Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2018-09-20 03:55Z by Steven

Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory

Stanford University Press
September 2018
256 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781503605046
Paper ISBN: 9781503606012

Ana Paulina Lee, Assistant Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies
Columbia University, New York, New York

In Mandarin Brazil, Ana Paulina Lee explores the centrality of Chinese exclusion to the Brazilian nation-building project, tracing the role of cultural representation in producing racialized national categories. Lee considers depictions of Chineseness in Brazilian popular music, literature, and visual culture, as well as archival documents and Brazilian and Qing dynasty diplomatic correspondence about opening trade and immigration routes between Brazil and China. In so doing, she reveals how Asian racialization helped to shape Brazil’s image as a racial democracy.

Mandarin Brazil begins during the second half of the nineteenth century, during the transitional period when enslaved labor became unfree labor—an era when black slavery shifted to “yellow labor” and racial anxieties surged. Lee asks how colonial paradigms of racial labor became a part of Brazil’s nation-building project, which prioritized “whitening,” a fundamentally white supremacist ideology that intertwined the colonial racial caste system with new immigration labor schemes. By considering why Chinese laborers were excluded from Brazilian nation-building efforts while Japanese migrants were welcomed, Lee interrogates how Chinese and Japanese imperial ambitions and Asian ethnic supremacy reinforced Brazil’s whitening project. Mandarin Brazil contributes to a new conversation in Latin American and Asian American cultural studies, one that considers Asian diasporic histories and racial formation across the Americas.

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The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2017-09-06 02:23Z by Steven

The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race

Stanford University Press
September 2017
224 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804792585
Paper ISBN: 9781503603370

Neda Maghbouleh, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Toronto

When Roya, an Iranian American high school student, is asked to identify her race, she feels anxiety and doubt. According to the federal government, she and others from the Middle East are white. Indeed, a historical myth circulates even in immigrant families like Roya’s, proclaiming Iranians to be the “original” white race. But based on the treatment Roya and her family receive in American schools, airports, workplaces, and neighborhoods—interactions characterized by intolerance or hate—Roya is increasingly certain that she is not white. In The Limits of Whiteness, Neda Maghbouleh offers a groundbreaking, timely look at how Iranians and other Middle Eastern Americans move across the color line.

By shadowing Roya and more than 80 other young people, Maghbouleh documents Iranian Americans’ shifting racial status. Drawing on never-before-analyzed historical and legal evidence, she captures the unique experience of an immigrant group trapped between legal racial invisibility and everyday racial hyper-visibility. Her findings are essential for understanding the unprecedented challenge Middle Easterners now face under “extreme vetting” and potential reclassification out of the “white” box. Maghbouleh tells for the first time the compelling, often heartbreaking story of how a white American immigrant group can become brown and what such a transformation says about race in America.

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Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and Afro-Nicaraguan Activism

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2016-12-11 14:06Z by Steven

Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and Afro-Nicaraguan Activism

Stanford University Press
2016-11-30
248 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804799560
Paper ISBN: 9781503600546

Jennifer Goett, Associate Professor of Comparative Cultures and Politics
James Madison College, Michigan State University

Decades after the first multicultural reforms were introduced in Latin America, Afrodescendant people from the region are still disproportionately impoverished, underserved, policed, and incarcerated. In Nicaragua, Afrodescendants have mobilized to confront this state of siege through the politics of black autonomy. For women and men grappling with postwar violence, black autonomy has its own cultural meanings as a political aspiration and a way of crafting selfhood and solidarity.

Jennifer Goett’s ethnography examines the race and gender politics of activism for autonomous rights in an Afrodescedant Creole community in Nicaragua. Weaving together fifteen years of research, Black Autonomy follows this community-based movement from its inception in the late 1990s to its realization as an autonomous territory in 2009 and beyond. Goett argues that despite significant gains in multicultural recognition, Afro-Nicaraguan Creoles continue to grapple with the day-to-day violence of capitalist intensification, racialized policing, and drug war militarization in their territories. Activists have responded by adopting a politics of autonomy based on race pride, territoriality, self-determination, and self-defense. Black Autonomy shows how this political radicalism is rooted in African diasporic identification and gendered cultural practices that women and men use to assert control over their bodies, labor, and spaces in an atmosphere of violence.

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The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2016-03-03 21:16Z by Steven

The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race

Stanford University Press
March 2016
227 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804793940
Paper ISBN: 9780804797542
Digital ISBN: 9780804797573

Anthony Christian Ocampo, Associate Professor of Sociology
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Is race only about the color of your skin? In The Latinos of Asia, Anthony Christian Ocampo shows that what “color” you are depends largely on your social context. Filipino Americans, for example, helped establish the Asian American movement and are classified by the U.S. Census as Asian. But the legacy of Spanish colonialism in the Philippines means that they share many cultural characteristics with Latinos, such as last names, religion, and language. Thus, Filipinos’ “color”—their sense of connection with other racial groups—changes depending on their social context.

The Filipino story demonstrates how immigration is changing the way people negotiate race, particularly in cities like Los Angeles where Latinos and Asians now constitute a collective majority. Amplifying their voices, Ocampo illustrates how second-generation Filipino Americans’ racial identities change depending on the communities they grow up in, the schools they attend, and the people they befriend. Ultimately, The Latinos of Asia offers a window into both the racial consciousness of everyday people and the changing racial landscape of American society.

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Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulattos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2015-08-02 01:10Z by Steven

Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulattos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies

Stanford University Press
January 2015
552 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804750929
Paper ISBN: 9780804750936
Digital ISBN: 9780804793209

Ann Twinam, Professor of History
University of Texas, Austin

  • Winner of the 2016 Bryce Wood Book Award, sponsored by the Latin American Studies Association.
  • Winner of the 2016 Ligia Parra Jahn Award, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies (RMCLAS).
  • Winner of the 2016 Bandelier/Lavrin Book Prize in Colonial Latin American History, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies (RMCLAS).

The colonization of Spanish America resulted in the mixing of Natives, Europeans, and Africans and the subsequent creation of a casta system that discriminated against them. Members of mixed races could, however, free themselves from such burdensome restrictions through the purchase of a gracias al sacar—a royal exemption that provided the privileges of Whiteness. For more than a century, the whitening gracias al sacar has fascinated historians. Even while the documents remained elusive, scholars continually mentioned the potential to acquire Whiteness as a provocative marker of the historic differences between Anglo and Latin American treatments of race. Purchasing Whiteness explores the fascinating details of 40 cases of whitening petitions, tracking thousands of pages of ensuing conversations as petitioners, royal officials, and local elites disputed not only whether the state should grant full whiteness to deserving individuals, but whether selective prejudices against the castas should cease.

Purchasing Whiteness contextualizes the history of the gracias al sacar within the broader framework of three centuries of mixed race efforts to end discrimination. It identifies those historic variables that structured the potential for mobility as Africans moved from slavery to freedom, mixed with Natives and Whites, and transformed later generations into vassals worthy of royal favor. By examining this history of pardo and mulatto mobility, the author provides striking insight into those uniquely characteristic and deeply embedded pathways through which the Hispanic world negotiated processes of inclusion and exclusion.

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Race on the Move: Brazilian Migrants and the Global Reconstruction of Race

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2015-03-31 17:26Z by Steven

Race on the Move: Brazilian Migrants and the Global Reconstruction of Race

Stanford University Press
February 2015
240 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804792202
Paper ISBN: 9780804794350
Digital ISBN: 9780804794398

Tiffany D. Joseph, Assistant Professor of Sociology; Affiliated Faculty of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

Race on the Move takes readers on a journey from Brazil to the United States and back again to consider how migration between the two countries is changing Brazilians’ understanding of race relations. Brazil once earned a global reputation as a racial paradise, and the United States is infamous for its overt social exclusion of nonwhites. Yet, given the growing Latino and multiracial populations in the United States, the use of quotas to address racial inequality in Brazil, and the flows of people between each country, contemporary race relations in each place are starting to resemble each other.

Tiffany Joseph interviewed residents of Governador Valadares, Brazil’s largest immigrant-sending city to the U.S., to ask how their immigrant experiences have transformed local racial understandings. Joseph identifies and examines a phenomenon—the transnational racial optic—through which migrants develop and ascribe social meaning to race in one country, incorporating conceptions of race from another. Analyzing the bi-directional exchange of racial ideals through the experiences of migrants, Race on the Move offers an innovative framework for understanding how race can be remade in immigrant-sending communities.

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Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2013-12-10 17:26Z by Steven

Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind

Stanford University Press
November 2013
288 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804772785
Paper ISBN: 9780804772792

Osagie K. Obasogie, Professor of Law
University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Also University of California, San Francisco, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Colorblindness has become an integral part of the national conversation on race in America. Given the assumptions behind this influential metaphor—that being blind to race will lead to racial equality—it’s curious that, until now, we have not considered if or how the blind “see” race. Most sighted people assume that the answer is obvious: they don’t, and are therefore incapable of racial bias—an example that the sighted community should presumably follow. In Blinded by Sight, Osagie K. Obasogie shares a startling observation made during discussions with people from all walks of life who have been blind since birth: even the blind aren’t colorblind—blind people understand race visually, just like everyone else. Ask a blind person what race is, and they will more than likely refer to visual cues such as skin color. Obasogie finds that, because blind people think about race visually, they orient their lives around these understandings in terms of who they are friends with, who they date, and much more.

In Blinded by Sight, Obasogie argues that rather than being visually obvious, both blind and sighted people are socialized to see race in particular ways, even to a point where blind people “see” race. So what does this mean for how we live and the laws that govern our society? Obasogie delves into these questions and uncovers how color blindness in law, public policy, and culture will not lead us to any imagined racial utopia.

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The Ethnic Project: Transforming Racial Fiction into Ethnic Factions

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2013-09-07 17:14Z by Steven

The Ethnic Project: Transforming Racial Fiction into Ethnic Factions

Stanford University Press
2013
240 pages
7 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 9780804757713
Paper ISBN: 9780804757720
E-bok ISBN: 9780804787284

Vilna Bashi Treitler, Professor of Sociology and Black and Hispanic Studies
Baruch College, City University of New York

Race is a known fiction—there is no genetic marker that indicates someone’s race—yet the social stigma of race endures. In the United States, ethnicity is often positioned as a counterweight to race, and we celebrate our various hyphenated-American identities. But Vilna Bashi Treitler argues that we do so at a high cost: ethnic thinking simply perpetuates an underlying racism.

In The Ethnic Project, Bashi Treitler considers the ethnic history of the United States from the arrival of the English in North America through to the present day. Tracing the histories of immigrant and indigenous groups—Irish, Chinese, Italians, Jews, Native Americans, Mexicans, Afro-Caribbeans, and African Americans—she shows how each negotiates America’s racial hierarchy, aiming to distance themselves from the bottom and align with the groups already at the top. But in pursuing these “ethnic projects” these groups implicitly accept and perpetuate a racial hierarchy, shoring up rather than dismantling race and racism. Ultimately, The Ethnic Project shows how dangerous ethnic thinking can be in a society that has not let go of racial thinking.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Racism and Ethnic Myths
  • 2. How Ethnic and Racial Structures Operate
  • 3. Ethnic Winners and Losers
  • 4. The Irish, Chinese, Italians, and Jews: Successful Ethnic Projects
  • 5. The Native Americans, Mexicans, and Afro-Caribbeans: Struggling Ethnic Projects
  • 6. African Americans and the Failed Ethnic Project
  • 7. The Future of U.S. Ethnoracism
  • Notes
  • Index
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The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2013-03-24 18:51Z by Steven

The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium

Stanford University Press
February 2011
312 pages
23 illustrations
Cloth ISBN-10: 0804756295; ISBN-13: 9780804756297
Paper ISBN-10: 0804756309; ISBN-13: 9780804756303

Michele Elam, Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor of English and Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Cover Photo: “Baby Halfie Brown Head”, from artist Lezley Saar’s, Mulatto Nation (2003) art installation.

The Souls of Mixed Folk examines representations of mixed race in literature and the arts that redefine new millennial aesthetics and politics. Focusing on black-white mixes, Elam analyzes expressive works—novels, drama, graphic narrative, late-night television, art installations—as artistic rejoinders to the perception that post-Civil Rights politics are bereft and post-Black art is apolitical. Reorienting attention to the cultural invention of mixed race from the social sciences to the humanities, Elam considers the creative work of Lezley Saar, Aaron McGruder, Nate Creekmore, Danzy Senna, Colson Whitehead, Emily Raboteau, Carl Hancock Rux, and Dave Chappelle. All these writers and artists address mixed race as both an aesthetic challenge and a social concern, and together, they gesture toward a poetics of social justice for the “mulatto millennium.”

The Souls of Mixed Folk seeks a middle way between competing hagiographic and apocalyptic impulses in mixed race scholarship, between those who proselytize mixed race as the great hallelujah to the “race problem” and those who can only hear the alarmist bells of civil rights destruction. Both approaches can obscure some of the more critically astute engagements with new millennial iterations of mixed race by the multi-generic cohort of contemporary writers, artists, and performers discussed in this book. The Souls of Mixed Folk offers case studies of their creative work in an effort to expand the contemporary idiom about mixed race in the so-called post-race moment, asking how might new millennial expressive forms suggest an aesthetics of mixed race? And how might such an aesthetics productively reimagine the relations between race, art, and social equity in the twenty-first century?

Read an excerpt of “Obama’s Mixed Race Politics” here.

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Paint the White House Black: Barack Obama and the Meaning of Race in America

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-01-24 01:54Z by Steven

Paint the White House Black: Barack Obama and the Meaning of Race in America

Stanford University Press
2013
224 pages
2 tables
Cloth ISBN: 9780804780957
Paper ISBN: 9780804780964
E-book ISBN: 9780804785570

Michael P. Jeffries, Sidney R. Knafel Assistant Professor of American Studies
Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

Barack Obama’s election as the first black president in American history forced a reconsideration of racial reality and possibility. It also incited an outpouring of discussion and analysis of Obama’s personal and political exploits. Paint the White House Black fills a significant void in Obama-themed debate, shifting the emphasis from the details of Obama’s political career to an understanding of how race works in America. In this groundbreaking book, race, rather than Obama, is the central focus.

Michael P. Jeffries approaches Obama’s election and administration as common cultural ground for thinking about race. He uncovers contemporary stereotypes and anxieties by examining historically rooted conceptions of race and nationhood, discourses of “biracialism” and Obama’s mixed heritage, the purported emergence of a “post-racial society,” and popular symbols of Michelle Obama as a modern black woman. In so doing, Jeffries casts new light on how we think about race and enables us to see how race, in turn, operates within our daily lives.

Race is a difficult concept to grasp, with outbursts and silences that disguise its relationships with a host of other phenomena. Using Barack Obama as its point of departure, Paint the White House Black boldly aims to understand race by tracing the web of interactions that bind it to other social and historical forces.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • CHAPTER 1: THROUGH THE FOG
  • CHAPTER 2: MY (FOUNDING) FATHER’S SON: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Inheritance
  • CHAPTER 3: “MUTTS LIKE Me”: Barack Obama, Tragic Mulattos, and Cool Mixed-Race Millennial
  • CHAPTER 4: POSTRACIALISM RECONSIDERED: Class, the Black Counterpublic, and the End of Black Politics
  • CHAPTER 5: THE PERILS OF BEING SUPERWOMAN: Michelle Obama’s Public Image
  • CHAPTER 6: A PLACE CALLED “OBAMA”
  • Appendix I. A Discussion of Racial Inequality
  • Appendix II. Interviewing Multiracial Students
  • Notes
  • Index
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