Ancestry.com wants you to swab your cheek and send them a DNA sample and a check. In return, they promise to tell you who your remote ancestors were. Eminent literary scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., performs the same miracle on national TV. Modern genetic technology, they promise, can tell you intimate details about your family's past. Professor Spickard's lecture examines the claims of the DNA ancestry testing industry, compares them to the assumptions and claims of the racialist pseudoscience of the late 19th and early 20th century, evaluates their validity, and suggests what may really be going on with this ancestry testing business.
· Global Mixed Race (in press, due 2014);
· Multiple Identities: Migrants, Ethnicity, and Membership (2013);
· Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race and Colonialism in American History and Identity (2007);
· Is Lighter Better? Skin-Tone Discrimination among Asian Americans (with Joanne Rondilla, 2007);
· Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World (2005);
· Racial Thinking in the United States (with G. Reginald Daniel, 2004): and
· Mixed Blood: Intermarriage and Ethnic Identity in 20th-Century America (1989).
This lecture is part of the seminar series "Race and Justice in Transnational Perspective," which is organized by Tanya Golash-Boza, Nigel Hatton, and David Torres-Rouff. The event is co-sponsored by the UC Center for New Racial Studies, Sociology, and SSHA.