“The New Kubla Khan: Mixed Race Multi-Nationalism”

Posted in Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2009-12-19 23:07Z by Steven

“The New Kubla Khan: Mixed Race Multi-Nationalism”

Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association
2009-05-24

Michele Elam, Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor of English, Professor, Director of African & African American Studies
Stanford University

This paper examines how, and to what ends, people of the “mixed race experience” are being discursively contextualized as posterchildren of the “post-race,” “post-nation” era. As early as 1996, Stanley Crouch was proclaiming that “race is over;” since then, others also have rung race’s death knell: Holland Cotter in a 2001 New York Times piece, for example, has claimed that the time for “ethno-racial identity” is past, that we are now witnessing the coming of “postblack or postethnic art” that represents what Anthony Appiah recently called a “New Cosmopolitanism.” This presentation argues that “mixed race” has emerged in the context of these “post-race” cultural discourses, discourses which suggest, as Belize in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America puts it, that “race, taste and history” are “finally overcome.” Hybridity for many represents “life after race”(Naomi Zack), a step “beyond race” (Dinesh D’Sousa), a gesture “against race”(Paul Gilroy), the “new racial order” (G. Reginald Daniel), a “new frontier”(Maria Root) advanced by a “new people” (Jon Michael Spencer) who are ushering in a new world beyond race, identity, and nation. My presentation examines this problematic representation of mixed race people as post-nation vanguards in both mainstream media and in the field of pop-culture, and the send-up of the idea that “mixed race” people constitute a new nation-beyond-nationalism in Danzy Senna’s novel, Symptomatic (2005).

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Between Camps: Nations, Cultures and the Allure of Race

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2009-12-19 20:59Z by Steven

Between Camps: Nations, Cultures and the Allure of Race (Also published in the United States by Harvard University Press as Against Race: Imagining Political Culture beyond the Color Line)

Routledge
2004-08-26
424 pages
Trim Size: 234X156
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-415-34365-7

Paul Gilroy, Anthony Giddens Professorship in Social Theory
The London School of Economics and Political Science

  

In this provocative book, now reissued with a new introduction, Paul Gilroy contends that race-thinking has distorted the finest promises of modern democracy.  He compels us to see that fascism was the principal political innovation of the twentieth century – and that its power to seduce did not die in a bunker in Berlin.

Between Camps addresses questions such as:

Gilroy examines the ways in which media and commodity culture have become pre-eminent in our lives in the years since the 1960s and especially in the 1980s with the rise of hip-hop and other militancies. With this trend, he contends, much that was valuable about black culture has been sacrificed in the service of corporate interests and new forms of cultural expression tied to visual technologies. He argues that the triumph of the image spells death to politics and reduces people to mere symbols.

At its heart, Between Camps is a Utopian project calling for the renunciation of race. Gilroy champions a new humanism, global and cosmopolitan, and he offers a new political language and a new moral vision for what was once called ‘anti-racism’.

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