Jennifer Roth-Gordon on her new book, Race and the Brazilian Body

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Interviews on 2017-11-13 00:52Z by Steven

Jennifer Roth-Gordon on her new book, Race and the Brazilian Body

CaMP Anthropology
2017-09-04

Interview by: Ilana Gershon, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Indiana University, Bloomington

Jennifer Roth-Gordon, Race and the Brazilian Body: Blackness, Whiteness, and Everyday Language in Rio de Janeiro (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

If you were at a wedding, and the person at your table happened to be a scholar of African-American experiences of the Jim Crow South who wanted to know a bit about your book, what would you say?

Can the person sitting next to the Jim Crow scholar at our table be someone who witnessed the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville? I think I might open by saying to them that I study race relations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a context which is both very similar and very different from the ones that they are immersed in. My book is an investigation into how we can watch people draw on and perpetuate racial hierarchy in daily conversations and interactions, in a national context where noticing racial difference is (and has long been) taboo. These racial ideas – about the superiority of whiteness and the inferiority of blackness – are the same ideas that were legalized in the Jim Crow South and that white people marched to uphold just a few weeks ago, in defense of statues meant to keep nonwhite people “in their place.” I can point to very little that changes, over time or across national boundaries, in the civilized/uncivilized and upstanding/dangerous distinctions between what whiteness and nonwhiteness are thought to represent.

Brazil also suffers from incredibly high levels of structural racism that almost always exceed statistics from the present-day U.S. (from racial gaps in education levels, income, and where people live, to what scholars have called a black genocide of thousands of Afro-descended youth killed by police each year). Despite these national similarities, Brazil has long used incidents like Charlottesville (such as the Civil War, lynchings, the LA riots and Rodney King beating, Ferguson, and so on) to define themselves in contrast to the violent history and aggressive nature of race relations in the U.S. Though they are now more aware of racism than ever before, many Brazilians continue to take pride in their reputation for racial mixture and racial tolerance. While most would admit that Brazil is not (and has never been) a “racial democracy,” there is a strong belief that inequality in Brazil is socioeconomic, rather than racial.

My book seeks to explain the “comfortable racial contradiction” that surrounds Rio residents with signs of blackness and whiteness but discourages them from describing what they see in racial terms. It’s not a contradiction that is “comfortable” for all, but I argue that this contradiction is surprisingly easy to live within, even as it may be hard to unravel and explain – in the same way that we now have to contemplate what it means to live in a “colorblind” America that has people on both ends of the political spectrum loudly proclaiming that race matters. I study how racial ideology allows us to live in societies that promote themselves as tolerant and equal, even as we are daily surrounded by (and participating in) profoundly racially unequal and unjust circumstances. Laws and torches are not the only ways to maintain white supremacy, and swastika-flag bearers are not the only ones who keep systems of racial hierarchy in place…

Read the entire interview here.

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An Earth-Colored Sea: ‘Race’, Culture and the Politics of Identity in the Post-Colonial Portuguese-Speaking World

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2013-07-19 03:51Z by Steven

An Earth-Colored Sea: ‘Race’, Culture and the Politics of Identity in the Post-Colonial Portuguese-Speaking World

Berghahn Books
2003
176 pages
index
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-57181-607-8
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-57181-608-5

Miguel Vale de Almeida,  Professor of Anthropology
Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa (ISCTE), Lisbon

Although the post-colonial situation has attracted considerable interest over recent years, one important colonial power – Portugal – has not been given any attention. This book is the first to explore notions of ethnicity, “race”, culture, and nation in the context of the debate on colonialism and postcolonialism. The structure of the book reflects a trajectory of research, starting with a case study in Trinidad, followed by another one in Brazil, and ending with yet another one in Portugal. The three case studies, written in the ethnographic genre, are intertwined with essays of a more theoretical nature. The non-monographic, composite – or hybrid – nature of this work may be in itself an indication of the need for transnational and historically grounded research when dealing with issues of representations of identity that were constructed during colonial times and that are today reconfigured in the ideological struggles over cultural meanings.

Contents

  • Foreword and Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1. Potogee: Being Portuguese in Trinidad
  • Chapter 2. Powers, Products, and Passions: The Black Movement in a Town of Bahia, Brazil
  • Chapter 3. Tristes Luso-Tropiques: The Roots and Ramifications of Luso-Tropicalist Discourses
  • Chapter 4. “Longing for Oneself”: Hybridism and Miscegenation in Colonial and Postcolonial Portugal
  • Chapter 5. Epilogue of Empire: East Timor and the Portuguese Postcolonial Catharsis
  • Chapter 6. Pitfalls and Perspectives in Anthropology, Postcolonialism, and the Portuguese-Speaking World
  • Epilogue: A Sailor’s Tale
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Ethnic Identity Problems and Prospects for the Twenty-first Century – Fourth Edition

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2013-07-13 22:27Z by Steven

Ethnic Identity Problems and Prospects for the Twenty-first Century – Fourth Edition

AltaMira Press
June 2006
436 pages
7 x 9 1/4
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-7591-0972-8
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7591-0973-5

Edited by:

Lola Romanucci-Ross, Professor Emerita of Family and Preventive Medicine
University of California, San Diego

De George A. Vos (1922-2010), Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley

Takeyuki Tsuda, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Arizona State University

In this thoroughly revised fourth edition, with ten new chapters, the editors provide thought-provoking discussions on the importance of ethnicity in different cultural and social contexts. The authors focus especially on changing ethnic and national identities, on migration and ethnic minorities, on ethnic ascription versus self-definitions, and on shifting ethnic identities and political control. The international group of scholars examines ethnic identities, conflicts and accommodations around the globe, in Africa (including Zaire and South Africa), Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, the United States, Thailand, and the former Yugoslavia. It will serve as an excellent text for courses in race & ethnic relations, and anthropology and ethnic studies.

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Imperial Subjects: Race and Identity in Colonial Latin America

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Mexico, Native Americans/First Nation on 2011-12-04 23:23Z by Steven

Imperial Subjects: Race and Identity in Colonial Latin America

Duke University Press
2009
320 pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4401-8
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-4420-9

Edited by:

Matthew D. O’Hara, Assistant Professor of History
University of California, Santa Cruz

Andrew Fisher, Associate Professor of History
Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota

In colonial Latin America, social identity did not correlate neatly with fixed categories of race and ethnicity. As Imperial Subjects demonstrates, from the early years of Spanish and Portuguese rule, understandings of race and ethnicity were fluid. In this collection, historians offer nuanced interpretations of identity as they investigate how Iberian settlers, African slaves, Native Americans, and their multi-ethnic progeny understood who they were as individuals, as members of various communities, and as imperial subjects. The contributors’ explorations of the relationship between colonial ideologies of difference and the identities historical actors presented span the entire colonial period and beyond: from early contact to the legacy of colonial identities in the new republics of the nineteenth century. The volume includes essays on the major colonial centers of Mexico, Peru, and Brazil, as well as the Caribbean basin and the imperial borderlands.

Whether analyzing cases in which the Inquisition found that the individuals before it were “legally” Indians and thus exempt from prosecution, or considering late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century petitions for declarations of whiteness that entitled the mixed-race recipients to the legal and social benefits enjoyed by whites, the book’s contributors approach the question of identity by examining interactions between imperial subjects and colonial institutions. Colonial mandates, rulings, and legislation worked in conjunction with the exercise and negotiation of power between individual officials and an array of social actors engaged in countless brief interactions. Identities emerged out of the interplay between internalized understandings of self and group association and externalized social norms and categories.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword / Irene Silverblatt
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Racial Identities and Their Interpreters in Colonial Latin America / Andrew B. Fisher and Matthew D. O’Hara
  • 1. Aristocracy on the Auction Block: Race, Lords, and the Perpetuity Controversy of Sixteenth-Century Peru / Jeremy Mumford
  • 2. A Market of Identities: Women, Trade, and Ethnic Labels in Colonial Potosí­ / Jane E. Mangan
  • 3. Legally Indian: Inquisitorial Readings of Indigenous Identity in New Spain / David Tavárez
  • 4. The Many Faces of Colonialism in Two Iberoamerican Borderlands: Northern New Spain and the Eastern Lowlands of Charcas / Cynthia Radding
  • 5. Humble Slaves and Loyal Vassals: Free Africans and Their Descendents in Eighteenth-Century Minas Gerais, Brazil / Mariana L. R. Dantas
  • 6. Purchasing Whiteness: Conversations of the Essence of Parso-ness and Mulatto-ness at the End of Empire / Ann Twinam
  • 7. Patricians and Plebians in Late Colonial Charcas: Identity, Representation, and Colonialism / Sergio Serulnikov
  • 8. Conjuring Identities: Race, Nativeness, Local Citizenship, and Royal Slavery on an Imperial Frontier (Revisiting El Cobre, Cuba) / María Elena Díaz
  • 9. Indigenous Citizenship: Liberalism, Political Participation, and Ethic Identity in Post-Independence Oaxaca and Yucatán / Karen D. Caplan
  • Conclusion / R. Douglas Cope
  • Bibliography
  • Contributors
  • Index
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Racial Identities, Genetic Ancestry, and Health in South America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay

Posted in Anthologies, Autobiography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2011-12-02 03:02Z by Steven

Racial Identities, Genetic Ancestry, and Health in South America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay

Palgrave Macmillan
October 2011
272 pages
Includes: 10 pages of figures, 10 pages of tables
5.500 x 8.250 inches
ISBN: 978-0-230-11061-8, ISBN10: 0-230-11061-4

Edited by

Sahra Gibbon, Wellcome Trust Fellow
Department of Social Anthropology
University College London

Ricardo Ventura Santos, Professor of Biological Anthropology and Public Health
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
also Associate professor of Anthropology
National Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mónica Sans, Associate Professor and Director of the Biological Anthropology Department
University de la Republic in Uruguay

This unique edited collection brings together biologists, geneticists, and social and biological anthropologists to examine the connections between genetics, identity, and health in South America. It addresses a wide range of theoretical issues raised by the rapid changes in the field of genetic sciences. Contributors come from Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, the UK, and the United States, providing a comparative cultural perspective for scholars, researchers, and students.

Table of Contents

  • Preface; N.Redclift
  • PART I: DOING AND DEFINING “BIO-CULTURAL” ANTHROPOLOGY AS APPLIED TO GENETICS
    • Anthropology, Race, and the Dilemmas of Identity in the Age of Genomics; R.Ventura Santos & M.Chor Maio
    • The Inexistence of Biology Verses the Existence of Social Races: Can Science Inform Society?; S.D.J.Pena & T.S.Birchal
    • Ethics/Bioethics and Anthropological Fieldwork; A.L.Caratini
  • PART II: ADMIXTURE MAPPING AND GENOMICS IN SOUTH AMERICA AND BEYOND
    • Admixture Dynamics in Hispanics: A Shift in the Nuclear Genetic Ancestry of a South American Population Isolate; L.Ruiz
    • Pharmacogenetic Studies in the Brazilian Population; G.Suarez-Kurtz & S.D.J.Pena
    • Admixture Mapping and Genetic Technologies; B.Bertoni
    • The Significance of Sickle Cell Anemia within the Context of the Brazilian Government’s ‘Racial Policies’ (1995-2004); P.H.Fry
  • PART III: GENETIC ADMIXTURE HISTORY, NATIONHOOD AND IDENTITY IN SOUTH AMERICA
    • Gene Admixture and Type of Marriage in a Sample of Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area; F.R.Carnese
    • Ethnic/Race Self-Adscription, Genetics, and National Identity in Uruguay; M.Sans
    • Forced Disappearance and Suppresion of Identity of Children in Argentina: Experiences after Genetic Identification; V.B.Penchaszadeh
    • Molecular Vignettes of the Columbian Nation: The Place of Race and Ethnicity in Networks of Biocapital; C.A.Barrigan
  • Afterward/Commentaries; R.Rapp, T.Disotell, M.Montoya & P.Wade
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