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Lecture on the politics of skin pigmentation presented March 17 at Appalachian

BOONE—Nina G. Jablonski will speak on “The Evolution and Meanings of Human Skin Color” March 17 at Appalachian State University. Jablonski is guest speaker at the 6th Annual Dean’s Advisory Council Interdisciplinary Lecture hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences. Her presentation begins at 7 p.m. in room 114 Belk Library and Information Commons.

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A reception and book sales and signing will follow the lecture. Admission is free and the public is invited.

Jablonski is the Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. For the last 25 years, she has pursued questions in human evolution not directly answered by the fossil record, foremost among these being the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation.

From a primary interest in the evolution of skin pigmentation phenotypes, Jablonski has pursued issues surrounding the health and social implications of skin pigmentation.

In addition to her scholarly articles on skin, Jablonski has written two popular books, “Skin: A Natural History” (2006) and “Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color” (2012), both published by University of California Press.

Jablonski received her B.A. in biology at Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Washington. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an elected Member of the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences of the U.S. National Research Council.

She is the recipient of an Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellowship (2005), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2012) and an honorary doctorate from University of Stellenbosch in South Africa (2010) for her contribution to the worldwide fight against racism.

Jablonski divides her time between basic research and educational projects. She is the lead investigator on a pilot project examining the factors that affect vitamin D status in healthy youth in the Western Cape of South Africa. She is the convener of a five-year research and education initiative, “The Effects of Race,” based at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (SIAS) in South Africa, and, in conjunction with Henry Louis Gates Jr., is leading work on a new “genetics and genealogy” curriculum for middle- and high school students and university undergraduates in the U.S.