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Cultural politics and the racial cartographics of human origins

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Discussions about human origins, both scientific and pre-scientific, have frequently been freighted with the cultural politics of race relations and questions about human equality. In one way or another, maps have played a critical role in these enterprises by presenting in visual form narratives of human genesis and patterns of human ancestral lineages. In this paper I discuss how a sequence of cartographic representations of human beginnings have transacted racial power from the middle ages to the present day.

Keywords: ancestral migration; cartography; genetics; human origins; monogenism/polygenism; race; racial politics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5661.2009.00377.x

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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