The Social Life of DNA

Social Life of DNA


Thursday, March 30th, 4:00pm 


Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center


Alondra Nelson will be speaking on her most recent book, The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation. This text takes us on an unprecedented journey into how the double helix has wound its way into the heart of the most urgent contemporary social issues around race. Weaving together keenly observed interactions with root-seekers alongside historical details and revealing personal narrative, she shows that genetic genealogy is a new tool for addressing old and enduring issues. Nelson explains how these cutting-edge DNA-based techniques are being used in myriad ways, including grappling with the unfinished business of slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims for slavery reparations specifically based on ancestry.


Division of Science, Department of Sociology, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Social Justice Social Policy Program, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.