Revolutionizing Romance: Interracial Couples in Contemporary Cuba [Williams Review]

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2013-11-27 17:34Z by Steven

Revolutionizing Romance: Interracial Couples in Contemporary Cuba [Williams Review]

Association for Feminist Anthropology
Book Reviews

Erica Lorraine Williams, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia

Nadine T. Fernandez, Revolutionizing Romance: Interracial Couples in Contemporary Cuba (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010)

In this insightful and well-written ethnography, Nadine Fernandez explores a central paradox: if mestizaje (racial mixing) is the “essence” of the Cuban nation, then why are interracial couples, the purported “engines of mestizaje” (184), still perceived with disdain? Why are interracial couplings – particularly those between black and white Cubans – so infrequent and often met with resistance? A deeply historical and ethnographic account, Revolutionizing Romance advances the compelling argument that “nowhere is race more salient than in romance” (50). Moreover, Fernandez argues that the conflicts surrounding interracial relationships actually highlight “the ideological aspects of racism at work” (53).

This important and timely book documents the shifting meanings of interracial relationships over time in Cuba. The first half of the ethnography provides the historical and conceptual background that sets the stage for the rest of the book by unpacking the history of whitening ideologies and the ideological construction of Cuba as a mestizo nation. Fernandez analyzes how the “revolution’s ideological insistence on ‘racelessness’…provided a sociocultural and ideological space for interracial couples” (68). For instance, Sofia, a mulata engineer and Fernando, a white art historian, are an interracial couple who were both born in the early 1950s and who met while studying in the former Soviet Union. Their families supported their relationship in part because of the color-blind ideology that the revolution had fostered. Interestingly, while race scholars are often dismissive of the concept of color-blindness (rightly so, I might add), Fernandez points out that in the context of Cuba, this concept has some redeeming qualities…

Read the entire review here.

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Call for Papers: Association for Feminist Anthropology Sessions

Posted in Anthropology, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2012-02-09 02:42Z by Steven

Call for Papers: Association for Feminist Anthropology Sessions

American Anthropological Association

Posted by Josyln O.

The Association for Feminist Anthropology welcomes sessions to be considered for inclusion in AFA’s programming for the 111th AAA Annual Meeting, to be held November 14-18, 2012 in San Francisco. The AAA meeting theme this year is “Borders,” so AFA particularly welcomes panels that take up “borders” from a feminist anthropological perspective. Various approaches to the theme include papers and sessions that might explore:

  • Borders/collaborations/intersections between feminist anthropology and other scholarly spaces from within and beyond anthropology: critical race studies, queer studies, and/or women’s studies; linguistics and genetics; political science, geography, environmental, and/or policy studies; migration and immigration studies and/or economics and archaeology and/or ethnography; biology/history/cultural studies; masculinity and/or gender studies; educational psychologies and social work; etc., etc., etc.
  • Existing or potential conversations/alliances/engagements between scholarly anthropology and everyday activism
  • Geographical, political, and ecological borders and the people who move across and re-define them: histories/archaeologies/economies of trade, trafficking, and/or transnationalism; refugees, resettlements, and asylum seekers; multiple and multiplying citizenships; migration, immigration, and diasporas; etc.
  • “Borders” and “borderlands” in terms of identities: liminal; queer; mestizaje; mixed-race; transgender
  • The “in between” scholar working across/between/among disciplines; conducting research and participating within communities; “insider anthropology”; Lorde’s concept and Harrison’s theorizing of the “outsider within”

We are especially interested in sessions that take advantage of the meeting site of San Francisco by involving local activists, practitioners, and policy makers, whether they are anthropologists or not. If you have questions about the details of registration for non-anthropologists, please let us know…

For more information, click here.

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