NYU Guesses Racial, Ethnic Identity of Some Employees

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-13 20:50Z by Steven

NYU Guesses Racial, Ethnic Identity of Some Employees

Washington Square News

Sayer Devlin, Deputy News Editor

Jessica Francis
Because NYU receives federal funding, the university’s office of human resources is required to guess the racial and ethnic identities of employees who do not self-report that information.

An NYU professor, who is a person of color, told WSN that he had a very brief meeting — less than five minutes — with the university’s human resources department, which he believes was used to guess his ethnicity.

The practice of determining the race and ethnicity of employees through post-employment records and visual observations is explicitly legal according to a directive by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. However, the practice of assigning an employee’s race based on their appearance raises ethical questions.

NYU is required to collect data on the race, ethnicity, gender, veteran status and disability status of all their employees — though employees are not required to disclose this information — because the university receives federal funding.

“Self-identification will remain the preferred method for compiling information about the sex, race or ethnicity of applicants and employees,” the directive reads. “A contractor’s invitation to self-identify race or ethnicity should state that the submission of such information is voluntary. However, contractors may use post-employment records or visual observation when an individual declines to self-identify his or her race or ethnicity.”

NYU Spokesperson John Beckman said in an email that he could not comment on this incident regarding the aforementioned professor…

…CAS Associate Professor of Sociology Ann Morning serves on one of the U.S. Census Bureau Committees, the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations, which advises the racial categories used in the census. Morning said that guessing the racial identities of faculty might be the best way to to collect that information…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Unsettling intersectional identities: historicizing embodied boundaries and border crossings

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing on 2017-07-13 01:34Z by Steven

Unsettling intersectional identities: historicizing embodied boundaries and border crossings

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 40, Issue 8 (2017)
pages 1312-1319
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1303171

Ann Phoenix, Professor of Psychosocial Studies
University College London, United Kingdom

At a time when the pace of global change has led to unprecedented shifts in, and unsettling of, identities, Brubaker brings “trans/gender” and “trans/racial” creatively into conversation to theorize the historical location of identity claims and to examine the question of whether identities are optional, self-consciously chosen and subject to political claims rather than biologically pre-given. His main argument is that the distinction between sex and gender allows us to construct gender identity as personal, individual and separate from the (biologically) sexed body. In contrast, other people always have a stake in allowing or challenging identity claims to racial identity. Brubaker’s argument is persuasive. However, he treats both race and sex/gender as solipsistic and neglects the wider social context that has produced the conditions of possibility for the entrenched differences he records. An intersectional approach would have deepened his discussion of the place of categories in “trans” arguments.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , ,

A Mysterious Heart: ‘Passing’ and the Narrative Enigma in Faulkner’s “Light in August” and “Absalom, Absalom!”

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-07-13 00:29Z by Steven

A Mysterious Heart: ‘Passing’ and the Narrative Enigma in Faulkner’s “Light in August” and “Absalom, Absalom!”

Amerikastudien / American Studies
Volume 58, Number 1, 2013
pages 51-78

Marta Puxan-Oliva
Department of Modern Language and Literatures and English Studies
University of Barcelona , Barcelona, Spain

This essay argues that William Faulkner’s Light in August and Absalom, Absalom! use the device of the narrative enigma to effectively tell stories in which the cultural practice of ‘passing for white‘ in the United States under the Jim Crow system is strongly suggested. The secret is the essential feature of the social practice of passing, which makes the construction of the plot around a narrative enigma especially suitable. By not resolving the narrative enigma, the novels not only preserve the secret of the supposed ‘passers,’ but construct a narrative that departs from the most important conventions of the so-called genre of the passing novel. The truly modernist narrative strategy of placing an unresolved mystery to drive the plot even allows Faulkner to go a step further: the narrative can portray the Southern white fear of passing with even more significance than the actual act of passing itself. It is precisely the fact that the main characters, Joe Christmas and Charles Bon, have uncertain blood origins that allows and even urges the white community of Jefferson to build a story set only upon conjecture along established racial patterns. Therefore, the effect of the narrative enigma is twofold: it retains the racialization of the story and preserves the secret of the passers, while ambiguously uncovering the false grounds upon which the fear of miscegenation constructs and maintains racial boundaries.

He passes away under a cloud, inscrutable at heart, forgotten. unforgiven, and excessively romantic.
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

Sometimes literature illuminates in a striking way the emotional and historical effects that contemporary social practices—no longer operative today—had in the past, providing an understanding that an analysis from the viewpoint of our transformed, contemporary societies cannot offer. This is the case with the practice of ‘passing’ in the United States, and with the series of novels that constitute what has been labeled the passing novel genre. Joel Williamson defines ‘passing’ as “crossing the race line and winning acceptance as white in the white world” (100). Movement in the opposite direction is less common. Even though the practice survives—broadened to include gender passing, but still primarily denoting racial or ethnic mobility—the force and historical function that passing for white had during the Jim Crow period, which peaks in the late nineteenth century and the interwar period, perished with the end of segregation. Viewed as a genre, the…

Tags: , , , ,

Nothing made me feel worse than filling in the “Other” bubble during tests, because who was I, really?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-13 00:18Z by Steven

Nothing made me feel worse than filling in the “Other” bubble during tests, because who was I, really?

The Tempest

Meghan Lannoo

I don’t know why I felt a need to choose. I was only cutting myself in half.

My mom calls me hapa.

Everyone else would just call me half; half Asian and half white. Aside from the comments I sometimes receive from fascinated simpletons on how exotic I am (that’s an entirely separate issue), I get asked more often about what I am.

For the longest time, I struggled to answer that question. Whenever I took a scantron test, the questionnaire only specified to mark one ethnicity. This meant I belonged in the Other category.

Being the Other is more than an identity crisis, to me, it is my life…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

Sally Hemings wasn’t Thomas Jefferson’s mistress. She was his property.

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Virginia on 2017-07-13 00:09Z by Steven

Sally Hemings wasn’t Thomas Jefferson’s mistress. She was his property.

The Washington Post

Britni Danielle

The room at Monticello where Sally Hemings is believed to have lived. (Norm Shafer/For The Washington Post)

Archaeologists at Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia plantation, Monticello, are unearthing the room where Sally Hemings is believed to have lived, allowing for a new way to tell the story of the enslaved people who served our third president. The excavation has once again reminded us that 241 years after the United States was founded, many Americans still don’t know how to reconcile one of our nation’s original sins with the story of its Founding Fathers.

Just before the Fourth of July, NBC News ran a feature on the room, setting off a spate of coverage about the dig. Many of these stories described Hemings, the mother of six children with Jefferson, as the former president’s “mistress.” The Inquisitr, the Daily Mail, AOL and Cox Media Group all used the word (though Cox later updated its wording). So did an NBC News tweet that drew scathing criticism, though its story accurately called her “the enslaved woman who, historians believe, gave birth to six of Jefferson’s children.” The Washington Post also used “mistress” in a headline and a tweet about Hemings’s room in February.

Language like that elides the true nature of their relationship, which is believed to have begun when Hemings, then 14 years old, accompanied Jefferson’s daughter to live with Jefferson, then 44, in Paris. She wasn’t Jefferson’s mistress; she was his property. And he raped her…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,