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Throwing the Genes

A Renewed Biological Imaginary of 'Race', Place and Identification

Zimitri Erasmus

In the United States of America, use of DNA samples in criminal investigation and of genetic ancestry tests in 'personalised medicine', 'pharmacogenetics' and for personal consumption has grown exponentially. Moreover, use of such technologies is visible in the public sphere. In South Africa, DNA sampling for ancestry testing is the most publicly visible application of these technologies. This work has shifted constructions of 'KhoiSan' communities from yesterday's 'missing evolutionary link' to today's 'Edenic origin of humankind'. I question human biogenetics as a home for meanings of history, humanity and belonging. To this end, I read selected genetic genealogical studies of communities considered 'KhoiSan', 'Coloured' and 'Lemba' in South Africa against concerns raised in recent literature about the use of such studies in the United States of America. I ask why bio-centric conceptions of 'race', identity and 'the human' remain so resilient. To grapple with this question, I draw on Sylvia Wynter's (2001; 2003) adaptation of Frantz Fanon's (1986) concept of 'sociogeny' into 'the sociogenic principle'. I close by suggesting the code for what it means to be human is best located in the 'word' rather than the human genome.

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'Genes, Shmenes'

Jew-ish Identities in Contemporary British Jewish Writing

Ruth Gilbert

Adam Thirlwell's contention that 'Jewish is always half-Jewish' is provocative. Whilst themes of not belonging are central to much Jewish writing, Thirlwell's claim effectively dismisses the idea that there could ever be a wholly Jewish identity. To the extent that all identities are arguably provisional, constructed and contingent, this might be the case. However, there is a danger that Thirlwell's contention is not entirely playful. The implications of such a manoeuvre are explored in Andrew Sanger's novel, The J-Word (2009) and Mark Glanville's memoir, The Goldberg Variations (2004), which, in different ways, both reflect on the challenges of inchoate identities. This article looks at the ways in which these texts problematize a sense of blurred boundaries in terms of (half-)Jewishness. It will go on to argue, however, that whereas some contemporary British Jewish writers demonstrate a rather fraught sense of identification, others are less attached to a singular or even dual sense of defining identity. As the twenty-first century unfolds, British Jewishness is increasingly figured as a matrix of connections that form ever more imbricated ways of belonging.

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The Alternative for Germany from Breakthrough toward Consolidation?

A Comparative Perspective on Its Organizational Development

E. Gene Frankland


The emergence of new parties, especially of populist radical-right parties, has generated considerable scholarly as well as media attention in recent decades. German exceptionalism since the 1950s has come to an end with the electoral successes of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), formed in 2013. Comparative studies, however, provide caution about quick pronouncements of party system transformation. Party organization is an important factor in a new party's coping with changing external circumstances. Accordingly, this article concerns itself first with the formative circumstances of the AfD compared to those of the Greens and the Pirates, earlier new parties that challenged the established parties. Second, the article focuses on the institutionalization of the AfD as a party organization since 2013. To what extent has it followed the design of successful populist radical-right parties, such as the Austrian Freedom Party (FPӦ) and the Italian Northern League (ln)? Third, the article considers the prospective relationships between the AfD and established parties. Such challenger parties have agency and may switch from government-mode to opposition-mode and back again without lasting electoral harm. In conclusion, the AfD seems likely to survive its first term in the Bundestag, but it seems unlikely soon to be mainstreamed by its participation in electoral and parliamentary politics.

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What Makes a Panther a Panther?

Genetics, Human Perceptions, and the Complexity of Species Categorization

Catherine Macdonald and Julia Wester

not matter 9.15 0.00 24.84 1.57   Noted the complete lack of cougar genes 9.60 0.00 19.91 6.81   Behavior as a factor 27.68 47.57 22.22 21.47   Location as a factor 28.35 65.05 24.18 12.04   Appearance as a factor 2.90 7.77 1.31 1.57 Opinions about

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Sachiko Hosoya

countries of the Middle East, people at risk have been informed about the probability of bearing a child with a severe case of thalassemia – a condition suffered by some offspring of thalassemia gene carrier couples. In other words, clinical implementation

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alleviate the food insecurity of women and children, aiming to empower women through the development of their skills to restore productive soils, conserve native seeds, conserve the gene pool of vegetables, eliminate dependence on agrochemicals and achieve

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Andrew Lattas, Anni Kajanus, and Naomi Haynes

evolutionary strategies for replication and the survival of genes. Holland goes on to argue for the continuing relevance of the inclusive fitness theory. Ethnographic evidence demonstrating that in various human societies social bonds based on nurture and co

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Srdja Popović and Slobodan Djinovic

, the late American scholar and “Clausewitz of nonviolent struggle” Gene Sharp (2003: 7) : “Liberation from dictatorships ultimately depends on the people’s ability to liberate themselves.” The Changing Challenges for Twenty-First-Century Social

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Artificial Intelligence

Faith in Machine or Man?

Jan Martijn Meij

allows a lab to have five or six embryos to develop, monitor, and verify if the embryos carry the problematic gene that is a genetic disease for the family and one embryo without the gene that gets implanted in the mother's womb (BM: 145). It is in asking

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Daniel Lord Smail

ancestral night was full of leopards who ate us. The gene-centered approach to human cognition and human behavior characteristic of EP 1.0 was founded on the idea that although culture changes rapidly, genes change slowly or not at all. Blindly and dumbly