Eleanor Fapohunda Colloquium: Dr. Robert Saunders, "Genealogical Journeys, Geographical Imagination, and (Popular) Geopolitics in Who Do You Think You Are?"

The School of Arts & Sciences Colloquium Series was established in 2004 by the late Dr. Eleanor Fapohunda, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, to enable our faculty to share their scholarly pursuits with Colleagues, Staff, and Students

Genealogy is big business, accounting for $3 billion every year in the US market alone. Enhanced via public record digitisation, crowd-sourced data input, and consumer genetics testing, interest in one’s ancestral roots has never been higher. Recognizing the public interest in personal lineages, the BBC launched the docuseries Who Do You Think You Are? in 2004. Focusing on celebrities’ family backgrounds and how their hitherto-unknown forebears’ experiences shaped their lives and careers, the format was quickly adapted for other national audiences with nearly 20 versions around the world. Professor Saunders’ talk will present key findings from his forthcoming article in Social & Cultural Geography entitled “Genealogical Journeys, Geographical Imagination, and (Popular) Geopolitics in Who Do You Think You Are?” He will examine the phenomenon of mediated genealogical research through the twinned prisms of race and postcolonialism, interrogating the ways in which power and privilege are unpacked through carefully-curated spatial narrations of private pasts meant for popular consumption.  

February 16, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Greenley Library, Greenley 206

Thank you to all of our attendees, we look forward to seeing you at future events.

Last Modified 2/13/23