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Join The Explorers Club and Professor Jennifer Raff as she tells the story of who the first peoples in the Americas were, how and why they made the crossing, how they dispersed south, and how they lived based on a new and powerful kind of evidence: their complete genomes. ORIGIN provides an overview of these new histories throughout North and South America, and a glimpse into how the tools of genetics reveal details about human history and evolution.

20,000 years ago, people crossed a great land bridge from Siberia into Western Alaska and then dispersed southward into what is now called the Americas. Until we venture out to other worlds, this remains the last time our species has populated an entirely new place, and this event has been a subject of deep fascination and controversy. No written records—and scant archaeological evidence—exist to tell us what happened or how it took place. Many different models have been proposed to explain how the Americas were peopled and what happened in the thousands of years that followed.

A study of both past and present, this lecture will explore how genetics is currently being used to construct narratives that profoundly impact Indigenous peoples of the Americas. It serves as a primer for anyone interested in how genetics has become entangled with identity in the way that society addresses the question “Who is indigenous?”

Streaming live here on explorers.org, our YouTube Channel, and our Facebook Live — Monday, March 21st at 7:00 pm ET.

Speakers

Jennifer Raff

Jennifer Raff is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kansas with a dual Ph.D. in anthropology and genetics and over fourteen years of experience in researching ancient and modern human DNA from the Americas. In addition to her research, she has been writing on issues of scientific literacy and anthropological research at her own website, Violent Metaphors, and for The Guardian, Scientific America, HuffPost, Forbes, and the Evolution Institute blog for several years.

Deana Weibel

Deana Weibel is a professor of anthropology at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, and also teaches in GVSU’s Religious Studies program. Her exploration of sacred sites, sacred objects, and people’s experiences of them has taken her to a variety of pilgrimage centers from Chimayó in New Mexico to Lourdes in France and Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. Her most recent work has focused on the idea of outer space as sacred space and the religious lives and motivations of astronauts and other space professionals. Weibel has conducted ethnographic research on religion and space at various NASA flight centers around the United States, the Mojave Air and Spaceport, and at the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, Italy.

March 21,2022
March 21, 2022
Jennifer Raff
Jennifer Raff
A Genetic History of the Americas

A Genetic History of the Americas

Join The Explorers Club and Professor Jennifer Raff as she tells the story of who the first peoples in the Americas were, how and why they made the crossing, how they dispersed south, and how they lived based on a new and powerful kind of evidence: their complete genomes. ORIGIN provides an overview of these new histories throughout North and South America, and a glimpse into how the tools of genetics reveal details about human history and evolution.
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ECAD Sunday

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Jun. 18
GLEX 2024: Tuesday

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Jun. 19
GLEX 2024: Wednesday

Programming continues Wednesday, June 19 at the gorgeous Centro Cultural e de Congressos de Angra do Heroísmo. We will have…

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Apr. 19
ECAD Friday

Enjoy the the first day of ECAD weekend with symposiums and our famous kick-off party at headquarters. All programs Friday…

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Apr. 20
ECAD Saturday

Saturday includes symposiums at HQ and the Asia Society, and the 120th annual ECAD: A Cosmic Ballet, at the Glasshouse…

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Apr. 21
ECAD Sunday

Spend Sunday at Club Headquarters, attending our annual members meeting in the morning and celebrating the return of expedition flags…

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Apr. 19
ECAD Friday

Enjoy the the first day of ECAD weekend with symposiums and our famous kick-off party at headquarters. All programs Friday…

Members only
Apr. 20
ECAD Saturday

Saturday includes symposiums at HQ and the Asia Society, and the 120th annual ECAD: A Cosmic Ballet, at the Glasshouse…

Members only
Apr. 21
ECAD Sunday

Spend Sunday at Club Headquarters, attending our annual members meeting in the morning and celebrating the return of expedition flags…

Members only
10:00 am
Apr. 22
New Explorer Award Spotlight: Callie Veelenturf

Join The Explorers Club on the Monday after ECAD Weekend for a presentation given by this year's New Explorer Award…

6:00 PM
Callie Veelenturf
May. 06
The Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook

Join The Explorers Club on Monday, May 6th to hear an epic account of the most momentous voyage of the…

6:00 PM
Hampton Sides
May. 13
Ascent of the Amazon

Over the course of six and half years, Briton Pete Casey undertook the record breaking expedition of crossing South America…

6:00 PM
Pete Casey
Jun. 15
GLEX 2024: Ignition

Lift-off of the Global Exploration Summit from iconic Porto, Portugal, with a live recording of Dr. Brian Cox’s BBC Radio…

3:30 pm
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Jun. 18
GLEX 2024: Tuesday

Programming begins Tuesday morning, June 18 as we return to Angra do Heroismo, capital of Terceira Island in the Azores.…

10:00 am
Jun. 19
GLEX 2024: Wednesday

Programming continues Wednesday, June 19 at the gorgeous Centro Cultural e de Congressos de Angra do Heroísmo. We will have…

10:00 am
Apr. 19
ECAD Friday

Enjoy the the first day of ECAD weekend with symposiums and our famous kick-off party at headquarters. All programs Friday…

Members only
Apr. 20
ECAD Saturday

Saturday includes symposiums at HQ and the Asia Society, and the 120th annual ECAD: A Cosmic Ballet, at the Glasshouse…

Members only
Apr. 21
ECAD Sunday

Spend Sunday at Club Headquarters, attending our annual members meeting in the morning and celebrating the return of expedition flags…

Members only
10:00 am
Apr. 22
New Explorer Award Spotlight: Callie Veelenturf

Join The Explorers Club on the Monday after ECAD Weekend for a presentation given by this year's New Explorer Award…

6:00 PM
Callie Veelenturf
May. 06
The Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook

Join The Explorers Club on Monday, May 6th to hear an epic account of the most momentous voyage of the…

6:00 PM
Hampton Sides
May. 13
Ascent of the Amazon

Over the course of six and half years, Briton Pete Casey undertook the record breaking expedition of crossing South America…

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Pete Casey
Jun. 15
GLEX 2024: Ignition

Lift-off of the Global Exploration Summit from iconic Porto, Portugal, with a live recording of Dr. Brian Cox’s BBC Radio…

3:30 pm
Dr. Brian Cox, Robin Ince, Volcano Jess Phoenix, Dr. Lee Berger
Jun. 18
GLEX 2024: Tuesday

Programming begins Tuesday morning, June 18 as we return to Angra do Heroismo, capital of Terceira Island in the Azores.…

10:00 am
Jun. 19
GLEX 2024: Wednesday

Programming continues Wednesday, June 19 at the gorgeous Centro Cultural e de Congressos de Angra do Heroísmo. We will have…

10:00 am
Apr. 19
ECAD Friday

Enjoy the the first day of ECAD weekend with symposiums and our famous kick-off party at headquarters. All programs Friday…

Members only
Apr. 20
ECAD Saturday

Saturday includes symposiums at HQ and the Asia Society, and the 120th annual ECAD: A Cosmic Ballet, at the Glasshouse…

Members only
Apr. 21
ECAD Sunday

Spend Sunday at Club Headquarters, attending our annual members meeting in the morning and celebrating the return of expedition flags…

Members only
10:00 am
Apr. 22
New Explorer Award Spotlight: Callie Veelenturf

Join The Explorers Club on the Monday after ECAD Weekend for a presentation given by this year's New Explorer Award…

6:00 PM
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Join The Explorers Club on Monday, May 6th to hear an epic account of the most momentous voyage of the…

6:00 PM
Hampton Sides
May. 13
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Over the course of six and half years, Briton Pete Casey undertook the record breaking expedition of crossing South America…

6:00 PM
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Jun. 15
GLEX 2024: Ignition

Lift-off of the Global Exploration Summit from iconic Porto, Portugal, with a live recording of Dr. Brian Cox’s BBC Radio…

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Jun. 18
GLEX 2024: Tuesday

Programming begins Tuesday morning, June 18 as we return to Angra do Heroismo, capital of Terceira Island in the Azores.…

10:00 am
Jun. 19
GLEX 2024: Wednesday

Programming continues Wednesday, June 19 at the gorgeous Centro Cultural e de Congressos de Angra do Heroísmo. We will have…

10:00 am