Public understanding of the social construction of race and the concept of race-based science has been studied, taught, and debated by anthropologists for over 100 years.
Associate Professor of Anthropology Ann Kakaliouras recently participated in a roundtable discussion surrounding this very topic at the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting.
The panel was in response to the recent resurgence of scientific racism—the practice by some scientists and scholars to try to find genetic differences between races. This concept has been proven false by many mainstream anthropologist and scientists.
“I find that it’s really important to teach against racism, and in particular against scientific racism,” said Kakaliouras. “This gives our students the tools to say they know that there’s no such thing as race biologically, but to also acknowledge that their race still affects their life whether it be a white student acknowledging their privilege or a Latinx student understanding how they might be treated in the world.”
Kakaliouras teaches courses in biological anthropology, archaeology, Native American studies, gender, science and technology studies, and anthropological theory. Although she is trained as a human osteologist, bioarchaeologist, since obtaining her doctorate she has also been retooling her expertise toward the historical and ethnographic study of the phenomenon of repatriation, science and technology studies, and the history of relationships between Native American people and physical/biological anthropologists.