ANT 388 • Constructions of Race in Biology and Physical Anthropology
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Although anthropologists have long argued that race ia a cultural construct, a number of recent studies in biomedicine, genetics, forensic anthropology and physical anthropology seem to suggest that race is also a biological phenomenon. In this class, we will critically evaluate this body of research and explore the ways that race is being constructed in these fields. We will contextualize this discussion by looking at how concepts of race have influenced the history of these fields, and we will examine the patterns of human biodiversity. Since most of the human biodiversity literature suggests that race is not rooted in biology, we will consider both the scientific and cultural reasons for why some recent research seems to reify race as genetic. Finally, we will also discuss how anthropology can respond to these new constructions of race.