Mulata Nation: Visualizing Race and Gender in Cuba

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2018-07-18 18:36Z by Steven

Mulata Nation: Visualizing Race and Gender in Cuba

University Press of Mississippi
2018-08-15
248 pages (approx.)
58 color illustrations
6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496814432

Alison Fraunhar, Associate Professor of Art and Design
Saint Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois

A vivid exploration of the key role played by multi-racial women in visualizing and performing Cuban identity

Repeatedly and powerfully throughout Cuban history, the mulata, a woman of mixed racial identity, features prominently in Cuban visual and performative culture. Tracing the figure, Alison Fraunhar looks at the representation and performance in both elite and popular culture. She also tracks how characteristics associated with these women have accrued across the Atlantic world. Widely understood to embody the bridge between European subject and African other, the mulata contains the sensuality attributed to Africans in a body more closely resembling the European ideal of beauty.

This symbol bears far-reaching implications, with shifting, contradictory cultural meanings in Cuba. Fraunhar explores these complex paradigms, how, why, and for whom the image was useful, and how it was both subverted and asserted from the colonial period to the present. From the early seventeenth century through Cuban independence in 1899 up to the late revolutionary era, Fraunhar illustrates the ambiguous figure’s role in nationhood, citizenship, and commercialism. She analyzes images including key examples of nineteenth-century graphic arts, avant-garde painting and magazine covers of the Republican era, cabaret and film performance, and contemporary iterations of gender.

Fraunhar’s study stands out for attending to the phenomenon of mulataje not only in elite production such as painting, but also in popular forms: popular theater, print culture, later films, and other media where stereotypes take hold. Indeed, in contemporary Cuba, mulataje remains a popular theme with Cubans as well as foreigners in drag shows, reflecting queerness in visual culture.

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How the Use by Eugenicists of Family Trees and Other Genealogical Technologies Informed and Reflected Discourses on Race and Race Crossing during the Era of Moral Condemnation: Mixed-Race in 1920s and 1930s Britain

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2018-07-06 04:00Z by Steven

How the Use by Eugenicists of Family Trees and Other Genealogical Technologies Informed and Reflected Discourses on Race and Race Crossing during the Era of Moral Condemnation: Mixed-Race in 1920s and 1930s Britain

Genealogy
Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2018)
Special Issue “Genealogy and Multiracial Family Histories
2018-07-05
15 pages
DOI: 10.3390/genealogy2030021

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader
Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury

In the 1920s and 30s, significant empirical studies were undertaken on mixed-race (‘hybrid’) populations in Britain’s seaport communities. The physical anthropologists Rachel Fleming and Kenneth Little drew on the methods of anthropometry, while social scientist Muriel Fletcher’s morally condemnatory tract belongs to the genre of racial hygiene. Whether through professional relationships, the conduct of their work, or means of disseminating their findings, they all aligned themselves with the eugenics movement and all made use of pedigree charts or other genealogical tools for tracing ancestry and investigating the inheritance of traits. These variously depicted family members’ races, sometimes fractionated, biological events, and social circumstances which were not part of genealogy’s traditional family tree lexicon. These design features informed and reflected prevailing conceptualisations of race as genetic and biological difference, skin colour as a visible marker, and cultural characteristics as immutable and hereditable. It is clear, however, that Fleming and Little did not subscribe to contemporary views that population mixing produced adverse biological consequences. Indeed, Fleming actively defended such marriages, and both avoided simplistic, ill-informed judgements about human heredity. Following the devastating consequences of Nazi racial doctrines, anthropologists and biologists largely supported the 1951 UNESCO view that there was no evidence of disadvantageous effects produced by ‘race crossing’.

Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Genealogical Technologies
  • Case Studies of the Eugenic Use of Genealogical Technologies in Studies of Mixed-Race
  • Intersections between Eugenicists’ Use of Genealogical Technologies, Discourses on Race, and the Biological Consequences of ‘Race Crossing’
  • Conclusions
  • Funding
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • References

Read the entire article in HTML or PDF format.

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Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2018-07-01 05:10Z by Steven

Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory

Stanford University Press
August 2018
256 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781503605046
Paper ISBN: 9781503606012

Ana Paulina Lee, Assistant Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies
Columbia University, New York, New York

In Mandarin Brazil, Ana Paulina Lee explores the centrality of Chinese exclusion to the Brazilian nation-building project, tracing the role of cultural representation in producing racialized national categories. Lee considers depictions of Chineseness in Brazilian popular music, literature, and visual culture, as well as archival documents and Brazilian and Qing dynasty diplomatic correspondence about opening trade and immigration routes between Brazil and China. In so doing, she reveals how Asian racialization helped to shape Brazil’s image as a racial democracy.

Mandarin Brazil begins during the second half of the nineteenth century, during the transitional period when enslaved labor became unfree labor—an era when black slavery shifted to “yellow labor” and racial anxieties surged. Lee asks how colonial paradigms of racial labor became a part of Brazil’s nation-building project, which prioritized “whitening,” a fundamentally white supremacist ideology that intertwined the colonial racial caste system with new immigration labor schemes. By considering why Chinese laborers were excluded from Brazilian nation-building efforts while Japanese migrants were welcomed, Lee interrogates how Chinese and Japanese imperial ambitions and Asian ethnic supremacy reinforced Brazil’s whitening project. Mandarin Brazil contributes to a new conversation in Latin American and Asian American cultural studies, one that considers Asian diasporic histories and racial formation across the Americas.

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What Race-Mixture in Colonial Latin American Literature Can Teach Us About Mixed-Race Identity in the United States and the Fantasy of White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2018-06-30 01:55Z by Steven

What Race-Mixture in Colonial Latin American Literature Can Teach Us About Mixed-Race Identity in the United States and the Fantasy of White Supremacy

Critical Ethnic Studies
Published by University of Minnesota Press
2018-06-29

Monica Styles

IMG_2745.jpg

There is a tendency in the United States to believe mixed-race experiences are exceptional or out of the ordinary because we live in a society that historically silences racial mixture. A recent exhibit at Monticello that highlights the denial of Jefferson’s affair with Sally Hemings is just one high profile example. Contrasting colonial Latin American racial discourses with our own provides a blueprint for understanding erasure of multiracial experiences and white racial anxiety.

Mixture produces people who inhabit what Zadie Smith defines as the “Dream City [or] a place of many voices, where the unified singular self is an illusion. Naturally, Obama was born there. So was I. When your personal multiplicity is printed on your face, in an almost too obviously thematic manner, in your DNA, in your hair and in the neither this nor that beige of your skin -well, anyone can see you come from Dream City.” As a Black biracial woman, I am confronted with frustration from people who struggle with my mixed identity…

Read the entire article here.

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The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés: Decolonialism, Class, Gender, Race

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, United States on 2018-06-06 19:37Z by Steven

The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés: Decolonialism, Class, Gender, Race

Rowman & Littlefield
June 2018
160 pages
Trim: 6 x 9
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78660-615-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78660-616-7

Daphne V. Taylor-Garcia, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of California, San Diego

The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés is an interdisciplinary and intersectional study of the mixed-race subject in the Americas and the rise of oppositional consciousness with a consideration of not only race, but also colonialism. Daphne V. Taylor-Garcia examines the construction of race, gender, and class in coming to an oppositional consciousness as a Spanish colonial subject in the Americas. Spanning the early foundations of knowledge production about colonial/racial subjects and connecting to contemporary debates on Latinxs and racialization, the book takes up the terms through which first-person perceptions of precarity and class, mixed-race existence, and gendered power relations are constructed. The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés ends with a response to the current scepticism towards organizing as people of color through a decolonial redefinition of the damnés that centers a critique of anti-black racism and colonial relations.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Spatiality of the Damnés
  • 2. Visible Race and the Legacy of the Sistema de Castas
  • 3. The Semiotics of Gender in Colonial/Renaissance Knowledge Production
  • 4. Taking Action as the Damnés
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Arts, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science on 2018-05-30 01:50Z by Steven

Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction

Cambridge University Press
April 2018
400 pages
233 x 165 x 43 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781107177628
Paperback ISBN: 9781316630662
eBook ISBN: 9781316835890

Editors:

Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics; Professor of African and African American Studies
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews offer the first systematic, book-length survey of humanities and social science scholarship on the exciting field of Afro-Latin American studies. Organized by topic, these essays synthesize and present the current state of knowledge on a broad variety of topics, including Afro-Latin American music, religions, literature, art history, political thought, social movements, legal history, environmental history, and ideologies of racial inclusion. This volume connects the region’s long history of slavery to the major political, social, cultural, and economic developments of the last two centuries. Written by leading scholars in each of those topics, the volume provides an introduction to the field of Afro-Latin American studies that is not available from any other source and reflects the disciplinary and thematic richness of this emerging field.

  • Presents systematic and synthetic overviews of recent scholarship on topics of major importance in the field of Afro-Latin American studies, for example Afro-Latin American religions, Afro-Latin American political movements, and Afro-Latin American music
  • Covers a broad range of topics, embracing most of the humanities and social sciences
  • Serves as the authoritative introduction for Afro-Latin American history, covering the period from 1500 to the present

Table of Contents

  • 1. Afro-Latin American studies: an introduction Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews
  • Part I. Inequalities:
    • 2. The slave trade to Latin America: a historiographical assessment Roquinaldo Ferreira and Tatiana Seijas
    • 3. Inequality: race, class, gender George Reid Andrews
    • 4. Afro-indigenous interactions, relations, and comparisons Peter Wade
    • 5. Law, silence, and racialized inequalities in the history of Afro-Brazil Brodwyn Fischer, Keila Grinberg and Hebe Mattos
  • Part II. Politics:
    • 6. Currents in Afro-Latin American political and social thought Frank Guridy and Juliet Hooker
    • 7. Rethinking black mobilization in Latin America Tianna Paschel
    • 8. ‘Racial democracy’ and racial inclusion: hemispheric histories Paulina Alberto and Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof
  • Part III. Culture:
    • 9. Literary liberties: the authority of Afrodescendant authors Doris Sommer
    • 10. Afro-Latin American art Alejandro de la Fuente
    • 11. A century and a half of scholarship on Afro-Latin American music Robin Moore
    • 12. Afro-Latin American religions Stephan Palmié and Paul Christopher Johnson
    • 13. Environment, space and place: cultural geographies of colonial Afro-Latin America Karl Offen
  • Part IV. Transnational Spaces:
    • 14. Transnational frames of Afro-Latin experience: evolving spaces and means of connection, 1600–2000 Lara Putnam
    • 15. Afro-Latinos: speaking through silences and rethinking the geographies of blackness Jennifer A. Jones
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Black-Asian Counterintimacies: Reading Sui Sin Far in Jamaica

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Passing, Women on 2018-05-22 02:17Z by Steven

Black-Asian Counterintimacies: Reading Sui Sin Far in Jamaica

J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists
Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2018
pages 197-204
DOI: 10.1353/jnc.2018.0015

Christine “Xine” Yao, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of English
University of British Columbia

In “Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of a Eurasian,” Edith Maude Eaton, writing as Sui Sin Far, reflects on her time in Jamaica as a white-passing mixed-race woman.1 Rumor of her Chinese ancestry provokes a white English naval officer to seek her out for sexual favors, a scenario still all too familiar to women, particularly women of color, today: a predatory conversation sheathed in friendly euphemisms. At first Far believes his visit has to do with her work as a journalist, but his repeated “silly and offensive laugh” suggests otherwise.2 When she attempts to dismiss him, he laughs again, “There’s always plenty of time for good times. That’s what I am here for.”3 After commenting on her “nice little body,” he invites her to sail with him where “I will tell you all about the sweet little Chinese girls I met when we were at Hong Kong. They’re not so shy!”4 The officer’s framing of her presumed affective and sexual availability, and the foregrounding of his own sexual and social prerogative, are an everyday life manifestation of what Lisa Lowe names a “‘political economy’ of intimacy … a particular calculus governing the production, distribution, and possession of intimacy” predicated on empire and settler colonialism.5 The man’s proposition to Far is a demand for her friendliness because those other Chinese girls in Hong Kong are “not so shy.” In her rejection of his desire for intimacy, she risks the dangerous backlash that attends injured white masculinity along with broader social consequences that could impact the relative privilege of her personal and professional life in the Caribbean. Still, instead of a “friendly” relationship to whiteness, Sui Sin Far seeks alternative intimacies. In the same section of her memoir she juxtaposes this incident with musings about her position as a white-passing mixed-race Chinese woman in relation to her observations about antiblackness in the West Indies. Despite the warnings of the English who tell her to fear the “‘brown boys’ of the island,” the writer considered the mother of Asian North American literature affirms a sense of transnational solidarity between peoples of color in her affective racial identifications. “I too am of the ‘brown people’ of the earth,” she confides to her readers, prefiguring, in this assertion, the anti-colonial alliance between African and Asian nations that would be formalized in 1955 at the Bandung Conference in Indonesia.6

Intimacy operates, here, as a heuristic for understanding how the racialized and gendered pressures of domesticity, sentimentality, and sexuality are imbricated with the projects of empire. These exploitative relations undergird the transnational violences of settler colonialism, slavery, and indentured servitude—systems which, as Lowe argues, enable the liberal fictions of white Western individuals, who are able to claim intimacy as one of the privileges associated with the private sphere, as a property of their citizenship in modern civil society. In the shift from the late nineteenth-century threatening “Yellow Peril” to modern-day deserving “model minority,” Asian Americans, particularly those of East Asian descent, are lured by false promises of inclusion into this liberal fiction on the basis of intimate affiliation with whiteness. Among the processes of comparative racialization that emerge from transnational intimacies, Ellen Wu traces how Asian Americans were complicit in the anti-black creation of the “model minority” category in the American cultural imaginary.7 Nonetheless, the solidarity work of activists like Grace Lee Boggs and Yuri Kochiyama, along with studies of earlier black-Asian cultural and political engagements by scholars like Edlie Wong and Julia H. Lee, indicates an alternative genealogy of counterintimacies that disrupts those aligned with the afterlife of imperial exploitation.8 In defiance of the coercive pressures made manifest through sexual violence and emotional labor, the mixed-race Asian and black women of Sui Sin Far’s fiction and nonfiction writings reorient these indices of transnational power relations away from their focus on whiteness and toward the possibility of resistance through affective connections that center peoples of color.

In Far’s rediscovered Jamaican stories and journalism…

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Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Posted in Books, Canada, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2018-05-20 00:36Z by Steven

Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
June 2019
295 pages
ISBN13: 978-1-77112-240-5

Michelle La Flamme, Professor of English
University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

Canada’s history is bicultural, Indigenous, and multilingual, and these characteristics have given risen to a number of strategies used by our writers to code racially mixed characters. This book examines contemporary Canadian literature and drama in order to tease out some of those strategies and the social and cultural factors that inform them.

Racially hybrid characters in literature have served a matrix of needs. They are used as shorthand for interracial desire, signifiers of taboo love, images of impurity, symbols of degeneration, and examples of beauty and genetic perfection. Their fates have been used to suggest the futility of marrying across racial lines, or the revelation of their “one drop” signals a climactic downfall. Other narratives suggest mixed-race bodies are foundational to colonization and signify contact between colonial and Indigenous bodies.

Author Michelle LaFlamme approaches racial hybridity with a cross-generic and cross-racial approach, unusual in the field of hybridity studies, by analyzing characters with different racial mixes in autobiographies, fiction, and drama. Her analysis privileges literary texts and the voices of artists rather than sociological explanations of the mixed-race experience. The book suggests that the hyper-visualization of mixed-race bodies in mono-racial contexts creates a scopophilic interest in how those bodies look and perform race.

La Flamme’s term “soma text” draws attention to the constructed, performative aspects of this form of embodiment. The writers she examines witness that living in a racially hybrid and ambiguous body is a complex engagement that involves reading and decoding the body in sophisticated ways, involving both the multiracial body and the racialized gaze of the onlooker.

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Ijeoma Oluo and Rebecca Carroll on Race and Representation in Journalism

Posted in Audio, Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2018-05-18 19:26Z by Steven

Ijeoma Oluo and Rebecca Carroll on Race and Representation in Journalism

Midday on WNYC
WNYC
New York, New York
2018-05-03

Duarte Geraldino, Guest Host

Ijeoma Oluo and Rebecca Carroll discuss the ethics of representation in Sally Kohn’s book, The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity. Oluo and Aminatou Sow take issue with how they were quoted in Kohn’s book, which sets up what they say is an inaccurate dichotomy between their positions. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair about the controversy, Oluo said the real focus should be that “we need to talk about the work that people of privilege should be doing, not how many more ways we can harm ourselves so that our humanity will be seen.”


(L to R) Call Your Girlfriend’s Aminatou Sow, WNYC’s Rebecca Carroll, Nancy’s Kathy Tu, and Ear Hustle’s Nigel Poor speaking at the 2017 Werk It Festival.
(Gina Clyne Photography )

Listen to the discussion here.

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The Myth of Brazil’s Racial Democracy

Posted in Articles, Arts, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2018-05-02 15:46Z by Steven

The Myth of Brazil’s Racial Democracy

aperture
2018-04-18

Amelia Rina
Brooklyn, New York


Jonathas de Andrade, Eu, mestiço, 2017–18
Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York

In a new exhibition, Jonathas de Andrade confronts his country’s complicated past and present.

Brazil is renowned in the world for its racial democracy,” begins anthropologist Charles Wagley in the 1952 study Race and Class in Rural Brazil. Produced by Columbia University and UNESCO, the text describes ethnographic studies performed by Wagley and his colleagues in four regions of Brazil. In each region, men and women from what they determined to be the four major racial groups—caboclo (indigenous and Afro-Brazilian), preto (Afro-Brazilian), mulato (Afro-Brazilian and white European), and branco (white European)—were shown photographs of other Brazilians from these categories and then asked to assign them different traits, such as most/least attractive, best/worst worker, most/least honest, most/least wealthy, et cetera. This binary restriction was one of the study’s major flaws that first intrigued Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade, and inspired his recent project, Eu, mestiço, currently on view at Alexander and Bonin

Read the entire review here.

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