My PhD research looked at genetic ancestry testing and genealogical practices in different post-slavery societies, and how these phenomena are influencing our notions of personal identity and human kinship and difference.

As a mini-experiment, I roped five friends into taking DNA ancestry tests with me. We are from different national and cultural backgrounds, aged between 25-35 years old, and we all took autosomal tests. I asked each person to describe their expectations and hopes regarding their genetic test results, with the aim of highlighting the ways in which our national and cultural backgrounds – as well as our physical appearances – prime our ideas about what our likely or desired ancestral origins might be. The results are published in the following posts.


This post was first published by Sarah Abel on the blog site Anthropology While White.