The UC Irvine Department of Anthropology presents:

"‘I Am A Child of Subversion’: DNA, Democracy, and Political Reconstitution in Argentina"
with Lindsay Smith, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Society and Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
3:30-5:00 p.m.
Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 3323

In 1984, eight-year-old Paula Logares was called into a judge’s chambers and told the man and woman she lived with were not her parents. Her parents had been disappeared during the Dirty War, and now through her blood, scientists would be able to return her to her birth family. Paula, thus, became the first “stolen” child in Argentina to be identified via the incipient technology of DNA identification. Since this forensic first, DNA identification has emerged as a central tool of good governance the world round. From routine crime-fighting to international criminal tribunals, DNA plays a crucial role in attempts to reckon with crimes of the body. As an origin story for forensic DNA, Argentine human rights science provides an invaluable site of analysis.   Drawing on eighteen- months of fieldwork, Smith documents the ways in which DNA has emerged as a core site of subject formation for individuals and families affected by the terror of the dictatorship and for the Argentine nation-state as it reckons with the legacies of repression. Forensic DNA acts not only as powerful disciplinary site of biocitizenship, but also as a potential space to re-imagine the social contract between the body, the public, and the state.

For further information, please contact Norma Miranda, nmiranda@uci.edu.

 

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