The United States of Mestizo

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, Social Science, United States on 2013-05-30 18:03Z by Steven

The United States of Mestizo

John F. Blair, Publisher
48 pages
4¼ x 5½
ebook ISBN: 978-1-60306-200-8

Ilan Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture
Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

This powerful manifesto attests to the fundamental changes the nation has undergone in the last half-century. Ilan Stavans meditates on the way the cross-fertilizing process that defined the Americas during the colonial period—the racial melding of Europeans and indigenous people—was a foretelling of the current miscegenation that is the most salient profile of America today. If, as W. E. B. DuBois once argued, the 20th century was defined by a color fracture, Stavans believes that the 21st will be shaped by the multicolor line that will make us all a sum of parts.

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Impostors: EUST-235

Posted in Course Offerings, Literary/Artistic Criticism, New Media, Passing, Religion, United States on 2012-02-12 18:56Z by Steven

Impostors: EUST-235

Amherst College
Spring 2012

Ilan Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture

Deborah R. Dizard, Visiting Lecturer in European Studies

An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, are a central motif. Attention is given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, the discussion includes mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course also covers instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. Entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV are topics of analysis. Posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen are examined. Conducted in English.

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José Vasconcelos: The Prophet of Race

Posted in Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2012-02-12 18:50Z by Steven

José Vasconcelos: The Prophet of Race

Rutgers University Press
142 pages
5.5 x 8.5
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-5063-3
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8135-5064
Web PDF ISBN: 978-0-8135-5104-3

Ilan Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture
Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

Mexican educator and thinker JosĂ© Vasconcelos is to Latinos what W.E.B. Du Bois is to African Americans—a controversial scholar who fostered an alternative view of the future. In JosĂ© Vasconcelos: The Prophet of Race, his influential 1925 essay, “Mestizaje”—key to understanding the role he played in the shaping of multiethnic America—is for the first time showcased and properly analyzed. Freshly translated here by John H. R. Polt, “Mestizaje” suggested that the Brown Race from Latin America was called to dominate the world, a thesis embraced by activists and scholars north and south of the Rio Grande. Ilan Stavans insightfully and comprehensively examines the essay in biographical and historical context, and considers how many in the United States, especially Chicanos during the civil rights era, used it as a platform for their political agenda. The volume also includes Vasconcelos’s long-forgotten 1926 Harris Foundation Lecture at the University of Chicago, “The Race Problem in Latin America,” where he cautioned the United States that rejecting mestizaje in our own midst will ultimately bankrupt the nation.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Ilan Stavans
    • The Prophet of Race
  • Jose Vasconcelos
    • Mestizaje
    • The Race Problem in Latin America
  • Chronology
  • Acknowledgments
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