The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-First Century

Posted in Anthologies, Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media on 2017-05-30 20:51Z by Steven

The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-First Century

2Leaf Press
June 2017
eBook ISBN: 978-1-940939-55-1

Edited by:

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Professor of English and Asian and Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut

Sean Frederick Forbes, Poet and Professor

Tara Betts, Author and Professor

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The canary in the post-racial coal mine

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-21 19:47Z by Steven

The canary in the post-racial coal mine

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
2013
35 pages
DOI: 10.7282/T30Z71WG

Roxanne Huertas

A Capstone Project submitted to the Graduate School-Camden Rutgers-The State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

The American mulatto has been employed by writers over time to provide commentary on American race relations. We can look to antebellum writers like Lydia Maria Child or William Wells Brown as an example of the state of the black-white dynamic prior to or just following the Civil War. Examining Nella Larsen’s Passing can give insight into the status of race relations during the Harlem Renaissance. But as America has evolved into a so-called post-racial society, does the mulatto still serve as a vehicle for commentary on American race relations? Through a brief examination of earlier examples of literature with these biracial characters coupled with an in depth analysis of two contemporary novels, Danzy Senna’s Caucasia and Heidi Durrow’s The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, this paper will show several of the ways in which the mulatto does provide a model in which to gauge American race relations, for better or for worse.

Read the entire project here.

Tags: , , ,

‘We Are Not Alone’: Festival Celebrates Multiracial America

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2015-06-17 17:10Z by Steven

‘We Are Not Alone’: Festival Celebrates Multiracial America

NBC News
2015-06-12

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Nearly 700 people from across the country—including artists, writers, comedians, musicians, multiracial and multicultural families—are expected to gather at the Mixed Remixed Festival on June 13 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, to celebrate the stories and lives of multiracial people and families…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

How Fluid Is Racial Identity?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-06-17 15:33Z by Steven

How Fluid Is Racial Identity?

Room for Debate
The New York Times
2015-06-17

Heidi W. Durrow, Novelist

Amanda Kay Erekson, President
MAVIN

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Charles M. and Marion J. Kierscht Professor of Law
University of Iowa

Nancy Leong, Associate Professor of Law
University of Denver

Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic Research
Pew Research Center

Kevin Noble Maillard, Professor of Law
Syracuse University

It’s been a busy month for exploring boundaries of identity. Should Emma Stone play an Asian character in the movie “Hawaii?” Is Caitlyn Jenner a “real” woman? Did Rachel Dolezal commit racial fraud? The chatter accompanying these examples underscores a fundamental suspicion of personal ambiguity.

Meanwhile, multiracial couplings and births are at an all time high. People may view themselves as multiracial, monoracial or they change their identity over time. How fluid is racial identity, and where will we be in 50 years?

Read the discussion here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Season 2, Episode 11: Writer Thomas Chatterton Williams

Posted in Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-08 19:30Z by Steven

Season 2, Episode 11: Writer Thomas Chatterton Williams

The Mixed Experience
2015-01-08

Heidi Durrow, Host

We continue the second part of the season with writer Thomas Chatterton Williams author of Losing My Cool and the newly published essay in Virginia Quarterly ReviewBlack and Blue and Blond.”

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

Tags: , ,

Season 2, Episode 6: Stanford Prof. Allyson Hobbs Talks about A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2014-10-22 18:23Z by Steven

Season 2, Episode 6: Stanford Prof. Allyson Hobbs Talks about A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life

The Mixed Experience
2014-10-20

Heidi Durrow, Host

Allyson Hobbs, Assistant Professor of History
Stanford University

I was lucky enough to get an advance reading copy of A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, a most excellent book by Stanford Professor Allyson Hobbs. She recently did a TED Talk about the role of grief in these narratives of racial crossing. The book very aptly and eloquently “examines how passing became both a strategy for survival and an avenue to loss.” You will love this interview with Allyson Hobbs as she explains the inspiration for this book, a brief discussion on the idea of “passing as black” and much much more.

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

Tags: , ,

Mixed Remixed Festival Reveals 2014 Schedule

Posted in Articles, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-06-01 14:08Z by Steven

Mixed Remixed Festival Reveals 2014 Schedule

Mixed Remixed Festival
March 2014

Heidi Durrow

(Los Angeles, CA) The Mixed Remixed Festival will take place at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles (100 N. Central Avenue), June 14, 2014.

The Festival celebrates stories of the Mixed experience and stories of multiracial Americans, the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. A free public event, the Festival brings together film and book lovers, innovative and emerging artists, and multiracial and multicultural families and individuals for workshops, readings, performances, and film screenings…

…The event is free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is strongly encouraged. The complete Festival schedule can be found online at www.mixedremixed.org.

Read the entire press release here.

Tags: , ,

Complicating Race or Reproducing Whiteness? Heidi Durrow and The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, United States on 2014-04-17 01:53Z by Steven

Complicating Race or Reproducing Whiteness? Heidi Durrow and The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

Gino Michael Pellegrini: Education, Race, Multiraciality, Class & Solidarity
2014-04-13

Gino Michael Pellegrini, Adjunct Assistant Professor of English
Pierce College, Woodland Hills, California

[This is an excerpt from a paper (currently being revised) that I presented last month at the 2014 MELUS Conference in Oklahoma City.]

[…] Heidi Durrow is also the latest member of the mixed-experience generation to achieve widespread recognition following the publication of her deeply autobiographical first novel. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky was published in 2010 after winning the 2008 PEN/Bellwether Prize for a first novel that addresses social justice issues. It became a national bestseller in 2011, and is now available in French, Dutch, Danish, and Portuguese. This is a remarkable accomplishment for a book that was repeatedly rejected by the traditional publishing industry.

For those who are unfamiliar, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky recounts the racialization, alienation, coming of age, and coming to multiracial consciousness of Durrow’s fictional intermediary, Rachel Morse. Rachel is the sole survivor of a heartbreaking tragedy: her Danish mother Nella jumps from a rooftop in Chicago with all her biracial children. After recovering, Rachel is sent to live with her paternal grandmother who lives in a predominantly black neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Her alcoholic father, an airman stationed overseas, has disappeared from her life. The year is 1982. Rachel is seen as a light-skinned black girl by her new family and by the surrounding community. From the 5th grade onward, she identifies herself as black, but is still ridiculed for talking white; she is both resented and desired for her good hair and blue eyes. In short, Durrow’s novel recounts from multiple perspectives how Rachel comes to understand the tragedy that claimed her mother and siblings, and in the process reclaim her Danish cultural memory, becoming Afro-Viking like Durrow…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Professor Mark Christian on Mixed Chicks Chat

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2013-12-19 09:09Z by Steven

Professor Mark Christian on Mixed Chicks Chat

Mixed Chicks Chat (The only live weekly show about being racially and culturally mixed. Also, founders of the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival) Hosted by Fanshen Cox, Heidi W. Durrow and Jennifer Frappier
Episode: #233 – Professor Mark Christian
Wednesday, 2011-11-16, 22:00Z (17:00 EST, 14:00 PST)

Mark Christian, Professor & Chair of African & African American Studies
Lehman College, City University of New York

Note from Steven F. Riley: In my opinion, this was the most engaging episode of Mixed Chicks Chat.

Dr. Christian received his B.A. in Sociology and American Studies from Liverpool Hope University, his M.A. in Black Studies from The Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Sheffield in 1997. He is the author of Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective (Palgrave, 2000) and two other edited volumes, and has been the guest editor of three special issue journals. Currently, he is the book review editor for the Journal of African American Studies.

Selected Bibliography:

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

Tags: , , ,

“A Future Unwritten”: Blackness between the Religious Invocations of Heidi Durrow and Zadie Smith

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Religion on 2013-10-24 21:36Z by Steven

“A Future Unwritten”: Blackness between the Religious Invocations of Heidi Durrow and Zadie Smith

South Atlantic Quarterly
Volume 112, Number 4 (2013)
pages 657-674
DOI: 10.1215/00382876-2345225

Brian Bantum, Assistant Professor of Theology
Seattle Pacific University

Race and religion were two aspects of the Western colonial project. Novelists Heidi Durrow and Zadie Smith reflect two related but distinct articulations of how to understand this relationship from within the black diaspora and in particular the legacies of “mixed-race” children of the diaspora. This essay argues that each literary exploration of race and place demonstrates the inherent complications of two strategies of negotiating racial and religious identity in contemporary society. While Durrow seeks to extricate her character from both race and religion, seeing religion as simply a cultural marker, Smith wraps her main character inextricably to the historicity of race and religion. Through these interlocutors, this essay examines how black religion might imagine its future in relationship to the particularities of its diaspora(s) and confessions of faith.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,