Sarah Abel

Sarah Abel


Position: Marie Curie Fellow

ESR12: The New Genetics and the Search for African Identity
Supervision:  Prof. Myriam Cottias
Host Institution:  Centre International des Recherches sur les Esclavages, CNRS, Paris

About me:

I am a social historian and anthropologist, with an academic background in languages and Latin American studies, and a specific research interest in the history of African identities in the Americas. My MPhil research at the University of Cambridge focused on the negotiation of African identities in nineteenth century Cuba and Santo Domingo during and after the Haitian Revolution – exploring how concepts of race and difference were construed and manipulated in societies characterized by slavery, inequality and violence.

In my current EUROTAST project I am looking at how the relatively recent social phenomenon of genetic ancestry testing is reshaping notions of kinship, race and ethnicity, and stimulating new modes of social identification based on genetic knowledge. Through this research I hope to examine and explain genetic ancestry testing in the context of national histories, racialised policies, and economic frameworks, and to kindle discussions about the social implications of the rise of biogenetic identities.