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Genealogy, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessEditorial Introduction: Beyond Foucault: Excursions in Political Genealogy
Received: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Genealogy after Foucault)
Open AccessCreative So Many Lovely Girls
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
A little over 20 years ago I was reunited with my daughter, who had been adopted at the age of six weeks. We have become friends since then and I felt I owed it to her to explain the circumstances surrounding her birth
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A little over 20 years ago I was reunited with my daughter, who had been adopted at the age of six weeks. We have become friends since then and I felt I owed it to her to explain the circumstances surrounding her birth and relinquishment. I have done this as an adult, in conversation with her, but there is only so much we can say to each other face to face. She knows my adult self but I wanted her to understand how my teenage self felt about losing a child, and to understand the shame surrounding illegitimacy at the time she was born. In the 1960s in England, “bastard” was still a dirty word. My parents dealt with the shame of my pregnancy by never speaking of it. They built a wall of silence. It took me 30 years to climb that wall: The attitudes I encountered as a teenager have not disappeared altogether. The shame of teenage pregnancy is still very much an issue in Ireland, for instance. The events I have written about took place in the late 60s in England, and I have tried to give a picture of the culture of the time. Women who gave birth to illegitimate children in the 60s and into the 70s were judged harshly by doctors and nurses and treated with less care than married women. So Many Lovely Girls is an extract from a longer memoir piece, which could be termed relational, because it deals with an intimate relationship, but I prefer the classification of autogynography, a term coined by feminist critic Donna Stanton in The Female Autograph. Stanton uses the term to differentiate women’s life writing from men’s. Full article
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Open AccessEssay Techno-Ethno Genealogy: An African Ancestry Narrative in the Digital Age
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
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Abstract
This article explores ways in which advances in genetic testing have both facilitated and democratized genealogical research for individuals in search of their “roots” or ethnic heritage. These advances coincide with the quests of people of African descent to pinpoint their precise origins
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This article explores ways in which advances in genetic testing have both facilitated and democratized genealogical research for individuals in search of their “roots” or ethnic heritage. These advances coincide with the quests of people of African descent to pinpoint their precise origins and ethnic backgrounds in Africa, revelations that have been denied to many African descendants in the diaspora from slavery times to the present. Genetics and DNA as the “great truth teller”, however, frequently yield results that go contrary to expectations. In this article, the author explores at a personal level the tensions that the “Genetic Revolution” produces between biology and society. Full article
Open AccessArticle Robertson at the City: Portrait of a Cemetery Superintendent
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 23 July 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
Since the nineteenth century the management of burial grounds has been the function of the cemetery superintendent. Responsible as he or she is for maintenance of the site, grave preparation, burial procedures, administration and staffing, the superintendent’s remit has gained complexity in the
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Since the nineteenth century the management of burial grounds has been the function of the cemetery superintendent. Responsible as he or she is for maintenance of the site, grave preparation, burial procedures, administration and staffing, the superintendent’s remit has gained complexity in the twentieth century through bureaucratization, legislation and more recently from ‘customer focus’. The shifting preference towards cremation has further widened the scope of the work. Little, however, has been written about the occupation. Focusing on the career of John Robertson, superintendent of the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium between 1913 and 1936, this paper draws from his contributions to The Undertakers’ Journal (TUJ), and in particular a series of articles concerning the design and management of cemeteries that forms the largest collection of literature on the subject published in the twentieth century. The paper also examines his involvement with the National Association of Cemetery Superintendents (NACS), an organization founded to support the occupation’s quest for professional recognition. From a genealogical perspective this article underlines the importance of surveying a wide range of sources when conducting genealogical researching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cemeteries and Churchyards)
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Open AccessEditorial Introduction: Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives
Received: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives)
Open AccessArticle Inscribing Ethnicity: A Preliminary Analysis of Gaelic Headstone Inscriptions in Eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
Focusing on the verbal rather than the visual elements of early and more modern headstones in eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, this essay will comment on a selection of Gaelic headstone inscriptions, highlighting such elements as word choice (whether secular or religious),
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Focusing on the verbal rather than the visual elements of early and more modern headstones in eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, this essay will comment on a selection of Gaelic headstone inscriptions, highlighting such elements as word choice (whether secular or religious), cemetery location, time period, and the deceased’s background. Despite the striking paucity of Gaelic examples, it is our objective to discuss why Gaelic had a limited presence in Nova Scotia’s pioneer Scottish immigrant cemeteries and to demonstrate how these cemeteries were contested sites, which mirrored ongoing tensions between assimilation and cultural retention. In sum, this article will assess the importance of cemeteries as material articulations of language use and language maintenance among Nova Scotia’s diasporic Scots, set against the wider background of their struggles, aspirations, and shared values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cemeteries and Churchyards)
Open AccessArticle Pan-Africanism: A Quest for Liberation and the Pursuit of a United Africa
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
Our paper examines the place of Pan-Africanism as an educational, political, and cultural movement which had a lasting impact on the on the relationship between liberation and people of African descent, in the continent of Africa and the Diaspora. We also show its
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Our paper examines the place of Pan-Africanism as an educational, political, and cultural movement which had a lasting impact on the on the relationship between liberation and people of African descent, in the continent of Africa and the Diaspora. We also show its evolution, beginning with formerly enslaved Africans in the Americas, to the colonial borders of the 1884 Berlin Conference, and conclude with the independence movements in Africa. For formerly enslaved Africans, Pan-Africanism was an idea that helped them see their commonalities as victims of racism. That is, they realized that they were enslaved because they came from the same continent and shared the same racial heritage. They associated the continent of Africa with freedom. The partitioning of Africa at the Berlin Conference (colonialism) created pseudo-nation states out of what was initially seen as an undivided continent. Pan-Africanism provided an ideology for rallying Africans at home and abroad against colonialism, and the creation of colonial nation-states did not erase the idea of a united Africa. As different African nations gained political independence, they took it upon themselves to support those countries fighting for their independence. The belief, then, was that as long as one African nation was not free, the continent could not be viewed as free. The existence of nation-states did not imply the negation of Pan-Africanism. The political ideas we examine include those of Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Maya Angelou, and Thabo Mbeki. Pan-Africanism, as it were, has shaped how many people understand the history of Africa and of African people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nations in Time: Genealogy, History and the Narration of Time)
Open AccessArticle Materialized Genealogy: From Anonymous Cemetery Populations to Creating Alternative Narratives about Individuals and Family Burial Space
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
Archaeologists frequently excavate historic burials and the vast majority of the graves will be unidentified. It is rare, and also surprisingly difficult, to unite documentary sources and gravestone identities with the burials underneath. Sites are therefore interpreted and analyzed as holistic anonymous populations
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Archaeologists frequently excavate historic burials and the vast majority of the graves will be unidentified. It is rare, and also surprisingly difficult, to unite documentary sources and gravestone identities with the burials underneath. Sites are therefore interpreted and analyzed as holistic anonymous populations rather than as individual graves. Excavation of a 19th and 20th century cemetery in Copenhagen created an opportunity to explore the topic of working with identified graves through connecting to genealogical sources and theoretical approaches which are rarely encountered in archaeology. This study used alternative genealogies of grave plots based on different source materials: family trees, burial plot registers, and excavated archaeological evidence to illustrate the complementary interpretations that can be created. The research touches upon important issues of the rights and responsibilities of using the names and personal data of the dead; particularly in relation to their descendants. The conclusion is that it is vital to consider including names and sometimes personal information as doing so has deepened understanding of the variations within burial customs, the use of grave plot space and invited more personal narratives within a heavily structured system of burying the dead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cemeteries and Churchyards)
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Open AccessArticle Ethnic and Racial Identity in Multiracial Sansei: Intergenerational Effects of the World War II Mass Incarceration of Japanese Americans1
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper reflects on ways in which intergenerational familial experience of the Japanese American World War II mass incarceration may have differentially affected the ethnic and racial identity development of multiracial Sansei (third generation Japanese Americans). I begin with a brief review of
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This paper reflects on ways in which intergenerational familial experience of the Japanese American World War II mass incarceration may have differentially affected the ethnic and racial identity development of multiracial Sansei (third generation Japanese Americans). I begin with a brief review of the literature related to the effects of the camps on Nisei, integrating psychological understandings of racial and ethnic identity development, contextual history, and research on the psychological effects; I focus here on effects for Nisei that have been connected to their intergenerational interactions: distancing from Japanese American heritage and identity, silence about the camp experience, and the negotiation of racism and discrimination. I turn then to the primary focus of the paper: Using a combination of autoethnographical reflection, examples from qualitative interviews, and literature review, I engage in reflective exploration of two ways in which intergenerational effects of the camp experience influenced Sansei racial and ethnic identities that vary among monoracial and multiracial Sansei: familial transmission of Japanese American culture by Nisei to Sansei, and the intergenerational effects and transmission of racial discrimination and racial acceptance. I conclude with reflections on intergenerational healing within Japanese American families and communities, and reflections on the relation of these dynamics to current issues of racial justice more generally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genealogy and Multiracial Family Histories)
Open AccessArticle “I’m More Than Just Adopted”: Stories of Genealogy in Intercountry Adoptive Families
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
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Abstract
In contrast to the historical ‘blank slate’ approach to adoption, current policy places significant emphasis on providing children with knowledge; family history; biological connections; stories, a genealogy upon which to establish an authentic identity. The imperative for this complex, and often incomplete, genealogy
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In contrast to the historical ‘blank slate’ approach to adoption, current policy places significant emphasis on providing children with knowledge; family history; biological connections; stories, a genealogy upon which to establish an authentic identity. The imperative for this complex, and often incomplete, genealogy is also explicit within the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption established in 1993 to ensure that intercountry adopted children will be provided with a genealogical ‘heritage’. Yet, despite the recurring dominance of this approach, ‘heritage’ remains an ambiguous dictum which holds the expectation that adopted children should have access to any available birth/first family information and acquire cultural competence about an often distant and removed birth country. Providing such heritage becomes the responsibility of intercountry adoptive parents. It is therefore unsurprising that this role has become part of how intercountry adoptive parents perform and display their parenting and family practices before and after adoption (Richards 2014a; 2018). Such family work is explicit in the stories that parents and children coconstruct about birth family, abandonment, China, and the rights of adopted children to belong first and foremost to a birth country. Using qualitative data provided by a social worker, eleven girls aged between five and twelve, and their parents, this article explores the role and changing significance of narratives as familial strategies for delivering such heritage obligations. Outlined in this discussion is the compulsion to provide a genealogical heritage by adoptive parents which can ultimately be resisted by their daughters as they seek alternative and changing narratives through which to construct their belongings and identities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Class, Shame, and Identity in Memoirs about Difficult Same-Race Adoptions by Jeremy Harding and Lori Jakiela
Received: 25 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper will discuss two search memoirs with widely divergent results by British Jeremy Harding and American Lori Jakiela, in which the memoirists recount discoveries about their adoptive parents, as well as their birth parents. While in both cases the adoptions are same-race,
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This paper will discuss two search memoirs with widely divergent results by British Jeremy Harding and American Lori Jakiela, in which the memoirists recount discoveries about their adoptive parents, as well as their birth parents. While in both cases the adoptions are same-race, both provide material for analysis of class and class mobility. Both searchers discover that the adoption, in more blatant ways than usual, was aimed at improving the parents’ lives—impressing a rich relative or distracting from the trauma of past sexual abuse—rather than benefiting the adoptee. They also discover the importance of various kinds of shame: for example, Harding discovers that his adoptive mother hid the close connection that she had had with his birthmother, because she was trying to rise in class. Jakiela imagines the humiliation her birthmother experienced as she tries to understand her resistance to reunion. Both memoirists recall much childhood conflict with their adoptive parents but speculate about how much of their personalities come from their influence. Both narrate changes in their attitudes about their adoption; neither one settles for a simple choice of either adoptive or birth identity. Contrasts in their memoirs relate especially to gender, nation, class, and attitudes to fictions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Colonial Expressions of Identity in Funerals, Cemeteries, and Funerary Monuments of Nineteenth-Century Perth, Western Australia
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Abstract
A general cemetery was established in 1829–1830 for the town of Perth, Western Australia, and during the rest of the nineteenth century, other cemeteries were added to the complex to cater for various Christian denominations as well as for Chinese and Jewish communities.
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A general cemetery was established in 1829–1830 for the town of Perth, Western Australia, and during the rest of the nineteenth century, other cemeteries were added to the complex to cater for various Christian denominations as well as for Chinese and Jewish communities. In all, seven contiguous cemeteries were used over the colonial period in Perth. By 1899, when the cemetery complex was closed, approximately ten thousand people were buried there. The deceased or their bereaved loved ones chose funerals, epitaphs, burial locations, and funerary monuments to express social, ethnic, religious, familial, and gendered identity. These expressions of identity provide more information than just birth and death dates for genealogists and family historians as to what was important to the deceased and their family. In the first half of the nineteenth century, identities were dominantly related to family, whereas later in the century, identities included religion, ethnicity, and achievements within the colony of Western Australia. Some expressions of identity in Perth contrast with those found in other Australian colonies, especially in regard to the use and types of religious crosses in the Christian denominations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cemeteries and Churchyards)
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Open AccessArticle Heritage Ethics and Human Rights of the Dead
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
Thomas Laqueur argues that the work of the dead is carried out through the living and through those who remember, honour, and mourn. Further, he maintains that the brutal or careless disposal of the corpse “is an attack of extreme violence”. To treat
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Thomas Laqueur argues that the work of the dead is carried out through the living and through those who remember, honour, and mourn. Further, he maintains that the brutal or careless disposal of the corpse “is an attack of extreme violence”. To treat the dead body as if it does not matter or as if it were ordinary organic matter would be to deny its humanity. From Laqueur’s point of view, it is inferred that the dead are believed to have rights and dignities that are upheld through the rituals, practices, and beliefs of the living. The dead have always held a place in the space of the living, whether that space has been material and visible, or intangible and out of sight. This paper considers ossuaries as a key site for investigating the relationships between the living and dead. Holding the bones of hundreds or even thousands of bodies, ossuaries represent an important tradition in the cultural history of the dead. Ossuaries are culturally constituted and have taken many forms across the globe, although this research focuses predominantly on Western European ossuary practices and North American Indigenous ossuaries. This paper will examine two case studies, the Sedlec Ossuary (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) and Taber Hill Ossuary (Toronto, ON, Canada), to think through the rights of the dead at heritage sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How the Use by Eugenicists of Family Trees and Other Genealogical Technologies Informed and Reflected Discourses on Race and Race Crossing during the Era of Moral Condemnation: Mixed-Race in 1920s and 1930s Britain
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 30 June 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
In the 1920s and 30s, significant empirical studies were undertaken on mixed-race (‘hybrid’) populations in Britain’s seaport communities. The physical anthropologists Rachel Fleming and Kenneth Little drew on the methods of anthropometry, while social scientist Muriel Fletcher’s morally condemnatory tract belongs to the
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In the 1920s and 30s, significant empirical studies were undertaken on mixed-race (‘hybrid’) populations in Britain’s seaport communities. The physical anthropologists Rachel Fleming and Kenneth Little drew on the methods of anthropometry, while social scientist Muriel Fletcher’s morally condemnatory tract belongs to the genre of racial hygiene. Whether through professional relationships, the conduct of their work, or means of disseminating their findings, they all aligned themselves with the eugenics movement and all made use of pedigree charts or other genealogical tools for tracing ancestry and investigating the inheritance of traits. These variously depicted family members’ races, sometimes fractionated, biological events, and social circumstances which were not part of genealogy’s traditional family tree lexicon. These design features informed and reflected prevailing conceptualisations of race as genetic and biological difference, skin colour as a visible marker, and cultural characteristics as immutable and hereditable. It is clear, however, that Fleming and Little did not subscribe to contemporary views that population mixing produced adverse biological consequences. Indeed, Fleming actively defended such marriages, and both avoided simplistic, ill-informed judgements about human heredity. Following the devastating consequences of Nazi racial doctrines, anthropologists and biologists largely supported the 1951 UNESCO view that there was no evidence of disadvantageous effects produced by ‘race crossing’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genealogy and Multiracial Family Histories)
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Open AccessArticle A Political Genealogy of Dance: The Choreographing of Life and Images
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
This article provides a genealogical critique of the history and modernity of dance. In doing so it establishes the political importance of dance as an art not principally of the body and its biopolitical capacities for movement, but of images and imagination. It
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This article provides a genealogical critique of the history and modernity of dance. In doing so it establishes the political importance of dance as an art not principally of the body and its biopolitical capacities for movement, but of images and imagination. It traces the development of dance as an art of imagination, lost and buried in the works of Domenico da Piacenza, Jean-Georges Noverre, and Loïe Fuller, as well as its counter-movement expressed in the work of Rudolf Laban. It also locates contemporary dance within this political conflict by exploring new works, especially those of Ivana Müller, which call upon beholders to use their imaginations through the evocation of histories and memories. Such works can be understood to be deeply political, it will argue, because they work to transform society by creating time for a belief in the impossible. At its best, dance does not simply incite bodies to move but suspends movement, transforming the very image of what a body is capable of. These aims and practices of dance speak to contemporary concerns within political practice, theory, and philosophy for a reawakening of political imagination in times of crisis and neoliberal hegemony. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Genealogy after Foucault)
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