Article Text

Download PDFPDF
History, pastness and the postgenomic imaginary
  1. Jerome de Groot
  1. EACW, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jerome de Groot, EACW, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK; jerome.degroot{at}


This article considers the ways that poets, rappers and artists including Kendrick Lamar, Residente, Zaffar Kunial, Michael Symons Roberts, Hannah Sullivan and Marc Quinn have responded to the biomedical postgenomic gaze and the ways in which they have dissented or built on this seemingly new way of conceiving of the human. These poets and rappers consider what it means to imagine in a postgenomic way and the possible implications of this for writing, art and living. The multiple texts I explore and articulate how postgenomic identities have been expanded and understood and imagined. They participate, therefore, in the consideration articulated by Jenny Reardon of the ‘postgenomic condition’ but, as I argue, they extend and debate this. These texts interrogate what the postgenomic condition enables aesthetically and, more importantly, what type of critique might be developed. Rather than be constrained by being postgenomic, they see opportunity for expansion, development, innovation and critique. In these articulations, then, we can discern a roadmap for being postgenomic, as poetry seems to offer a thoughtful means for navigating the complexity of this new state.

  • genetics
  • poetry
  • art and medicine
  • music

Data availability statement

No data are available. There is no data related to this article.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Data availability statement

No data are available. There is no data related to this article.

View Full Text


  • Contributors This article was written by JdG.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.