Race, Nation, and Refuge: The Rhetoric of Race in Asian American Citizenship Cases

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, United States on 2017-09-16 21:43Z by Steven

Race, Nation, and Refuge: The Rhetoric of Race in Asian American Citizenship Cases

State University of New York Press
October 2017
318 pages
Hardcover ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6661-3

Doug Coulson, Assistant Professor
Department of English
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Explores the role of rhetoric and the racial classification of Asian American immigrants in the early twentieth century.

From 1870 to 1940, racial eligibility for naturalization in the United States was limited to “free white persons” and “aliens of African nativity and persons of African descent,” and many interpreted these restrictions to reflect a policy of Asian exclusion based on the conclusion that Asians were neither white nor African. Because the distinction between white and Asian was considerably unstable, however, those charged with the interpretation and implementation of the naturalization act faced difficult racial classification questions. Through archival research and a close reading of the arguments contained in the documents of the US Bureau of Naturalization, especially those documents that discussed challenges to racial eligibility for naturalization, Doug Coulson demonstrates that the strategy of foregrounding shared external threats to the nation as a means of transcending perceived racial divisions was often more important to racial classification than legal doctrine. He argues that this was due to the rapid shifts in the nation’s enmities and alliances during the early twentieth century and the close relationship between race, nation, and sovereignty.

Table of Contents

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Diasporic Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg

Posted in Biography, Books, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2017-06-11 21:29Z by Steven

Diasporic Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg

State University of New York Press
April 2017
202 pages
Hardcover ISBN 13: 978-1-4384-6513-5

Vanessa K. Valdés, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese
City College of New York, New York, New York

Examines the life of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg through the lens of both Blackness and latinidad.

A Black Puerto Rican–born scholar, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (1874–1938) was a well-known collector and archivist whose personal library was the basis of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. He was an autodidact who matched wits with university-educated men and women, as well as a prominent Freemason, a writer, and an institution-builder.

While he spent much of his life in New York City, Schomburg was intimately involved in the cause of Cuban and Puerto Rican independence. In the aftermath of the Spanish-Cuban-American War of 1898, he would go on to cofound the Negro Society for Historical Research and lead the American Negro Academy, all the while collecting and assembling books, prints, pamphlets, articles, and other ephemera produced by Black men and women from across the Americas and Europe. His curated library collection at the New York Public Library emphasized the presence of African peoples and their descendants throughout the Americas and would serve as an indispensable resource for the luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance, including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. By offering a sustained look at the life of one of the most important figures of early twentieth-century New York City, this first book-length examination of Schomburg’s life as an Afro-Latino suggests new ways of understanding the intersections of both Blackness and latinidad.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Silence and the Meaning of It All
  • 1. “Patria y Libertad”: Schomburg and Puerto Rico
  • 2. The Diasporic Race Man as Institution Builder
  • 3. Afro-Latinx Chronicles: Schomburg’s Writings
  • 4. “Witness for the Future”: Schomburg and His Archives
  • 5. “Furtive as He Looks”: The Visual Representation of Schomburg
  • Conclusion: The Dynamics of Afro-Latinx Subjectivity
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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México’s Nobodies: The Cultural Legacy of the Soldadera and Afro-Mexican Women

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Religion, Women on 2017-03-26 21:35Z by Steven

México’s Nobodies: The Cultural Legacy of the Soldadera and Afro-Mexican Women

State University of New York Press
February 2017
350 pages
Hardcover ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6357-5

B. Christine Arce, Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture
University of Miami, Miami, Florida

2016 Victoria Urbano Critical Monograph Book Prize, presented by the International Association of Hispanic Feminine Literature and Culture

Analyzes cultural materials that grapple with gender and blackness to revise traditional interpretations of Mexicanness.

México’s Nobodies examines two key figures in Mexican history that have remained anonymous despite their proliferation in the arts: the soldadera and the figure of the mulata. B. Christine Arce unravels the stunning paradox evident in the simultaneous erasure (in official circles) and ongoing fascination (in the popular imagination) with the nameless people who both define and fall outside of traditional norms of national identity. The book traces the legacy of these extraordinary figures in popular histories and legends, the Inquisition, ballads such as “La Adelita” and “La Cucaracha,” iconic performers like Toña la Negra, and musical genres such as the son jarocho and danzón. This study is the first of its kind to draw attention to art’s crucial role in bearing witness to the rich heritage of blacks and women in contemporary México.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Paradox of Invisibility
  • Part I: Entre Adelitas y Cucarachas: The Soldadera as Trope in the Mexican Revolution
    • 1. Soldaderas and the Making of Revolutionary Spaces
    • 2. The Many Faces of the Soldadera and the Adelita Complex
    • 3. Beyond the “Custom of Her Sex and Country”
  • Part II: The Blacks in the Closet
    • 4. Black Magic and the Inquisition: The Legend of La Mulata de Córdoba and the Case of Antonia de Soto
    • 5. “Dios pinta como quiere”: Blackness and Redress in Mexican Golden Age Film
    • 6. The Music of the Afro-Mexican Universe and the Dialectics of Son
  • Conclusion: To Be Expressed Otherwise
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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In-Between: Latina Feminist Phenomenology, Multiplicity, and the Self

Posted in Books, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, Women on 2016-03-15 02:53Z by Steven

In-Between: Latina Feminist Phenomenology, Multiplicity, and the Self

State University of New York Press
April 2016
296 pages
Hardcover ISBN13: 978-1-4384-5977-6
Electronic ISBN13: 978-1-4384-5978-3

Mariana Ortega, Professor of Philosophy
John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio

Draws from Latina feminism, existential phenomenology, and race theory to explore the concept of selfhood.

This original study intertwining Latina feminism, existential phenomenology, and race theory offers a new philosophical approach to understanding selfhood and identity. Focusing on writings by Gloría Anzaldúa, María Lugones, and Linda Martín Alcoff, Mariana Ortega articulates a phenomenology that introduces a conception of selfhood as both multiple and singular. Her Latina feminist phenomenological approach can account for identities belonging simultaneously to different worlds, including immigrants, exiles, and inhabitants of borderlands. Ortega’s project forges new directions not only in Latina feminist thinking on such issues as borders, mestizaje, marginality, resistance, and identity politics, but also connects this analysis to the existential phenomenology of Martin Heidegger and to such concepts as being in the world, authenticity, and intersubjectivity. The pairing of the personal and the political in Ortega’s work is illustrative of the primacy of lived experience in the development of theoretical understandings of who we are. In addition to bringing to light central metaphysical issues regarding the temporality and continuity of the self, Ortega models a practice of philosophy that draws from work in other disciplines and that recognizes the important contributions of Latina feminists and other theorists of color to philosophical pursuits.

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John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, and the Politics of Ethnic Incorporation and Avoidance

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, United States on 2015-12-22 04:29Z by Steven

John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, and the Politics of Ethnic Incorporation and Avoidance

SUNY Press
March 2013
Harcover ISBN13: 978-1-4384-4559-5
Electronic ISBN13: 978-1-4384-4561-8

Robert C. Smith, Professor of Political Science
San Francisco State University

Fascinating look at the challenges faced by John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama in their quests to win the presidency.

Political analysts and journalists often draw analogies between John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic Irish president, and Barack Obama, the first African American president. Their election to the nation’s highest office was historic, but for reasons not fully appreciated. In John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, and the Politics of Ethnic Incorporation and Avoidance, Robert C. Smith provides a fascinating comparison of the challenges both men faced in their bid for the presidency, while at the same time providing comparative histories of the Catholic Irish and African American struggles to overcome racial and religious subordination in America. Kennedy’s Catholicism was an explicit issue in the 1960 election, and once elected he was extremely careful to avoid appearing either “too Irish” or “too Catholic.” While Obama’s race was not an explicit issue in the 2008 election, he was just as careful to avoid appearing “too black.”  Paradoxically religion—thanks to rumors and lies about whether Obama was a Muslim—became a substitute for race, allowing Republican strategists to “otherize” Obama by raising the issue of religion in the context of national security and terrorism.

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Passing Interest: Racial Passing in US Novels, Memoirs, Television, and Film, 1990–2010

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing on 2014-08-18 02:28Z by Steven

Passing Interest: Racial Passing in US Novels, Memoirs, Television, and Film, 1990–2010

State University of New York Press
July 2014
352 pages
Hardcover ISBN13: 978-1-4384-5227-2
Electronic ISBN13: 978-1-4384-5229-6

Edited by:

Julie Cary Nerad, Associate Professor of American Literature
Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland

Explores how the trope of racial passing continues to serve as a touchstone for gauging public beliefs and anxieties about race in this multiracial era.

The first volume to focus on the trope of racial passing in novels, memoirs, television, and films published or produced between 1990 and 2010, Passing Interest takes the scholarly conversation on passing into the twenty-first century. With contributors working in the fields of African American studies, American studies, cultural studies, film studies, literature, and media studies, this book offers a rich, interdisciplinary survey of critical approaches to a broad range of contemporary passing texts. Contributors frame recent passing texts with a wide array of cultural discourses, including immigration law, the Post-Soul Aesthetic, contemporary political satire, affirmative action, the paradoxes of “colorblindness,” and the rhetoric of “post-racialism.” Many explore whether “one drop” of blood still governs our sense of racial identity, or to what extent contemporary American culture allows for the racially indeterminate individual. Some essays open the scholarly conversation to focus on “ethnic” passers—individuals who complicate the traditional black-white binary—while others explore the slippage between traditional racial passing and related forms of racial performance, including blackface minstrelsy and racial masquerade.

Table of Contents

  • Preface: The “Posts” of Passing / Gayle Wald
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction: The (Not So) New Face of America / Julie Cary Nerad
  • 2. On the Margins of Movement: Passing in Three Contemporary Memoirs / Irina Negrea
  • 3. “A Cousin to Blackness”: Race and Identity in Bliss Broyard’s One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life / Lynn Washington and Julie Cary Nerad
  • 4. Can One Really Choose? Passing and Self-Identification at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century / Jené Schoenfeld
  • 5. Passing in Blackface: The Intimate Drama of Post-Racialism on Black. White / Eden Osucha
  • 6. Broke Right in Half: Passing of/in Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone / Julie Cary Nerad
  • 7. Passing for Chicano, Passing for White: Negotiating Filipino American Identity in Brian Ascalon Roley’s American Son / Amanda Page
  • 8. Race in the Marketplace: Postmodern Passing and Ali G / Ana Cristina Mendes
  • 9. Passing for Black, White, and Jewish: Mixed-Race Identity in Rebecca Walker and Danzy Senna / Lori Harrison-Kahan
  • 10. Smiling Faces: Chameleon Street, Racial Passing/Performativity, and Film Blackness / Michael B. Gillespie
  • 11. Consuming Performances: Race, Media, and the Failure of the Cultural Mulatto in Bamboozled and Erasure / Meredith McCarroll
  • Bibliography
  • Contributor Biographies
  • Index
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The Family Flamboyant: Race Politics, Queer Families, Jewish Lives

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Gay & Lesbian, Judaism, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2013-01-01 20:35Z by Steven

The Family Flamboyant: Race Politics, Queer Families, Jewish Lives

SUNY Press
October 2006
244 pages
Hardback ISBN10: 0-7914-6893-3; ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6893-7
Paperback ISBN10: 0-7914-6894-1; ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6894-4
eBook ISBN10: 0-7914-8106-9; ISBN13: 978-0-7914-8106-6

Marla Brettschneider, Professor of Political Philosophy, Feminist Theory, Political Science & Women’s Studies
University of New Hampshire

Winner of a Bronze Medal in the Gay/Lesbian Category of the 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards

Interrogates the normative heterosexual family from feminist, Jewish, and queer perspectives.

The Family Flamboyant is a graceful and lucid account of the many routes to family formation. Weaving together personal experience and political analysis in an examination of how race, gender, sexuality, class, and other hierarchies function in family politics, Marla Brettschneider draws on her own experience in a Jewish, multiracial, adoptive, queer family in order to theorize about the layered realities that characterize families in the United States today. Brettschneider uses critical race politics, feminist insight, class-based analysis, and queer theory to offer a distinct and distinctly Jewish contribution to both the family debates and the larger project of justice politics.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: K-I-S-S-I-N-G
  • 1. Whitens Whites, Keeps Colors Bright: Jewish Families Queering the Race Project
  • 2. Jew Dykes Adopting Children: A Guide to the Perplexed
  • 3. Going Natural: The Family Has No Clothes
  • 4. Questing for Heart in a Heartless World: Jewish Feminist Ruminations on Monogamy and Marriage
  • Epilogue: Justice and La Vida Jew . . . in Technicolor Queer
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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The Browning of America and the Evasion of Social Justice

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, United States on 2012-08-26 01:54Z by Steven

The Browning of America and the Evasion of Social Justice

SUNY Press
October 2008
200 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-7914-7585-0
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-7914-7586-7

Ronald R. Sundstrom,Professor of Philosophy
University of San Francisco

Considers the effects of the browning of America on philosophical debates over race, racism, and social justice.

This book considers the challenge that the so-called browning of America poses for any discussion of the future of race and social justice. In the philosophy of race there has been little reflection about how the rapid increase in the Latino, Asian American, and mixed-race populations affects the historical demands for racial justice by Native Americans and African Americans. Ronald R. Sundstrom examines how recent demographic shifts bear upon central questions in race theory and social and political philosophy, including color blindness, interracial intimacy, and the future of race.

Sundstrom cautions that rather than getting caught up in romantic reveries about the browning of America, we should remain vigilant that longstanding claims for racial justice not be washed away.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Frederick Douglass’s Political Apostasy
  • 2. Color Blindness and the Browning of America
  • 3. The Black-White Binary as Racial Anxiety and Demand for Justice
  • 4. Interracial Intimicies: Racism and the Political Romance of the Browning of America
  • 5. Responsible Multiracial Politics
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-03-27 04:00Z by Steven

The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign

SUNY Press
September 2010
300 pages
Hardcover ISBN10: 1-4384-3659-9; ISBN13: 978-1-4384-3659-3
eBook SBN10: 1-4384-3661-0; ISBN13: 978-1-4384-3661-6

Edited by:

Heather E. Harris, Associate Professor of Business Communication
Stevenson University, Stevenson, Maryland

Kimberly R. Moffitt, Assistant Professor of American Studies
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Catherine R. Squires, John and Elizabeth Bates Cowles Professor of Journalism, Diversity, and Equality
University of Minnesota


Timely, multidisciplinary analysis of Obama’s presidential campaign, its context, and its impact.

November 4, 2008 ushered in a historic moment: Illinois Senator Barack Obama was elected the forty-fourth President of the United States of America. In The Obama Effect, editors Heather E. Harris, Kimberly R. Moffitt, and Catherine R. Squires bring together works that place Barack Obama’s candidacy and victory in the context of the American experience with race and the media. Following Obama’s victory, optimists claimed that the campaign signaled the arrival of an era of postracism and postfeminism in the United States. This collection of essays, all presented at a national conference to discuss the meaning and impact of the nomination of the first presidential candidate of African descent, remind the reader that reaching a point in U.S. history where a biracial man could be deemed “electable” is part of a still-ongoing struggle. It resists the temptation to dismiss the uncertainty, hope, and fear that characterized the events and discourse of the two-year primary and general election cycle and brings together multidisciplinary approaches to assessing “the Obama effect” on public discourse and participation. This volume provides readers with a means for recalling and mapping out the enduring issues that erupted during the campaign—issues that will continue to shape how our society views itself and President Obama in the coming years.

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But One Race: The Life of Robert Purvis

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2010-02-16 00:12Z by Steven

But One Race: The Life of Robert Purvis

State University of New York Press
January 2007
293 pages
Hardcover ISBN10: 0-7914-7007-5; ISBN13: 978-0-7914-7007-7
Paperback ISBN13: 978-0-7914-7008-4

Margaret Hope Bacon (1921-2011)

Biography of famous black abolitionist and voting rights advocate, Robert Purvis.

Born in South Carolina to a wealthy white father and mixed race mother, Robert Purvis (1810–1898) was one of the nineteenth century’s leading black abolitionists and orators. In this first biography of Purvis, Margaret Hope Bacon uses his eloquent and often fierce speeches to provide a glimpse into the life of a passionate and distinguished man, intimately involved with a wide range of major reform movements, including abolition, civil rights, Underground Railroad activism, women’s rights, Irish Home Rule, Native American rights, and prison reform. Citing his role in developing the Philadelphia Vigilant Committee, an all black organization that helped escaped slaves secure passage to the North, the New York Times described Purvis at the time of his death as the president of the Underground Railroad. Voicing his opposition to a decision by the state of Pennsylvania to disenfranchise black voters in 1838, Purvis declared “there is but one race, the human race.” But One Race is the dramatic story of one of the most important figures of his time.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Ancestral Chart of the Purvis Family
  • Introduction
  • 1. Of Southern Birth
  • 2. The City of Brotherly Love
  • 3. Present at the Beginning
  • 4. World Traveler
  • 5. “We are Not Intruders Here”
  • 6. To Aid the Fleeing Slave
  • 7. A Time of Loss
  • 8. Gentleman Farmer
  • 9. “This Wicked Law”
  • 10. “Are We Not Men?”
  • 11. “A Proud Day for the Colored Man”
  • 12. “Equality of Rights for All”
  • 13. The Freedmen’s Savings Bank
  • 14. “We are To the Manner Born”
  • 15. “His Magnificent Record”
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Read the first chapter here.

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