Lauren Springs

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Texas, Austin, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9631

Approve Date

April 13, 2018

Project Title

Springs, Lauren C., U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Negotiating Identity and Change in Colonial Belize: An Evaluation of Genomic Signatures of British Colonialism,' supervised by Dr. Maria Franklin

Preliminary abstract: European colonization of the Americas significantly impacted population demography and genetic diversity in native and immigrating human populations. The broad contours of this colonial history are well known, but it is not yet clear how the genetic repercussions of colonialism affected local groups, or the ways that group and individual identities emerged within rapidly changing colonial environments. This study will enrich anthropological understandings of how colonial experiences are mediated over time in colonial and contemporary populations. Specifically, by examining the changing sociopolitical and genetic demography of colonial British Hondurans and their descendants, this project will provide insight into the genetic effects of colonization in British colonial projects around the globe. Drawing on biosocial theories and methods, this interdisciplinary study will combine archaeological, historic, ethnographic, and genetic analyses to evaluate how people have historically interacted with social and biological landscapes to produce and express individual and group identities. In doing so, this project will illustrate the bio-genetic impacts of historic colonial encounters and evaluate the means through which colonial identity politics shape the realities of not only the colonial world, but the realities of contemporary descendant populations as well. Finally, this study will discuss the underrepresentation of European populations in colonial genetic analysis and, drawing on indigenous and critical race theories, will evaluate whether notions of European homogeneity are born out under genetic scrutiny.