Race and the Mobility of Humans as Things


This article reflects on a significant dimension of the modern history of race in Europe and the world: the processes of mobility of humans as things that accompanied the scientific pursuit of the immutable racial conditionof humans. It asks what it might mean to approach racial conceptions as historically embedded in, and shaped by, racial regimes of mobility, that is, the regimes encompassing the practices and apparatuses for the displacement of human bodies (or parts of bodies) as ‘‘scientific things’’ of racial significance for museum and laboratory networks. The article articulates race in Europe as entailed in a history of national, colonial, and postcolonial regimes of mobility. First, it is suggested that the history of race in science can be understood as the history of regimes of mobility of humans as things. It is then discussed how this history of mobility regimes connects with the making of collectives within and beyond Europe—national, imperial, indigenous, and postcolonial. Finally, the article investigates the contemporary expressions of racial regimes of mobility.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Roque2014RaceAT, title={Race and the Mobility of Humans as Things}, author={Ricardo Roque}, year={2014} }