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Genealogy, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Open AccessArticle To Alleviate or Elevate the Euroamerican Genealogy Fever
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
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Abstract
There has been a quiet cultural drift towards professionalism in genealogy over the last two decades. Developments in the UK on this subject have resulted in educational offerings that support professionalism through accountability to service consumers while a US debate has pushed for
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There has been a quiet cultural drift towards professionalism in genealogy over the last two decades. Developments in the UK on this subject have resulted in educational offerings that support professionalism through accountability to service consumers while a US debate has pushed for a recognised and regarded scholarship to underpin the professional genealogist. This article places the educational and learning needs of three broad groups of genealogists into the framework of the professional debate in its generality and genealogical specifics. With a concentration on the British context, the article considers the cultural–commercial signals and support offered to ‘armchair enthusiasts’; the emerging models of professional education and formation aimed at lineage makers and the ongoing fractured models of scholastic genealogy. Looking ahead at educational needs, genealogy like other professions is now under threat from advances in artificial intelligence and algorithms, which could slice through the underpinnings of genealogical professionalism. The article concludes with a discussion of an alternative approach to genealogical education derived from the proposition that professionalism is to be found in the outputs and outcomes rather than the organisation of the practitioners of economic activity. From this stance, the needs of a full range of people pursuing genealogy can be addressed and their work informed by the developing understanding of Euroamerican kinship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genealogy and Learning)
Open AccessArticle Of African Descent? Blackness and the Concept of Origins in Cultural Perspective
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Abstract
Over the past decade, the DNA ancestry-testing industry—based largely in the United States—has experienced a huge upsurge in popularity, thanks partly to rapidly developing technologies and the falling prices of products. Meanwhile, the notion of “genetic genealogy” has been strongly endorsed by popular
[...] Read more.
Over the past decade, the DNA ancestry-testing industry—based largely in the United States—has experienced a huge upsurge in popularity, thanks partly to rapidly developing technologies and the falling prices of products. Meanwhile, the notion of “genetic genealogy” has been strongly endorsed by popular television documentary shows in the US, particularly vis-à-vis African-American roots-seekers—for whom these products are offered as a means to discover one’s ancestral “ethnic” origins, thereby “reversing the Middle Passage.” Yet personalized DNA ancestry tests have not had the same reception among people of African descent in other societies that were historically affected by slavery. This paper outlines and contextualizes these divergent responses by examining and comparing the cultural and political meanings that are attached to notions of origin, as well as the way that Blackness has been defined and articulated, in three different settings: the United States, France and Brazil. Full article
Open AccessArticle Unearthing the “Polonskis”: A Historian’s Odyssey in Family Research
Received: 25 December 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
The article is a case study in family genealogy and genealogical methodology, focusing on the author’s reconstruction of the early history of the first members of the rabbinical Polonski family from Russia after they immigrated to the United States during the early twentieth
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The article is a case study in family genealogy and genealogical methodology, focusing on the author’s reconstruction of the early history of the first members of the rabbinical Polonski family from Russia after they immigrated to the United States during the early twentieth century. Describing and analyzing the various sources used in the study of family genealogy, it shows how gender, lines of kinship, language, and timing can play an important role in explaining the dichotomy between oral family history and written documentation. It also relates to the pitfalls of dealing with genealogical issues without employing a rigorous and precise methodology. Dealing with issues of inclusion and exclusion in family narratives, it shows how these variables helped shape the family’s oral history, giving us insight into why certain family members appear and others disappear over time from various family narratives. Full article
Open AccessArticle On the Genealogy of Kitsch and the Critique of Ideology: A Reflection on Method
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper examines similarities and differences between the genealogical approach to social critique and the Marxist critique of ideology. Given the key methodological aspects of Michel Foucault’s genealogy—the fusion of power and discourse and the Nietzschean notion of the aesthetization of life—the paper
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This paper examines similarities and differences between the genealogical approach to social critique and the Marxist critique of ideology. Given the key methodological aspects of Michel Foucault’s genealogy—the fusion of power and discourse and the Nietzschean notion of the aesthetization of life—the paper argues that Hollywood kitsch maybe interpreted as a new dispositif. A key task of the genealogy of kitsch is to analyze the effects of fake Hollywood narratives: how they form and normalize us, what kind of subjectivities they produce, and what type of social relations they create. La La Land, a 2016 American musical, is discussed as a way of illustration. Theorists of the Frankfurt School also advanced their critiques of the popular culture and its forms of kitsch; yet they followed Marx and his conception of ideology. The paper concludes that the differences between genealogy and the critique of ideology are philosophical. Foucault rejected the Marxist conception of history and the notion of ideology as false consciousness. Kitsch, for a genealogist, is formative rather than repressive; it makes people pursue banal dreams. For a Marxist critic, popular culture as a form of ideology dulls our critical capacities and, therefore, leaves the status quo of alienation intact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Genealogy after Foucault)
Open AccessArticle Constructing Masculinity through Genetic Legacies: Family Histories, Y-Chromosomes, and “Viking Identities”
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
The contemporary popularity of genetic genealogy has been accompanied by concerns about its potential reifying of identity. This has referred in particular to ethnicity, but also to gender, with fears that looking at the past through the lens of popular genetics reinforces patriarchal
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The contemporary popularity of genetic genealogy has been accompanied by concerns about its potential reifying of identity. This has referred in particular to ethnicity, but also to gender, with fears that looking at the past through the lens of popular genetics reinforces patriarchal views of the family and traditional heteronormative understandings of masculinity and femininity. This study investigates whether such understandings are drawn upon by male participants in a population genetics study. Discursive analysis of 128 responses to a participant motivation survey and 18 follow-up interviews explores how participants construct masculinity when discussing genetics and their own family history. It is argued that while there is some evidence for the “patriarchal” argument, a subtler form of masculine legacy creation and maintenance is the primary narrative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Genealogy)
Open AccessArticle ‘Reparational’ Genetics: Genomic Data and the Case for Reparations in the Caribbean
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Drawing on my population genomic research among several Caribbean communities, I consider how ongoing Caribbean reparations movements index genomic information. Specifically, I examine the intersection between genetic ancestry and calls for reparatory justice to gain insight into the ways that scientific data are
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Drawing on my population genomic research among several Caribbean communities, I consider how ongoing Caribbean reparations movements index genomic information. Specifically, I examine the intersection between genetic ancestry and calls for reparatory justice to gain insight into the ways that scientific data are utilized in social articulations of both racial and indigenous identity. I argue that when contextualized within complex historical and cultural frameworks, the application of genomic data complicates notions about biological continuity and belonging, yet is compatible with broader conceptualizations of how people imagine themselves and histories in relation to geographic origins. Full article
Open AccessArticle Bridging Discussions of Human History: Ancestry DNA and New Roles for Africana Studies
Received: 16 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper explores how Africana Studies offer the opportunity for a new worldview that may supplant the assumption that Western history is history. It considers how new knowledge of the human migration bodes for the future of Africana Studies. It has the following
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This paper explores how Africana Studies offer the opportunity for a new worldview that may supplant the assumption that Western history is history. It considers how new knowledge of the human migration bodes for the future of Africana Studies. It has the following research questions: (1) Does new ancestry data reveal or clarify African narratives that may have been missing or suppressed?; (2) What heritage do participants over- or under-predict?; (3) Do participants over-predict indigenous American heritage?; and (4) How is unexpected heritage received? Data from the DNA Discussion Project is used to answer these questions, and implications for bridging discussions of human history using Ancestry DNA are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Emancipating Intellectual Property from Proprietarianism: Drahos, Foucault, and a Quasi-Genealogy of IP
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper argues that Peter Drahos undertakes a partial Foucauldian genealogy by emancipating intellectual property (IP) from proprietarianism. He demonstrates the dominance of proprietarianism in IP by drawing sample practices from trademark, copyright, and patent laws, and then seeks to displace the proprietarian
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This paper argues that Peter Drahos undertakes a partial Foucauldian genealogy by emancipating intellectual property (IP) from proprietarianism. He demonstrates the dominance of proprietarianism in IP by drawing sample practices from trademark, copyright, and patent laws, and then seeks to displace the proprietarian dominance with instrumentalism, which reconstitutes IP as a “liberty-intruding privilege.” Ironically, despite doing a genealogy, Drahos does not eradicate sovereignty altogether as Michel Foucault insists, but instead determines IP as a “sovereignty mechanism” that has a “sovereignty effect.” After explaining what Foucauldian genealogy is, the paper will explain how Drahos undertakes a genealogy of IP, while highlighting the limitations of Drahos’ analysis from a Foucauldian perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Genealogy after Foucault)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle On the Political Genealogy of Trump after Foucault
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 7 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract
How would Foucault have viewed Trump as President, and Trumpism in the US more generally? More realistically, how can we discern and insightfully apply genealogical insights after Foucault to better comprehend and act in relation to our current political situation in the US?
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How would Foucault have viewed Trump as President, and Trumpism in the US more generally? More realistically, how can we discern and insightfully apply genealogical insights after Foucault to better comprehend and act in relation to our current political situation in the US? Questions of factuality across a base register of asserted falsehoods are now prominent in American politics in ways that put assertions of scholarly objectivity and interpretation in yet deeper question than previously. The extent, range, and vitriol of alt-Right assertions and their viral growth in American media provoke progressivist resistance and anxiety, but how can this opposition be most productively channeled? This paper examines a range of critical perspectives, timeframes, and topical optics with respect to Trump and Trumpism, including nationalist, racist, sexist, class-based, and oligarchical dimensions. These are considered in relation to media and the incitement of polarized subjectivity and dividing practices, and also in relation to Marxist political economy, neoliberalism/neoimperialism, and postcolonialism. I then address the limit points of Foucault, including with respect to engaged political activism and social protest movements, and I consider the relevance of these for the diverse optics that political genealogy as a form of analysis might pursue. Notwithstanding and indeed because of the present impetus to take organized political action, a Foucauldian perspective is useful in foregrounding the broader late modern formations of knowledge, power, and subjectivity within which both Rightist and Leftist political sensibilities in the US are presently cast. At larger issue are the values inscribed through contemporary late modernity that inform both sides of present divisive polarities—and which make the prognosis of tipping points or future political outcomes particularly difficult. As such, productive strategies of activist opposition are likely to vary under alternative conditions and opportunities—including in relation to the particular skills, history, and predilection of activists themselves. If the age of reason threatens to be over, the question of how and in what ways critical intellectualism can connect with productive action emerges afresh for each of us in a higher and more personal key. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Genealogy after Foucault)
Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Genealogy in 2017
Received: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Genealogy maintains high quality standards for its published papers. In 2017, a total of 19 papers were published in the journal.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Situating Poligen Studies: Between Moral Enquiry and Political Theory
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 24 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
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Abstract
In this article, I argue that we can best appreciate those works that appeal to the notion of “political genealogy” as distinct forms of study by situating them between moral enquiry and political theory. They draw from moral enquiry the concern with how
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In this article, I argue that we can best appreciate those works that appeal to the notion of “political genealogy” as distinct forms of study by situating them between moral enquiry and political theory. They draw from moral enquiry the concern with how we ought to live but are not themselves prescriptive. They address the political constitution of our social lives but not as a theoretical object. Reversing the relation between enquiry and truth, political genealogies are historiographical studies motivated by forms of resistance that expose the will to truth of the present ordering of discourses, thereby releasing the hold such orderings have on what we think, say, and do to their on-going agonistic relations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Genealogy after Foucault)
Open AccessArticle A New Research Agenda for the Study of Genetic Ancestry Tests and the Formation of Racial and Ethnic Identities and Ancestries
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
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Abstract
This paper sets out a new research agenda for the study of family historians’ (referred to as ‘genealogists’) use of genetic ancestry tests in the course of their family history research in postcolonial Britain. My focus is upon the ways in which the
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This paper sets out a new research agenda for the study of family historians’ (referred to as ‘genealogists’) use of genetic ancestry tests in the course of their family history research in postcolonial Britain. My focus is upon the ways in which the use of these tests shapes the formation of genealogists’ ethnic, racial, national, class and gender identities and their ancestries. I argue that, while there is some significant and important work on the ways in which African Americans and white Americans deploy these tests to trace their family histories, there is little comparable work in the context of postcolonial Britain. Drawing on sociological, anthropological and geographical research on identity, genetic ancestry testing and family history research, I set out some of the theoretical issues that research in this area in Britain should address, and outline possible methodologies and methods that will serve to bridge this gap in the current literature on race, ethnicity, identity and genealogy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Genealogy)
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