Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai`i and Oceania

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2019-07-18 20:53Z by Steven

Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai`i and Oceania

Duke University Press
November 2019
320 pages
Illustrations: 19 illustrations
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0633-6
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0502-5

Maile Arvin, Assistant Professor of History and Gender Studies
University of Utah

Possessing Polynesians

From their earliest encounters with indigenous Pacific Islanders, white Europeans and Americans asserted an identification with the racial origins of Polynesians, declaring them to be, racially, almost white and speculating that they were of Mediterranean or Aryan descent. In Possessing Polynesians Maile Arvin analyzes this racializing history within the context of settler colonialism across Polynesia, especially in Hawai‘i. Arvin argues that a logic of possession through whiteness animates settler colonialism, through which both Polynesia (the place) and Polynesians (the people) become exotic, feminized belongings of whiteness. Seeing whiteness as indigenous to Polynesia provided white settlers with the justification needed to claim Polynesian lands and resources. Understood as possessions, Polynesians were and continue to be denied the privileges of whiteness. Yet Polynesians have long contested these classifications, claims, and cultural representations, and Arvin shows how their resistance to and refusal of white settler logic have regenerated Indigenous forms of recognition.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Polynesia Is a Project, Not a Place
  • Part I. The Polynesian Problem: Scientific Production of the “Almost White” Polynesian Race
    • 1. Heirlooms of the Aryan Race: Nineteenth-Century Studies of Polynesian Origins
    • 2. Conditionally Caucasian: Polynesian Racial Classification in Early Twentieth-Century Eugenics and Physical Anthropology
    • 3. hating Hawaiians, Celebrating Hybrid Hawaiian Girls: Sociology and the Fictions of Racial Mixture
  • Part II. Regenerative Refusals: Confronting Contemporary Legacies of the Polynesian Problem in Hawai’i and Oceania
    • 4. Still in the Blood: Blood Quantum and Self-Determination in Day v. Apoliona and Federal Recognition
    • 5. The Value of Polynesian DNA: Genomic Solutions to the Polynesian Problems
    • 6. Regenerating Indigeneity: Challenging Possessive Whiteness in Contemporary Pacific Art
  • Conclusion. Regenerating an Oceanic Future in Indigenous Space-Time
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Call for Papers “Mixedness and Indigeneity in the Pacific”

Posted in Forthcoming Media, History, Oceania, Social Science, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2019-07-16 14:06Z by Steven

Call for Papers “Mixedness and Indigeneity in the Pacific”

Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies
2019-07-04

Guest Editors:

Zarine L. Rocha
National University of Singapore

Teena Brown Pulu, Senior Lecturer
Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies

This special issue is seeking papers that address what it means to be mixed–racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically–from indigenous points of view in the Pacific. Indigenous understandings of identity and belonging are crucial in developing and critiquing the current scholarship around mixed race. The nations and territories in the Pacific region, Oceania, encompass diverse ethnic groups and histories affected by different forms and timelines of colonialism, yet the enduring identity is one of indigenous cultures, histories, and languages. Mixedness can be theorized and experienced in different ways and structured in discrete forms of classification and language around mixing and social/cultural acceptance or the stigmatization of certain heritages. As Kukutai and Broman (2016) emphasize, indigenous cultures across the Pacific are by no means homogenous, and historical understandings of race and ethnicity have been influenced by colonial histories. Linnekin and Poyer (1990) suggest that while kinship/community groups have always been essential to indigenous societies, organization along racial/ethnic lines was non-existent prior to colonialism, meaning that understandings of mixedness similarly shifted and changed over time. Writings by Pacific artists and researchers of mixed race, mixed blood, echo and evoke Teresia Teaiwa’s poem:

My identity
is not
a problem
a mystery
soluble
a contract
a neophyte
an interest rate

Mixed blood:
resolves
solves
dissolves
negotiates
initiates
appreciates
And still they ask me HOW?

This special issue explores what mixedness has meant in the Pacific and how it is expressed in, or alongside, present-day identity formations of indigeneity and indigenous conceptions of belonging. What does it mean to be mixed in the Pacific and how does it relate to belonging to a people and place from an indigenous perspective? These papers will provide key theoretical contributions, enriching Critical Mixed Race Studies, shifting away from the dominant (often Western-centric) perspectives, privileging indigenous knowledge, research and histories.

We are looking for context-specific studies situated inside independent states and territories of the Pacific region, Oceania, which can provide a history of intermixing and an in-depth understanding of how mixedness is understood in relation to indigeneity. States and territories of interest include, but are not restricted to: (a) the Melanesian sub-regionTimor-Leste, West Papua, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji; (b) the Polynesian sub-regionTonga, Samoa, American Samoa, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Niue, French Polynesia; (c) the Micronesian sub-region Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia,Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Nauru, Kiribati.

Feel welcome to submit a brief abstract of your proposed paper (250 words) to JCMRS by October 1, 2019.

Submission Deadline: October 1, 2019

If we accept your abstract, you will be informed of the deadline for submission of your article manuscript, which should should range between 15-30 double-spaced pages, Times New Roman 12-point font, including notes and works cited, must follow the Chicago Manual of Style, as well as include your abstract. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed to determine their suitability for publication.

Please submit your abstract to: rdaniel@soc.ucsb.edu.

Please address all other inquiries to: socjcmrs@soc.ucsb.edu.

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In Brazil, a New Rendering of a Literary Giant Makes Waves

Posted in Articles, Biography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism on 2019-07-16 01:44Z by Steven

In Brazil, a New Rendering of a Literary Giant Makes Waves

The New York Times
2019-06-14

Shannon Sims

A widely known image of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, left, that appears on his books, compared with the one that has gone viral on Brazilian social media in recent months, right.
A widely known image of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, left, that appears on his books, compared with the one that has gone viral on Brazilian social media in recent months, right.
Left: Academia Brasileira de Letras

Machado de Assis Real, developed by a Brazilian university and an ad agency, shows the 19th-century writer in color, challenging some long-held ideas about him in the process.

RECIFE, Brazil — Throughout elementary and middle school, Ricardo Pavan Martins remembers reading Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, one of Brazil’s most famous writers.

So the 29-year-old, who lives in Bauru, was shocked to see a new image of Machado that has gone viral in the country. It shows him with chocolate-brown skin, considerably darker than how he appears in the black-and-white photograph that appears on virtually all of his books and hangs prominently in the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

“I always imagined him as white because this is the default image of most writers,” Martins said. “I am certain that if the skin color of an author so important was at the very least discussed during my experience at school, my black friends would have felt more represented.”

Among Brazilian writers, Machado, who lived from 1839 to 1908, inhabits a unique position. “Dom Casmurro,” his 1899 masterpiece about cuckoldry and jealousy, is required reading at some schools around the country. His name has been lent to streets and subway stops across Brazil. Susan Sontag called him “the greatest writer ever produced in Latin America,” and others have compared him to Flaubert, Kafka, Henry James and Alice Munro.

[“The Collected Stories of Machado de Assis,” one of the Times critics’ top books of 2018, “reveals the arc of Machado’s career, from the straightforward love stories to the cerebral and unpredictable later works.” ]

The traditional historical photo of him shows a man whose skin is nearly as light as his crisp white dress shirt. But a new project, developed by the São Paulo office of the advertising agency Grey and São Paulo’s University Zumbi dos Palmares, a predominantly black university, re-creates that photo in a way that the project’s leaders say more accurately reflects what Machado looked like.

Machado was known to be the descendant of freed slaves, but the new rendering, which shows him as a black man, has shaken Brazilians, prompting some to reconsider how they previously read his work and angering others who feel his legacy had been whitewashed…

…It isn’t clear how or why Machado’s image was lightened. Machado scholars like G. Reginald Daniel, a sociology professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said that in 19th-century Brazil, Machado’s publishers “would have totally wanted him white to sell. For people to see this great author as of African descent would have been very troubling for many.”…

“He was celebrated during a period of Brazilian society where to be recognized and valued you had to be white,” Matos said. “He would have never been taken seriously, and never achieved commercial success, if people had known his true racial identity. He would have been a failure if he had been known as black.”

But some of those most familiar with Machado’s life are ambivalent about the push to identify him as black. Daniel, who wrote a book exploring Machado’s mixed-race identity, said that while he commended the efforts to “re-racialize” him, “the real Machado de Assis was not a black man but mixed. Portraying him otherwise misses the duality and in-between experience he had as a biracial man.”…

Read entire article here.

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Is ‘Race Science’ Making A Comeback?

Posted in Articles, Audio, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-07-16 00:43Z by Steven

Is ‘Race Science’ Making A Comeback?

Code Switch: Race and Identity Remixed
National Public Radio
2019-07-10

Shereen Marisol Meraji, Host/Correspondent

Gene Demby, Lead Blogger

Jess Kung, Intern


Angela Saini, author of Superior: The Return of Race Science.
Henrietta Garden

When Angela Saini was 10 years old, her family moved from what she called “a very multicultural area” in East London to the almost exclusively white Southeast London. Suddenly her brown skin stood out, making her a target. She couldn’t avoid the harassment coming from two boys who lived around the corner. One day, they pelted her and her sister with rocks. She remembers one hit her on the head. She remembers bleeding.

There had been racist comments before that, she says, “but that was the first time that someone around my own age had decided to physically hurt me. And it was tough.”

It was also one of the first stories she reported, writing about the incident and reading it out for class. She says that’s what made her a journalist.

Saini is now an award-winning science journalist, often reporting on the intersection of science, race and gender. Her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, tracks the history and ideology of race science up to its current resurgence…

Read the story here. Download the story (00:22:14) here.

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Passing: A Family in Black & White

Posted in Biography, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, Passing, United States, Videos on 2019-07-14 02:23Z by Steven

Passing: A Family in Black & White

Blackstar Film Festival
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Saturday, 2019-08-03, 10:00 EDT (Local Time)

United States
2019
(00:48:00)

Robin Cloud, Director

After years of hearing the story of her Nebraska cousins, who, unbeknownst to them, were passing for white, filmmaker Robin Cloud reaches out to the lost cousins in an attempt to bring them back into the family. We follow Robin as she travels through the South and Midwest.

For more information, click here.

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Mother of Orphans: The True and Curious Story of Irish Alice, A Colored Man’s Widow

Posted in Biography, Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, United States, Women on 2019-07-12 19:02Z by Steven

Mother of Orphans: The True and Curious Story of Irish Alice, A Colored Man’s Widow

2Leaf Press
July 2019
250 pages
6 x 9
Print ISBN: 978-1-940939-78-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-940939-87-2

Dedria Humphries Barker

Introduction by:

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Professor of English; Professor of Asian/Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut

Mother of Orphans is the compelling true story of Alice, an Irish-American woman who defied rigid social structures to form a family with a black man in Ohio in 1899. Alice and her husband had three children together, but after his death in 1912, Alice mysteriously surrendered her children to an orphanage. One hundred years later, her great-grand daughter, Dedria Humphries Barker, went in search of the reasons behind this mysterious abandonment, hoping in the process to resolve aspects of her own conflicts with American racial segregation and conflict.

This book is the fruit of Barker’s quest. In it, she turns to memoir, biography, historical research, and photographs to unearth the fascinating history of a multiracial community in the Ohio River Valley during the early twentieth century. Barker tells this story from multiple vantage points, frequently switching among points of view to construct a fragmented and comprehensive perspective of the past intercut with glimpses of the present. The result is a haunting, introspective meditation on race and family ties. Part personal journey, part cultural biography, Mother of Orphans examines a little-known piece of this country’s past: interracial families that survived and prevailed despite Jim Crow laws, including those prohibiting mixed-race marriage. In lyrical, evocative prose, this extraordinary book ultimately leaves us hopeful about the world as our children might see it.

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Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and “The American Negro”

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, United States on 2019-07-12 17:44Z by Steven

Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and “The American Negro”

University of Georgia Press
2019-11-15
416 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9-780-8203-5626-6

John David Smith, Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

The classic biography of the infamous black Negrophobe William Hannibal Thomas, with a new preface by the author

William Hannibal Thomas (1843-1935) served with distinction in the U.S. Colored Troops in the Civil War (in which he lost an arm) and was a preacher, teacher, lawyer, state legislator, and journalist following Appomattox. In many publications up through the 1890s, Thomas espoused a critical though optimistic black nationalist ideology. After his mid-twenties, however, Thomas began exhibiting a self-destructive personality, one that kept him in constant trouble with authorities and always on the run. His book The American Negro (1901) was his final self-destructive act.

Attacking African Americans in gross and insulting language in this utterly pessimistic book, Thomas blamed them for the contemporary “Negro problem” and argued that the race required radical redemption based on improved “character,” not changed “color.” Vague in his recommendations, Thomas implied that blacks should model themselves after certain mulattoes, most notably William Hannibal Thomas.

Black Judas is a biography of Thomas, a publishing history of The American Negro, and an analysis of that book’s significance to American racial thought. The book is based on fifteen years of research, including research in postamputation trauma and psychoanalytic theory on self-hatred, to assess Thomas’s metamorphosis from a constructive race critic to a black Negrophobe. John David Smith argues that his radical shift resulted from key emotional and physical traumas that mirrored Thomas’s life history of exposure to white racism and intense physical pain.

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Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology on 2019-07-12 17:41Z by Steven

Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity

University of Nebraska Press
January 2020
444 pages
8 photos, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0663-3

Edited by:

Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai, Curator of History
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California

Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, Professor of History
University of La Verne, Point Mugu, California

Paul Spickard, Distinguished Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

Shape Shifters

Shape Shifters presents a wide-ranging array of essays that examine peoples of mixed racial identity. Moving beyond the static “either/or” categories of racial identification found within typical insular conversations about mixed-race peoples, Shape Shifters explores these mixed-race identities as fluid, ambiguous, contingent, multiple, and malleable. This volume expands our understandings of how individuals and ethnic groups identify themselves within their own sociohistorical contexts.

The essays in Shape Shifters explore different historical eras and reach across of the globe, from the Roman and Chinese borderlands of classical antiquity to Medieval Eurasian shape-shifters, the Native peoples of the missions of Spanish California, and racial shape-shifting among African Americans in the post–civil rights era. At different times in their lives or over generations in their families, racial shape-shifters have moved from one social context to another. And as new social contexts were imposed on them, identities have even changed from one group to another. This is not racial, ethnic, or religious imposture. It is simply the way that people’s lives unfold in fluid sociohistorical circumstances.

With contributions by Ryan Abrecht, George J. Sanchez, Laura Moore, and Margaret Hunter, among others, Shape Shifters explores the forces of migration, borderlands, trade, warfare, occupation, colonial imposition, and the creation and dissolution of states and empires to highlight the historically contingent basis of identification among mixed-race peoples across time and space.

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The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862-1916

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, United States on 2019-07-12 17:41Z by Steven

The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862-1916

University of Nebraska Press
October 2019
320 pages
7 photos, 3 drawings, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0507-0

Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, Professor of History
University of La Verne, Point Mugu, California

The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862-1916

In The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862–1916, Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly examines generations of mixed-race African Americans after the Civil War and into the Progressive Era, skillfully tracking the rise of a leadership class in Black America made up largely of individuals who had complex racial ancestries, many of whom therefore enjoyed racial options to identity as either Black or White. Although these people might have chosen to pass as White to avoid the racial violence and exclusion associated with the dominant racial ideology of the time, they instead chose to identify as Black Americans, a decision which provided upward mobility in social, political, and economic terms.

Dineen-Wimberly highlights African American economic and political leaders and educators such as P. B. S. Pinchback, Theophile T. Allain, Booker T. Washington, and Frederick Douglass as well as women such as Josephine B. Willson Bruce and E. Azalia Hackley who were prominent clubwomen, lecturers, educators, and settlement house founders. In their quest for leadership within the African American community, these leaders drew on the concept of Blackness as a source of opportunities and power to transform their communities in the long struggle for Black equality.

The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862–1916 confounds much of the conventional wisdom about racially complicated people and details the manner in which they chose their racial identity and ultimately overturns the “passing” trope that has dominated so much Americanist scholarship and social thought about the relationship between race and social and political transformation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. “As a Negro I will be Powerful”: The Leadership of P.B.S. Pinchback
  • Chapter 2. Post-Bellum Strategies to Retain Power and Status: From Political Appointments to Property Ownership
  • Chapter 3. New Challenges and Opportunities for Leadership: From Domestic Immigration to “The Consul’s Burden”
  • Chapter 4. “Lifting as We Climb”: The Other Side of Uplift
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Beneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin Lighteners

Posted in Africa, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, South Africa, Women on 2019-07-12 17:40Z by Steven

Beneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin LightenersBeneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin Lighteners

Duke University Press
January 2020
376 pages
85 illustrations (incl. 39 in color)
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0642-8
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0538-4

Lynn M. Thomas, Professor of History
University of Washington

Beneath the Surface

For more than a century, skin lighteners have been an ubiquitous feature of global popular culture—embraced by consumers even as they were fiercely opposed by medical professionals, consumer health advocates, and antiracist thinkers and activists. In Beneath the Surface, Lynn M. Thomas constructs a transnational history of skin lighteners in South Africa and beyond. Analyzing a wide range of archival, popular culture, and oral history sources, Thomas traces the changing meanings of skin color from precolonial times to the postcolonial present. From indigenous skin-brightening practices and the rapid spread of lighteners in South African consumer culture during the 1940s and 1950s to the growth of a billion-dollar global lightener industry, Thomas shows how the use of skin lighteners and experiences of skin color have been shaped by slavery, colonialism, and segregation, as well as consumer capitalism, visual media, notions of beauty, and protest politics. In teasing out lighteners’ layered history, Thomas theorizes skin as a site for antiracist struggle and lighteners as a technology of visibility that both challenges and entrenches racial and gender hierarchies.

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