The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)

Session 22. Expanding Boundaries: Embracing the Intersectionality of Forensic Anthropology to Account for the Changing Landscape of Identity in Current Casework. Invited Poster Symposium. Chair: Briana T. New Co-organizers: Briana New, MA (SNA International for Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) and Bridget Algee-Hewitt, PhD (Stanford University)

April 16, 2020 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Diamond 7 Add to calendar

As forensic anthropologists, who seek to meet the professional expectations of the medico-legal system and serve the wishes of the families and communities for whom our efforts are deeply personal, we are positioned at the junction of the methods and theories that inform Biological Anthropology and the unique identification demands of our casework. To better respond to needs of the field, we must develop a cross-disciplinary discourse that transgresses boundaries between many social and natural science subjects and their modes of analysis. By adopting an intersectional perspective, we believe that we are well-equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to perform transformative scientific and social justice work.

More specifically, we argue that forensic anthropologists must act as a conduit for the practical application of the academic theories underlying the estimation of the parameters of identity that define the biological profile. Building this profile typically involves the estimation of the intrinsic, biological aspects of identity, such as sex, ancestry, and age, which tend to rely upon extrinsically defined boundaries (e.g., the threshold separating child and adult) or discrete categories (e.g., sex or populations). In reality, these contributors to identity are not easily quantified, as they are shaped by the ever-shifting sociopolitical and environmental landscapes in which we live and die.

This symposium focuses on the intersectional potential of forensic anthropology as it seeks to expand the boundaries of how identity is understood and defined by the incorporation of new data and/or approaches. Participants will use diverse (e.g., historical, demographic, skeletal, genomic) data and (experience, data-driven) methods to showcase groundbreaking research that tackles the complexities of identity by engaging critically with the biological profile parameters from many different perspectives but with shared concern for practical applications. Discussions will highlight the value of the ideas while interrogating their utility to current casework.

Discussant 1: Galloway, Alison
Discussant 2: Byrd, John
Audience Questions
1 Add to calendar Navigating identity: The intersection of social and biological identity from the World War II Battle of Tarawa. Rebecca Taylor, Briana New.
2 Add to calendar How is identity reflected in the human face?. Kamar Afra, Bridget FB. Algee-hewitt, Michelle D. Hamilton.
3 Add to calendar Prior probabilities and the age threshold problem. Lyle W. Konigsberg, Susan R. Frankenberg, Valerie Sgheiza, Helen M. Liversidge.
4 Add to calendar Fracture Healing in Unintentional and Abuse-Related Fractures in Children: Considerations of Identity in the Context of Physical Abuse. Diana L. Messer, Brent Adler, Farah W. Brink, Henry Xiang, Amanda M. Agnew.
5 Add to calendar Comparing genetic variation among Latin American migrants: implications for forensic casework in the Texas- and Arizona-México Borderlands. Briana T. New, Bridget F.B. Algee-Hewitt, Kate Spradley, Lars Fehren-Schmitz, Cris Hughes, Bruce Anderson, Marek E. Jasinski, Joanna Arciszewska, Grażyna Zielińska, Maria Szargut, Andrzej Ossowski.
6 Add to calendar Implications for Identifications: Exploring How Collaborative Efforts Mitigate Structural Vulnerabilities of Missing Migrants along the Arizona-Mexico Border. Cris E. Hughes, Robin C. Reineke, Bridget F.B. Algee-Hewitt, Bruce E. Anderson.
7 Add to calendar Identity from the Ashes: Multidisciplinary approaches to identification of wildfire victims. Alison Galloway.
8 Add to calendar 1932 to 2019: Representation of (Bi)Racial Identity in Biological Anthropology. Chaunesey M.J. Clemmons.
9 Add to calendar What can you do when the standard biological profile can't help? A case of identical twins. Audrey D. Schaefer, Carrie B. LeGarde.
10 Add to calendar Perceptions of race and ancestry in biological anthropology: Teaching, research, and public engagement. Marin A. PIlloud, Donovan M. Adams.
11 Add to calendar Understanding the Potential of Chemical Anthropology in Human Burned Remains. Calil Makhoul, Luís Batista de Carvalho, David Gonçalves, Eugénia Cunha.
12 Add to calendar Ancestry and Admixture Estimates for Filipino Crania Using Morphoscopic Traits Under a Multivariate Probit Regression Model. Matthew C. Go, Joseph T. Hefner.
13 Add to calendar Caucasian, Negroid, Mongolian, Indian, or Malayan:  Racial categorization of living and dead servicemembers in the Korean War. Alexander F. Christensen.
14 Add to calendar Body mass estimation in modern juveniles using postmortem computed tomography. Laure Spake, Julia Meyers, Hugo FV. Cardoso.