Eurograd message

Message posted on 16/10/2019

Goldsmiths Department of Sociology Annual Lecture: Amade M'Charek Thu 24th Oct 4-6




Goldsmiths Department of Sociology Annual Lecture




Thursday, 24th October, 4pm-6pm

Professor Stuart Hall Building LG 02


Goldsmiths, University of London



Amade M’charek (Professor of Anthropology of Science, University of
Amsterdam)





Race, Face and Forensic Identification


**

The face is evident and intricate. In everyday life the face is
ubiquitous. Yet in social theory the face is rather absent. In my
lecture I want to move beyond the representational model and attend to
the work that a face can /do,/ and to what the face is /capable of/. I
introduce the concept of the /tentacular/ to analyze how the face draws
certain publics together and how it feeds on that public to assume
content and contours. My examples come for the field of forensic
genetics, where DNA-phenotyping is used to produce a ‘composite face’ of
the unknown individual. I will show that this novel technology is not so
much aimed at the /individual suspect/ but at a /suspect population/,
clusters of individuals. I argue that this population is racialized
through the biologization of the phenotype.


This process prompts the question: what is race? To answer this, I
suggest that we need to ‘care’ for race, i.e., to invent methods that
are open-ended and allow us to follow race around and examine how it
shifts and changes in practice. I propose the concept of /generous
methods/ to show that the slipperiness of race is not simply a matter of
‘multiplicity’; race is not only an ‘object multiple’. As a word and a
practice, race is different ontological things altogether. Different
realities: race is an object, a tool, and a theory. Three different yet
connected realities, contributing to its slipperiness as well as its
virulent nature.

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Michael Guggenheim
17 Popham Street
N1 8QW London
UK
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