Conference Keynote: White Privilege and the Biopolitics of Race


  • Dorothy Roberts Kirkland & Ellis Professor, Northwestern University School of Law


Genomics has resurrected scientific interest in biological concepts of race by attempting to identify race at the molecular level. In that last decade, there has been an explosion of biotechnologies that use race as a biological category, such as race-specific pharmaceuticals, commercial genetic testing for determining racial identity and genealogy, egg donation and embryo selection involving race, and racial profiling with DNA forensics. These technological innovations are part of a new biopolitics of race that helps to maintain white privilege in the 21st century, post-civil rights era. We must contest both the persistent myth that race is natural and persistent injustices based on race.


10th Annual White Privilege Conference Keynote Address
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Memphis, Tennessee
To purchase a DVD of this speech, please contact the WPC office at 719-255-4764.

How to Cite

Roberts, D. (2010). Conference Keynote: White Privilege and the Biopolitics of Race. Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, 1(1). Retrieved from