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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The Black Middle: Africans, Mayas, and Spaniards in Colonial Yucatán

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2012-12-24 03:39Z by Steven

The Black Middle: Africans, Mayas, and Spaniards in Colonial Yucatán

Stanford University Press
2009
456 pages
39 tables, 4 figures, 13 illustrations, 11 maps.
Cloth ISBN: 9780804749831

Matthew Restall, Professor of Latin American History and Director of Latin American Studies
Pennsylvania State University

The Black Middle is the first full-length study of black African slaves and other people of African descent in the Spanish colonial province of Yucatán, which is today part of southern Mexico. The study is based on Spanish and Maya-language documents from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, found in a dozen different archives (mostly in Spain and Mexico). Restall’s goal is to discover what life was like for a people hitherto ignored by historians. He explores such topics as slavery and freedom, militia service and family life, bigamy and witchcraft, and the ways in which Afro-Yucatecáns (as he dubs them) interacted with Mayas and Spaniards. He concludes that in numerous ways, Afro-Yucatecans lived and worked in a middle space between—but closely connected to—Mayas and Spaniards. The book’s “black middle” thesis has profound implications for the study of Africans throughout the Americas.

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When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian American Identities

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2012-08-29 12:42Z by Steven

When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian American Identities

Stanford University Press
September 2012
248 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804775175
Paper ISBN: 9780804775182

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
Stanford University

“I listen and gather people’s stories. Then I write with the hope to communicate something to people, that they gain something of value by reading these stories. I tell myself that this is something that isn’t going to be done unless I do it, just because of who I am. It’s a way of making my mark, to leave something behind—not that I’m planning on going anywhere, right now.”

So begins Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu in this touching, introspective, and insightful exploration of mixed race Asian American experiences. The son of an Irish American father and Japanese mother, Murphy-Shigematsu has devoted his life to understanding himself as a product of his diverse roots. Across twelve chapters, his reflections are interspersed among profiles of others of biracial and mixed ethnicity and accounts of their journeys to answer a seemingly simple question: Who am I?

Here we meet Margo, the daughter of a Japanese woman and a black American serviceman, who found how others viewed and treated her, both in Japan and the United States, in conflict with her evolving understanding of herself. Born in Australia and raised in San Francisco, Wei Ming struggled with making sense of her Chinese and American heritage, which was further complicated when she began to realize she was bisexual. Rudy, the son of Mexican and Filipino parents, is a former gang member and hip hop artist who redirected his passion for performance into his current career as a professor of Asian Pacific American Studies. Other chapters address issues such as mixed race invisibility, being a transracial adoptee, hapa identity, beauty culture and authenticity testing, and more.

With its attention on people who have been regarded as “half” this or “half” that throughout their lives, these stories make vivid the process of becoming whole.

Contents

  • Prologue
  • 1. Flowers Amidst the Ashes
  • 2. We Must Go On
  • 3. For the Community
  • 4. English, I Dont Know!
  • 5. Bi Bi Girl
  • 6. I Am Your Illusion, Your Reality Your Future
  • 7. Grits and Sushi
  • 8. I Cut across Borders as If They Have No Meaning
  • 9. Victims No More
  • 10. American Girl in Asia
  • 11. Found in Translation
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Recommended Readings
  • About the Author
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Race Migrations: Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2012-06-07 20:49Z by Steven

Race Migrations: Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race

Stanford University Press
April 2012
268 pages
6 tables, 1 figure, 20 photographs
Cloth ISBN: 9780804777957
Paper ISBN: 9780804777964
E-book ISBN: 9780804782531

Wendy D. Roth, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of British Columbia, Canada

In this groundbreaking study of Puerto Rican and Dominican migration to the United States, Wendy D. Roth explores the influence of migration on changing cultural conceptions of race—for the newcomers, for their host society, and for those who remain in the countries left behind. Just as migrants can gain new language proficiencies, they can pick up new understandings of race. But adopting an American idea about race does not mean abandoning earlier ideas. New racial schemas transfer across borders and cultures spread between sending and host countries.

Behind many current debates on immigration is the question of how Latinos will integrate and where they fit into the U.S. racial structure. Race Migrations shows that these migrants increasingly see themselves as a Latino racial group. Although U.S. race relations are becoming more “Latin Americanized” by the presence of Latinos and their views about race, race in the home countries is also becoming more “Americanized” through the cultural influence of those who go abroad. Ultimately, Roth shows that several systems of racial classification and stratification co-exist in each place, in the minds of individuals and in their shared cultural understandings of “how race works.”

Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. How Immigration Changes Concepts of Race [Read an excerpt here.]
  • 2. Beyond the Continuum: Race in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico
  • 3. Migrant Schemas: Race in the United States
  • 4. Transnational Diffusion
  • 5. Multiple Forms of Racial Stratification
  • 6. Performing Race Strategically
  • 7. Is Latino Becoming a Race?
  • Cultural Change and Classifications
  • Appendix: Notes on Methodology
  • Notes
  • Index
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Race Decoded: The Genomic Fight for Social Justice

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy on 2012-05-17 02:22Z by Steven

Race Decoded: The Genomic Fight for Social Justice

Stanford University Press
April 2012
280 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804774079
Paper ISBN: 9780804774086
E-book: ISBN: 9780804782050

Catherine Bliss, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of California, San Francisco

Winner of the 2014 Oliver Cromwell Cox Award, sponsored by the ASA Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities.

In 2000, with the success of the Human Genome Project, scientists declared the death of race in biology and medicine. But within five years, many of these same scientists had reversed course and embarked upon a new hunt for the biological meaning of race. Drawing on personal interviews and life stories, Race Decoded takes us into the world of elite genome scientists—including Francis Collins, director of the NIH; Craig Venter, the first person to create a synthetic genome; and Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence, among others—to show how and why they are formulating new ways of thinking about race.

In this original exploration, Catherine Bliss reveals a paradigm shift, both at the level of science and society, from colorblindness to racial consciousness. Scientists have been fighting older understandings of race in biology while simultaneously promoting a new grand-scale program of minority inclusion. In selecting research topics or considering research design, scientists routinely draw upon personal experience of race to push the public to think about race as a biosocial entity, and even those of the most privileged racial and social backgrounds incorporate identity politics in the scientific process. Though individual scientists may view their positions differently—whether as a black civil rights activist or a white bench scientist—all stakeholders in the scientific debates are drawing on memories of racial discrimination to fashion a science-based activism to fight for social justice.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. The New Science of Race
  • 2. Making Science Racial
  • 3. The Sociogenomic Paradigm
  • 4. Making Sense of Race with Values
  • 5. Everyday Race-Positive
  • 6. Activism and Expertise
  • 7. The Enduring Trouble with Race
  • Notes
  • Index
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Making the Chinese Mexican: Global Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, United States on 2012-02-17 05:23Z by Steven

Making the Chinese Mexican: Global Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Stanford University Press
2012-02-29
320 pages
26 illustrations, 5 maps.
Cloth ISBN: 9780804778145; E-book ISBN: 9780804783712

Grace Peña Delgado, Assistant Professor of History
University of California, Santa Cruz

Making the Chinese Mexican is the first book to examine the Chinese diaspora in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. It presents a fresh perspective on immigration, nationalism, and racism through the experiences of Chinese migrants in the region during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Navigating the interlocking global and local systems of migration that underlay Chinese borderlands communities, the author situates the often-paradoxical existence of these communities within the turbulence of exclusionary nationalisms.

The world of Chinese fronterizos (borderlanders) was shaped by the convergence of trans-Pacific networks and local arrangements: against a backdrop of national unrest in Mexico and in the era of exclusionary immigration policies in the United States, Chinese fronterizos carved out vibrant, enduring communities that provided a buffer against virulent Sinophobia. This book challenges us to reexamine the complexities of nation-making, identity formation, and the meaning of citizenship. It represents an essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

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Shades of Difference: Why Skin Color Matters

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2011-04-02 18:04Z by Steven

Shades of Difference: Why Skin Color Matters

Stanford University Press
2009
312 pages
11 tables, 15 figures, 16 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 9780804759984
Paper ISBN: 9780804759991
E-book ISBN: 9780804770996

Edited by:

Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Professor of Asian American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Shades of Difference addresses the widespread but little studied phenomenon of colorism—the preference for lighter skin and the ranking of individual worth according to skin tone. Examining the social and cultural significance of skin color in a broad range of societies and historical periods, this insightful collection looks at how skin color affects people’s opportunities in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and North America.

Is skin color bias distinct from racial bias? How does skin color preference relate to gender, given the association of lightness with desirability and beauty in women? The authors of this volume explore these and other questions as they take a closer look at the role Western-dominated culture and media have played in disseminating the ideal of light skin globally. With its comparative, international focus, this enlightening book will provide innovative insights and expand the dialogue around race and gender in the social sciences, ethnic studies, African American studies, and gender and women’s studies.

Contents

    Contributors

  • Introduction: Economies of Color—Angela P. Harris
  • Part I The Significance of Skin Color: Transnational Divergences and Convergences
    • 1. The Social Consequences of Skin Color in Brazil—Edward Telles
    • 2. A Colorstruck World: Skin Tone, Achievement, and Self-Esteem Among African American Women—Verna M. Keith
    • 3. The Latin Americanization of U.S. Race Relations: A New Pigmentocracy—Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and David R. Dietrich
  • Part II Meanings of Skin Color: Race, Gender, Ethnic Class, and National Identity
    • 4. Filipinos and the Color Complex: Ideal Asian Beauty—Joanne L. Rondilla
    • 5. The Color of an Ideal Negro Beauty Queen: Miss Bronze 1961-1968—Maxine Leeds Craig
    • 6. Caucasian, Coolie, Black, or White? Color and Race in the Indo-Caribbean Diaspora—Aisha Khan
    • 7. Ihe Dynamics of Color: Mestizaje, Racism, and Blackness in Veracruz, Mexico—Christina A. Sue
  • Part III Consuming Lightness: Modernity, Transnationalism, and Commodification
    • 8. Skin Tone and the Persistence of Biological Race in Egg Donation for Assisted Reproduction—Charis Thompson
    • 9. Fair Enough? Color and the Commodification of Self in Indian Matrimonials—Jyotsna Vaid
    • 10. Consuming Lightness: Segmented Markets and Global Capital in the Skin-Whitening Trade—Evelyn Nakano Glenn
    • 11. Skin Lighteners in South Africa: Transnational Entanglements and Technologies of the Self—Lynn M. Thomas
  • Part IV Countering Colorism: Legal Approaches
    • 12. Multilayered Racism: Courts’ Continued Resistance to Colorism Claims—Taunya Lovell Banks
    • 13. The Case for Legal Recognition of Colorism Claims—Trina Jones
    • 14. Latinos at Work: When Color Discrimination Involves More Than Color—Tanya KaterĂ­ Hernandez
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Index

Read the Introduction here.

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Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Religion, Social Science on 2010-02-18 18:38Z by Steven

Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico

Stanford University Press
2008
424 pages
13 illustrations, 2 maps.
ISBN-10: 0804756481; ISBN-13: 9780804756488

MarĂ­a Elena MartĂ­nez (1966-2014), Associate Professor of History and American Studies and Ethnicity
University of Southern California

MarĂ­a Elena MartĂ­nez’s Genealogical Fictions is the first in-depth study of the relationship between the Spanish concept of limpieza de sangre (purity of blood) and colonial Mexico’s sistema de castas, a hierarchical system of social classification based primarily on ancestry. Specifically, it explains how this notion surfaced amid socio-religious tensions in early modern Spain, and was initially used against Jewish and Muslim converts to Christianity. It was then transplanted to the Americas, adapted to colonial conditions, and employed to create and reproduce identity categories according to descent. MartĂ­nez also examines how the state, church, Inquisition, and other institutions in colonial Mexico used the notion of purity of blood over time, arguing that the concept’s enduring religious, genealogical, and gendered meanings and the archival practices it promoted came to shape the region’s patriotic and racial ideologies.

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Shades of Citizenship: Race and the Census in Modern Politics

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2010-01-02 01:38Z by Steven

Shades of Citizenship: Race and the Census in Modern Politics

Stanford University Press
2000
256 pages
4 tables.
Cloth ISBN-10: 0804740135
Cloth ISBN-13: 9780804740135
Paper ISBN-10: 0804740593
Paper ISBN-13: 9780804740593

Melissa Nobles, Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This book explores the politics of race, censuses, and citizenship, drawing on the complex history of questions about race in the U.S. and Brazilian censuses. It reconstructs the history of racial categorization in American and Brazilian censuses from each country’s first census in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries up through the 2000 census. It sharply challenges certain presumptions that guide scholarly and popular studies, notably that census bureaus are (or are designed to be) innocent bystanders in the arena of politics, and that racial data are innocuous demographic data.

Using previously overlooked historical sources, the book demonstrates that counting by race has always been a fundamentally political process, shaping in important ways the experiences and meanings of citizenship. This counting has also helped to create and to further ideas about race itself. The author argues that far from being mere producers of racial statistics, American and Brazilian censuses have been the ultimate insiders with respect to racial politics.

For most of their histories, American and Brazilian censuses were tightly controlled by state officials, social scientists, and politicians. Over the past thirty years in the United States and the past twenty years in Brazil, however, certain groups within civil society have organized and lobbied to alter the methods of racial categorization. This book analyzes both the attempt of America’s multiracial movement to have a multiracial category added to the U.S. census and the attempt by Brazil’s black movement to include racial terminology in census forms. Because of these efforts, census bureau officials in the United States and Brazil today work within political and institutional constraints unknown to their predecessors. Categorization has become as much a “bottom-up” process as a “top-down” one.

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