Performative Circulations: On Flows and Stops in Forensic DNA Practices
Abstract: The article focuses on circulations and what circulations bring about. It does so by following the movements of DNA through different domains of forensic practice. By zooming in on DNA and the role it came to play in the Dutch Marianne Vaatstra case, the paper demonstrates the performative work of circulations and invites to attend empirically to circulations as an object of research. The article is organized along three steps, in which it is argued that: circulations bring about identities; that circulations make context; circulations are permanent and can only be stopped actively. In the analysis, circulation is no longer to be understood as a process of transmission, as a simple movement of people, commodities, or ideas from one place to another. Rather, the conclusion invites to attend to circulation as a performative event. An event that co-shapes not only humans and things as they move through space and time, but also the contexts in which this happen in situated manners.
Keywords: DNA; forensics; circulation; anthropology of science; genetics.