Free! With post-film discussion led by Mary Shenk, Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri.Donor Unknown
follows a young woman conceived with donated sperm who tracks down her biological father and a large crew of half-siblings. Teenager JoEllen Marsh, explains that she was always aware that she was conceived via a donation to a sperm bank in California. All she knew about her father was that he was a "dancer" interested in philosophy and spiritual matters, according to the profile the bank supplied, in which he was listed as Donor 150. But this was enough information to track down a half-sibling, Danielle Pagano of New York, through the online Donor Sibling Registry. Their story made it into the New York Times
in 2005, and that publicity coaxed at least a dozen more half-siblings to come forward, most of whom are now in regular contact with one other, endlessly fascinated by their own physical and psychological similarities, and feel an undeniable sense of kinship.
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Shown in cooperation with "Claiming Kin," the 9th Annual Life Sciences & Society Symposium
, which takes place March 15-17, 2013. The 2013 MU Life Sciences & Society Symposium, Claiming Kin
, will explore the evolution of kin groups and evolving notions of kinship. Kinship is disputed territory, investigated by anthropology, cultural studies, evolutionary biology, family studies, genetics, law, medicine, psychology, sociology, and women's and gender studies. Kinship classifications change across cultures and over time. As measures of legitimacy and arbiters of social standing, such categories have significant consequences. In the contemporary world, kinship is in flux as a result of such developments as reproductive technologies, blended families, same-sex marriage rights, and shifting gender roles. Our kin is not limited to humans, however. We belong to a vast evolutionary family tree, the history of which may influence the ways we interact with kin and organize kinship itself.