UK Happenings

'Banking on DNA' With Rayna Rapp


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2016)  Professionals have spoken for years of the “endless frontier” that is DNA reproductive technology.

For its 16th annual Distinguished Lecture Series, the University of Kentucky Anthropology Graduate Student Association (AGSA) invited an expert to campus to discuss that frontier and its implications for the present and future. Rayna Rapp, professor and associate chair of the Anthropology Department at New York University, will address “Banking on DNA: Thinking about new genetic tests in comparative context” 4-5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, in the Taylor Education Building auditorium. A reception follows at the Bingham Davis House.

Rapp’s research, writing and teaching focus has been on feminist anthropology and methodology; science and technology; health and culture; and gender, kinship and the use of reproductive technologies in the U.S. and Europe. For six years, she has investigated disability consciousness and cultural innovation in special education.

She believes there is “a widening chasm” between the medical-scientific utopian dreams of human perfectibility and the public’s understanding (or misunderstanding) of human diversity and impairment. She will examine the case of non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPT’s), a new genomic technology marketed to pregnant women all over the world. She will emphasize the highly stratified and gendered benefits and burdens that accompany the spreading distribution of NIPTs.

The event is co-sponsored by UK’s AGSA, the Graduate School, Graduate Student Congress, Student Government Association, Department of Anthropology, Department of Sociology, and the Health, Societies and Populations Program in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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