Joan Fujimura Race Lecture Series March 22, 2011

Network Node: 
Tue., Mar. 22, 2011, 7:00pm - , 9:00pm

Watch the video here


Dr. Joan Fujimura
, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This was Live Streamed at

The Evolution Studies Group, Situating Science Knowledge Cluster, and the Race Lecture Series are pleased to present the last lecture in the 2010-11 “Conceptions of Race in Philosophy, Literature and Art” Lecture Series:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
7 pm ADT, Alumni Hall
New Academic Building, University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road


Dr. Joan Fujimura, professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, presents findings from her ethnographic research on biomedical scientists’ studies of human genetic variation and common complex disease. Although many geneticists use race in their analyses, her work finds some who have invented a statistical genetics method and associated software that they use specifically to avoid using categories of race in their genetic analysis. Their method allows them to operationalize their concept of ‘genetic ancestry’ without resorting to notions of race and ethnicity. She discusses the consequences and implications of the software technology for debates and policies around the use of race in genetics research. The concept of ‘genome geography’ is introduced to analyze how some researchers studying human genetic variation ‘locate’ stretches of DNA in different places and times. The concept of genetic ancestry and the practice of genome geography rely on old discourses, but they also incorporate new technologies, infrastructures, and political and scientific commitments. Her work highlights the slipperiness of genome geography and the tenacity of race and race concepts.

This event is also supported by the Nova Scotian Institute of Science, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies and University of King's College.

Free public event
Reception to follow


About Dr. Fujimura: The interdisciplinary team led by Fujimura at UW-Madison has collected and analyzed data from five research sites that use or develop human genetic variation categories. Recent findings, focusing on human genetics and the use of concepts of race and ancestry, work organization in large genomic interdisciplinary studies, and the impact of new genetic technologies, will be explored in her book currently being completed as part of her fellowship year at Russell Sage Foundation. Her new publication with Ramya Rajagopalan, "Different differences: The use of ‘genetic ancestry’ versus race in biomedical human genetic research" is available to view here

About the Race Lecture Series: The Lecture Series examines how the notion of race and the phenomenon of racism have developed in the Western tradition. The speakers will examine the works of prominent philosophers, writers and artists, illuminating the origins of contemporary ways of thinking about race. The Series is presented by the King’s Contemporary Studies Programme, the Early Modern Studies Programme, the History of Science and Technology Programme.

Race Lecture Series Information          here