The Simpson Center presents this public colloquium in conjunction with Alondra Nelson’s Katz Distinguished Lecture, “DNA, Race, and Reparations” (7 pm, Wednesday, March 8, in Kane Hall 120). The colloquium is an opportunity for informal discussion and exchange.
Alondra Nelson is Dean of Social Science and Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. She is the author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (2016) and the influential Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination (2011), which was recognized with multiple scholarly awards.
Nelson is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose recent work traces how claims about ancestry are marshaled together with genetic analysis in a range of social ventures. She takes up these themes in several publications that are among the earliest scholarly investigations of direct-to-consumer genetic testing: “DNA Ethnicity as Black Social Action?” (Cultural Anthropology, 2013) and “Bio Science: Genetic Ancestry Testing and the Pursuit of African Ancestry” (Social Studies of Science, 2008). She is the co-editor of Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History and Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life. In 2002, she edited “Afrofuturism,” an influential special issue of Social Text.
The recipient of Mellon, Woodrow Wilson, and Ford fellowships, Nelson has been a fellow of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Her essays, reviews, and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Science, The Boston Globe, and on National Public Radio.