The first comprehensive critical analysis of the practices and consequences of ancient DNA research.
This edited collection, Critical Perspectives on Ancient DNA, presents a critical enquiry into the much-hyped “ancient DNA revolution” in archaeology. Offering the first comprehensive and in-depth scholarly analysis of the practices and effects of archaeogenetics, editors Daniel Strand, Anna Källén, and Charlotte Mulcare, along with other renowned scholars from Europe and the United States, address a host of questions, such as: What happens with our understanding of the past when archaeology is married to genetic science? What cultural forms and historical narratives are generated by ancient DNA (aDNA) research, and what energies could they unleash?
Taking a multidisciplinary and multisite approach to the topic, the essays offer important insights into the epistemological, ethical, and political consequences around and beyond the scientific analysis of aDNA. As such, Critical Perspectives on Ancient DNA provides a timely and much-needed critical engagement with the rapidly growing field of aDNA research—a field that, while already having a notable impact on how we view the past in research, museums, and popular media—has not yet been subject to thorough critical scrutiny.
Contributors Ruth Amstutz, Chip Colwell, Magnus Fiskesjö, K. Ann Horsburgh, Anna Källén, Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa, Amade M'charek, Charlotte Mulcare, Andreas Nyblom, Venla Oikkonen, Mélanie Pruvost, Marianne Sommer, Daniel Strand
Daniel Strand has a PhD in History of Ideas from Stockholm University and works at the Living History Forum in Stockholm. He was previously affiliated with the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism at Uppsala University and the Committee on Historical Studies at New School for Social Research.
Anna Källén is an archaeologist and Chair Professor of Museology at Umeå University. She was PI of the multidisciplinary project “Code, Narrative, History: Making Sense of Ancient DNA in Contemporary Culture.” Her most recent book is The Trouble with Ancient DNA.
Charlotte Mulcare has a PhD in genetics from UCL and works in genetics and scientific communications for commercial, academic, government, and third-sector organizations. She was previously affiliated with Liverpool University as an Honorary Fellow.