ESS Talk: My Very Last Race Talk

Jon Marks, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Charolette
Life Science Center 572

Dr. Marks will be speaking as part of the Evolution and Social Sciences lecture series. See link below for more details.

My Very Last Race Talk

Race is the idea that the human species can be naturally partitioned into a fairly small number of fairly discrete and fairly homogeneous groups. First, I will discuss the various realities that have been attributed to race over the last century, culminating in the modern ontology of race as a cultural category with some biological correlates – and not vice-versa, as scholars had imagined for two centuries following Linnaeus. And speaking of Linnaeus, my second point will be historical, and will show how Linnaeus transformed an 18th-century artistic allegory into the scientific fact of race. And finally, I will discuss the metaphor of the tree, and why its use to describe the human species led us to bark up the wrong one for over a century.