Hall Center For The Humanities


William Staples

"The Birth Certificate: Shaping Identity in an Age of Documentation"
The Commons – (Idea CafĂ©)

Tue., Sep. 4, 2012, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
RSVP to thecommons@ku.edu required. Lunch provided. Limit 40 guests.
Location: The Commons, Spooner Hall

A birth certificate is a credential that is often taken for granted until it is required. It serves as proof of one's age or citizenship; and it is a requirement in order to be adopted, to go to school, to get a driver's license or a passport, to marry, to inherit property, and to be elected to office. But in helping us prove who we are, the document also helps define who we are; it has been involved, at various times and places, in the social construction of our sex, race/ethnicity, nationality, and parental lineage. This discussion will explore the production of identification as a method of governing and the formation of identity as a byproduct of such governance.

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