can consider anthropologists’ ongoing struggle to address the discipline’s historical role in perpetuating scientific racism.
Auton, Adam, Gonçalo R. Abecasis, David M. Altshuler, et al. “A Global Reference for Human Genetic Variation.” Nature 526: 68–74.
Marks, Jonathan. 2012. “The Origins of Anthropological Genetics.” Current Anthropology 53 (S5): S161–S172.
Reardon, Jenny, and Kim TallBear. 2012. “’Your DNA Is Our History’: Genomics, Anthropology, and the Construction of Whiteness as Property.” Current Anthropology 53 (S5): S233–S245.
Article: Anthropology Newsletter’s “Origin of the Idea of Race”
Article: NPR’s “Why You Should Think Twice About Those DNA-By-Mail Results”
Podcast: Code Switch’s “Is ‘Race Science’ Making A Comeback?”
Podcast: The University of Alabama’s Speaking of Race
TED Talk: Spencer Wells’ “A Family Tree for Humanity”
TED Talk: Nina Jablonski’s “Skin Color Is an Illusion”
Video: PBS’ “Power of an Illusion: The Difference Between Us”
Website: The American Anthropological Association’s RACE: Are We So Different?
Eshe Lewis (2020)