Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Studies
Noah Tamarkin’s research examines the social circulation of genomics, postcolonial citizenship, and the racial and religious politics of belonging. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, his research and teaching are also informed by science and technology studies, feminist studies, African studies, and Jewish studies. He is currently writing a book manuscript Jewish Blood, African Bones: The Afterlives of Genetic Ancestry, which analyzes how Lemba South Africans reconcile their understanding of their genetic test results as proof that they have Jewish blood with their active pursuit of claims to ancient bones now reburied at the World Heritage Site Mapungubwe, a thirteenth century southern African kingdom. His research has appeared in the Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Science, The Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies, and is forthcoming in the August 2014 issue of Cultural Anthropology. His courses encourage students to critically examine technologies of power and belonging through topics such as science and technology studies, sexuality studies, and race and the body. His ongoing research moves from the politics of recognition to the politics of incarceration to examine the introduction and implementation of legislation to expand South Africa’s national criminal DNA database. This work considers the social, cultural, and political implications of genomics as it emerges as a global technology of governance and as a form of postcolonial development.