Publishing an open access version of our forthcoming (2022) Social Text article, Dr. Schwerzmann and I ask: How can it be explained that people willingly allow genomics companies to rewrite their stories as they relinquish their most personal genetic information and family stories to them, effectively consenting to be dispossessed of both? In our estimation, DNA-testing companies effectively sell their saliva kits to consumers because they market to a consumer’s longing for their singularized and “scientifically” legitimized identity and origin; an origin genomics companies promise to offer. This longing exists as human beings become increasingly fungible through global Capital and the systematic dispossession of structures of belonging resulting from (neo)colonialism and diasporization. But how and why does Capital work—while using the concepts of “race” and identity—to make individuals fungible, or replaceable? Read on to learn more!
Thinking about passing in its double meaning—passing for someone/thing & passing through a border—Dr. Katia Schwerzmann and I think about how DNA-Tests use identity politics based on racialized ideologies in order to surveille and survey our borders and bodies.