Seminar: Ideals of Miscegenation: Ethnicity, Sexuality, and the Chinese Ideology of “Region”

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Religion on 2016-10-23 01:54Z by Steven

Seminar: Ideals of Miscegenation: Ethnicity, Sexuality, and the Chinese Ideology of “Region”

University of Sydney
Old Teachers College
Room 310
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
2016-12-05, 14:00-15:30 AEDT (Local Time)

Ha Guangtian, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
SOAS China Institute, London, United Kingdom

While the word “miscegenation” normally carries a strongly negative connotation in the history of Western racial politics, in this talk, I use the word to describe an emergent political ideology in China that taps into the underlying assumption of one of the most essential state institutions in the governance of China’s ethnic minorities, namely, ethnic regional autonomy. Two aspects of this assumption will be the focus of my talk: its alleged facilitation of inter-ethnic and cross-cultural economic exchange and commercial flow on the one hand, and its often unspoken yet ever present intention in “consummating” this political economic arrangement with a correlated sexual arrangement, typified by inter-ethnic marriage, on the other. Rather than speaking merely at the general level, however, I choose to examine the ramifications and metamorphosis of this ideology among the elite Hui Muslim intellectuals, a group that include both university professors, think-tank researchers, and government officials. The Hui elites have been among the most enthusiastic proponents of this ideology, due particularly to their understanding of who the Hui are and how they came into being as an ethnic group. This historical presumption receives a new meaning under the “One Belt One Road” initiate. The presumptively “miscegenous” ethno-origin of the Hui is seen to offer them a critical edge in fostering a cross-cultural and cross-ethno-national perspective. This perspective, moreover, fits into a general ideology centred on a certain conception of “region” that is being formulated across different academic disciplines and political discourses in contemporary China. In many respects, this not only raises new issues of political re-alignment – or predictions of a new “great game” – in Eurasia, but also poses new challenges for theoretical critique. For the old criticism of racial, cultural, or ethnic essentialism, dear to leftist intellectuals in the 1980s and 1990s, is barely sufficient to address this new change – if anything, it plays right into its hands. By taking the Hui as an example, this talk tries to respond to this challenge at the level both of theory and of politics.

For more information, click here.

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Creating the Ideal Mexican: 20th and 21st Century Racial and National Identity Discourses in Oaxaca

Posted in Anthropology, Caribbean/Latin America, Definitions, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2016-10-22 20:38Z by Steven

Creating the Ideal Mexican: 20th and 21st Century Racial and National Identity Discourses in Oaxaca

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
September 2015
235 pages

Savannah N. Carroll

Submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

This investigation intends to uncover past and contemporary socioeconomic significance of being a racial other in Oaxaca, Mexico and its relevance in shaping Mexican national identity. The project has two purposes: first, to analyze activities and observations of cultural missionaries in Oaxaca during the 1920s and 1930s, and second to relate these findings to historical and present implications of blackness in an Afro-Mexican community. Cultural missionaries were appointed by the Secretary of Public Education (SEP) to create schools throughout Mexico, focusing on the modernization of marginalized communities through formal and social education. This initiative was intended to resolve socioeconomic disparities and incorporate sectors of the population into the national framework that had been excluded prior to the Mexican Revolution in 1910. While these efforts were predominantly implemented in indigenous communities located in the northern part of Oaxaca, observations from cultural missionaries related to social and educational conditions reveal ongoing disparities between what it means to be indigenous versus mestizo. The exclusion of moreno, or Afro-descended people from this state sponsored initiative indicates that blackness along with indigenity is otherized, with the primary difference being that Afro-descended Mexicans lack visibility.

To gain a better perspective of the historical and present significance of blackness, my project moves from the general to the specific to include José Maria Morelos, Oaxaca, an Afro-descended community that is isolated, has no tourist attractions or services, dirt roads, and little access to socioeconomic resources. Morelos was established by blacks who escaped slavery and lived independently in their own community. People in the town strongly identify with this history and its relation to their present condition. After speaking with local activists, it became apparent that rights that were supposed to be gained from the Mexican Revolution, such as land rights and public education, did not happen in Morelos, which adversely affects people’s prospects for socioeconomic advancement.

Read the entire dissertation here.

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Tracing Your “Routes”

Posted in Anthropology, Autobiography, Media Archive, Religion, United States, Videos on 2016-10-14 15:35Z by Steven

Tracing Your “Routes”

TEDx Talks: TEDxSBUWomen
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Zebulon Miletsky, Professor of Africana Studies
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

“He’s gonna have a hard time proving he’s a brother.”

Dr. Zebulon Miletsky discusses his journey through the multiple worlds of race and identity as he shares his experiences with researching his own family genealogy, the various “routes” this process led him to and how “tracing your routes” can lead to more than just knowledge about your background–it’s about how we treat one another along those “routes”.

Dr. Zebulon Miletsky teaches African-American History at Stony Brook University where he is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies. He is the author of numerous articles, essays and most recently a book chapter that appeared in the anthology “Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority” which traces the contested meanings throughout history of terminology for multiracial people and the role that this historical legacy of “naming” plays into how President Obama is read as African American, but still asserts a strategic biracial identity through the use of language, symbols, and interactions with the media. Miletsky who is half-Jewish (white) and African-American/Afro-Caribbean, has done a great deal of genealogical research for a book manuscript in progress and is in the process of researching his own family tree. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Where is the love: How tolerant is Canada of its interracial couples?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Canada, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Media Archive on 2016-10-04 01:09Z by Steven

Where is the love: How tolerant is Canada of its interracial couples?

The Globe and Mail

Zosia Bielski

Minelle Mahtani, an associate professor in human geography and journalism at the University of Toronto Scarborough, wrote the book Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality in Canada.
(Jennifer Van Houten)

Is love the last frontier of racial bigotry in Canada?

It’s a question that intrigues Minelle Mahtani, who has dared to ask whether interracial couples and their families still test the limits of tolerance in this country.

In her recent book Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality in Canada, Mahtani, an associate professor in human geography and journalism at the University of Toronto Scarborough, questions whether we’ve not just put rose-coloured glasses on our multiculturalism, especially where mixed-race families are concerned.

While interracial relationships are on the rise in Canada (we had 360,000 mixed-race couples in 2011, more than double the total from 20 years earlier), the numbers remain slim. Just 5 per cent of all unions in Canada were between people of different ethnic origins, religions, languages and birthplaces in 2011, the last year Statistics Canada collected such data. That figure rises only marginally in urban areas: Just 8 per cent of couples were in mixed-race relationships in Toronto, 10 per cent in Vancouver.

How do people in interracial relationships experience that multiculturalism on the ground, when they introduce their boyfriends and girlfriends to family, or hold hands on a date? How do mixed-race families and their children feel about it, in their communities and in their schools?

Mahtani was the keynote speaker at last month’s Hapa-palooza, an annual festival celebrating mixed heritage in Vancouver, and she will present at the next Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference in California in February. She spoke with The Globe and Mail about the daily realities of mixed-race families…

Read the entire interview here.

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This Historian Wants You To Know The Real Story Of Southern Food

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Audio, History, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2016-10-02 20:01Z by Steven

This Historian Wants You To Know The Real Story Of Southern Food

The Salt: What’s On Your Plate
Weekend Edition Saturday
National Public Radio

Erika Beras

Michael Twitty wants credit given to the enslaved African-Americans who were part of Southern cuisine’s creation. Here he is in period costume at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia estate.
Erika Beras for NPR

Michael Twitty wants you to know where Southern food really comes from. And he wants the enslaved African-Americans who were part of its creation to get credit. That’s why Twitty goes to places like Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s grand estate in Charlottesville, Va. — to cook meals that slaves would have eaten and put their stories back into American history.

On a recent September morning, Twitty is standing behind a wooden table at Monticello’s Mulberry Row, which was once a sort of main street just below the plantation. It’s where hundreds of Jefferson’s slaves once lived and worked. Dozens of people watch as Twitty prepares to grill a rabbit over an open fire.

“Look – it’s better than chicken,” he tells the audience…

…Twitty is black, Jewish and gay. He writes about all those things on his blog Afroculinaria and increasingly, in mainstream media publications. His mission is to explain where American food traditions come from, and to shed light on African-Americans’ contributions to those traditions – which most historical accounts have long ignored. He says little is documented about what slaves ate. It’s just a line here and a line there.

“There was no sense of their personal stories, no sense of their familial ties, no sense of their personal likes or dislikes,” he says. “It was just straight up a very bland, neutral version of history.”…

Read the entire story here. Download the story here.

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Race and Ethnicity: Constancy in Change (First Edition)

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Economics, Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Latino Studies, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-10-02 01:38Z by Steven

Race and Ethnicity: Constancy in Change (First Edition)

Cognella Academic Publishing
372 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-63487-489-2

Edited by:

Milton Vickerman, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Virginia

Hephzibah V. Strmic-Pawl, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York

Race and Ethnicity: Constancy in Change uses both classic readings and new research on contemporary racial inequality to create a logical progression through the primary issues of race and ethnicity.

The nine sections discuss the history of race and racism, define major concepts, and analyze how and why inequality persists. In addition to the readings, the anthology features introductions that frame each section’s readings, key terms with which students should be familiar, learning objectives for each section, and Reflect and Consider inquiries designed for each reading. Each section ends with a Highlight that showcases a contemporary racial trend in the news. The sections are also supplemented by Read, Listen, Watch, Interact! features, which supply easily accessible links to complementary readings, audio stories, videos, and interactive websites. The book concludes with Investigate Further, a list of readings for those who wish to delve deeper into a particular topic.

Race and Ethnicity enables students to grasp the fundamentals of race and racism and encourages them to engage in conversations about them. Ideal for sociology programs, the anthology is well-suited to courses on race and ethnicity.

Table of Contents

    • HIGHLIGHT: Eugenics are Alive and Well in the United States BY PAUL CAMPOS, TIME
    • READING 2.1 Immigrants and the Changing Categories of Race BY KENNETH PREWITT
    • READING 2.2 The Theory of Racial Formation BY MICHAEL OMI AND HOWARD WINANT
    • HIGHLIGHT: Why Do So Many Americans Think They Have Cherokee Blood: The History of a Myth BY GREGORY D. SMITHERS, SLATE
    • READING 3.1 The United States: A Nation of Immigrants BY PETER KIVISTO
    • READING 3.2 The Three Phases of US Bound Immigration BY ALEJANDRO PORTES AND RUBEN RUMBAUT
    • READING 3.3 The Ideological Roots of the “Illegal” as Threat and the Boundary as Protector BY JOSEPH NEVINS
    • READING 3.4 Segmented Assimilation Revisited: Types of Acculturation and Socioeconomic Mobility in Young Adulthood BY MARY C. WATERS, VAN C. TRAN, PHILIP KASINITZ, AND JOHN H. MOLLENKOPF
    • READING 3.5 Immigration Patterns, Characteristics, and Identities BY ANNY BAKALIAN & MEHDI BOZORGMEHR
    • READING 3.6 The Reality of Asian American Oppression BY ROSALIND CHOU AND JOE FEAGIN
    • HIGHLIGHT: Future Immigration Will Change the Face of America by 2065 BY D’VERY COHN, PEW RESEARCH CENTER
    • READING 4.1 The Nature of Prejudice BY PETER ROSE
    • READING 4.2 Racism without Racists: “Killing Me Softly” with Color Blindness BY EDUARDO BONILLA-SILVA AND DAVID G. EMBRICK
    • READING 4.3 Colorstruck BY MARGARET HUNTER
    • READING 4.4 The White Supremacy Flower: A Model for Understanding Racism BY HEPHZIBAH V. STRMIC-PAWL
    • READING 4.5 Family Law, Feminist Legal Theory, and the Problem of Racial Hierarchy BY TWILA L. PERRY
    • HIGHLIGHT: Yes, All White People Are Racists— Now Let’s Do Something About It BY TIM DONOVAN, ALTERNET
    • READING 5.1 The American Dream of Meritocracy BY HEATHER BETH JOHNSON
    • READING 5.2 Racial Orders in American Political Development BY DESMOND S. KING AND ROGERS M. SMITH
    • READING 5.3 Migration and Residential Segregation BY JOHN ICELAND
    • READING 5.4 “White, Young, Middle Class”: Aesthetic Labor, Race and Class in the Youth Labor Force BY YASEMIN BESEN-CASSINO
    • READING 5.5 Why Both Social Structure and Culture Matter in a Holistic Analysis of Inner-City Poverty BY WILLIAM JULIUS WILSON
    • HIGHLIGHT: Nine Charts About Wealth Inequality in America BY THE URBAN INSTITUTE
    • READING 6.1 The Revolution Will Not Be Available on iTunes: Racial Perspectives BY DUSTIN KIDD
    • READING 6.2 Racial Exclusion in the Online World BY REBECCA J. WEST AND BHOOMI THAKORE
    • READING 6.3 Fear Of A Black Athlete: Masculinity, Politics and The Body BY BEN CARRINGTON
    • READING 6.4 The Native American Experience: Racism and Mascots in Professional Sports BY KRYSTAL BEAMON
    • HIGHLIGHT: Pop Culture’s Black Lives Matter Moment Couldn’t Come at a Better Time BY STEVEN W. THRASHER, THE GUARDIAN
    • READING 7.1 The State of Our Education BY TERENCE FITZGERALD
    • READING 7.2 The Immigration Industrial Complex BY TANYA GOLASH-BOZA
    • READING 7.3 Evading Responsibility for Green Harm: State Corporate Exploitation of Race, Class, and Gender Inequality BY EMILY GAARDER
    • HIGHLIGHT: 5 Links Between Higher Education and the Prison Industry BY HANNAH K. GOLD, ROLLING STONE
    • READING 8.1 Liminality in the Multiracial Experience: Towards a Concept of Identity Matrix BY DAVID L. BRUNSMA, DANIEL J. DELGADO, AND KERRY ANN ROCKQUEMORE
    • READING 8.2 Race and the New Bio-Citizen BY DOROTHY ROBERTS
    • READING 8.3 A Post-Racial Society? BY KATHLEEN FITZGERALD
    • READING 9.1 The Problem of The Twentieth Century is The Problem of The Color Line BY W.E.B. DU BOIS
    • READING 9.2 The Optimism of Uncertainty BY HOWARD ZINN
    • READING 9.3 Why We Still Need Affirmative Action BY ORLANDO PATTERSON
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Afro-Latinos Have a Well-Deserved Place at the New National Museum of African American History

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-30 01:18Z by Steven

Afro-Latinos Have a Well-Deserved Place at the New National Museum of African American History


Yara Simón, Trending Editor

This weekend marked the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. After Rep. John Lewis and others spent decades battling Congress for funding, the museum opened its doors on Sunday from 7 a.m. to midnight, according to the New York Times. It’s a celebration of the black community’s contributions to the United States, but it also highlights the injustices faced by an often marginalized group. More than anything, it’s crucial to our understanding of our national identity. The museum comes at a time when racist policing has taken center stage, and just months before the first black president of the United States steps down.

On Saturday, President Barack Obama helped inaugurate the museum. He stood in front of thousands and repeated Langston Hughes’ words, “I too, am America.” “African American history is not somehow separate than the American story,” he said according to the Washington Post. “It is not the underside of the American story. It is central to the American story.”

The 400,000 square-foot museum sits on the National Mall and features more than 36,000 artifacts that aim to explore all parts of blackness. While the intersection between black and Latino identities aren’t always acknowledged, it’s an important part of both groups. The National Museum of African American History and Culture doesn’t ignore the Afro-Latino experience. Check out a few ways they’re being included in African-American history below:…

Read the entire article here.

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This Movie Was Nearly Lost. Now They’re Fighting to Save It.

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Communications/Media Studies, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-09-25 21:44Z by Steven

This Movie Was Nearly Lost. Now They’re Fighting to Save It.

The New York Times

John Anderson

Richard Romain in the 1982 film “Cane River.”
Credit IndieCollect

When it debuted in 1982, “Cane River” was already a rarity: a drama by an independent black filmmaker, financed by wealthy black patrons and dealing with race issues untouched by mainstream cinema. Richard Pryor had even tried to take it to Hollywood.

But since a negative resurfaced two years ago, it has attained a certain mythic quality, connecting a disparate group of people across the country: New York preservationists dedicated to restoring it; a cultural historian in Louisiana devoting an academic paper to it; an archivist in Los Angeles fascinated with it. And the director’s son, the music journalist and filmmaker Sacha Jenkins, who knew about the film but has never seen it, and who has been left with a question no small number of sons have asked about their fathers.

“Who was this guy?”…

Cane River itself is a historically multicultural area in Natchitoches Parish in Louisiana, and the movie, in addition to being a Romeo-Juliet romance, deals with land swindles perpetrated against people of color, and “colorism”— that is, social hierarchy as dictated by skin tone.

“It’s a common issue, because there was a lot of intermarriage and, of course, slavery,” said Carol Balthazar, who was Horace Jenkins’s partner, and whose family history provided the movie’s historical backdrop…

…Ms. Spann watched a bootleg DVD of “Cane River.” “I can’t think of any film that dealt with colorism in such a serious way,” she said. She is writing a paper on “Cane River” for the Louisiana Historical Society, and said some of the scenes seemed too long. Debra I. Moore, who edited the film in 1980, said there’s a good reason for that…

Read the entire article here.

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The Ambiguous and the Mundane: Racial Performance and Asian Americans

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-25 02:23Z by Steven

The Ambiguous and the Mundane: Racial Performance and Asian Americans

Contemporary Literature
Volume 57, Number 2, Summer 2016
pages 292-300

Josephine D. Lee, Professor of English and Asian American
University of Minnesota

Jennifer Ann Ho, Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture. New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Rutgers University Press, 2015. xi + 215 pp. $90.00 cloth; $31.95 paper.

Ju Yon Kim, The Racial Mundane: Asian American Performance and the Embodied Everyday. New York: New York University Press, 2015. x + 286 pp. $90.00 cloth; $28.00 paper.

Asian American studies scholars such as Karen Shimakawa (National Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage), Leslie Bow (Betrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, Asian American Women’s Literature), Tina Chen (Double Agency: Acts of Impersonation in Asian American Literature and Culture), Joshua Chambers-Letson (A Race So Different: Performance and Law in Asian America), and myself have drawn attention to the theatrical nature of Asian American racialization—the assumed incompatibility between Asian bodies and American loyalties that undergirds racial stereotypes such as the perpetual foreigner or the wartime enemy. The Asian American is imagined as a potential traitor or an economic threat whose essential nature is inherently at odds with American identity and whose apparently successful cultural assimilation is inherently untrustworthy. Throughout their long history, Asian Americans have been subject to the material and psychological consequences of this endgame, whether in the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans or in outlandish expectations for the “model minority.”

Two recent books—Ju Yon Kim’s The Racial Mundane: Asian American Performance and the Embodied Everyday and Jennifer Ann Ho’s Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture—also envision Asian American racialization as a shifting and dynamic social performance, unpacking what “Asian American” does, rather than just assuming what it is. Both directly challenge fixed notions of racial epistemology as well as provide insightful, original commentary on historical and contemporary Asian American literature and culture.

Grounded in the theories of theatrical phenomenology and Asian American studies, Kim’s Racial Mundane specifically looks at the juxtaposition of Asian American culture (especially Asian American theater) and “everyday” life. Theater is often considered the realm of imaginative pretense as contrasted with the authentic world offstage. But as Kim points out, both theater and life are mainly constituted by repetitive habits and behaviors that define self and action. What Kim calls “the mundane” is the “fusion of the corporeal and the quotidian,” or as she eloquently puts it, “the slice of the everyday carried—and carried out—by the body” (3). For Asian Americans, these ordinary bodily practices are charged with racial significance. Asian exclusion and marginalization was founded on the premise that Asian immigrants and their descendants would never fully assimilate. Kim takes up different instances of this perceived gap between Asian body and American behavior; for instance, she reads the myth of the “model minority” in Justin Lin’s 2002 film Better Luck Tomorrow and Lauren Yee’s biting 2014 satire Ching Chong Chinaman as demonstrative of this racial slippage, whereby Asian American achievement is interpreted both as proof of a successful transition into Americanness and as accentuating a racial difference that belies assimilation.

Though Kim’s examples are largely contemporary, she opens with an analysis of a play that premiered in 1912. Now mostly forgotten, Harry Benrimo and George C. Hazelton Jr.’s The Yellow Jacket was praised in touring productions as well as Broadway revivals, drawing attention for its novel adaptation of the stage devices of Chinese opera as well as Chinese settings and characters. Kim juxtaposes the success of this play’s version of Chineseness with the uncertainty and suspicion with which Chinese immigrants were treated. If the “heathen Chinee” (as Bret Harte called the Chinese immigrant in his popular 1870 poem) was so reviled in early twentieth-century America, how do we explain the popularity of the Chinese characters (played by white actors) in The Yellow Jacket? Key to this contradiction was Benrimo and Hazelton’s inclusion of a “Property Man,” a character who manages the stage set and props while doing ordinary things such as eating, smoking, and reading a newspaper. This novel stage device may well have influenced Thornton Wilder’s creation of the Stage Manager for his…

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Obama: African-American museum helps tell fuller story of America

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Barack Obama, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-09-24 23:17Z by Steven

Obama: African-American museum helps tell fuller story of America

Cable News Network (CNN)

Eugene Scott, Politics Reporter

Suzanne Malveaux, National correspondent

Kevin Bohn, Supervising Producer

Washington (CNN) President Barack Obama said Saturday that the new Smithsonian museum devoted to African-American history elevates the often-overlooked impact of black Americans and will help others better understand the breadth of the American story.

“This national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are,” Obama, the first African-American president, said at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

“By knowing this other story we better understand ourselves and each other. It binds us together. It reaffirms that all of us are America, that African-American history is not somehow separate from our larger American story,” he added. “It is central to the American story.”

Saturday’s opening ceremony for the museum also was attended by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and Chief Justice John Roberts. Thousands are expected to have descended on the National Mall this weekend to celebrate the museum’s opening…

Read the entire article here.

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