Call for Papers: Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective Conference

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Forthcoming Media, History, Latino Studies, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2018-11-24 02:41Z by Steven

Call for Papers: Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective Conference

Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective
University of Pittsburgh
2019-04-11 through 2019-11-13

Conference Convened by the Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx Studies Initiative

Contact: Dr. Michele Reid-Vazquez, University of Pittsburgh

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science,
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Dr. Nancy Mirabal, Associate Professor of American Studies; Director of the US Latina/o Studies Program
University of Maryland, College Park

The intersections of race, ethnicity, and representation have shaped historical and contemporary articulations of Afrolatinidad. As an expression of multivalent identity, both shared and unique, Afrolatinidad informs the experiences of over 150 million Afro-Latin Americans and millions more within diasporic communities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and beyond. The conference seeks to foster an international dialogue that addresses regional, national, and transnational links among the ways Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs create, sustain, and transform meanings surrounding blackness in political, social, and cultural contexts.

This two-day symposium aims to engage multiple depictions of Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs – whether self-fashioned or imposed. The varied portrayals in the past and present reflect the ongoing global realities, struggles, vibrancy, and resiliency of Afro-Latin diasporas throughout the Americas and elsewhere. The symposium will feature keynote addresses by Dr. Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science at Brown University, and Dr. Nancy Mirabal, Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the U.S. Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Maryland-College Park. Their work on Afro-descendant politics in Latin America and Afro-Latinx discourses of race, gender, and territoriality, respectively, will spark broader exchanges around Afrolatinidad and representation among presenters and attendees.

We invite submissions that address aspects of Afrolatinidad, particularly through ethnicity/race, gender, history, technology, and expressive culture, such as music, dance and art. We are especially interested in papers that analyze these themes across a variety of conceptual frameworks, including Africana Studies, Anthropology, Caribbean Studies, Cultural Studies, History, Latin American Studies, Latinx Studies, Media Studies, Political Science, and Sociology.

Submissions need not be confined to these topics, but, if possible, please indicate at least two themes that correspond to your proposal.

Themes:

  • Slavery and Its Legacies in Latin America
  • Politics of Culture/Cultural Expression
  • Visibility and Invisibility
  • Theorizing Afro-Latinidad
  • Race, Gender, and Migration
  • Diaspora, Community, and Technology/Social Media…

For more information, click here.

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Another Hot Take on the Term ‘Latinx’

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-11-24 02:29Z by Steven

Another Hot Take on the Term ‘Latinx’

El Espace
The New York Times
2018-11-21

Concepción de León, digital staff writer for the Books desk


At the 11th Annual Trans Day of Action, in 2015, transgender and gender-nonconforming people rallied with allies to fight discrimination.
Credit Joana Toro/Redux

This week in El Espace: gender-bending, big news for bookworms and more.

The paradox of working in media is that even as your mind expands, your world also shrinks a bit. Because of my job, I read a lot of news, then go on Twitter to read people’s hot takes, then listen to podcasts, you know, just to round out the picture. It’s extra, for sure. But while there’s no question that my understanding of topics like foreign relations, economics and the president’s taxes, to name a few, has gone from zero to at least 80 in the last few years, the overexposure has also distorted my perception about what “everyone” knows.

Fortunately our readers keep me accountable. In my last column, for example, I used the word “Latinx” as a broader term for the Latino community, to some people’s perplexity…

Ed Morales, a Columbia University professor who wrote “Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture,” agrees. In a recent conversation he said that “the X, which is so strange and is not Spanish, sort of marks this new hybrid idea.” The title of his book, similarly, was meant to be forward-looking. “I thought it was a futurist term,” he said, “imagining a future of more inclusion for people that don’t conform to the various kinds of rigid identities that exist in the United States.”…

Read the entire article here.

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white girls reinventing themselves as black women on instagram has to stop i-D

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing, Women on 2018-11-21 22:28Z by Steven

white girls reinventing themselves as black women on instagram has to stop

i-D
Vice
2018-11-20

Emma Dabiri


Instagram influencer Emma Halberg has been accused of altering her looks to appear black. She denies the accusations. Images via social media.

As a recent Twitter storm brought attention to social media blackface, Emma Dabiri looks at the cultural history of this racist practice and its links to black women being perceived as sexually available.

Last week a Twitter thread went viral for calling out white girls on Instagram and YouTube, some of them with huge followings, who are seemingly using various methods to transform their faces and bodies so they look “mixed-race” – though some have denied that’s what they’re doing, blaming their change on a propensity to deeply tan. Various media outlets are referring to this as “blackfishing”, but there is another name for it, which more clearly links this practice to its racist past. While “ni**erfishing” sounds like a sport from the good ole days when AMERICA WAS GREAT, when a picnic wasn’t a picnic without a black body swinging in the southern breeze, it is in fact a phenomenon all our own, from the year of our good lord 2018. N**erfishing is this cute lil trick whereby white girls literally reinvent themselves online, on Instagram and Youtube, as “mixed-race” or light-skinned black women. From our complexion to our lips and other facial features, to textured hair and the use of protective styles, weaves and braids — there is little to separate these white women visually from black women…

Read the entire article here.

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Stop using mixed race people as symbols of interracial unity to ease your white guilt

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2018-11-13 03:16Z by Steven

Stop using mixed race people as symbols of interracial unity to ease your white guilt

Friktion
2018-05-09

Sophie Buzak-Achiam


Illustration: Mette Clante

Dutch beer company Heineken has recently faced backlash for its “lighter is better” ad, where a bartender with light skinned Latino appearance slides a beer past three dark skinned Black people towards an Eurasian woman, with whom he shares a wink, before the slogan “sometimes lighter is better” appears. As a mixed race person, who might be racialised in a similar way to the exotic yet safely light skinned woman in the ad, this ad struck a well-known chord. Spending a good half of my life in a white Danish environment, I have often found my ambiguous racial appearance used by white people as a symbol of a conforming, non-threatening otherness. Although still seen as a person of color, I also embody a whiteness that can make me come across as safe mediator to ease racial tensions and white guilt.

Considering the overwhelming whiteness in European advertisement in general, I don’t believe it to be a coincidence that Heineken, as a white owned company, chooses to use people of color and racially ambiguous people as the stars of this ad. In representing the “lighter is better” demographic, the two lighter skinned actors become pawns to the white system which uses them to mask its racism, that becomes perhaps more subtle with the acceptance of some people of color…

Read the entire article here.

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Race In/For Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing on 2018-11-12 23:48Z by Steven

Race In/For Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet

Works and Days
Volume 13, Numbers 1 & 2 (1995)
pages 181-193

Lisa Nakamura, Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor; Coordinator and Undergraduate Advisor for the Digital Studies Minor
University of Michigan

A cute cartoon dog sits in front of a computer, gazing at the monitor and typing away busily. The cartoon’s caption jubilantly proclaims, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog!” This image resonates with particular intensity for those members of a rapidly expanding subculture which congregates within the consensual hallucination defined as cyberspace. Users define their presence within this textual and graphical space through a variety of different activities‹commercial interaction, academic research, netsurfing, real time interaction and chatting with interlocutors who are similarly “connected”‹but all can see the humor in this image because it illustrates so graphically a common condition of being and self definition within this space. Users of the Internet represent themselves within it solely through the medium of keystrokes and mouse-clicks, and through this medium they can describe themselves and their physical bodies any way they like; they perform their bodies as text. On the Internet, nobody knows that you’re a dog; it is possible to “computer crossdress” (Stone 84) and represent yourself as a different gender, age, race, etc. The technology of the Internet offers its participants unprecedented possibilities for communicating with each other in real time, and for controlling the conditions of their own self-representations in ways impossible in face to face interaction. The cartoon seems to celebrate access to the Internet as a social leveler which permits even dogs to express freely themselves in discourse to their masters, who are deceived into thinking that they are their peers, rather than their property. The element of difference, in this cartoon the difference between species, is comically subverted in this image; in the medium of cyberspace, distinctions and imbalances in power between beings who perform themselves solely through writing seem to have deferred, if not effaced…

Read the entire article here or here.

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Race and Cultural Practice in Popular Culture

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2018-11-09 03:39Z by Steven

Race and Cultural Practice in Popular Culture

Rutgers University Press
2018-10-17
296 pages
6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-9788-0130-1
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-9788-0131-8
PDF ISBN: 978-1-9788-0134-9
EPUB ISBN: 978-1-9788-0132-5
MobiPocket ISBN: 978-1-9788-0133-2

Edited by:

Domino Perez, Associate Professor of English
University of Texas, Austin

Rachel González-Martin, Assistant Professor of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
University of Texas, Austin

Race and Cultural Practice in Popular Culture

Race and Cultural Practice in Popular Culture is an innovative work that freshly approaches the concept of race as a social factor made concrete in popular forms, such as film, television, and music. The essays collectively push past the reaffirmation of static conceptions of identity, authenticity, or conventional interpretations of stereotypes and bridge the intertextual gap between theories of community enactment and cultural representation. The book also draws together and melds otherwise isolated academic theories and methodologies in order to focus on race as an ideological reality and a process that continues to impact lives despite allegations that we live in a post-racial America. The collection is separated into three parts: Visualizing Race (Representational Media), Sounding Race (Soundscape), and Racialization in Place (Theory), each of which considers visual, audio, and geographic sites of racial representations respectively.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • “Assembling an Intersectional Pop Cultura Analytical Lens: A Foreword”
  • Introduction: Re-imagining Critical Approaches to Folklore and Popular Culture / Domino Renee Perez and Rachel González-Martin
  • Part I: Visualizing Race
    • “A Thousand ‘Lines of Flight’: Collective Individuation and Racial Identity in Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and Sense8” / Ruth Y. Hsu
    • “Performing Cherokee Masculinity in The Doe Boy” / Channette Romero
    • “Truth, Justice, and the Mexican Way: Lucha Libre, Film, and Nationalism in Mexico” / James Wilkey
    • “Native American Irony: Survivance and the Subversion of Ethnography” / Gerald Vizenor
  • Part II: Sounding Race
    • “(Re)imagining Indigenous Popular Culture” / Mintzi Auanda Martínez-Rivera
    • “My Tongue is Divided into Two” / Olivia Cadaval
    • “Performing Nation Diva Style in Lila Downs and Astrid Hadad’s La Tequilera” / K. Angelique Dwyer
    • “(Dis)identifying with Shakira’s ‘Global Body’: A Path Towards Rhythmic Affiliations Beyond the Dichotomous Nation/Diaspora” / Daniela Gutiérrez López
    • “Voicing the Occult in Chicana/o Culture and Hybridity: Prayers and the Cholo-Goth Aesthetic” / José G. Anguiano
  • Part III: Racialization in Place
    • “Ugly Brown Bodies: Queering Desire in Machete” / Nicole Guidotti-Hernández
    • “Bitch, how’d you make it this far?”: Strategic Enactments of White Femininity in The Walking Dead” / Jaime Guzmán and Raisa Alvarado Uchima
    • “Bridge and Tunnel: Transcultural Border Crossings in The Bridge and Sicario” / Marcel Brousseau
    • “Red Land, White Power, Blue Sky: Settler Colonialism and Indigeneity in Breaking Bad” / James H. Cox
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index
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Review: Sharon Block, Colonial Complexions

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2018-11-08 21:42Z by Steven

Review: Sharon Block, Colonial Complexions

The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History
2018-06-02

Vanessa Holden, Assistant Professor of History and African American and Africana Studies
University of Kentucky

Sharon Block, Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

At the opening of Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America, Sharon Block poses two provocative questions: “What were the meanings of black, white, and red in the colonial eighteenth century; and how did Anglo-American colonists describe people’s appearance?” (1) To answer these queries Block presents a cultural history race in Britain’s 18th century American colonies. She makes a careful study of the descriptors advertisers and editors used in missing colonial persons adds for runaway African descent and their European and Native American servants.

Block argues that the terms “black”; “white”; “red”; and “yellow” did not have static meanings that neatly corresponded to racial identities for 18th-century Anglo-colonists. Those terms evolved into markers of racial difference right alongside American constructions of race that would not become commonplace until the 19th century. Block challenges readers to understand how humoral theory influenced European colonists’ ideas about physical appearance and how the form of the missing person ad reflected and shaped the meanings of signifiers like age, height, and health for colonial subjects.

Block engages thirty-nine colonial newspapers from all over the across colonial America for her study, drawing from them both quantitative and qualitative data to support her arguments. From their pages, she gleans categories and descriptors used by 18th-century subjects to describe other 18th century subjects. “Through a range of descriptive choices,” she writes, “advertisers communicated the features they deemed significant for readers to know and revealed shared assumptions about bodily norms.”(5) Block remains very critical of her sources throughout and highlights both the form and the content of the ads she analyzes. She is well aware that the ads are part of an archive of mastery and makes sure to note this throughout. Block remains clear that the norms she excavates from these advertisements are norms for Anglo-colonizers and takes care to acknowledge African and Native American understandings of physiology. That the descriptors and signifiers she analyzes allow Anglo-colonists to flatten individual human experiences and bolster colonial systems of power is precisely her point.

Read the entire review here.

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Making Race in British Colonial North America

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2018-11-08 20:53Z by Steven

Making Race in British Colonial North America

Black Perspectives
2018-11-08

Elise A. Mitchell, Ph.D. Candidate in Atlantic World History and Caribbean and Latin American History
Department of History
New York University


Uncle Sam challenging the interference of John Bull, the personification of Great Britain, in the Civil War, 1861 (Photo: Library of Congress).

When confronted with three eighteenth-century newspaper advertisements seeking a missing man from Connecticut named Ishmael Mux of “a white Complexion,” a missing Pennsylvanian named John Daily who had a “black Complexion, bushy Hair,” and a man who went missing on his way to North Carolina named Andrew Vaughan with a “red” complexion, most readers would presume that their complexions, “white,” “black,” and “red,” indicated their race. However, as Sharon Block shows in her latest book, Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America, to eighteenth-century readers:

White, black, and red complexion did not automatically parallel European, African, and Native American heritages, respectively. In fact, Ishmael was described as mulatto; John as Irish; and Andrew was listed as an infantryman in the British 40th regiment, was born in Philadelphia, with no nationality or ethnicity specified. Skin and hair appearance were features related to, but not constitutive of, ethnic or national background (60-61).

This is but one of many examples Sharon Block uses to illustrate how the relationships between bodily descriptions, ethnicities, and racial meaning are not transhistorical, but developed through contextually specific discourses that have changed over time (83). Block, a digital humanist and historian of race, gender, rape, sexuality, and the body, examined thirty-nine British North American colonial newspapers published between 1750 and 1775 and analyzed over 4000 advertisements for missing enslaved and free people. Her ambitious study of these advertisements reveals how British North American colonists constructed race through quotidian discourses. Colonial Complexions is a crucial contribution to the history of race and a noteworthy model for digital age historical methodology…

Read the entire review here.

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Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America

Posted in Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2018-11-08 19:55Z by Steven

Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America

University of Pennsylvania Press
2018
232 pages
17 illus.
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 9780812250060

Sharon Block, Professor of History
University of California, Irvine

In Colonial Complexions, historian Sharon Block examines how Anglo-Americans built racial ideologies out of descriptions of physical appearance. By analyzing more than 4,000 advertisements for fugitive servants and slaves in colonial newspapers alongside scores of transatlantic sources, she reveals how colonists transformed observable characteristics into racist reality. Building on her expertise in digital humanities, Block repurposes these well-known historical sources to newly highlight how daily language called race and identity into being before the rise of scientific racism.

In the eighteenth century, a multitude of characteristics beyond skin color factored into racial assumptions, and complexion did not have a stable or singular meaning. Colonists justified a race-based slave labor system not by opposing black and white but by accumulating differences in the bodies they described: racism was made real by marking variation from a norm on some bodies, and variation as the norm on others. Such subtle systemizations of racism naturalized enslavement into bodily description, erased Native American heritage, and privileged life history as a crucial marker of free status only for people of European-based identities.

Colonial Complexions suggests alternative possibilities to modern formulations of racial identities and offers a precise historical analysis of the beliefs behind evolving notions of race-based differences in North American history.

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Brown Beauty: Color, Sex, and Race from the Harlem Renaissance to World War II

Posted in Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2018-10-15 00:06Z by Steven

Brown Beauty: Color, Sex, and Race from the Harlem Renaissance to World War II

New York University Press
September, 2018
368 pages
27 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 9781479875108
Paper ISBN: ISBN: 9781479802081

Laila Haidarali, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies
Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Examines how the media influenced ideas of race and beauty among African American women from the Harlem Renaissance to World War II.

Between the Harlem Renaissance and the end of World War II, a complicated discourse emerged surrounding considerations of appearance of African American women and expressions of race, class, and status. Brown Beauty considers how the media created a beauty ideal for these women, emphasizing different representations and expressions of brown skin.

Haidarali contends that the idea of brown as a “respectable shade” was carefully constructed through print and visual media in the interwar era. Throughout this period, brownness of skin came to be idealized as the real, representational, and respectable complexion of African American middle class women. Shades of brown became channels that facilitated discussions of race, class, and gender in a way that would develop lasting cultural effects for an ever-modernizing world.

Building on an impressive range of visual and media sources—from newspapers, journals, magazines, and newsletters to commercial advertising—Haidarali locates a complex, and sometimes contradictory, set of cultural values at the core of representations of women, envisioned as “brown-skin.” She explores how brownness affected socially-mobile New Negro women in the urban environment during the interwar years, showing how the majority of messages on brownness were directed at an aspirant middle-class. By tracing brown’s changing meanings across this period, and showing how a visual language of brown grew into a dynamic racial shorthand used to denote modern African American womanhood, Brown Beauty demonstrates the myriad values and judgments, compromises and contradictions involved in the social evaluation of women. This book is an eye-opening account of the intense dynamics between racial identity and the influence mass media has on what, and who we consider beautiful.

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