Mulata Nation: Visualizing Race and Gender in Cuba

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2018-08-10 02:18Z 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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Albums of Inclusion: The Photographic Poetics of Caribbean Chinese Visual Kinship

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2018-08-10 00:06Z by Steven

Albums of Inclusion: The Photographic Poetics of Caribbean Chinese Visual Kinship

Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism
Volume 22, Number 2 (56)
2018-07-01
pages 35-56
DOI: 10.1215/07990537-6985666

Tao Leigh Goffe, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Issue Cover

This essay focuses on artwork that centers family photographs and home movies as a point of departure to trouble the conventional family album in order to narrate a story about Caribbean Chinese kinship. In the art examined, personal visual archives are used to respond to the lacuna of Caribbean Chinese familial intimacies from the colonial archive. Engaging shared themes of migration and racialized ideas of reproduction, three contemporary diasporic visual artists—Albert Chong, Richard Fung, and Tomie Arai—mine oral histories and family archives to blend aural and visual narratives. These artists rupture the surface of family images to trouble the bourgeois, heteronormative, and colorist scripts that often police the formation of family. The family album is rearranged and marked up; thus it becomes rendered as flesh inscribed with silent narratives. Through different forms of remixing, they engage with the affect and entanglements of family photography to form a visual vocabulary of diasporic kinship. In doing so, the artwork—collages, documentaries, installations—interrogates the afterlife of the nineteenth-century European colonial experiment of Chinese indenture, designed to install a discreet “buffer race” between the white minority and the black majority in the Caribbean after abolition. The experiment, which depended on the capacity for the Chinese to develop bourgeois domesticity in the Caribbean after abolition, failed because of sexual intimacies between people of African descent and people of Asian descent, beyond the imperial order’s imagining. Another future of familial intimacies in the diaspora is present in the artists’ aesthetic of fragmentation and collage.

Read or purchase the article here.

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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 2018-08-03 01:45Z by Steven

Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory

Stanford University Press
September 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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Mexico’s overlooked black communities are given a voice in this social realist drama

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Videos on 2018-08-03 01:45Z by Steven

Mexico’s overlooked black communities are given a voice in this social realist drama

Afropunk
2018-08-01

Eye Candy


LA NEGRADA trailer from TIRISIA CINE on Vimeo.

A project by Mexican filmmaker Jorge Pérez Solano, “La Negrada” is a social realist drama that examines an overlooked sector of Mexico’s populace, its Black people, which include descendants of enslaved people brought to Mexico, among others. According to Variety, this is the first fictional film about Afro-Mexicans.

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Works Progress Austin: Casta by Adrienne Dawes

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, United States on 2018-07-24 22:00Z by Steven

Works Progress Austin: Casta by Adrienne Dawes

Salvage Vanguard Theater
110 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
2018-07-21

  Photo by Bonica Ayala. Pictured Jesus valles, Tarik Daniels, Linzy Beltran
Photo by Bonica Ayala. Pictured Jesus valles, Tarik Daniels, Linzy Beltran

Salvage Vanguard Theater invites you to attend a staged reading of Casta by Adrienne Dawes, presented as part of Works Progress Austin. Launched in 2006, Works Progress Austin (WPA) provides playwrights with the resources they need to bring their work to life. Works Progress Austin has featured new works by Caridad Svich, Dan Dietz, and Sibyl Kempson.

WPA: Casta by Adrienne Dawes
Aug 24 @ 7:30pm | Aug 25 @ 4 and 7:30pm
ARTIST TALK after the 4pm performance August 25th.

Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca. Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that grew in popularity over the 18th century in Nueva España/colonial Mexico. The paintings depicted different racial mixtures arranged according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites…

Read the entire article here.

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A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Slavery, United Kingdom on 2018-07-19 03:41Z by Steven

A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica

Yale University Press
2018-08-28
352 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4
25 b/w illus.
Hardcover ISBN: 9780300225556

Brooke N. Newman, Associate Professor of History; Associate Director of the Humanities Research Center
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia

Focusing on Jamaica, Britain’s most valuable colony in the Americas by the mid-eighteenth century, Brooke Newman explores the relationship between racial classifications and the inherited rights and privileges associated with British subject status. Weaving together a diverse range of sources, she shows how colonial racial ideologies rooted in fictions of blood ancestry at once justified permanent, hereditary slavery for Africans and barred members of certain marginalized groups from laying claim to British liberties on the basis of hereditary status.

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Caribbean Masala: Indian Identity in Guyana and Trinidad

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2018-07-18 18:45Z by Steven

Caribbean Masala: Indian Identity in Guyana and Trinidad

University Press of Mississippi
2018-07-16
144 pages (approx.)
9 b&w illustrations
6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496818041

Dave Ramsaran, Professor of Sociology
Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

Linden F. Lewis, Presidential Professor of Sociology; Associate Dean of Social Sciences
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

How Indian descendants maintained their culture and grew their influence in the Caribbean

In 1833, the abolition of slavery in the British Empire led to the import of exploited South Asian indentured workers in the Caribbean under extreme oppression. Dave Ramsaran and Linden F. Lewis concentrate on the Indian descendants’ processes of mixing, assimilating, and adapting while trying desperately to hold on to that which marks a group of people as distinct. In some ways, the lived experience of the Indian community in Guyana and Trinidad represents a cultural contradiction of belonging and non-belonging. In other parts of the Caribbean, people of Indian descent seem so absorbed by the more dominant African culture and through intermarriage that Indo-Caribbean heritage seems less central.

In this collaboration based on focus groups, in-depth interviews, and observation, sociologists Ramsaran and Lewis lay out a context within which to develop a broader view of Indians in Guyana and Trinidad, a numerical majority in both countries. They address issues of race and ethnicity but move beyond these familiar aspects to track such factors as ritual, gender, family, and daily life. Ramsaran and Lewis gauge not only an unrelenting process of assimilative creolization on these descendants of India, but also the resilience of this culture in the face of modernization and globalization.

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Black Saint of the Americas: The Life and Afterlife of MartĂ­n de Porres

Posted in Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion on 2018-07-02 01:16Z by Steven

Black Saint of the Americas: The Life and Afterlife of MartĂ­n de Porres

Cambridge University Press
2014-10-13
311 pages
16 b/w illus.
229 x 152 x 18 mm
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1107034372
Paperback ISBN: 9781108404174
Online ISBN: 9781139540599

Celia Cussen, Associate Professor of History
Universidad de Chile

In May 1962, as the struggle for civil rights heated up in the United States and leaders of the Catholic Church prepared to meet for Vatican Council II, Pope John XXIII named the first black saint of the Americas, the Peruvian Martín de Porres (1579–1639), and designated him the patron of racial justice. The son of a Spanish father and a former slavewoman from Panamá, Martín served a lifetime as the barber and nurse at the great Dominican monastery in Lima. This book draws on visual representations of Martín and the testimony of his contemporaries to produce the first biography of this pious and industrious black man from the cosmopolitan capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The book vividly chronicles the evolving interpretations of his legend and his miracles, and traces the centuries-long campaign to formally proclaim Martín de Porres a hero of universal Catholicism.

  • The first full-length work dedicated to MartĂ­n de Porres from a scholarly viewpoint
  • An analysis of witness testimonies and images that portrayed the virtues and miracles of MartĂ­n
  • A readable discussion of how the cult of the first black saint of the Americas evolved along with the needs and attitudes of Catholics in Peru and elsewhere

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I. The Life:
    • 1. Race and family
    • 2. The convent and the colonial world
    • 3. Healing and faith
    • 4. Death and the heavenly transit
  • Part II. The Afterlife:
    • 5. Creating a Vida from a life
    • 6. The miracles
    • 7. Images in black and white
    • 8. Sainthood
  • Conclusion
  • Appendixes
  • Bibliography
  • Endnotes
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Becoming Creole: Nature and Race in Belize

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Monographs on 2018-07-01 05:09Z by Steven

Becoming Creole: Nature and Race in Belize

Rutgers University Press
2018-11-01
226 pages
24 b&w images
6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8135-9698-3
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-9699-0
EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8135-9700-3
MobiPocket ISBN: 978-0-8135-9701-0
PDF ISBN: 978-0-8135-9702-7

Melissa A. Johnson, Professor of Anthropology
Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas

Becoming Creole

Becoming Creole explores how people become who they are through their relationships with the natural world, and it shows how those relationships are also always embedded in processes of racialization that create blackness, brownness, and whiteness. Taking the reader into the lived experience of Afro-Caribbean people who call the watery lowlands of Belize home, Melissa A. Johnson traces Belizean Creole peoples’ relationships with the plants, animals, water, and soils around them, and analyzes how these relationships intersect with transnational racial assemblages. She provides a sustained analysis of how processes of racialization are always present in the entanglements between people and the non-human worlds in which they live.

Table of Contents

  • Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. Introduction: Becoming Creole
  • 2. Hewers of Wood: Histories of Nature, Race and Becoming
  • 3. Bush: Racing the More than Human
  • 4. Living in a Powerful World
  • 5. Entangling the More than Human: Becoming Creole
  • 6. Wildlife Conservation, Nature Tourism and Creole Becomings
  • 7. Transnational Becomings: From Deer Sausage to Tilapia
  • 8. Conclusion: Livity and (Human) Being
  • Appendix/Glossary: Belizean Kriol Words and the More than Human??
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Is Neymar Black? Brazil and the Painful Relativity of Race

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2018-07-01 04:57Z by Steven

Is Neymar Black? Brazil and the Painful Relativity of Race

The New York Times
2018-06-30

Cleuci de Oliveira, BrasĂ­lia-based reporter


Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, center, celebrating a goal with his teammates during Brazil’s World Cup match against Serbia on Wednesday. Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ever since his “It’s not like I’m black, you know?” comment, Neymar has served as a focal point in the country’s cultural reckoning with racism, whitening, identity and public policy.

Years before he became the most expensive player in the world; before his Olympic gold medal; before the Eiffel Tower lit up with his name to greet his professional move from Barcelona to Paris, Neymar da Silva Santos JĂşnior, the Brazilian forward known to the world simply as Neymar, faced his first public relations controversy.

The year was 2010, and Neymar, then 18, had shot to fame in Brazil after a sensational breakout season. During an interview for the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, in between a conversation about Disneyland and sports cars, he was asked if he had ever experienced racism. “Never. Not in the field, nor outside of it,” he replied.

“It’s not like I’m black, you know?”

His answer was heard like a record-scratch across the country. Was this young man in denial about his racial identity? Particularly when in the same interview he outlined his meticulous hair care regime, which involved getting his locks chemically straightened every few weeks, then bleached blonde.

Or was there a less alarming explanation behind his comment? Could Neymar merely be pointing out that, as the son of a black father and a white mother, his lighter skin tone shielded him from the racist abuse directed at other players? Had he, at least in his context, reached whiteness? Whatever the interpretation, Neymar’s words revealed the tricky, often contradictory ways that many Brazilians talk, and fail to talk, about race in a country with the largest population of black descendants outside of Africa

Read the entire article here.

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