Elonda Clay, a doctoral student in Religion and Science, serves as the 2012-2013 national student director of the American Academy of Religion. Her research focuses on media portrayals of African American genetic genealogy consumers as an exemplary case study in media constructions of race and genomics. Clay seeks to situate emerging discourses surrounding direct-to-consumer DNA ancestry testing within wider politics of representation, identity politics, and preoccupations with origins. She examines how ideas of blackness and genetic difference are circulated, naturalized, mobilized, contested, and re-imagined in DNA ancestry testing discourses and practices.
Clay has published widely, including articles and reviews in the Journal of Religion, Culture and Religion, Black Theology: An International Journal, and the Bulletin for the Study of Religion. She recently contributed the chapter, “Mediated Science, Genetics and Identity in the U.S. African Diaspora” to the edited volume, Media, Spiritualities, & Social Change, Stewart Hoover and Monica Emerich, eds. (London; New York: Continuum Press, 2011), Pp 25 - 36.
Her published articles include "These Gods Got Swagger: Avatars, Gameplay, and the Digital Performance of Hip Hop Culture in Machinima" Bulletin for the Study of Religion [Online], Volume 40 Number 3 (19 August 2011). Available at: http://www.equinoxjournals.com/BSOR/article/view/10600.
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