Publication Date

April 2017

Advisor(s)

Robert Conn, Courtney Fullilove

Major

Science in Society

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis outlines how the Jewish Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo worked to advance the fields of genetics and forensic anthropology to reclaim their kidnapped children and disappeared family members. By examining the ideological roots of the dictatorship and the experiences of Jewish human rights activists working for truth, memory, and justice, this thesis demonstrates how the Jewish Mothers and Grandmothers negate the dictatorship’s inherently anti-Semitic ideology. The activists’ philosophies on genetics complements Judaism’s valuations of biological lineage and memory. This thesis utilizes two case studies, on the Roisinblit and Epelbaum families, to examine the ethics on reconstituting social identity through biological identification.

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