Colouring the Caribbean: Race and the art of Agostino Brunias

Posted in Arts, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2017-12-29 02:19Z by Steven

Colouring the Caribbean: Race and the art of Agostino Brunias

Manchester University Press
December 2017
272 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5261-2045-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-5261-2047-2

Mia L. Bagneris, Jesse Poesch Junior Professor of Art History
Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Colouring the Caribbean offers the first comprehensive study of Agostino Brunias’s intriguing pictures of colonial West Indians of colour – so called ‘Red’ and ‘Black’ Caribs, dark-skinned Africans and Afro-Creoles, and people of mixed race – made for colonial officials and plantocratic elites during the late-eighteenth century. Although Brunias’s paintings have often been understood as straightforward documents of visual ethnography that functioned as field guides for reading race, this book investigates how the images both reflected and refracted ideas about race commonly held by eighteenth-century Britons, helping to construct racial categories while simultaneously exposing their constructedness and underscoring their contradictions. The book offers provocative new insights about Brunias’s work gleaned from a broad survey of his paintings, many of which are reproduced here for the first time.


  • Introduction
  • 1. Brunias’s tarred brush, or painting Indians black: race-ing the Carib divide
  • 2. Merry and contented slaves and other island myths: representing Africans and Afro-Creoles in the Anglxexo-American world
  • 3. Brown-skinned booty, or colonising Diana: mixed-race Venuses and Vixens as the fruits of imperial enterprise
  • 4. Can you find the white woman in this picture? Agostino Brunias’s ‘ladies’ of ambiguous race
  • Coda – Pushing Brunias’s buttons, or re-branding the plantocracy’s painter: the afterlife of Brunias’s imagery
  • Index
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Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols and Hope

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-06-08 01:57Z by Steven

Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols and Hope

Manchester University Press
160 pages
June 2017
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5261-0501-1
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5261-0502-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-5261-0503-5

Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Emory University, Atlanta Georgia

  • Employs a novel comparative analysis of the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations to determine if Obama’s performance on racial issues differed significantly from his immediate predecessors
  • Does distinct analyses of Barack Obama’s performance on substantive and symbolic issues of importance to African Americans
  • Uses a commissioned public opinion data set of black voters to probe attitudes toward President Obama and explanations for his performance on racial issues
  • Encourages readers to consider the ways that institutional constraints on the presidency and candidates’ campaign choices limit the role of the president to address racial issues

The election of Barack Obama marked a critical point in American political and social history. Did the historic election of a black president actually change the status of blacks in the United States? Did these changes (or lack thereof) inform blacks’ perceptions of the President?

This book explores these questions by comparing Obama’s promotion of substantive and symbolic initiatives for blacks to efforts by the two previous presidential administrations. By employing a comparative analysis, the reader can judge whether Obama did more or less to promote black interests than his predecessors. Taking a more empirical approach to judging Barack Obama, this book hopes to contribute to current debates about the significance of the first African American presidency. It takes care to make distinctions between Obama’s substantive and symbolic accomplishments and to explore the significance of both.

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Emilio Fernández: Pictures in the Margins

Posted in Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2013-11-20 23:22Z by Steven

Emilio Fernández: Pictures in the Margins

Manchester University Press
October 2007
192 pages
216 x 138 mm
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-7190-7432-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7190-8844-5

Dolores Tierney, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies
University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

Emilio Fernández: Pictures in the Margins is the first book-length English language account of Emilio Fernández (1904-1986) the most successful director of classical Mexican Cinema, famed with creating films that embody a loosely defined Mexican school of filmmaking. However, rather than offer an auteurist study this book interrogates the construction of Fernández as both a national and nationalist auteur (including racial and gender aspects e.g. as macho mexicano and indio). It also challenges auteurist readings of the films themselves in order to make new arguments about the significance of Fernández and his work.

The aim of this book is to question Mexico’s fetishisation of its own position on the peripheries of the global cultural economy and the similar fetishisation of Fernández’s marginalisation as a mixed race (part white and part indigenous) director. This book argues that, as pictures in the margins, classical Mexican cinema and specifically Fernández’s films are not transparent reflections of dominant post Revolutionary Mexican culture, but annotations and re-inscriptions of the particularities of Mexican society in the post-Revolutionary era.


  • Introduction
  • 1. ‘Poor reception’ and the popular in classical Mexican cinema
  • 2. ‘El Indio’ Fernández, Mexico’s marginalized golden boy and national auteur
  • 3. Calendar María – hybridity, indigenismo and the discourse of whitening
  • 4. Gender, sexuality and the Revolution in Enamorada
  • 5. Gender, sexuality and the Revolution in Salón México, Las abandonadas and Víctimas del pecado
  • 6. Progress, modernity and Fernández’ ‘anti-modernist utopia’: Río Escondido
  • Epilogue: Mexican Cinema and Emilio Fernández post the Golden Age – From Golden Boy to ‘the man in black’
  • Filmography
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Imagining Caribbean Womanhood: Race, Nation and Beauty Competitions, 1929–70

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Women on 2013-11-03 02:33Z by Steven

Imagining Caribbean Womanhood: Race, Nation and Beauty Competitions, 1929–70

Manchester University Press
October 2013
192 pages
216 x 138 mm
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-7190-8867-4

Rochelle Rowe
University of Exeter

Over fifty years after Jamaican and Trinidadian independence, Imagining Caribbean Womanhood examines the links between beauty and politics in the Anglophone Caribbean, providing a first cultural history of Caribbean beauty competitions, spanning from Kingston to London. It traces the origins and transformation of female beauty contests in the British Caribbean from 1929 to 1970, through the development of cultural nationalism, race-conscious politics and decolonisation.

The beauty contest, a seemingly marginal phenomenon, is used to illuminate the persistence of racial supremacy, the advance of consumer culture and the negotiation of race and nation through the idealised performance of cultured, modern beauty. Modern Caribbean femininity was intended to be politically functional but also commercially viable and subtly eroticised. The lively discussion surrounding beauty competitions, examined in this book, reveals that femininity was used to shape ideas about Caribbean modernity, citizenship, and political and economic freedom. This cultural history of Caribbean beauty competitions will be of value to scholarship on beauty, Caribbean studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies, ‘race’ and racism studies and studies of the body.


  • Introduction: Caribbean beauty competitions in context
  • 1. The early ‘Miss Jamaica’ competition: cultural revolution and feminist voices, 1929–1950
  • 2. Cleaning up carnival: race, culture and power in the Trinidad ‘Carnival Queen’ beauty competition, 1946–1959
  • 3. Parading the ‘crème de la crème’: constructing the contest in Barbados, 1958–1966
  • 4. Fashioning ‘Ebony Cinderellas’ and brown icons: Jamaican beauty competitions and the myth of racial democracy, 1955–1964
  • 5. ‘Colonisation in reverse’: Claudia Jones, the West Indian Gazette and the ‘Carnival Queen’ contest in London, 1959–1964
  • Afterword: a Grenadian ‘Miss World’, 1970
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Passing into the present: Contemporary American Fiction of Racial and Gender Passing

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2011-06-24 04:58Z by Steven

Passing into the present: Contemporary American Fiction of Racial and Gender Passing

Manchester University Press
256 pages
216 x 138mm
Hardback ISBN: 9780719082290

Sinéad Moynihan, Lecturer in English
University of Exeter

This book is the first full-length study of contemporary American fiction of ‘passing’. Its takes as its point of departure the return of racial and gender passing in the 1990s in order to make claims about wider trends in contemporary American fiction.

The book accounts for the return of tropes of passing in fiction by Philip Roth, Percival Everett, Louise Erdrich, Danzy Senna, Jeffrey Eugenides and Paul Beatty. These writers are attracted to the trope because passing narratives have always foregrounded the notion of textuality in relation to the (il)legibility of black subjects passing as white. The central argument of this book, then, is that contemporary narratives of passing are concerned with articulating and unpacking an analogy between passing and authorship.

Aimed at students and researchers, it promises to inaugurate dialogue on the relationships between identity, postmodernism and authorship in contemporary American fiction.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction: ‘Passing’ into the present: passing narratives then and now
  • 2. Living parchments, human documents: passing, racial identity and the literary marketplace
  • 3. The way of the cross(-dresser): Catholicism, gender and race in two novels by Louise Erdrich
  • 4. (W)Rites-of-passing: shifting racial and gender identities in Caucasia and Middlesex
  • 5. Bodies / texts: passing and writing in The White Boy Shuffle and The Human Stain
  • 6. Conclusion: ‘Passing’ fads?: recent controversies of authenticity and authorship
  • Bibliography
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The age of Obama: The changing place of minorities in British and American society

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2010-03-21 21:23Z by Steven

The age of Obama: The changing place of minorities in British and American society

Manchester University Press
192 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780719082771; Paperback ISBN: 9780719082788

Tom Clark, Columnist
The Guardian

Robert D. Putnam, and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy
Harvard University

Edward Fieldhouse, Professor of Social and Political Science and Director of the Institute for Social Change
University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Drawing on collaborative research from a distinguished team at Harvard and Manchester universities, The age of Obama asks how two very different societies are responding to the tide of diversity that is being felt around the rich world. Guardian journalist Tom Clark, Robert D. Putnam – best-selling author of Bowling Alone – and Manchester’s Edward Fieldhouse offer a wonderfully readable account. Like Bowling alone, The age of Obama mixes social scientific rigor with accessible charts and lively arguments. It will be enjoyed by politics, sociology and geography students, as well as by anyone else with an interest in ethnic relations.

Injustice, it turns out, still blights the lives of many UK and US minorities – particularly African Americans. And there are signs the new diversity strains community life. Yet in both countries, public opinion is running irreversibly in favour of tolerance. That augurs well for the future – and suggests a British Obama cannot be ruled out.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: the diversity revolution 
2. Two concepts in two countries: race and migration
3. Home truths: how minorities live
4. The rickety ladder of opportunity: minorities and work
5. Mosaic or cracked vase? Diversity and community life
6. Distorting mirrors: media framing and political debate
7. Tidal generation: politics and deeper currents of public opinion
8. Concluding thoughts: making a success of the revolution

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