Haunting Biology

Haunting Biology

Emma Kowal

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In Haunting Biology Emma Kowal recounts the troubled history of Western biological studies of Indigenous Australians and asks how we now might see contemporary genomics, especially that conducted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scientists. Kowal illustrates how the material persistence of samples over decades and centuries folds together the fates of different scientific methodologies. Blood, bones, hair, comparative anatomy, human biology, physiology, and anthropological genetics all haunt each other across time and space, together with the many racial theories they produced and sustained. The stories Kowal tells feature a variety of ghostly presences: a dead anatomist, a fetishized piece of hair hidden away in a war trunk, and an elusive white Indigenous person. By linking this history to contemporary genomics and twenty-first-century Indigeneity, Kowal outlines the fraught complexities, perils, and potentials of studying Indigenous biological difference in the twenty-first century.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9781478025375

Number of pages: 264

Format: Paperback / softback Trade paperback (US)

Imprint: Duke University Press Books

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