After Trump

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Philosophy, Religion, United States, Virginia on 2017-03-16 20:04Z by Steven

After Trump

Boston Review: A Political and Literary Forum
2016-11-22

Christopher Petrella, Lecturer in the Humanities and the Associate Director of Equity and Diversity
Bates College, Lewiston, Maine

In November 2015 Donald Trump was asked on the campaign trail if he would require Muslim U.S. citizens to register with the Department of Homeland Security. “Absolutely,” Trump said, “they have to be.” Trump and his team had been mum on the issue until last week when a number of prominent surrogates and advisers—including incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Trump’s immigration adviser Kris Kobach—mused, seemingly as a test balloon, that the administration is “not going to rule out anything” and that a registry of Muslims entering the country would pass constitutional muster. One member of Trump’s team went as far as citing the 1942–45 internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II as a “precedent.” (Both statements were hedged with qualifications that made them no less worrisome.)

Since then, many commentators have roundly condemned the idea of a Muslim registry—not to mention citing the internment of Japanese-Americans as a precedent for anything except that which we must avoid repeating. Few have offered deeper historical examinations , though, that would suggest that the registration of Japanese-Americans and their subsequent movement to concentration camps were not really aberrations in American history. On the contrary, racial and ethnic registries and immigration quota systems have long been integral to America’s approach to regulating the freedom, movement, and rights of non-whites. Two pieces of legislation passed in the same year nearly a century ago—one federal, one in the state of Virginia—reflect the recurrent appeal in the United States of laws aimed at protecting the racial purity of whatever is indexed in a given moment as best representing American nationalism…

…In the same year as the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, the Commonwealth of Virginia passed its Racial Integrity Act, originally drafted as “A Bill for the Preservation of the White Race.” The Racial Integrity Act of 1924 explicitly forbade miscegenation—that is, “race mixing through marriage and fornication”—on the basis that such practices would “pollute [the nation] with mixed-blood offspring.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Social Construction and Achieving Reference

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Philosophy on 2017-03-13 18:39Z by Steven

Social Construction and Achieving Reference

Noûs
Volume 51, Issue 1 (March 2017)
pages 113-131
DOI: 10.1111/nous.12107

Ron Mallon, Professor of Philosophy
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

One influential view is that at least some putatively natural human kinds are actually social constructions, understood as some real kind of thing that is produced or sustained by our social and conceptual practices. Category constructionists share two commitments: they hold that human category terms like “race” (and racial terms) and “sex” (and sexual terms) and “homosexuality” and “perversion” actually refer to constructed categories, and they hold that these categories are widely but mistakenly taken to be natural kinds. But it is far from clear that these two commitments are consistent. The sort of mismatch between belief and underlying nature constructionists’ suppose is often taken to indicate a failure of reference. Reliance on a causal-historical account of reference allows the preservation of reference, but unfortunately, constructionists’ appropriation of causal historical accounts of reference is beset by difficulties that do not attend natural kind theorists’ appeals to such accounts. Here, I set out these difficulties, but argue that they can be answered, allowing terms for apparently natural human kinds refer to some sort of social construction about which there is massive error.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

Cultural Studies 1983: A Theoretical History

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy on 2016-12-23 00:59Z by Steven

Cultural Studies 1983: A Theoretical History

Duke University Press
2016
232 pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6248-7
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-6263-0

Stuart Hall (1932–2014)

Edited by:

Jennifer Daryl Slack, Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies
Michigan Technological University

Lawrence Grossberg, Morris David Distinguished Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The publication of Cultural Studies 1983 is a touchstone event in the history of Cultural Studies and a testament to Stuart Hall’s unparalleled contributions. The eight foundational lectures Hall delivered at the University of Illinois in 1983 introduced North American audiences to a thinker and discipline that would shift the course of critical scholarship. Unavailable until now, these lectures present Hall’s original engagements with the theoretical positions that contributed to the formation of Cultural Studies. Throughout this personally guided tour of Cultural Studies’ intellectual genealogy, Hall discusses the work of Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, and E. P. Thompson; the influence of structuralism; the limitations and possibilities of Marxist theory; and the importance of Althusser and Gramsci. Throughout these theoretical reflections, Hall insists that Cultural Studies aims to provide the means for political change.

Table of Contents

  • Editor’s Introduction / Lawrence Grossberg and Jennifer Daryl Slack
  • Preface to the Lectures by Stuart Hall, 1988
  • Lecture 1. The Formation of Cultural Studies
  • Lecture 2. Culturalism
  • Lecture 3. Structuralism
  • Lecture 4. Rethinking the Base and Superstructure
  • Lecture 5. Marxist Structuralism
  • Lecture 6. Ideology and Ideological Struggle
  • Lecture 7. Domination and Hegemony
  • Lecture 8. Culture, Resistance, and Struggle
  • References
  • Index
Tags: , , , , ,

Racial identity is a biological nonsense, says Reith lecturer

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science on 2016-10-19 00:05Z by Steven

Racial identity is a biological nonsense, says Reith lecturer

The Guardian
2016-10-18

Hannah Ellis-Petersen, Culture Reporter


Kwame Anthony Appiah says ‘race does nothing for us’. Photograph: BBC

Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah says race and nationality are social inventions being used to cause deadly divisions

Two weeks ago Theresa May made a statement that, for many, trampled on 200 years of enlightenment and cosmopolitan thinking: “If you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere”.

It was a proclamation blasted by figures from all sides, but for Kwame Anthony Appiah, the philosopher who on Tuesday gave the first of this year’s prestigious BBC Reith lectures, the sentiment stung. His life – he is the son a British aristocratic mother and Ghanian anti-colonial activist father, raised as a strict Christian in Kumasi, then sent to British boarding school, followed by a move to the US in the 1970s; he is gay, married to a Jewish man and explores identity for a living – meant May’s comments were both “insulting and nonsense in every conceivable way”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

GONS-FA16.03 | Transcending Race

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Philosophy, United States on 2016-10-08 01:12Z by Steven

GONS-FA16.03 | Transcending Race

GONS – Gonson Society Lecture Series
The Cambridge Center for Adult Education
42 Brattle Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
2016-10-12, 11:00 EDT (Local Time)

Carlos Hoyt

Based on Carlos Hoyt’s recently published book, The Arc of a Bad Idea: Understanding and Transcending Race, will provide a penetrating, provocative, and promising analysis and alternative to the hegemonic racial world-view. How race came about, how it evolved into a natural-seeming aspect of human identity, and how racialization, as a habit of the mind, can be broken is presented through the unique and corrective framing of race as a time-bound (versus eternal) concept, the lifespan of which is traceable and the demise of which is predictable.

For more information, click here.

Tags: , ,

The Trouble with Post-Blackness

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-25 21:25Z by Steven

The Trouble with Post-Blackness

Columbia University Press
February 2015
288 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780231169356
Hardcover ISBN: 9780231169349
E-book ISBN: 9780231538503

Edited by:

Houston A. Baker, Distinguished University Professor
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

K. Merinda Simmons, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
University of Alabama

An America in which the color of one’s skin no longer matters would be unprecedented. With the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, that future suddenly seemed possible. Obama’s rise reflects a nation of fluid populations and fortunes, a society in which a biracial individual could be embraced as a leader by all. Yet complicating this vision are shifting demographics, rapid redefinitions of race, and the instant invention of brands, trends, and identities that determine how we think about ourselves and the place of others.

This collection of original essays confronts the premise, advanced by black intellectuals, that the Obama administration marked the start of a “post-racial” era in the United States. While the “transcendent” and post-racial black elite declare victory over America’s longstanding codes of racial exclusion and racist violence, their evidence relies largely on their own salaries and celebrity. These essays strike at the certainty of those who insist life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are now independent of skin color and race in America. They argue, signify, and testify that “post-blackness” is a problematic mythology masquerading as fact—a dangerous new “race science” motivated by black transcendentalist individualism. Through rigorous analysis, these essays expose the idea of a post-racial nation as a pleasurable entitlement for a black elite, enabling them to reject the ethics and urgency of improving the well-being of the black majority.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Dubious Stage of Post-Blackness—Performing Otherness, Conserving Dominance, by K. Merinda Simmons
  • 1. What Was Is: The Time and Space of Entanglement Erased by Post-Blackness, by Margo Natalie Crawford
  • 2. Black Literary Writers and Post-Blackness, by Stephanie Li
  • 3. African Diasporic Blackness Out of Line: Trouble for “Post-Black” African Americanism, by Greg Thomas
  • 4. Fear of a Performative Planet: Troubling the Concept of “Post-Blackness”, by Rone Shavers
  • 5. E-Raced: #Touré, Twitter, and Trayvon, by Riché Richardson
  • 6. Post-Blackness and All of the Black Americas, by Heather D. Russell
  • 7. Embodying Africa: Roots-Seekers and the Politics of Blackness, by Bayo Holsey
  • 8. “The world is a ghetto”: Post-Racial America(s) and the Apocalypse, by Patrice Rankine
  • 9. The Long Road Home, by Erin Aubry Kaplan
  • 10. Half as Good, by John L. Jackson Jr.
  • 11. “Whither Now and Why”: Content Mastery and Pedagogy—a Critique and a Challenge, by Dana A. Williams
  • 12. Fallacies of the Post-Race Presidency, by Ishmael Reed
  • 13. Thirteen Ways of Looking at Post-Blackness (after Wallace Stevens), by Emily Raboteau
  • Conclusion: Why the Lega Mask Has Many Mouths and Multiple Eyes, by Houston A. Baker Jr.
  • List of Contributors
  • Index
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Racial Mixedness in the Contemporary United States and South Africa: On the Politics of Impurity and Antiracist Praxis

Posted in Africa, Articles, Media Archive, Philosophy, South Africa, United States on 2016-07-18 23:26Z by Steven

Racial Mixedness in the Contemporary United States and South Africa: On the Politics of Impurity and Antiracist Praxis

Critical Philosophy of Race
Volume 4, Issue 2, 2016
pages 182-204

Desiree Valentine, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Philosophy; Department of Women’s Studies
Pennsylvania State University

This article is motivated by a concern about the increasing embrace of apolitical and ahistorical notions of racial “mixedness” and “impurity.” It draws on recent examples from the United States and South Africa in order to direct attention to the difficulties of identifying logics that, on the face of it, seem to evade conventional claims of racism, but nevertheless, as it will argue, rely on racist notions that must be challenged. These include examples in the United States and South Africa of individuals self-identifying as a stand-alone mixed race category (and furthermore espousing this as a “pure” category of belonging) as well as white Afrikaners in South Africa uncritically appropriating claims to mixed heritage. This article is critical of these phenomena because of what it finds to be a lack of politically and historically situated understandings of the notions of purity and impurity and their relation to racism.

Read or purchase the article here

Tags: ,

Paul Gilroy: Race and ‘Useful Violence’

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy, United States on 2016-07-09 15:22Z by Steven

Paul Gilroy: Race and ‘Useful Violence’

Public Seminar
2016-07-08

McKenzie Wark, Professor of Culture and Media in Liberal Studies
The New School for Social Research


#BLM passes The New School.

Aimé Césaire called it: the so-called west is a decaying civilization. In both the United States and Europe, where institutions are receding, a base level of race-talk and racial solidarity is revealed as metastasizing beneath them. In such dim times, I turn to the writings of Paul Gilroy as offering an anti-racist vision that is transnational and cosmopolitan, but which draws on popular and vernacular forms of hybridity rather than elite ones.

In Darker than Blue: On the Moral Economies of Black Atlantic Culture (Harvard 2010), Gilroy offers a series of essays on the culture of what he has famously called the Black Atlantic (Verso 1993) as an alternative to race-talk but which is also outside of the various alternative nationalisms that flourish as a response. It is not reducible to liberalism, and it also attempts to fend off incorporation into the culture industry. That might be an urgent project for this “age of rendition.” (87) One in which in Judith Butler’s terms that which is grievable, or in Donna Haraway’s that which is killable, are respectively diminishing and expanding categories.

Gilroy is wary of responses to racism that borrow from it. He would probably strongly reject Chantal Mouffe’s understanding of all politics as necessarily based on a tangible equality of participation in a shared substance, which the necessarily excludes the other as unequal to us. Hence he is not any more inclined towards Black nationalism than towards any other. Instead, he builds upon the moral economies of the Black Atlantic, in which the struggle against slavery and racism pose the question of a trans-national belonging, or what I would call he problem of species-being. Just as EP Thompson saw the English working class as self-making, Gilroy is interested in the coming in to being of a people in struggle, but beyond Thompson’s rather provincial national frame. Along with others influenced by the cultural studies tradition such as Andrew Ross and Angela McRobbie, he is interested more in vernacular than elite cultural forms…

…Gilroy: “What answers does the mixed-race person give to the apostles of purity, who can be found in all communities?” (103) Marley borrowed from Jamaican rude boys, from Curtis Mayfield, but also from Black Power: ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ as a famous Marley song has it – but not the deputy. For Gilroy, Marley is a version of Blackness that can include, but is not reducible to, African-American culture. It borrows from the diasporic cult of Ethiopia but makes it more a symbolic than an actual homeland. From the Rastafarians it also takes a view of wage-work not as self-mastery but as an extension of slavery. From the discovery of swinging London it evolves into the ‘Kinky Reggae’ of the ‘Midnight Ravers’.

Where Marley had been an itinerant worker, Hendrix was a former soldier, who swapped the ‘Machine gun’ for the electric guitar, itself also bound up in curious ways with military technology. He produced an Afro-futurist sound that was, as Caetano Veloso put it, “half blues, half Stockhausen” (130) Gilroy: “Hendrix’s career tells us that by this point, black music could produce its own public world: a social corona that could nourish or host an alternative sensibility, a structure of feeling that might function to make wrongs and injustices more bearable in the short term but could also promote a sense of different possibilities, providing healing glimpses of an alternative moral, artistic, and political order.” (147)…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Race Delusion: Lies That Divide Us

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science on 2016-06-01 19:15Z by Steven

Race Delusion: Lies That Divide Us

The Huffington Post
2016-06-01

Robert J. Benz, Founder & Executive VP
Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives

David Livingstone Smith is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of London, Kings College, where he worked on Freud’s philosophy of mind and psychology. His current research is focused on dehumanization, race, propaganda, and related topics. David is the author of seven books and numerous academic papers. His most recent book Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others (St. Martin’s Press, 2011) was awarded the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf award for nonfiction. He is also editor of How Biology Shapes Philosophy, which will be published by Cambridge University Press later this year, and he is working on a book entitled Making Monsters: The Uncanny Power of Dehumanization, which will be published by Harvard University Press.

David speaks widely in both academic and nonacademic settings, and his work has been featured extensively in national and international media. In 2012 he spoke at the G20 summit on dehumanization and mass violence. David strongly believes that the practice of philosophy has an important role to play helping us meet the challenges confronting humanity in the 21st century and beyond, and that philosophers should work towards making the world a better place.

Robert: David, your great book, Less Than Human, has stayed with me since I first read it a few years ago. What, if any, connections should I make between race, racism and dehumanization?

David: Racism and dehumanization are very intimately connected. To explain the connection, I need to say a little bit about what race and dehumanization are.

Let’s start with race. Races are supposed to be real, objective divisions of the human family—analogous, perhaps, to breeds of dog. To be a member of a certain race is to be a certain kind of human being. Racial identity is supposed to be innate and unalterable (you don’t have any choice about what race you belong to) and transmitted from one generation to the next…

…Most people think that it’s obvious that races are real biological categories. However, most of the scholars who study race think that races are invented categories. When one group of people sets out to oppress another, they “racialize” them—that is, they think of them as fundamentally different from and, importantly, inferior to themselves. Prior to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, sub-Saharan Africans did not consider themselves members of a single, homogeneous “black” race. Instead, they identified themselves as members of any one of a number of distinct groups—as Akan, Wolof, Mbundu, etc. The idea of “blackness” was a European invention, designed to legitimize the oppression of Africans…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , , ,

About Latino Whiteness…

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-04-20 23:37Z by Steven

About Latino Whiteness…

The NiLP Report on Latino Politics & Policy
The National Institute for Latino Policy
2016-04-10

CONTENTS

  • “A Response to Linda Martín Alcoff’s ‘Latinos and the Category of Whiteness'” By Manuel Pastor (April 10, 2016)
  • “Reply to Manuel Pastor” by Linda Martín Alcoff (April 10, 2016)

Manuel Pastor, Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity
University of Southern California

Linda Martín Alcoff, Professor of Philosophy
City University of New York

Read both essays here.

Tags: , , , , , ,