Legacies of Race: Identities, Attitudes, and Politics in Brazil

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2009-08-31 03:59Z by Steven

Legacies of Race: Identities, Attitudes, and Politics in Brazil

Stanford University Press
304 pages
31 tables, 2 figures, 1 illustration.
ISBN-10: 0804762775
ISBN-13: 9780804762779

Stanley R. Bailey, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

The United States and Brazil were the largest slave-trading societies of the New World. The demographics of both countries reflect this shared past, but this is where comparisons end. The vast majority of the “Afro-Brazilian” population, unlike their U.S. counterparts, view themselves as neither black nor white but as mixed-race.  Legacies of Race offers the first examination of Brazilian public opinion to understand racial identities, attitudes, and politics in this racially ambiguous context.

Brazilians avoid rigid notions of racial group membership, and, in stark contrast to U.S. experience, attitudes about racial inequality, African-derived culture, and antiracism strategies are not deeply divided along racial lines.  Bailey argues that only through dispensing with many U.S.-inspired racial assumptions can a general theory of racial attitudes become possible. Most importantly, he shows that a strict notion of racial identification in black and white cannot be assumed universal.

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amalgamation (history)

Posted in Definitions on 2009-08-30 21:45Z by Steven

Amalgamation is a now largely archaic term for the intermarriage and interbreeding of different ethnicities or races. In the English-speaking world, the term was in use into the twentieth century. In the United States, it was partly replaced after 1863 by the term miscegenation. While the term amalgamation could refer to the interbreeding of different white as well as non-white ethnicities, the term miscegenation referred specifically to the interbreeding of whites and non-whites, especially African Americans.

The term amalgamation was derived from metallurgy (see amalgam). It has been linked to the metaphor of the melting pot, which also originated in the US, and which described the cultural assimilation and intermarriage of different ethnicities. The intermarriage of whites with African Americans and, to a lesser degree, other non-whites was until recently in social disfavor in the United States, despite the long history of informal liaisons between white men and nonwhite women during the long years of slavery and after emancipation. Until 1967, interracial marriages were prohibited in many US states through anti-miscegenation laws.


See also book: The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory.


Snowball (sampling)

Posted in Definitions on 2009-08-30 17:26Z by Steven

In social science research, snowball sampling is a technique for developing a research sample where existing study subjects recruit future subjects from among their acquaintances. Thus the sample group appears to grow like a rolling snowball.  As the sample builds up, enough data is gathered to be useful for research.  This sampling technique is often used in hidden populations which are difficult for researchers to access; example populations would be drug users or commercial prostitutes.

Because sample members are not selected from a sampling frame, snowball samples are subject to numerous biases. For example, people who have many friends are more likely to be recruited into the sample.

It was widely believed that it was impossible to make unbiased estimates from snowball samples, but a variation of snowball sampling called respondent-driven sampling has been shown to allow researchers to make asymptotically unbiased estimates from snowball samples under certain conditions. Respondent-driven sampling also allows researchers to make estimates about the social network connecting the hidden population.


Mixed Heritage in Young Adult Literature

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Teaching Resources, United States on 2009-08-30 05:02Z by Steven

Mixed Heritage in Young Adult Literature

The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
March 2009
272 pages
Cloth ISBN: 0-8108-5969-6; ISBN-13: 978-0-8108-5969-2

Nancy Thalia Reynolds

Mixed-heritage people are one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States, yet culturally they have been largely invisible, especially in young adult literature. Mixed Heritage in Young Adult Literature is a critical exploration of how mixed-heritage characters (those of mixed race, ethnicity, religion, and/or adoption) and real-life people have been portrayed in young adult fiction and nonfiction.

This is the first in-depth, broad-scope critical exploration of this subgenre of multicultural literature. Following an introduction to the topic, author Nancy Thalia Reynolds examines the portrayal of mixed-heritage characters in literary classics by James Fenimore Cooper, Mark Twain, and Zora Neale Hurston—staples of today’s high school English curriculum—along with other important authors. It opens up the discussion of young-adult racial and ethnic identity in literature to recognize—and focus on—those whose heritage straddles boundaries. In this book teachers will find new tools to approach race, ethnicity, and family heritage in literature and in the classroom.  This book also helps librarians find new criteria with which to evaluate young adult fiction and nonfiction with mixed-heritage characters.

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Exiles at Home: The Struggle to Become American in Creole New Orleans

Posted in Books, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2009-08-30 04:48Z by Steven

Exiles at Home: The Struggle to Become American in Creole New Orleans

Harvard University Press
400 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
19 halftones in 20 p mock insert
Hardcover ISBN: 9780674023512

Shirley Elizabeth Thompson, Associate Professor in American Studies
University of Texas, Austin

New Orleans has always captured our imagination as an exotic city in its racial ambiguity and pursuit of les bons temps.  Despite its image as a place apart, the city played a key role in nineteenth-century America as a site for immigration and pluralism, the quest for equality, and the centrality of self-making.

In both the literary imagination and the law, creoles of color navigated life on a shifting color line. As they passed among various racial categories and through different social spaces, they filtered for a national audience the meaning of the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution of 1804, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and de jure segregation.

Shirley Thompson offers a moving study of a world defined by racial and cultural double consciousness. In tracing the experiences of creoles of color, she illuminates the role ordinary Americans played in shaping an understanding of identity and belonging.

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The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory

Posted in Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2009-08-30 04:36Z by Steven

The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory

University of Minnesota Press
248 pages
18 b&w photos | 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-8166-5613-4 (paper)
ISBN: 978-0-8166-5612-7 (cloth)

Tavia Nyong’o, Associate Professor of Performance Studies
New York University

Does racial hybridity offer a future beyond racial difference?

At a time when the idea of a postracial society has entered public discourse, The Amalgamation Waltz investigates the practices that conjoined blackness and whiteness in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Scrutinizing widely diverse texts—archival, musical, visual, and theatrical—Tavia Nyong’o traces the genealogy of racial hybridity, analyzing how key events in the nineteenth century spawned a debate about interracialism that lives on today.

Deeply interested in how discussions of racial hybridity have portrayed the hybrid as the recurring hope for a distant raceless future, Nyong’o is concerned with the ways this discourse deploys the figure of the racial hybrid as an alibi for a nationalism that reinvents the racist logics it claims to have broken with.  As Nyong’o demonstrates, the rise of a pervasive image of racially anomalous bodies responded to the appearance of an independent black public sphere and organized politics of black uplift.  This newfound mobility was apprehended in the political imaginary as a bodily and sexual scandal, and the resultant amalgamation discourse, he argues, must be recognized as one of the earliest and most enduring national dialogues on sex and sexuality.

Nyong’o tracks the emergence of the concept of the racial hybrid as an ideological modernization of the older concept of the mongrel and shows how this revision brought race-thinking in line with new understandings of sex and gender, providing a racial context for the shift toward modern heterosexuality, the discourse on which postracial metaphors so frequently rely.  A timely rebuttal to our contemporary fascination with racial hybridity, The Amalgamation Waltz questions the vision of a national future without racial difference or conflict.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Antebellum Genealogies of the Hybrid Future
  • 1. The Mirror of Liberty: Constituent Power and the American Mongrel
  • 2. In Night’s Eye: Amalgamation, Respectability, and Shame
  • 3. Minstrel Trouble: Racial Travesty in the Circum-Atlantic Fold
  • 4. Carnivalizing Time: Decoding the Racial Past in Art and Installation
  • Conclusion: Mongrel Pasts, Hybrid Futures
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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The Interethnic Imagination: Roots and Passages in Contemporary Asian American Fiction

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2009-08-30 03:37Z by Steven

The Interethnic Imagination: Roots and Passages in Contemporary Asian American Fiction

Oxford University Press
October 2009
216 pages
Hardback ISBN13: 9780195377361; ISBN10: 0195377362

Caroline Rody, Associate Professor of English
University of Virginia

In the wake of all that is changing in local and global cultures–in patterns of migration, settlement, labor, and communications–a radical interaction has taken place that, during the last quarter of the twentieth century, has shifted our understanding of ethnicity away from ‘ethnic in itself’ to ‘ethnic amidst a hybrid collective’.  In light of this, Caroline Rody proposes a new paradigm for understanding the changing terrain of contemporary fiction. She claims that what we have long read as ethnic literature is in the process of becoming ‘interethnic’.  Examining an extensive range of Asian American fictions, The Interethnic Imagination offers sustained readings of three especially compelling examples: Chang-rae Lee‘s ambivalent evocations of blackness, whiteness, Koreanness, and the multicultural crowd in Native Speaker; Gish Jen‘s comic engagement with Jewishness in Mona in the Promised Land; and the transnational imagination of Karen Tei Yamashita‘s Tropic of Orange.  Two shorter “interchapters” and an epilogue extend the thematics of creative “in-betweenness” across the book’s structure, elaborating crossover topics including Asian American fiction’s complex engagement with African American culture; the cross-ethnic adoption of Jewishness by Asian American writers; and the history of mixed-race Asian American fictional characters.


  • Examines three major yet under-studied contemporary Asian American novelists: Chang-rae Lee, Karen Tei Yamashita, and Gish Jen.
  • Considers major Asian American fiction alongside African American and Jewish American authors.
  • In lucid writing, provides a valuable and innovative paradigm for interpreting the burgeoning field of ethnic literature in the U.S.
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Fathers of Conscience: Mixed-Race Inheritance in the Antebellum South

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2009-08-30 01:29Z by Steven

Fathers of Conscience: Mixed-Race Inheritance in the Antebellum South

University Of Georgia Press
February 2009
216 pages
6 x 9 in.
ISBN: 0820332518 (paper), 0820329800 (cloth)

Bernie D. Jones, Associate Professor of Law
Suffolk University

How the courts dealt with wills bequeathing property or freedom to mixed race children.

Fathers of Conscience examines high-court decisions in the antebellum South that involved wills in which white male planters bequeathed property, freedom, or both to women of color and their mixed-race children. These men, whose wills were contested by their white relatives, had used trusts and estates law to give their slave partners and children official recognition and thus circumvent the law of slavery. The will contests that followed determined whether that elevated status would be approved or denied by courts of law.

Bernie D. Jones argues that these will contests indicated a struggle within the elite over race, gender, and class issues-over questions of social mores and who was truly family. Judges thus acted as umpires after a man’s death, deciding whether to permit his attempts to provide for his slave partner and family. Her analysis of these differing judicial opinions on inheritance rights for slave partners makes an important contribution to the literature on the law of slavery in the United States.


  • Preface
  • Introduction. Inheritance Rights in the Antebellum South
  • Chapter One. Righteous Fathers, Vulnerable Old Men, and Degraded Creatures
  • Chapter Two. Slavery, Freedom, and the Rule of Law
  • Chapter Three. Justice and Mercy in the Kentucky Court of Appeals
  • Chapter Four. Circling the Wagons and Clamping Down: The Mississippi High Court of Errors and Appeals
  • Chapter Five. The People of Barnwell against the Supreme Court of South Carolina: The Case of Elijah Willis
  • Conclusion. The Law’s Paradox of Property and Power: The Significance of Geography
  • Appendix One. Case Indexes
  • Appendix Two. Opinions on the Emancipation of Slaves during George Robertson’s Tenure as Chief Justice
  • Appendix Three. Supplementary Information Regarding Willis v. Jolliffe
  • Notes
  • Bibliographic essay
  • Index
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Understanding the Epistemology of Ethnic Identity Development in Multiethnic College Students

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2009-08-27 01:25Z by Steven

Understanding the Epistemology of Ethnic Identity Development in Multiethnic College Students

Journal of College Student Development
Volume 49, Number 5, September/October 2008
pages 443-458
E-ISSN: 1543-3382 Print ISSN: 0897-5264
DOI: 10.1353/csd.0.0028

Prema Chaudhari
University of Pittsburgh

Jane Elizabeth Pizzolato, Assistant Professor
Department of Education
University of California, Los Angeles

We examined the nuances of multiethnic identity in 22 self-identifying mixed ethnic college students ranging from 17 years of age to 27 years of age via semistructured interviews. Majority of the sample was predominantly female. The participants were recruited from two institutions in a metropolitan area of the Eastern United States. Results suggest an expansion of the definition of situational identity (Renn, 2000) and a triplaned understanding of ethnic identity development and assessment in relation to epistemology for this population.

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Feeling Ancestral: The Emotions of Mixed Race and Memory in Asian American Cultural Productions

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2009-08-27 01:07Z by Steven

Feeling Ancestral: The Emotions of Mixed Race and Memory in Asian American Cultural Productions

positions: east asia cultures critique
Volume 16, Number 2, Fall 2008
pages 457-482

Jeffrey Santa Ana, Assistant Professor English Department
Stony Brook University

The current era of war, militarism, and neocolonialism in the Pacific is a time in which capitalist expansion simultaneously generates and conceals the negative human consequences of globalization — for example, the tremendous upheaval and migration of Asian people. Diaspora, dislocation, exile, and immigration born of economic necessity are the depressing contradictions to a capitalist paradise that has been optimistically envisaged as the end of history.   Critics of globalization have theorized the ways in which the commercialization of human feeling conceals the anxieties, fears, and other negative affects that express the harsh underside of transnational capitalism.  Nowhere is this commercialization of emotion more obvious than in the marketing of multiculturalism and racial difference in global commerce. The commercial use of racial mixture is especially provocative in the way it signals, conditions, and manages distressing experiences, while assimilating them symmetrically and seamlessly into the transnational stage of capitalism. Clearly, racial mixture is a hot commodity in today’s global market. Particularly in North America, the fascination with and consumption of multiraciality is evident in the notable increase in scholarship about multiraciality in the academy and the profusion of mixed-race productions in the culture industry, both of which reflect the commercialization of racial mixture in a globalized world.

In the last ten years, there has been an explosion of cultural productions about mixed-race people, and particularly of multiracial Asian Americans. Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats and Halving the Bones, Kip Fulbeck’s Paper Bullets and Part Asian, 100 Percent Hapa, Paisley.

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