Genealogy and Critical Family History
A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2020) | Viewed by 84976
Family history has become increasingly popular, particularly with the growing availability of online genealogical research tools. Many people research their family’s history for a sense of personal identity or belonging. As a result, when carrying out their research, family historians, especially those from dominant social groups, tend to focus mainly on the individual family itself. Family memories and identity, however, are never entirely individual, private matters. Rather, they reflect and often incorporate public national narratives, including their themes and silences. Uncritical appropriation of national mythologies related to racism and colonization enables people to avoid confronting how their ancestors participated in or benefited from exploitation thereby avoiding accountability for unjust power relations today.
Critical family history refers to a process of situating a family’s history within an analysis of larger social relationships of power, particularly racism, colonization, patriarchy, and/or social class. A critical family historian uses tools of genealogy as well as historical research to understand how relations of power impacted on the family, and how the family participated in, helped to construct, resisted, or simply experienced the larger context. Analytical frameworks from critical traditions, particularly critical theory and critical race theory, inform the kinds of questions that a critical family historian might ask. These include questions about which socio-cultural groups were located in the vicinity of a family, and what was the nature of relationships among them. Or, one might begin with current inequities, asking how they were structured historically and how one’s own family is part of that story.
Some potential questions that articles in this Special Issue take up might include:
- How did a family over two or more generations experience white supremacy, and how did that experience impact on the family’s social position today?
- How did a family navigate the social class structure over one or more generations, and what does their experience imply about social class?
- How do dominant national narratives hide or silence family stories that do not fit those narratives?
- How might a family historian tease out clues of LGBTQ family members in the past?
- What do family records of property ownership and transfer of wealth through inheritance reveal about social class, race, gender, and/or colonization?
- What can digitized newspapers from the past reveal about the context of power relationships in which one’s ancestors lived?
- What does family history reveal about how racially mixed people navigated racism historically?
- What might we infer about patriarchy over time from the lives of female ancestors?
Prof. Dr. Christine E. Sleeter
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- family history
- national mythologies
- social power relations
- critical theory
- critical race theory