Evolutionary Nostalgia and the Temporality of Belonging



The chapter theorizes the temporal dynamic that underlies population genetic belonging through two novels: Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear’s popular prehistoric romance People of the Raven, which imagines the life of Kennewick Man, and Margaret Drabble’s novel The Peppered Moth, which is centered on the mitochondrial analysis of ancient human remains very similar to the Cheddar case. The chapter develops the concept of evolutionary nostalgia to capture the two-way temporal longing that organizes population genetic belonging and renders the imagined past the location of futurity. Building on scholarship on queer time, genetic temporality, and collective memory, the chapter explores the conceptual and material complexities of how pasts and futures are seen as unfolding from genetic analysis.


Drabble People Rave Collective memoryCollective Memory Molecular clockMolecular Clock nostalgiaNostalgia 
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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helsinki Collegium for Advanced StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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