Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Posted in Books, Canada, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2017-04-21 02:48Z by Steven

Soma Text: Living, Writing, and Staging Racial Hybridity

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
October 2017
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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Multicultural kids in a multicultural world

Posted in Articles, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2017-04-12 02:32Z by Steven

Multicultural kids in a multicultural world

The Sputnik
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
2017-03-22

Jelena Vulić

Canada, a country that prides itself on its diversity, multiculturalism and acceptance of all. It’s hard to believe that not too long ago, mixed race couples and families were widely seen as unacceptable, taboo even. Though for some, that view has not died down, it is undeniable that more and more interracial couples and families are popping up and with them children who are growing up as members of multiple ethnic groups. This kind of environment supposedly harbours such a unique growing experience and perhaps a new argument in the age-old nature versus nurture argument.

However, just like uni-racial people of colour experience their own struggles against racism and stereotyping and such in our diverse world, mixed race people are dealing with the same issues. Sometimes this even happens within the ethnic groups they identify themselves as members of…

Read the entire article here.

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Black, White, Black and White: mixed race and health in Canada

Posted in Articles, Canada, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2017-04-12 00:00Z by Steven

Black, White, Black and White: mixed race and health in Canada

Ethnicity & Health
Published online: 2017-04-10
pages 1-12
DOI: 10.1080/13557858.2017.1315374

Gerry Veenstra, Professor of Sociology
University of British Columbia

  • Objectives: To document inequalities in hypertension, self-rated health, and self-rated mental health between Canadian adults who identify as Black, White, or Black and White and determine whether differences in educational attainment and household income explain them.
  • Design: The dataset was comprised of ten cycles (2001–2013) of the Canadian Community Health Survey. The health inequalities were examined by way of binary logistic regression modeling of hypertension and multinomial logistic regression modeling of self-rated health and self-rated mental health. Educational attainment and household income were investigated as potentially mediating factors using nested models and the Karlson-Holm-Breen decomposition technique.
  • Results: Black respondents were significantly more likely than White respondents to report hypertension, a disparity that was partly attributable to differences in income. White respondents reported the best and Black respondents reported the worst overall self-rated health, a disparity that was entirely attributable to income differences. Respondents who identified as both Black and White were significantly more likely than White respondents to report fair or poor mental health, a disparity that was partly attributable to income differences. After controlling for income, Black respondents were significantly less likely than White respondents to report fair or poor mental health. Educational attainment did not contribute to explaining any of these associations.
  • Conclusion: Canadians who identify as both Black and White fall between Black Canadians and White Canadians in regards to self-rated overall health, report the worst self-rated mental health of the three populations, and, with White Canadians, are the least likely to report hypertension. These heterogeneous findings are indicative of a range of diverse processes operative in the production of Black-White health inequalities in Canada.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Piya on race, identity and ticking boxes

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Audio, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2017-04-01 01:27Z by Steven

Piya on race, identity and ticking boxes

Out in the Open with Piya Chattopadhyay
CBC Radio
2017-03-27

Piya Chattopadhyay, Host


Piya and her daughter

A month after Rachel Dolezal was propelled into the public spotlight in 2015, the American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me came out.

It’s essentially a letter to his son about the bleak realities of being black in America today.

And like one of those memories that seem so present, so real you can almost touch them, I clearly recall my white husband coming home, after he finished reading Ta-Nehisi’s book.

He was standing on our back porch, and he asked me how I — a woman of Indian heritage, a woman who is undeniably brown — felt about our biological kids, who are biracial, but look outwardly white…

Read the story here. Listen to the story (00:03:42) here.

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Malcolm Gladwell Wants to Make the World Safe for Mediocrity

Posted in Articles, Audio, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2017-03-19 15:45Z by Steven

Malcolm Gladwell Wants to Make the World Safe for Mediocrity

Conversations with Tyler
Mercatus Center at George Mason University
2017-03-15

Tyler Cowen, Host and Professor of Economics
George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia


Credit: Caren Louise Photographs

Journalist, author, and podcaster Malcolm Gladwell joins Tyler for a conversation on Joyce Gladwell, Caribbean identity, satire as a weapon, Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden, Harvard’s under-theorized endowment, why early childhood intervention is overrated, long-distance running, and Malcolm’s happy risk-averse career going from one “fur-lined rat hole to the next.”

Listen to the interview (01:32:11) here. Read the transcript here.

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Studying “Mixed Race”: Reflections on Methodological Practice

Posted in Articles, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2017-03-14 19:50Z by Steven

Studying “Mixed Race”: Reflections on Methodological Practice

International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Volume 13, Issue: 1 (2014)
pages 347-361
DOI: 10.1177/160940691401300117

Jillian Paragg
Department of Sociology
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

In this article, I reflexively consider how three experiences from conducting an interview project with Canadian young adults of mixed race can lead to questions about methodological practice in “mixed race” research. These three experiences also have implications for theorizing mixed race identity. First, in the study, respondents complicated their hailing (Althusser, 2000) as mixed race through responding to a recruitment ad that used that term, but revealed in the interview that they did not actually self-identify as mixed race. Second, the space of the interview enabled me to ask respondents probing questions to “think through” the operation of race in their everyday lives. Third, the complex dynamic of “insider/outsider” between the respondents and myself (through my own identity as mixed race) was foregrounded throughout the research process, signaling complex commonalities between the researcher and research participants.

Read the entire article here.

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I Owe Black Canada

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Media Archive on 2017-03-11 04:02Z by Steven

I Owe Black Canada

Medium
2017-03-05

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein


Nova Scotia on the drive from Halifax to Peggy’s Cove, 2010. Formerly enslaved Black people from the American colonies were promised that they could farm this land in Canada if they fought for the British during the Revolution. (source: me) [image: rocky terrain with Atlantic Ocean in the background, lots of moss and short pine-looking bush-trees]

Coming to understand the real but not real border

In a move that many told me was a major professional mistake, I dropped out of one of the best astronomy PhD programs in the United States to pursue research at the relatively new Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, switching to the PhD program at University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. I had never heard of Waterloo, although I’ve come to understand that in math and engineering circles, it’s kind of a BFD, with the largest mathematics faculty in North America (multiple math departments!), and the most extensive engineering co-op program in North America.

Being one of about 10 Black grad students across all departments at UC Santa Cruz, it didn’t cross my mind to be picky about how many Black students there were at Waterloo. It also didn’t occur to me that it would take a rather traumatizing search before I could find anyone who could actually cut my hair without asking me stupid questions like, “Can you put a comb in that?”

I didn’t know Canada, although I thought I did. Here’s what I knew about Canada: that it was like the US but people said “sore-ry” instead of “sawry,” that people sometimes mistook my Los Angeles-British colonial accent for a Canadian one, that some of my cousins on the Barbados side lived north of Toronto, that it was the end of the underground railroad, that they had single-payer health care, that as a child I had to watch Canadian TV to see the diversity that reflected my real life, and that overall this all meant they were more civilized than the US. In other words, I believed what I would now call the Canadian national myth, rather strongly…

…Hanging out in the other bookstore in Waterloo, I found out that the author, Lawrence Hill, would be doing an event with Afua Cooper, who had just published another book, I picked up, The Hanging of Angelique. Cooper’s book was about the Black enslaved woman who burned Montreal down (well, we think anyway). I made a note to show up at their event come hell or high water.

Hill, a light skinned Black man whose white American mother and Black American father had come to Canada when his father got into the University of Toronto for grad school, talked about discovering the hidden Canadian history of the Black Loyalists, as they are known. Cooper, a dark skinned Black woman and an established poet in addition to historian, talked about uncovering the often ignored and hidden history of Canada’s own horrible past with slavery…

Read the entire article here.

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The Missing British Columbia Paintings of Grafton Tyler Brown

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Canada, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-03-10 19:44Z by Steven

The Missing British Columbia Paintings of Grafton Tyler Brown

2015-02-27

John Lutz, Professor of History
University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia


Grafton Tyler Brown in his Victoria studio, 1883, Image A-08775  courtesy of the Royal BC Museum, BC Archives.

Grafton Tyler Brown became the first professional artist in the province when he reinvented himself in his move to British Columbia in 1882. Two years later he headed south to Tacoma and has since become famous in the United States as the first and one of the best Black professional artists in California and the Pacific Northwest. Practically unknown now, his paintings of the Fraser, Thompson, Okanagan, and Similkameen Valleys as well as southern Vancouver Island, were celebrated in Victoria in 1883 when he opened his inaugural exhibition. But Brown, the famous American Black artist, was, surprisingly, a White artist in British Columbia!

Brown was African American by birth. His parents, Thomas and Wilhelmina, were two free Blacks who had left the slave state of Maryland for the free state of Pennsylvania in 1837. Grafton Tyler Brown born February 22, 1841, was the first of three sons and a daughter, all of whom appear as Black in the censuses of the period…

…Whether by chance or more likely by craft, when Grafton Tyler Brown, who had inherited his father’s lighter colouring, was enumerated by the San Francisco directory makers for the 1861, he was listed without the designation “coloured” applied to Blacks. The 1870 census taker called him a “Mulatto” suggesting he was thought to have only one African American parent while that same year the Dun and Bradstreet credit agency called him a “quadroon” meaning that he was thought to have a single African American grandparent. In the census of 1880 he was listed as “White”. Race, the idea that people can be rigidly separated by their looks, proved itself to be quite arbitrary and open to interpretation…

Read the entire article here.

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Who Needs Hybridity? The Political Limits of Mixed Race Identity

Posted in Canada, Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2017-03-07 21:12Z by Steven

Who Needs Hybridity? The Political Limits of Mixed Race Identity

University of Toronto
November 2016
153 pages

Emily Alanna Moorhouse

A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts Department of Social Justice Education Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

This thesis examines how non-white, mixed race women with Asian heritage understand, participate in, and resist colonialism, anti-blackness and anti-Indigeneity. The study finds that mixed race identification is contextual and shifts according to the racial make-up of spaces. Participants performed their identities in white spaces differently than in communities of colour. Although all participants could name whiteness, their awareness of the racial and colonial basis of citizenship was situated on a spectrum. The thesis explores how race is understood through multiple axes of identity such as disability, gender, and sexuality. Although the family is often a good space to learn about race, multiracial families sometimes reproduced ableism, queer-phobia, anti-blackness and shadism. Lastly, I focus on how hybridity is a sexualized discourse that contributes to the fetishization of multiraciality. I highlight the sexualized forms of violence that multiracial women encounter.

Read the entire thesis here.

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Race, Space, and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Campus Life, Canada, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Women on 2017-03-06 03:16Z by Steven

Race, Space, and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society

Between The Lines
April 2002
320 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781896357591

Edited by:

Sherene Razack, Distinguished Professor of Gender Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Race, Space, and the Law belongs to a growing field of exploration that spans critical geography, sociology, law, education, and critical race and feminist studies. Writers who share this terrain reject the idea that spaces, and the arrangement of bodies in them, emerge naturally over time. Instead, they look at how spaces are created and the role of law in shaping and supporting them. They expose hierarchies that emerge from, and in turn produce, oppressive spatial categories.

The authors’ unmapping takes us through drinking establishments, parks, slums, classrooms, urban spaces of prostitution, parliaments, the main streets of cities, mosques, and the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders. Each example demonstrates that “place,” as a Manitoba Court of Appeal judge concluded after analyzing a section of the Indian Act, “becomes race.”

Contents

  • Introduction: When Place Becomes Race / Sherene H. Razack
  • Chapter 1: Rewriting Histories of the Land: Colonization and Indigenous Resistance in Eastern Canada / Bonita Lawrence
  • Chapter 2: In Between and Out of Place: Mixed-Race Identity, Liquor, and the Law in British Columbia, 1850-1913 / Renisa Mawani
  • Chapter 3: Cartographies of Violence: Women, Memory, and the Subject(s) of the “Internment” / Mona Oikawa
  • Chapter 4: Keeping the Ivory Tower White: Discourses of Racial Domination / Carol Schick
  • Chapter 5: Gendered Racial Violence and Spatialized Justice: The Murder of Pamela George /Sherene H. Razack
  • Chapter 6: The Unspeakability of Racism: Mapping Law’s Complicity in Manitoba’s Racialized Spaces / Sheila Dawn Gill
  • Chapter 7: Making Space for Mosques: Struggles for Urban Citizenship in Diasporic Toronto / Engin F. Isin and Myer Siemiatycki
  • Chapter 8: The Space of Africville: Creating, Regulating, and Remembering the Urban “Slum” / Jennifer J. Nelson
  • Chapter 9: Delivering Subjects: Race, Space, and the Emergence of Legalized Midwifery in Ontario / Sheryl Nestel
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Contributors
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