A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2018-04-12 19:46Z by Steven

A Visit to the 2018 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Pacific Citizen: The National Newspaper of the JACL
Los Angeles, California

Rob Buscher, Contributor

Ken Tanabe, left, and Jeff Chiba Stearns lead the Community Caucus at CMRS. (Photo: Rob Buscher)

Leaders in the multiracial movement gather to ‘Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine’ – a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the U.S.

Over the past few decades, the Japanese American community has become increasingly inclusive of multiracial and multiethnic individuals. However, for those of us who appear less phenotypically Japanese, it is sometimes difficult explaining our connection to people who are less familiar with interracial marriage and mixed-race children.

Multiracial Japanese Americans are in many ways the direct result of institutionalized racism that stigmatized Japanese-ness in the 20th century. From the Alien Land Laws to the mass incarceration during World War II, the very existence of our Japanese immigrant ancestors was deemed objectionable. Is it any wonder that so many of our parents and grandparents would choose intermarriage with partners from other ethnic and racial communities?

Yet, despite the growing prevalence of mixed-race Japanese Americans, there are many outside our community who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of our existence within the spectrum of Japanese American identity.

This is why it was so empowering to attend an event like the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, where nearly every one of the 200-plus participants were mixed race. While each individual has a totally different experience being mixed race (even within the same mixed community) the fact that multiracial folks were a super majority in this space meant that everyone had at least a basic understanding of the shared complexities surrounding our mixed identities.

Hosted at the University of Maryland on March 1-3, the 2018 conference’s theme was “Resist, Reclaim, Reimagine” — titled with a direct call to action amidst the current political climate faced by historically underrepresented communities in the United States

Read the entire article here.

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Multiraciality Enters the University: Mixed Race Identity and Knowledge Production in Higher Education

Posted in Campus Life, Dissertations, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-11 17:07Z by Steven

Multiraciality Enters the University: Mixed Race Identity and Knowledge Production in Higher Education

University of Maryland
DOI: 10.13016/M2QB78

Aaron Allen

“Multiraciality Enters the University: Mixed Race Identity and Knowledge Production in Higher Education,” explores how the category of “mixed race” has underpinned university politics in California, through student organizing, admissions debates, and the development of a new field of study. By treating the concept of privatization as central to both multiraciality and the neoliberal university, this project asks how and in what capacity has the discourses of multiracialism and the growing recognition of mixed race student populations shaped administrative, social, and academic debates at the state’s flagship universities—the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles. This project argues that the mixed race population symbolizing so-called “post-racial societies” is fundamentally attached to the concept of self-authorship, which can work to challenge the rights and resources for college students of color. Through a close reading of texts, including archival materials, policy and media debates, and interviews, I assert that the contemporary deployment of mixed race within the US academy represents a particularly post-civil rights development, undergirded by a genealogy of U.S. liberal individualism. This project ultimately reveals the pressing need to rethink ways to disrupt institutionalized racism in the new millennium.

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Marisa Franco

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-03 21:59Z by Steven

Marisa Franco

The Graduate School
University of Maryland

“My graduate degree is shaping my life and career in a number of ways. The research skills I have gained at the University of Maryland have prepared me for a career in research in academia. An International Graduate Research Fellowship, in addition, gave me the opportunity to do research abroad, in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and to develop skills in cross cultural research and its communication.”

Marisa Franco earned her PhD in counseling psychology in May 2015. She holds an MS in psychology from UMD, and a BS in applied psychology from New York University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Franco’s research focuses on “racial identity invalidation,” with particular emphasis on its psychological impact on Black/White mixed-race individuals.

For her innovative work, Franco received a number of Graduate School awards, including the ALL S.T.A.R award, granted to 16 campus graduate students with outstanding records as both researchers and graduate assistants, as well as the International Graduate Research Fellowship. Franco is the only student who has been awarded both a Flagship Fellowship, granted to ten outstanding incoming graduate students, and a McNair Graduate Fellowship, granted to five outstanding incoming graduate students who are alumni of Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Programs.

Franco also has received numerous external awards for her research, including the Michael Sullivan Diversity Award and the Association of Black Psychologists Graduate Research Award.

Franco hopes to become a professor in psychology.

Learn more about her in the interview below:…

Read the entire interview here.

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#471: Mixed Race in a Box: Teaching Mixed Race in the 21st Century

Posted in Campus Life, Live Events, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2015-05-29 19:14Z by Steven

#471: Mixed Race in a Box: Teaching Mixed Race in the 21st Century

The 28th Annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE)
Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20009
2015-05-26 through 2015-05-30

Friday, 2015-05-29, 15:30-17:30 EDT (Local Time)

In Fall 2013, The Asian American Literary Review published Mixed Race in a Box, a multimedia project equal parts art piece, anthology, and innovative educational tool. It has since been adopted as a course text for teaching race and mixed race in over 80 college and university classrooms in 6 countries—the U.S., Ireland, Argentina, Hong Kong, Poland, and Germany.

Popular consciousness of “multiracialism” is at an all-time high, and with it, student (and faculty) needs for reflecting personally and academically on mixed identities and the histories and realities of mixed race. But what exactly does it mean to teach mixed race? What are we teaching, and how, and why? Where—in what disciplines? And who are we teaching—what understandings of race and mixed race are our students, across the U.S. and beyond, bringing into the classroom?

This proposed session will outline Mixed Race in a Box as a pedagogical experiment, opening to a larger discussion of teaching mixed race and race more generally. It will explore how we can best equip students and teachers to think critically about race while, as the saying goes, “meeting them where they are.” Produced by an editorial team of University of Maryland students, featuring collaborative projects by leading artists, scholars, poets, and writers, the Box includes a range of unusual materials—a foldout map of mixed Native poetics, a deck of playing cards, three pocket books, photo slideshows and video art—and offers a wealth of different approaches to teaching race and mixed race. The session will examine some of these particular strategies and discuss the challenges and successes of employing them in various classrooms, with varying student constituencies, across the country. Prospective presenters will include a senior editor of the Box, a student editor of the Box, and two scholar-writers who contributed pieces to the Box and taught it in their respective classrooms.


Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota

Zohra Saed
Hunter College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York

Lawrence-Minh Davis, Director
Asian American Literary Review, College Park, Maryland

Andrew Mayton
University of Maryland, College Park

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Advanced Topics in Asian American Studies; The Multiracial Experience in the US (AAST498Y)

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Course Offerings, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-09-28 20:17Z by Steven

Advanced Topics in Asian American Studies; The Multiracial Experience in the US (AAST498Y)

University of Maryland
Fall 2014

Lawrence Davis

Course will focus on multiracial (“mixed race”) identity and how the experiences of multiracial people contribute to our broader understanding of racial identity and formation. Course draws on literature and research produced by and about multiracial people. In addition, students will access the topic through comment boards, live chat sessions, podcasts, and multimedia. Readings and other course materials have been selected to challenge and grow students’ understandings of race and mixed race. Also offered as AMST418W.

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Mixed Madness Month 2014

Posted in Campus Life, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-03-11 18:48Z by Steven

Mixed Madness Month 2014

University of Maryland
Adele H. Stamp Student Union
March 2014

________ Looks Like Me

Mixed Madness Month takes place every March. It is the annual heritage and advocacy month for those that consider themselves multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic, and/or a supporter of the mixing of cultures. This year’s theme is:

The “__________ Looks Like Me” theme is part of a larger campaign visual project designed to shatter stereotypes about what individuals of certain categories or groups (race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, occupation, ability, gender, etc.) look like and/or are capable of.

For more information, click here.


Advancing Health Through A Racial Lens: The New Biopolitics of Race, Health, and Justice

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-02-20 05:28Z by Steven

Advancing Health Through A Racial Lens: The New Biopolitics of Race, Health, and Justice

University of Maryland, College Park
Stamp Student Union
Banneker Room 2212
Thursday, 2014-02-20, 12:30-15:00 EST (Local Time)

Moderated by:

Dorothy Roberts J.D., Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology, and the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

Dorothy Roberts holds appointments in the Law School and Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology. An internationally recognized scholar, public intellectual, and social justice advocate, she has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues and has been a leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive health, child welfare, and bioethics. Professor Roberts is author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (1997); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2002); and Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century (2011). Among her many public interest activities, Roberts serves as chair of the board of directors of the Black Women’s Health Imperative.

Distinguished University of Maryland Panelists:

“Racial Coping in African American Mothers & Adolescents”
Mia A. Smith Bynum, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Family Science

“Treating Difference: Race, Risk, and the Politics of HIV/AIDs Prevention”
Thurka Sangaramoorthy, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

“Addressing Racial Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease: Directions for the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act”
Gneisha Y. Dinwiddie, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of African American Studies

For more information, click here or here.

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Researching the Experiences of Multiracial People Having their Racial Group Membership Denied by Others

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2013-08-23 00:43Z by Steven

Researching the Experiences of Multiracial People Having their Racial Group Membership Denied by Others

University of Maryland, College Park
Department of Psychology

Marisa Franco, Doctoral Student
Counseling Psychology


My name is Marisa Franco and I am a doctoral student in counseling psychology at the University of Maryland. I am conducting a survey examining Multiracial people’s experiences of having their racial group membership denied by others.

I would appreciate if you could participate and/or forward this study to potential participants. We are looking for participants that identify as Multiracial and are over the age of 18.

All participants will have the option of being entered into a raffle to receive one of three $25 gift cards.

To participate in the study, please click here: https://umd.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8ChXJARNTErFm0l

Prospective participants can click on the link provided above and will be directed to the informed consent document, which includes additional information on study participation. Participation in the study is expected to take approximately 30 minutes.

Participation is confidential and participants may withdraw from the study at any time. If participants have any questions, they may contact me at mgf269@umd.edu.

Thank you.

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One Drop of Love: A Multimedia Solo Performance on Racial Identity by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at University of Maryland

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2013-03-29 20:00Z by Steven

One Drop of Love: A Multimedia Solo Performance on Racial Identity by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at University of Maryland

University of Maryland, College Park
The Stamp (Adele H. Stamp Student Union) [Directions]
Atrium Room
Friday, 2013-03-29, 17:00-19:30 EDT (Local Time)

Sponsored by the Multiracial Biracial Student Association (MBSA), Office of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA), The Asian American Literary Review, University of Maryland Asian American Studies Program, and Hamsa.

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Playwright, Producer, Actress, Educator

Jillian Pagan, Director

Q&A afterwards hosted by:

Steven F. Riley, Founder and Creator

One Drop of Love is a solo performance piece that journeys from Boston, Michigan, Los Angeles, and East & West Africa from 1790 to the present as a culturally Mixed woman explores the influence of the One Drop Rule on her family and society.

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni. ©2103, Evan Tamayo

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni is a leading activist concerning mixed race, and is an actor, comedian, producer and educator. One Drop of Love is her MFA thesis, and she will be using footage from her performances to make a documentary.

Admission is free.

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni and Steven F. Riley. ©2012, Laura Kina

Ms. Cox DiGiovanni appeared in the 2013 Academy Award and Golden Globe winning film Argo (2012); co-created, co-produced and co-hosted the award-winning weekly podcast Mixed Chicks Chat (2007-2012); and co-founded and produced the annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival® (2008-20012). For more on Ms. Cox DiGiovanni and One Drop of Love, visit: http://www.onedropoflove.org.

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By Custom and By Law: Black Folklore and Racial Representation at the Birth of Jim Crow

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2013-02-13 18:53Z by Steven

By Custom and By Law: Black Folklore and Racial Representation at the Birth of Jim Crow

University of Maryland, College Park
222 pages

Shirley C. Moody

Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland, College Park in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

By Custom and By Law: Black Folklore and Racial Representation at the Birth of Jim Crow establishes folklore as a contested site in the construction of racial identity during the emergence and solidification of legalized racial segregation at the end of the nineteenth century. By examining institutional interests, popular culture performances, and political rhetoric, I demonstrate how representations of black folklore played a seminal role in perpetuating a public discourse of racial difference. Alternately, my work introduces new scholarship examining the counter-narratives posed by nineteenthcentury African American scholars, writers and folklorists who employed folklore in their various academic works and artistic productions as a vehicle to expose
and critique post-Reconstruction racial hierarchies.

In chapter one I reveal how constructions of black folklore in ante- and post-bellum popular culture intersected with emergent white folklore studies to provide a taxonomy for codifying racial difference, while simultaneously designating folklore as the medium through which racial representation would be debated. Chapter two recovers the important, but virtually unacknowledged role of African American folklorists in brokering public and academic access to black folk culture and in providing an alternative to the racist constructions of black folklore prevalent in the post-Reconstruction era. Chapter three re-contextualizes Charles Chesnutt’s The Conjure Woman as both a response to the larger national discourse surrounding black folklore and also as part of a concerted effort among black intellectuals to first expose how perceptions of racial realities were constructed through representations of black folklore, and then to redefine the role of black folklore in African American cultural and literary works.

In sum, my dissertation provides a cultural history of a formative moment in the construction of a late nineteenth century racialized discourse that placed representations of black folklore at its center. My research both recovers the neglected role of early black folklorists and writers in studying and interpreting black cultural traditions and asserts the profound significance of representations of black folklore in negotiating the perceptions and practices that have worked to define US racial ideologies in the nineteenth century and beyond.


  • List of Illustrations
  • Introduction
  • Chapter I: Folklore at the Birth of Jim Crow
  • Chapter II: The Hampton Folklore Society and The Crafting of a Black Folk Aesthetic
  • Chapter III: Conjure Justice: Charles Chesnutt and the Stolen Voice
  • Conclusion: “We Don’t Remember Enough:” Customary Folklore in Ralph Ellison’s “Flying Home”
  • Bibliography


  • 1. Thomas Rice as Jim Crow (circa 1830)
  • 2. The Celebrated Negro Melodies, as Sung by the Virginia Minstrels (Boston, 1843)
  • 3. Oliver Scott’s “Refined Negro Minstrels” (1898)
  • 4. “The Old Folks at Home”
  • 5. “A Hampton Graduate at Home”
  • 6. “The Spirit of Hampton”

From page 64:

In a society fraught with racial tensions it would be difficult to overestimate the impact of the popular representations of the black folk, coupled with the intellectual and “scientific” assessments of black folklore, on turn of the century racial politics. As many cultural commentators, past and present, have observed, demarcating racial difference in light of the increasing biological, social and cultural miscegenation came with a host of attendant difficulties. The judges and legislatures who constructed and supported the “one drop rule” recognized the difficulty of visually distinguishing race, realizing that racial identification had to move beyond physical markers. But if discerning race based on physical appearance was difficult, identifying the color of a person’s blood presented an obvious paradox. This dilemma required new indicators of racial identity, and those indicators were found in attention to what were, ostensibly, racially differentiated behaviors, i.e. folk customs. There was an insistence, for example, that blacks could not imitate whites; that the behavioral differences, if not inherent, were so ingrained that they had become “spontaneous” and “natural.” Clearly, dominant interpretations of black minstrelsy as inherent and authentic worked to legitimize segregationist agendas by supplying examples of the kinds of uncivilized behaviors which blacks supposedly exhibited as vastly different from civilized white society.

Read the entire dissertation here.

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