The search for the Jew's gene : science, spectacle, and the ethnic other
Steinberg, Deborah Lynn. (2009) The search for the Jew's gene : science, spectacle, and the ethnic other. MediaTropes, Vol.2 (No.1). pp. 1-23. ISSN 1913-6005
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This paper considers the collision of spectacle, science, and racial-ethnic
identifications in the contemporary scientific search for a "Jewish gene." It aims
not so much to distinguish the "line between ‘real’ and ‘fabled’ aspects of the
Jew" (as cited in the passage by Gilman above), but to consider the
inextricability of both as composite elements, mutually constituting
"difference" as racial-ethnic identification. Thus I am concerned with the specular economies of science as well as the knowledge capital of its mediatisation as they come together, troubled, over the Jew’s body. The essay takes as its case study the National Geographic (NOVA/PBS) television documentary, The Sons of Abraham, a film that follows the progress of anthropologist Tudor Parfitt through the Lemba communities of South Africa in a quest to obtain genetic evidence in order to authenticate (or falsify) their claims to Jewish identity.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Jews -- Identity , Genetics|
|Journal or Publication Title:||MediaTropes|
|Page Range:||pp. 1-23|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
Barthes, Roland ( 1972). Mythologies (Lavers, A., Trans.). New York: Hill and Wang.
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