Schedule for Scholar and Feminist Conference: Sustianabilities

This year we at BCRW are implementing the framework of sustainability for our 41st Annual Scholar and Feminist Conference. As a community of activists and scholars, we would like to ask and discuss how we can sustain the material, creative, cultural and critical resources necessary to maintain the vitality of our communities, movements, and scholarship. The conference brings together feminist scholars, activists, artists and community members to address the obstacles we face–including biomedical models of health and wellness; anti-black police and state violence; and the far-reaching tentacles of neoliberalism shrinking public resources and expanding the prison industrial complex. Panelists will address the creative and courageous responses they have developed to sustain their work as activists, scholars, artists and visionaries working toward achieving social, gender, economic and racial justice. Visionary activist and thinker Reina Gossett will deliver the keynote address.   Here is a run-down of the schedule for the event:
10:00 - 10:30 AM Welcome
Tina Campt Event Oval, Diana Center
 
10:30 - 11:30 AM Keynote Address: Making A Way Out Of No Way Reina Gossett, BCRW Activist Fellow, Activist, Filmmaker Event Oval, Diana Center Reina Gossett will discuss the uses of art, representation, and other creative strategies trans and gender nonconforming people are using while living and loving under the shadow of heightened violence.  

11:30 - 12 PM Lunch pick-up Lunch is provided. Attendees are invited to bring their lunch to the afternoon sessions. 5th Floor Lobby & Event Oval Lobby, Diana Center  

12 - 1:30 PM Session I - Concurrent Panels PANEL: Fat Activism and Intersectionality at the Edges: Making Movements Sustainable LL 103, Diana Center This panel brings together artists, activists, and thinkers who are working at the interstices of fat activism and intersectional feminism. They will discuss challenges to and strategies for refusing single-issue approaches, while showing how fat activism is already intersectional and central to left movement building. Panelists will discuss how fat activism is part of the broader struggle for bodily autonomy, how their work struggles to address questions of left political horizons and legitimate political aspirations, and how ending fatphobia is central to collective liberation.   Presenters: Naima Lowe, Jamal Lewis, Tara Shuai & Rebecca Weinberger  

PANEL: Sustaining Harlem: Art, Community Activism and Black Women's Leadership Event Oval, Diana Center How have the arts served as an essential resource for sustaining Harlem's vibrant and diverse communities of color? How have the arts and arts organizations helped to shape and reshape Harlem's changing identity over time? How have Harlem’s arts institutions served as a catalyst for activism and change throughout their long history serving this community? This panel brings together four visionary black women, each of whom have made significant contributions to sustaining Harlem through their leadership in its signature arts institutions. Each will offer their perspectives on what it means to work collectively and collaboratively on the project of sustaining Harlem, the under-acknowledged role of black women, and the resources they draw on to sustain their work. Presenters: Pat Cruz, Thelma Golden, Virginia Johnson & Sade Lythcott  

WORKSHOP: Resourcing and Resilience: Building Alternative Models to Sustain Our Movements Room 504, Diana Center Very little money goes to LGBTQ organizations and even less goes to grassroots, social justice groups organizing around their experiences with racism, poverty and homelessness, transphobia, ableism, immigration, and incarceration. The combined legacies of white supremacy and capitalism and the limitations of the nonprofit industrial complex (NPIC) have shrunk what was already limited foundation funding for these organizations. What remains creates heavy administrative burdens for staff and members and pits communities into competition with one another. Taking the task of resourcing their movements into their own hands, the Trans Justice Funding Project (TFJP) and the Miss Major-Jay Toole Building for Social Justice (MMJT) Giving Circle have developed alternative models to build the long-term sustainability of their work and communities. Through mapping exercises, small group discussions, and report-backs, participants will unpack the history of the racial and gender wealth divide, share people of color giving traditions, redefine the value and worth of community resources beyond dollars, and explore the process of building and reclaiming alternatives. Presenters: Gabriel Foster, Cara Page, Krystal Portalatin, Eva Turner & Tanya Walker
 
1:30 - 1:45 PM Transition between sessions
 
1:45 - 3:15 PM Session II - Concurrent Panels
 
WORKSHOP: Building Community Safety and Security LL 103, Diana Center State violence, security, and militarization are daily realities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, Two Spirit, transgender, gender nonconforming, and queer people of color. Presenters will share their experiences, tools, and resources for creating safety teams in community spaces. Through storytelling, small group discussions, role plays about common situations, and resource sharing, presenters will share tools created by Black, Indigenous, People of Color, queer/trans/Two Spirit, sex working, disabled/chronically ill, and poor and working class communities to create safer events, conferences, gatherings and neighborhoods without relying on 911 or the police, redefining "safety" and how we can create it. Presenters: Ejeris Dixon, Elliott Fukui & Joo-Hyun Kang
 
PANEL: Working at the Limits: State and Structural Violence Event Oval, Diana Center This panel features scholars and activists in conversation around the issues of sustaining community-centered scholarship and programs in the wake of drastically decreased funding, hostile political environments, and tenuous public-private partnerships. This session asks participants to consider how we sustain our communities in the midst of financial crisis and structural violence. Emerging from BCRW’s Transnational Feminisms initiative, participants in this session work in areas around the globe, including South Africa, Barbados, and the US Virgin Islands. Presenters: Tami Navarro (moderator), Alison Swartz, Deanna James & Charmaine Crawford
 
WORKSHOP: Sustaining Community: Housing and Displacement in New York City Room 504, Diana Center Neoliberal economic and social restructuring combined with a recession lasting nearly a decade has led to the displacement and dismantling of communities of color in neighborhoods throughout New York City. The typical policy response of increasing affordable housing benefits the real estate industry and big business and fails the communities it is designed to serve. This workshop will discuss strategies for vulnerable communities to sustain themselves through the constant and persistent threat of displacement that is pervasive in New York City. This workshop was organized by Pamela Phillips. Presenters: Gregory Jost, Daisy Gonzales & Ryan Hickey   3:15 - 3:45 PM Break

Coffee and snacks
 
3:45 - 5:15 PM Session III - Concurrent Panels

PANEL/WORKSHOP: Disability and Healing Justice: Making Our Lives Sustainable and Our Movements Liveable LL 103, Diana Center Join two visionary panelists for a hybrid panel-workshop as they discuss the connections between disability and healing justice. Participants will be invited to think through how disability and healing justice need to be central to the work of making all of our lives sustainable in the face of ableist and capitalist modes of organizing and belonging. Presenters: Geleni Fontaine & Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
 
PANEL: Queer Survival Economies: Invisible Lives, Targeted Bodies Event Oval, Diana Center Queer Survival Economies is a new initiative directed by Amber Hollibaugh and born out of the closure of Queers for Economic Justice. Queer Survival Economies aims to prioritize LGBTQ low-income and immigrant worker issues at a time of increasing crisis because of the on-going recession and reshaping of the global market. Participants will discuss overlooked and often invisible economic justice issues at the intersections of class, race, gender, immigration, HIV/AIDS, non-traditional families and sexuality. The goal of  this panel is to bring together and educate community members to be better able to build movement possibilities in the face of economic crises and queer marginalization. Presenters: Amber Hollibaugh (moderator), Yana Calou, Kate D’Adamo, Hamid Khan & Ola Osaze
 
WORKSHOP: Bridging the Generations: Carrying On… Room 504, Diana Center This workshop features four activists and nonprofit leaders who span four generations and have  diverse experiences working for social justice feminism.  Panelists will share their stories, discuss myths and assumptions about each other’s generations, and share strategies for building meaningful multi-generational relationships that sustain individuals, communities, and political movements for transformative social change. Audience members will be invited to participate in the conversation as an essential tool for "carrying on" the dialogue and generating ideas to propel us forward. Presenters: Katherine Acey (moderator), Trishala Deb, Frances Kunreuther, Krystal Portalatin

5:15 - 5:30 PM Transition between sessions

5:30 - 7 PM Reception Event Oval, Diana Center

Rubbing Salt into the Wound: Added Injury to the 19th Century Irish Immigrant Experience

The 19th century was an unforgiving period for Irish immigrants living in the United States. They faced persecution, poor job prospects, and unfavorable living conditions. Because Irish immigrants often came to industrial cities from rural, uneducated areas, they were only able to work low-skill jobs, which usually involved manual labor. The nature of these jobs caused them to suffer severe injuries, dramatically lowering their employability and furthering their ostracization. Meredith Linn, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, is interested in investigating the link between the persecution, labor, and injuries that these immigrants experienced. On April 2, in a lunchtime lecture titled “Gender, Labor, Healing: Irish Immigrant Experiences in 19th Century NYC,” Linn shared her research examining common injuries among 19th century Irish immigrant workers in New York City, and described how these lead to increased discrimination. Furthermore, she discussed how the types of injuries and their consequences varied as a result of the gendered division of labor. Linn’s research works to gain a better understanding of how xenophobia, gender inequality, and socioeconomic difference led to the injuries that pushed Irish immigrants further into the margins.

“Little Ireland,” Diane Griffiths, flickr.com (Creative Commons)

“Little Ireland,” Photo by Diane Griffiths, flickr.com (Creative Commons)

There are many records that indicate that 19th century Irish immigrant workers in New York City were at a especially high risk of facing injury. According to Linn, “historians have long noted that rates of injury among Irish immigrants were much higher than their native [American] counterparts.” Hospital records from 1845 to 1952 show that although the Irish made up 30 percent of NYC’s population, they accounted for over 60 percent of injured patients in the hospitals. The dangerous careers Irish held most likely played a big role in this disproportion. As Linn stated, “about 85 percent of Irish men … were employed in jobs that would have employed hard manual labor … literally back breaking labor.”  This ‘back breaking’ labor put the Irish at a high risk of injury and as a consequence, limited their ability to find employment.

Not only did these injuries physically disable Irish immigrants, but also they resulted in social injury. Linn argued that the immigrant’s physical injuries caused them to become further stereotyped and marginalized. The back injuries Irish men sustained from manual labor exacerbated the idea that not being able to stand up straight meant that Irish men were not fully human. This physical and social discrimination was also detrimental to the immigrant’s mental health; by 1908, Irish made up the most common nationality in mental hospitals. Irish women were at an especially high risk of mental illness. Since the type of labor differed according to gender, Irish women experienced their own set of physical injuries and repercussions in addition to their greater disposition to psychological injury. For example, because of the domestic nature of their work, Irish women often worked near open flames like stoves, which by design were hazardous, and as a result they were susceptible to burns. Since an injury such as a burn would mark a woman as further from the feminine ideal, it would be more difficult for her to get work outside of her home.

“Irish Immigrant," Photo by Thunderchild7, flickr.com (Creative Commons)

“Irish Immigrant,” Photo by Thunderchild7, flickr.com (Creative Commons)

Even without these work-related injuries, Irish women were judged for other aspects of their physical appearance, such as their weight. Irish women were thought of as having thicker bones, giving them a larger appearance, which contrasted the idealized slim female body. As a result, Irish women’s bodies were constantly under scrutiny. The necessity of work exacerbated this scrutiny: the more they labored, the more they inured themselves, “again modifying their bodies and setting them a part from the norm.” Potential unemployment was not only damaging to women; often Irish men could not make enough to support the family by themselves. Furthermore, some households lacked any sort of male figure, due to the male deserting the family, leaving to look for work, or dying of disease. This created an even greater necessity for Irish women to work, and as a consequence, to alter their physical appearance to find employment.

"Duffy's Cut," Photo by parabat4868

“Duffy’s Cut,” Photo by parabat4868, flicker.com (Creative Commons)

Although discrimination against Irish immigrants took place mostly during the 19th century, Linn said that much of their experience is still relevant today. Many immigrants in the United States, even in relatively progressive areas such as New York City, face marginalization and discrimination similar to the Irish immigrants. While today Irish immigrants have blended in with mainstream society, newer immigrant groups are now the recipients of poor employment prospects and healthcare. Linn described how, like with 19th century Irish immigrants, society judges new immigrants by their appearances. Like Irish immigrants, they have been categorized and placed in boxes, therefore limiting their employment opportunities. Linn shared a quote from the 19th century that she said represents the common view of Irish laborers: “Irish means to us a class of human beings whose house is their work, and their men dig the railroads.” Similar jobs can now be seen with immigrants working as domestic workers or in physically demanding fields such as construction. Linn’s lecture, which looked at the gendered division of labor, the relationship between discrimination and employment, and the conditions which lead to further marginalization, was both an intriguing look to the past and a necessary examination of the present.

Emily is a sophomore at Barnard College majoring in Sociology and is a BCRW Research Assistant.

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Reading Life (Un)Ltd: Feminism, Bioscience, Race

The newest edition of the Scholar & Feminist Online is entitled Life (Un)Ltd: Feminism, Bioscience, Race and “is devoted to new scholarship at the intersection of science and technology studies (hereafter STS), race/postcolonial studies, and feminist and queer theory” (Rachel C. Lee, “Introduction”). In reading the articles in this issue, however, I noticed another critical concept that is central to these intersections: the concept of morality.

In many ways, morality is an important concept to explore in a series of articles that largely aims to problematize our conception of science and technology as impartial and infallible—as objective “fact.” Yet the interweaving of morality within this edition of the journal was still unsettling, perhaps because the morality described by the articles was not a morality developed and maintained by bioscience based on the power it is given in society. Rather, many articles discussed a shirked responsibility to morality on the part of bioscience and an externalization and imposition of this morality to the individuals upon which the science is being acted.

The title of this issue addresses most directly this shirking of moral responsibilities on the part of science and technology that is increasingly commercialized through large corporations. The use of “Ltd.” calls to mind LLCs–limited liability corporations–that shield their investors from legal responsibilities while allowing them to reap financial gains. “Life LTD” recalls the human costs of these gains that are externalized to marginalized, laboring communities. This suspension of morality is taken up by Michelle Murphy in “Distributed Reproduction, Chemical Violence, and Latency,” and Diane Nelson’s “Yes to Life = No to Mining:’ Counting as Biotechnology in Life (Ltd) Guatemala.” In both pieces, the authors problematize moral responsibility by adding a long-term temporal lens to corporate morality. In the case of river pollution and mining in Guatemala, respectively, the health risks of corporate behavior have yet to be realized, although it is well known they will appear later, and therefore allows corporate behavior to play risk games on the health and lives of others. How can we hold these corporations accountable before evidence of their moral disinterest develops? These discussions of the externalization and privatization of risk to the individual level–and carried most heavily by marginalized communities–provide an extension and science-based focus of much of the thinking of the last Scholar & Feminist edition, Gender, Justice, and Neoliberal Transformations

Carmelita-Tropicana-as-Ho

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Films, Media, and Politics: Their Influence on the Devaluation of Women’s Bodies

Through Women’s studies classes and popular Feminist blogs such as Jezebel, I have begun to grasp the extent to which women are defined by their bodies, for which they might be at various times either prized, marginalized or judged. I have also learned that critiques of the female body are not static but can vary based on many factors including a women’s race, economic or social status. And have come to recognize that women are still not given full “ownership” rights to their bodies. While women should rally together to contest any devaluation of their bodies, it is important to remember that different identities create different reactions. Ultimately, the goal for feminists should be to gain respect for women’s bodies, regardless of how the perception of their body has evolved. In this post, I will examine two articles from the latest edition of Scholar & Feminist Online that discuss the perceptions and treatment of the female body.

(See also these articles/stories: “Baby stays with mother for now in custody fight with Olympic skier” (Reuters); “Young Masai Activist Challenges Circumcision Tradition“(NPR))

In her article “Fat Bodies/ Thin Critique: Animating and Absorbing Fat Embodiments,” Anna E. Ward examines how a women’s weight can determine how she is treated and factors that affect the perception of so-called “fat” women. Ward describes how some researchers believe that obesity is due to “obesogenic” factors, dispelling the common belief that people become obese because they lack self-control. Proponents of the obesogenic viewpoint believe that the characteristics of one’s environment- access to grocery stores, parks and recreational facilities, etc.- influence the likelihood of obesity. Thus a perception has emerged that people in low-income neighborhoods, who are less likely to have access to, for example, healthier food options, are more prone to obesity. But Ward disagrees with this idea saying that, particularly with regard to food consumption, eating habits are too similar among the poor, middle class and wealthy populations to conclude that poverty is a marker for obesity: “there is just too much we do not know about why some folks are fat and some folks are not, particularly when we sometimes find identical patterns of behavior across these two groups.” This leads to the suggestion that the bias against overweight people in low income communities is in fact not solely a bias against their weight but a veiled criticism of their race or socioeconomic status.

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Plan C: Why We Need a New Way to Talk About Birth Control

In the last few years, the topics of sexuality, birth control, and abortion have been making headlines in the mainstream media. Fiercely debated, hotly contested and often misrepresented, facts about women’s health are so often obscured by moral judgment and urban legend. This past Thursday, the New York Times front page featured an article entitled “Ready Access to Plan B Pills in City Schools,” written by Anemona Hartocollis and Michaelle Bond. The piece reports on the availability of the Plan B One-Step pill, an emergency contraceptive, in New York City schools in the wake of the Obama administration’s allowance of over the counter availability of the pill to women of any age (well, sort of).  While the article does not outright condemn the federal decision or New York City’s preexisting provision that students in high school can have access to emergency contraception, its ostensibly neutral tone on the issue is fraught with hints of shaming young women who utilize this option and the institutions that make it available.

Image of hand picking up box labeled "Morning After Pill" next to tampons on a shelf

While relaying important information about these policies, the article problematically plays into the media shock value of teenage sex and the possibility of schools condoning such activity. Since the piece highlights the rebellion of young women throughout, the authors distort the reality of why Plan B and other birth control methods need to be available in schools, and instead emphasize a desire to protect deviant young women. For example, the article briefly mentions the fact that the majority of research has demonstrated that emergency contraception does not increase rates of sexual activity, but taking up far more space in the piece are the opinions of others who believe that emergency contraception does increase “risky” sexual behavior, including a single teenage girl who thought teens at her school were having more sex since Plan B became available.

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Beyond Food Fights

BCRW’s 2013 Scholar and Feminist Conference on “Utopia” created a space for its attendees to take our desires seriously and to imagine better outcomes. A broad array of topics were covered, from poverty, to media and pop culture, to food justice. I attended the workshop on the latter, entitled “Beyond Food Fights: Re-Imagining Food Justice,” facilitated by Pamela Phillips and Gwen Beetham. Earlier that day I had attended the prison abolition workshop and my mind was already swimming in ideas about what a prison-free world would look like. In the Prison Abolition workshop, facilitator Reina Gosset contextualized the prison industrial complex within a larger framework of racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, pointing out how interrelated forms of oppression often are.

Gwen Beetham and Pam Phillips in front of blackboard at food justice workshop

Pam Phillips and Gwen Beetham facilitate the Food Justice workshop

Food justice is no different. Our food systems are embedded within a capitalist “corporatocracy,” as one workshop attendee phrased it. Although food production and distribution happens on such a large scale, food remains extremely personal, a source of pleasure and nourishment to the bodies who consume it. Thus, the fight for food justice is one for self and community care in the face of political and economic institutions driven by capitalism.

Although solutions were an important part of the discussion we had (it was a conference on utopia, after all), we spent a good part of the workshop just unpacking what the various problems are that obstruct food justice. From the rights of laborers who grow the food all the way to the nutrition of food going into people’s mouths, we touched on almost every aspect of the food industry that needs changing. Gwen discussed how our taxes subsidize the production of corn, wheat, soy and rice, grains which flood our diets, while more nutritious vegetables are referred to as “specialty crops” and remain more expensive and difficult to access.

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To Predestine and Condition – On Dorothy Roberts’ Fatal Invention

"The highly publicized lawsuit was intensified by the clinic’s failure to deliver a white baby…"
Dorothy Roberts stood before a room full of people, showing a picture of what seemed to be a happy interracial family portrait. But it wasn’t a happy family picture, or even a success story. The picture staring down at that night’s crowd was proof and evidence to a lawsuit - it was a picture capturing the failure of a reproduction clinic to produce a blond hair, blue eyed child. It was a picture overtly publicizing the devaluation of black babies because of their race. It may be cliché to reference Aldous Huxley when discussing Dorothy Roberts’ Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race In the Twenty-First Century, yet when covering Roberts’ account of the alarming push to find evidence behind the notion of ‘biological race' one finds themselves eerily remembering the eugenic utopia of Huxley’s novel, and the warnings it posed to the world. Deaf ears seemingly received those warnings. Robert’s Fatal Invention traces society’s tragic scientific credence of "biological race" and its possible implications in the rise of eugenics and justifications of social class stratification in the twenty-first century.  With extensive research, Roberts shows just how big of an issue race is for modern society; furthermore, how such a delusion (that race is biologically inherited) distorts and pacifies many Americans against purely barbaric, cruel, and unfounded practices against certain races, particularly African Americans. (more…)

Gender Amplified: A Project by Alumnae Fellow Ebonie Smith ’07

BCRW is thrilled to announce our second annual Alumnae Fellow, Ebonie Smith ’07. Ebonie will spend this year on her Gender Amplified Project to support women’s participation in music production and to encourage girls towards STEM fields through experience with music technology, leading up to an all day music festival in the Fall of 2013.

Headphones on sound board

The Gender Amplified movement started in my dorm room. Six years ago, I found myself sitting in my cramped room, nearly crowded out by all of the music production equipment I’d accumulated during college. I would make noise for hours silently in my headphones. I was just another bedroom music producer with big dreams of becoming the next world-known, Top 40 “hit-maker”. Those were the days. But there was something very different about my goals. I realized it every time I went to Guitar Center to buy gear. I certainly noticed it every time I went to a local beat battle. It seemed that I was one of few women aspiring to be a professional music producer. This fact intrigued me. There was no shortage of women aspiring to become singers and songwriters, so it seemed unusual that there would be so few on the production path. I often felt alone on my journey toward my passion, so I wanted to know: Where were all the women producers? I did what any inquisitive, college-educated person would do to get an answer.

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Challenging Race as a Genetic Category: A Response to Dorothy Roberts

Race, Gender, and the New Biocitizen video is now available on the BCRW website.

“We’re going to start by defining some of the terms that Roberts uses in her book,” I said to a class of my peers last week, “let’s begin with ‘biological race’.”

My Critical Race Theory class was discussing Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-first Century by Dorothy Roberts, the BCRW’s guest lecturer during that same week. Everyone was eager to chime in – jumping over one another to speak about all the points they had learned from the book and from her lecture the night before about everything from Tay-Sach’s disease to reproductive tourism.

Image of Dorothy Roberts

In the book, Dorothy Roberts knits these examples together to argue that race has not only been created by science in the past, but re-engineered and abused by the same system. She makes the claim that scientific objectivity with regards to race actually masks a fundamentally social issue: if race is a social construction, how can scientists use self-reported race as an independent variable when assessing differences between groups? The question, answered through a combination of critiques on genetic/genomic science and an examination of the political usefulness of race, gave us the underlying structure for our own discussion in class. At that point, summaries failed me.

At the lecture, Roberts talked about how hard it is to challenge our notions of science and to distill it all into an hour-long talk. Her argument is clear-cut and illustrated well by the points she makes about genetic testing, ancestry, and the essentialization of race. The challenge for the reader, however, is to wrap their head around the idea that race isn’t biological – that it’s component parts as laid out by scientific study do not make up the whole. This is not on the part of the author; rather, it is the struggle of challenging a worldview that has been so deeply ingrained into our understanding of race as a categorization, that even those who study it are forced to look critically at their own assumptions.

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Paternity Testing and Its Implications

How many of us have ever watched an episode of daytime talk show Maury where host Maury Povich brings on two men and a woman who has sexually transgressed, and conducts DNA tests to determine which man is “the real father” of her baby? How many of us have watched a young man celebrate on camera his newfound legal and social freedom from obligation of parenthood? And how many of us have ever questioned the history and meaning of a mere cheek swab having such vast social, legal and medical implications?

On Thursday, September 27th, as part of the BCRW Lunchtime Lecture Series, Associate Professor of History at Barnard Nara Milanich gave a presentation called “A Global History of the Paternity Test.” Milanich traced the concept of questioning and determining paternity from Roman laws all the way up to Maury, perhaps not globally, but in multiple contexts around the world. According to Milanich, paternity testing is very much tied into discourses on immigration and eugenics, and is itself an important intersection of socially constructed ideologies of race, gender and identity.  It is, as she stated, a scientific, legal and social phenomenon. Paternity testing has historically and continues to determine who can receive certain benefits or welfare, who can be allowed into the country, who is of what race, who is considered “family,” etc…

It’s a simple procedure, and yet it can have profound effects on the lives involved. What, then, was done to determine paternity before the invention of the “infallible” DNA test? According to Milanich, once marriage was institutionalized, many legal structures around the world determined that the father was simply the husband of the mother of the baby. However, with the rise of various paternity determining technologies (some were more legitimate than others, such as dental morphology, finger prints and foot prints, paternal resemblance, blood type), different legal jurisdictions reacted differently to this new access to “true” paternity. Such technological developments undermined the once-considered fixed nature of the marriage union as determining parenthood, and also create and perpetuate ideas of women as untrustworthy or deceitful.

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