Special Issue Editors: Heather Edgar and Marin Pilloud

Published: 2022-02-10

A Reassessment of Assessing Race

“Ancestry” Estimation and Its Implications for Forensic Anthropology and Beyond

Heather Edgar, Marin Pilloud



The articles in this special issue grew from a symposium at the 2020 American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Scientific meeting, with the...

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Assumed Differences; Unquestioned Typologies

The Oversimplification of Race and Ancestry in Forensic Anthropology

Sean D. Tallman, Nicolette M. Parr, Allysha P. Winburn



Forensic anthropologists traditionally estimate “race” or “ancestry” as part of the biological profile. While practitioners may have changed the...

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The (Mis)appropriation of Biological Anthropology in Race Science and the Implications for Forensic Anthropology

Donovan M. Adams, Marin A. Pilloud



Most biological anthropologists acknowledge that phenotypic human variation is distinct from human race. However, there is the potential for the...

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Terminology Used to Describe Human Variation in Forensic Anthropology

Marin A. Pilloud, Cassie E. Skipper, SaMoura L. Horsley, Alba Craig, Krista Latham, Chaunesey M. J. Clemmons, Katie Zejdlik, Deborah A. Boehm, Casey S. Philbin



To understand the implications of the forensic anthropological practice of “ancestry” estimation, we explore terminology that has been employed...

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On WEIRD Anthropologists and Their White Skeletons

Matthew C. Go, Nandar Yukyi, Elaine Y. Chu



Most forensic anthropologists and the populations they study are WEIRD—that is, Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic. In...

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Testing the Homogeneity of “White”

Dental Morphology in Americans and Australians of European Descent

Heather Edgar, Stephen D. Ousley



The purpose of estimating each part of the biological profile is to reduce the number of missing persons for comparison with unknown human...

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What Are We Really Estimating in Forensic Anthropological Practice, Population Affinity or Ancestry?

Kate Spradley, Richard L. Jantz



While American forensic anthropologists often state that they estimate ancestry, is that what they are really estimating? Although typological...

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Self-Reported Ancestry and Craniofacial SNPs

Assessing Correspondence with Implications for Forensic Case Analysis and Reporting

Kamar Afra, Michelle D. Hamilton, Bridget F. B. Algee-Hewitt



Genotype-phenotype studies increasingly link single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) to the dimensions of the face for presumed homogeneous...

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Ancestry Estimation in Practice

An Evaluation of Forensic Anthropology Reports in the United States

Hillary Parsons



The medicolegal system relies on forensic anthropologists to construct accurate biological profiles from skeletal remains
to narrow the pool...

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Explanation of Ancestry Estimation in Forensic Anthropology Textbooks

Lessons for the Undergraduate Classroom

Amelia R. Hubbard



The way we teach about race and racism can have profound impacts on undergraduate learners, both positive and negative. Textbooks represent a...

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