Event Title

Genealogy in the 21st Century: The Dramatic Potential of Lineage

Location

Panel 26: Kearney 317

Start Date

27-10-2012 3:00 PM

End Date

27-10-2012 4:30 PM

Description

For many years, genealogy as a genuine focus of research was frequently dismissed as the narcissistic pursuit of Mayflower ancestors or royal heritage. Recently, however, genealogy has begun to achieve a greater measure of credibility in academe as well as popular culture. In the aftermath of research opportunities resulting from digital internet accessibility in the 1990s, 21st-century television shows, such as Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s Finding Your Roots, History Detectives, and especially Who Do You Think You Are? (U.S./Ancestry.com iteration), have both driven and capitalized on a renewed interest in genealogy. This presentation will touch on differing perceptions of genealogists and the motivations for their research in the 19th and 20th centuries, and offer a more expansive examination of perceptions and realities of genealogists and their research in the early 21st century. Incorporating examples from television, popular literature and film-- including (but not limited to) the Harry Potter series, and Star Wars-- the discussion will focus on the growth of genealogy as a hobby and a profession in the first part of the 21st century, closing with an examination of the implications of packaging historical research and celebrity family heritage as dramatic entertainment.

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Oct 27th, 3:00 PM Oct 27th, 4:30 PM

Genealogy in the 21st Century: The Dramatic Potential of Lineage

Panel 26: Kearney 317

For many years, genealogy as a genuine focus of research was frequently dismissed as the narcissistic pursuit of Mayflower ancestors or royal heritage. Recently, however, genealogy has begun to achieve a greater measure of credibility in academe as well as popular culture. In the aftermath of research opportunities resulting from digital internet accessibility in the 1990s, 21st-century television shows, such as Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s Finding Your Roots, History Detectives, and especially Who Do You Think You Are? (U.S./Ancestry.com iteration), have both driven and capitalized on a renewed interest in genealogy. This presentation will touch on differing perceptions of genealogists and the motivations for their research in the 19th and 20th centuries, and offer a more expansive examination of perceptions and realities of genealogists and their research in the early 21st century. Incorporating examples from television, popular literature and film-- including (but not limited to) the Harry Potter series, and Star Wars-- the discussion will focus on the growth of genealogy as a hobby and a profession in the first part of the 21st century, closing with an examination of the implications of packaging historical research and celebrity family heritage as dramatic entertainment.