2016. Foster. "A Postapartheid Genome Genetic Ancestry Testing and Belonging in South Africa"



“This article examines a genetic ancestry testing program called the Living History Project (LHP) that was jointly organized by a nonprofit educational institute and a for-profit genealogy company in South Africa. It charts the precise mechanisms by which the LHP sought to shape a postapartheid genome through antiracist commitments aimed at contesting histories of colonial and apartheid rule in varied ways. In particular, it focuses on several tensions that emerged within three modes of material-discursive practice within the production of the LHP: subject recruitment, informed consent, and participant reflections. In the end, it argues that several contradictory tensions were central to the making of the LHP’s postapartheid genome and that it should be understood as nonracial rather than antiracist.”

Keywords: genetic ancestry testing, genomics, race, belonging, informed consent, South Africa


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Created date

May 17, 2018

Critical Commentary

This 2016 article by Laura Foster examines a genetic ancestry testing program in South Africa. Find the full article here.