Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference 2018: Resisting, Reclaiming, and Reimagining (Call for Papers)

Posted in Forthcoming Media, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2017-08-18 18:56Z by Steven

Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference 2018: Resisting, Reclaiming, and Reimagining (Call for Papers)

March 1-3, 2018 at the University of Maryland, College Park
Deadline: August 18, 2017
Notification: Early September 2017

Conference Description: Resisting, Reclaiming, and Reimagining, the next Critical Mixed Race Studies conference seeks to highlight resistance against white supremacy around the globe, the reclamation of community, kinship, and identity within the mixed-race community, and the reimagining of racial difference. The conference will be hosted at the University of Maryland, March 1-3 2018 and will include film screenings and a live performance showcase produced by Mixed Roots Stories. Recent events demonstrate that white supremacy, coupled with sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, and unchecked capitalism, is still central as an organizing principle and tool of domination. For example, borders and walls (both real and imagined) are being invoked by the current United States administration to marginalize people and combat the inevitable demographic shifts which will see this country become majority minority. By focusing on the resistance, reclamation, and reimagination of multiraciality, this interdisciplinary and transnational conference will be a forum dedicated to fostering relationships between people of color, dismantling racial hierarchies, and affirming an ethics of love to subvert dominant paradigms of social identity.

Proposals: CMRS welcomes submissions from scholars from all fields, cultural workers, and activists and invites posters, panels, roundtables, and individual papers that address the conference theme in a broad sense. Presentation formats may be varied and diverse, and we welcome proposals that involve poetry, visual art, storytelling, and other non-academic formats. Although not limited to these examples, proposals might explore the following:

  • A proposal from the social sciences might describe epistemological frameworks that center multiraciality and reclaim the heterogeneity of the mixed experience.
  • In the humanities, presenters might share how dominant cultures drive cultural norms and how this informs the global mixed experience.
  • Community activists and/or scholars engaged with the public may share how social justice work operates between and across minority communities.
  • Historians might explore legacies of revolution and resistance shaping the mixed experience in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and beyond.
  • Artists may share important works that decenter whiteness and reimagine social norms of identity.

IMPORTANT: Presenters at the conference must be members of the CMRS Association. Membership must be renewed annually and is available here. Presenters must be available to present on any of the 3 days of the conference.

Members of the CMRS Program Committee will be reviewing abstracts based upon the quality of the proposal. UMD class/meeting rooms are equipped with a Dell laptop, microphone and projector. Mac laptop users will need to provide their own projection adapters. Please note that all abstracts are to be submitted online using the CMRS form located here.

For more information, see our website. Contact us at: cmrsmixedrace@gmail.com

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I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a black woman.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-08-17 04:22Z by Steven

“I’m white-passing. I’ve accepted that about myself and have never tried to control anything about black culture that’s not mine. I’m proud to be in a biracial family, I’m proud of who I am, and I’m proud of my hair. One of my big jokes a long time ago was “I look white, but I still have white boys in my life asking me why my nipples are brown.” Every now and then I experience these racial blips. I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a black woman. So it’s been weird navigating that. When I was growing up I didn’t know if I was supposed to love TLC or Britney.” —Halsey (Ashley Nicolette Frangipane)

Rebecca Haithcoat, “Halsey Covers Our Music Issue—and Proves No Topic is Off-limits,” Playboy, August 15, 2017. http://www.playboy.com/articles/20q-halsey.

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“My body is not a race.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-08-17 04:17Z by Steven

[Brian] Bantum explains his understanding of race as “the structure of death, the dehumanizing and de-creating word a people sought to speak over the world, and violently succeeded. Race is what overshadows the world, conceiving our bodies and their differences as something to be perpetually overcome.” He later writes, “My body is not a race.”

La Reine-Marie Mosely, “Race and sovereignty, a story of the body,” National Catholic Reporter, May 3, 2017. https://www.ncronline.org/books/2017/08/race-and-sovereignty-story-body.

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I’m black. Robert E. Lee is my ancestor. His statues can’t come down soon enough.

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Justice, United States on 2017-08-17 03:47Z by Steven

I’m black. Robert E. Lee is my ancestor. His statues can’t come down soon enough.

The Washington Post
2017-08-15

Karen Finney

Defenders of Confederate monuments are again trying to rewrite an ugly chapter in our nation’s history. If my family can move on, so can they.

As the biracial daughter of Jim Finney, a black civil rights lawyer descended from enslaved Virginians, and Mildred Lee, a white social worker and the great-great-great niece of Confederate General Robert E. Lee — of whom statues stand in many cities and towns, including, now infamously, Charlottesville — my American story is complicated.

About a year ago, I made a discovery that reminded me of just how complicated both my family’s and our nation’s painful journey on race and equality has been. I found two letters that my maternal grandmother, also named Mildred Lee, had written to my father. In the first, four-page, single-spaced typed letter, she laid out arguments why my dad should leave my mom and not marry her as they’d planned. Not only was marrying illegal in their respective home states of Virginia and North Carolina, in 1967, their forthcoming interracial marriage, she explained, was against the “natural order of things,” in which black and white have their place.”

Quoting the Bible, she argued that their marriage would bring permanent disrepute, shame and irreparable damage not only to my mother’s life but also the lives of the whole family. A month later, my parents were married in a simple ceremony in New York City. In a second letter, sent less than a week before I was born, my grandmother described miscegenation as a sin and a stain that would never be made clean, quoting the Bible and invoking “the way of things.”…

Read the entire article here

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Halsey Covers Our Music Issue—and Proves No Topic is Off-limits

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-08-17 03:25Z by Steven

Halsey Covers Our Music Issue—and Proves No Topic is Off-limits

Playboy
20Q
2017-08-05 (September 2017 Issue)

By Rebecca Haithcoat
Photography by Ramona Rosales

With Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, the queen of New Americana is more outspoken than ever. Here, she covers everything from donating $100,000 to Planned Parenthood to the virtues of the dad bod.

Q1
Hopeless Fountain Kingdom hit number one on the Billboard 200. You’re the first woman to top that chart in 2017. How does it feel?

A lot of this accolade shit is super arbitrary: “Halsey is the first girl with blue hair from New Jersey to.…” It’s exciting but also enraging, because I know a lot of women who put out better albums than me who deserve massive accolades, and I’m the one who had to break the seal…

Q14
How did you navigate growing up biracial?

I’m half black. My dad managed a car dealership, wore a suit to work, had a nice watch, was always clean-shaven, handsome, played golf on the weekends. And people would come up to him like, “Yo, brotha! What’s up!” And my dad would be like, “Hi.…”

Q15
How did that affect you?

I’m white-passing. I’ve accepted that about myself and have never tried to control anything about black culture that’s not mine. I’m proud to be in a biracial family, I’m proud of who I am, and I’m proud of my hair. One of my big jokes a long time ago was “I look white, but I still have white boys in my life asking me why my nipples are brown.” Every now and then I experience these racial blips. I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a black woman. So it’s been weird navigating that. When I was growing up I didn’t know if I was supposed to love TLC or Britney.

Q16
How do people react when they do find out you’re biracial?

White guilt is funny, but this is a really hard time for white allies. People don’t want to do too much but want to do enough, and in my bubble of Los Angeles I’m surrounded by a lot of good people with a lot of good intentions. But as I learned in this past election, my bubble is just a small fraction of how this country operates. That is ultimately my greatest frustration with the public perception of any sort of activism: the mentality of “Well, it’s not affecting me.” Open your fucking eyes…

Read the entire interview here.

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The Harlem Renaissance’s Hidden Figure

Posted in Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Passing, United States on 2017-08-16 21:57Z by Steven

The Harlem Renaissance’s Hidden Figure

Ursinus College
English Summer Fellows Student Research
2017-07-21
23 pages

Jada A. Grice
Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania

This project will seek to look at the Harlem Renaissance’s hidden figure, Jessie Fauset. Jessie Fauset was born to an A.M.E. minister and his wife as one of ten children in Camden County, New Jersey and raised in Philadelphia. From there she got her college degree and began teaching all over the country. She has written four novels, There is Confusion, Plum Bun, The Chinaberry Tree, and Comedy: American Style, all of which I have read this summer. Each novel focuses on the early twentieth century black family. I will be analyzing these novels under the four themes of passing, acceptance, romance, and Paris/escape. I will also be mapping the characters in the novel on a QGIS system in order to indicate where the majority of the novel takes place and to see if certain characters have more movement than others. I will finally map Jessie Fauset’s life in order to see if her life parallels with the lives of her characters. Mapping consists of a close reading of the novel, identifying locations in the book, creating an [Microsoft] Excel spreadsheet, and plotting the spreadsheet onto an online map on QGIS.

Read the entire paper here.

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West Point Cadet, Simone Askew, Breaks a Racial and Gender Barrier

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-08-16 14:28Z by Steven

West Point Cadet, Simone Askew, Breaks a Racial and Gender Barrier

The New York Times
2017-08-14

Emily Cochrane


Simone Askew became the first African-American woman to hold the highest student position at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — As a 6-year-old child camping in the Virginia woods, Simone Askew marched for fun, wielding a plastic gun and leading her young sister and friends in formation. A few years later, the sight of Navy midshipmen striding across an Annapolis football field solidified her desire to be the person who led troops.

“What does it take,” she asked her mother at the football game, pointing to the cadets, “to lead that?”

On Monday, more than a decade after her pretend marches in the woods, Cadet Askew, now 20, led the freshmen Army cadets for 12 miles — the first African-American woman to hold the highest student position at the United States Military Academy. As the West Point corps of cadets first captain, the Northern Virginia resident will not only be at the forefront of every academy event, but she will set the class agenda and oversee the roughly 4,400 students…

…Cadet Askew’s mother, who works to develop affordable housing, is white and is divorced from Cadet Askew’s father, who is African-American. The mother is nervous about the pressure she knows her daughter will put on herself, aware of the spotlight she’s under at West Point.

“I look forward to the end of her term in this position where many say she was an amazing first captain, not just she was an amazing African-American female first captain,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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Felton is in many ways a historical hiccup, a throwback to a bygone racial trope: the “tragic mulatto” of books like Mark Twain’s “Pudd’nhead Wilson” and William Faulkner’s “Light in August.” Like so many terrorists, he was a man at war not just with the government but with history itself.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-08-16 02:10Z by Steven

[Leo] Felton’s subterranean journey into whiteness came during a historical moment in which many Americans, particularly those of his generation, were redefining their races in a very different way from the way Felton did: identifying themselves, in growing numbers, as multiracial. Multiracial activism flourished during the 90’s, with marches in Washington, magazines dedicated to interracial couples and a successful lobbying effort to include more complicated definitions of race on the 2000 Census form. (Seven million Americans ultimately chose to identify themselves by more than one race in that census.) Felton is in many ways a historical hiccup, a throwback to a bygone racial trope: the “tragic mulatto” of books like Mark Twain’sPudd’nhead Wilson” and William Faulkner’sLight in August.” Like so many terrorists, he was a man at war not just with the government but with history itself.

Paul Tough, “The Black Supremacist,” The New York Times Magazine, May 25, 2003. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/25/magazine/the-black-supremacist.html.

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The Black Supremacist

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-08-16 01:49Z by Steven

The Black Supremacist

The New York Times Magazine
2003-05-25

Paul Tough

Leo Felton walked out of prison on Jan. 28, 2001, looking like a man ready to take his place in American society. He had spent 11 years in the custody of the state, but now, at 30, he had served his time and seemed ready to settle down. He moved into the apartment that his wife, Lisa, had found for them in Ipswich, an old-fashioned New England town north of Boston. He got a decent job doing construction. It was a cold winter, but Lisa and Leo took walks in the woods together and rode their bicycles all over town.

Felton managed to stay free for only three months. He is back in prison now, beginning a 21-year sentence for crimes he committed after his release. The prosecutor in the case said in court that Felton was a racial terrorist, that he had been “plotting to use violent terrorist actions, like blowing up the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., in the hope and belief that such actions would spark and ignite a racial war, a racial holy war, that would bring about this new, all-white nation.” In a letter that Felton wrote to the judge, after he was found guilty, he confirmed that his ultimate goal was to establish “a politically and territorially autonomous White nation somewhere in North America.” He wrote that given the way things had looked to him at the time he got out of prison, he wasn’t able to see any path that seemed like “an honorable alternative to armed revolt.”…

I recently went to visit Felton in prison in Massachusetts (the only time we met face to face over the course of several months of conversation by phone), and we talked for half an hour through an inch-thick slice of Plexiglas, each of us with a phone held up to an ear. Felton is a lean, tall, imposing man with tattoos up and down each arm and the word “skinhead” inked into his shaved scalp in inch-high Gothic letters. His gaze was intent, and his vivid, expressive face shifted rapidly from humor to anger and back again; his voice was loud and deep, and his speech carried within it all the contradictions of the jailhouse autodidact. He swore frequently, turning venomous when talking about the “maggots” guarding the maximum-security wing of the prison where he was being held. But when our conversation shifted to politics or books or an article he had enjoyed in the latest New Yorker, his vocabulary blossomed with words like “aegis” and “Weltanschauung” and references to Dostoevsky.

If you know Leo Felton’s story, it is difficult, when you first meet him, to concentrate on anything other than his appearance. It’s not just the tattoos. He has spent many years devoted to the idea of racial separation, to the belief that Americans should be divided by the color of their skin. But his own appearance is hard to define. His skin is olive-colored. His features are angular. It’s not hard to believe what he wrote in a letter to a racist friend just before he got out of prison, that he is “¼ English and ¾ Italian.”

But, in fact, he is the product of a short-lived and idealistic late-60’s marriage between a white former nun named Corinne Vincelette and a black architect named Calvin Felton. That is Leo Felton’s biological reality, despite his elaborate attempt, over the last decade, to rebel against it. It is a reality that he blames for many of the wrong turns that his life has taken, a reality that he successfully shielded from his brothers in the movement for years, a reality that only now, back in prison, is he trying to understand in a new way…

Read the entire article here.

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The main motive for the legislation was to prevent mixed marriages, which would lead to the birth of mixed-race children and “racial pollution.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-08-15 19:09Z by Steven

Based on a long series of modern studies, [James Q.] Whitman says the Nuremberg Laws were crafted so as to create citizenship laws based on racial categories. The main motive for the legislation was to prevent mixed marriages, which would lead to the birth of mixed-race children and “racial pollution.” At the center of the debate that preceded the Nuremberg Laws was the aspiration to construct a legal code that would prevent such situations. American precedents, which were meant to make African-Americans, Chinese and Filipinos second-class citizens, provided inspiration for the Nazis.

Oded Heilbronner, “Racism Comes Full Circle: America as the Harbinger of the Nazis’ Race Laws,” Haaretz, August 15, 2017. http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.806835.

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