‘Global Mixed Race’ conference welcomes scholars, filmmakers to Chicago

Posted in Articles, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-29 19:51Z by Steven

‘Global Mixed Race’ conference welcomes scholars, filmmakers to Chicago

DePaul University
News Release
2014-10-29


Rebecca King-O’Riain, senior lecturer at the National University Ireland Maynooth, will give a keynote speech at the “Global Mixed Race” conference at DePaul University. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca King-O’Riain)

Zélie Asava of the Dundalk Institute of Technology in Ireland will discuss mixed race representations in Irish cinema at the “Global Mixed Race” conference at DePaul University. (Photo courtesy of Zélie Asava)

DePaul University to host free gathering Nov. 13-15

CHICAGO — Critical mixed race studies, a growing academic field that crosses national, disciplinary and racial boundaries, will be the focus of discussion by scholars, filmmakers and performers at an international conference Nov. 13-15 in Chicago. “Global Mixed Race” will be held at DePaul University’s Lincoln Park Campus, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave. In addition to presentations of scholarly research, there will be live performances and film screenings, including the Chicago premiere of “Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China” by director Paula Williams Madison.

Nearly 200 presenters from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan and Australia will participate in 45 panels during this third biennial conference, which was founded at DePaul in 2010.

“We wanted to create a dynamic space for ongoing scholarly antiracist conversations, debates, and creative processes around multiraciality that also is open and inclusive for the general public, community organizations, and those involved in the arts,” said Laura Kina, cofounder of the conference and professor of art, media and design at DePaul University. Kina is coauthor of “War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art” and an artist whose solo exhibitions include “Blue Hawai’I” and “Sugar.”

Camilla Fojas, conference cofounder and professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul, will deliver the welcoming address with Kina.

Critical mixed race studies is comparative and interdisciplinary. It engages colonial and imperial histories, giving it a transnational and global focus,” Fojas said. Her research focuses on transnational American media and cultural studies in a comparative imperial context. Her newest work, “Islands of Empire: Pop Culture and U.S. Power,” examines how the United States has narrated its relationship with island territories, including Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

The conference will feature two keynote speakers from Ireland: Rebecca King-O’Riain and Zélie Asava

Read the entire press release here.

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The Electoral Consequences of Skin Color: The “Hidden” Side of Race in Politics

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-10-29 16:57Z by Steven

The Electoral Consequences of Skin Color: The “Hidden” Side of Race in Politics

Political Behavior
Volume 34, Issue 1 (March 2012)
pages 159-192
DOI: 10.1007/s11109-010-9152-7

Vesla M. Weaver, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Political Science
Yale University

Despite the significant role that skin color plays in material well-being and social perceptions, scholars know little if anything about whether skin color and afrocentric features influence political cognition and behavior and specifically, if intraracial variation in addition to categorical difference affects the choices of voters. Do more phenotypically black minorities suffer an electoral penalty as they do in most aspects of life? This study investigates the impact of color and phenotypically black facial features on candidate evaluation, using a nationally representative survey experiment of over 2000 whites. Subjects were randomly assigned to campaign literature of two opposing candidates, in which the race, skin color and features, and issue stance of candidates was varied. I find that afrocentric phenotype is an important, albeit hidden, form of bias in racial attitudes and that the importance of race on candidate evaluation depends largely on skin color and afrocentric features. However, like other racial cues, color and black phenotype don’t influence voters’ evaluations uniformly but vary in magnitude and direction across the gender and partisan makeup of the electorate in theoretically explicable ways. Ultimately, I argue, scholars of race politics, implicit racial bias, and minority candidates are missing an important aspect of racial bias.

Read the entire article here.

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Should “Latino” be a Race on the Census?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-10-29 16:08Z by Steven

Should “Latino” be a Race on the Census?

National Institute for Latino Policy
Guest Commentary
2014-10-26

Thomas Lopez, President
Multiracial Americans of Southern California

Few questions cause as much existential angst among Latino intellectuals as this one. The Latino origin question was added to the Census in such a hurry back in 1970, that little thought was likely given to how it would fold into the existing racial categories at the time. It has remained a separate question ever since; thus was born the ubiquitous phrase “Latino (or Hispanic) can be of any race.”  It has been stated so often that it has become more of a platitude than a validated scientific fact.  Kudos should be given to the Census Bureau for finally addressing this issue.  Even if nothing changes in the Census, just considering the question forces us into a deeper conversation about identity in general. Because in order to answer the question of whether or not Latino should be a race, one must first answer a more fundamental question: what is race?

Perhaps it would be easier to start with what race isn’t. There is no biological or genetic basis for race. The full argument supporting this assertion is beyond the scope of this commentary so we will just have to accept that as truth for now.  So what is race? Race is a social construct, which is fancy academic speak for simply being made up. That isn’t to say it doesn’t have meaning just because it is made up. We infuse numerous social constructs with meaning. However, it does create a challenge for demographers to determine what society considers a race and what it doesn’t. The key is looking at the context in which it is used…

Read the entire article here.

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The End of Race As We Know It?

Posted in Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2014-10-29 15:06Z by Steven

The End of Race As We Know It?

Stanford+Connects
Stanford University
2014-10-09

Michele Elam, Professor of English
Stanford University

Sharing demographic shifts and a personal story about the use of her photograph in various advertisements, Professor Michele Elam traces multiracial identities from the 1940s to present day. In this talk, she explores how society understands race through context and their own cultural perceptions, and what this means for society.

For more information, click here.

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One of Us

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-29 01:17Z by Steven

One of Us

Boston Magazine
November 2014 (published 2014-10-28)

Jennifer J. Roberts


Portrait of the author by Jason Grow

I was a typical Southie kid, one of six, born to a single mother, raised in a triple-decker, surrounded by Whitey Bulger’s violence and fierce Irish pride. There was only one thing that kept me on the outside: Despite my mother’s claims to the contrary, we were black.

When I was six years old, I was bused to school at John Winthrop Elementary on the Dorchester/Roxbury line. The school was in a mostly black neighborhood, about 3 miles from the South Boston neighborhood where I lived, but even then I understood it as enemy territory.

My mother had made that clear: She was ­aggressive about her stance against busing, and “those blacks.” By which she didn’t mean us. I was the youngest of six kids, and the darkest, but if you asked my mother, she’d tell you we were Irish. Virginia Roberts was a proud supporter of Jim Kelly and Billy Bulger, hugged them flamboyantly at every St. Paddy’s Day Parade. They would give her a kiss on the cheek. I would cringe. Tall, thin, and attractive, she wore a shamrock brooch on her housecoat. Her kinky hair was usually covered by a kerchief or a wig. Her skin, like mine, was a warm beige in the winter and a deep red-brown in the summer. But we were Irish, she insisted, and nothing else.

Sitting in a neighbor’s kitchen, racial slurs would buzz around like hungry mosquitoes waiting to suck my blood out and leave me cold. Inevitably one would land on my mother. “Why can’t they just stay in their neighborhood? No offense, Ginny,” waving a cigarette at my mother. “You know we don’t mean you!” My mother would swat away their words with indifference; of course they didn’t mean her! She’d scoff right along with them.

When I was a child, the origin of our shared skin tone and hair texture was a mystery. Out on the street, though, kids had theories: “I heard your grandmother was raped by a black man,” they’d say to me, or, “I heard your mother was found on a doorstep and your grandmother took her in.” What was clear to me, even as a little girl, was that my mother wanted no part of our shared racial heritage. The bubble of denial she created for herself was solid Teflon. Everything rolled right off of her and onto me. At home, I was Irish. On the street, I was something different: “jigaboo,” “nigger,” “Oreo,” “Jenny the spook.” These names were spoken to me almost as if they were endearments, nicknames. Nearly everyone in Southie had a nickname.

I was from Southie; I was one of them. I was their black girl…

Read the entire article here.

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On blackness and autism, identity and essence

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-29 00:54Z by Steven

On blackness and autism, identity and essence

Ray Hemachandra @ Golden Moon Publishing: Autism, spirit, beauty. Compassion. Love. Kindness. Sparks of light.
2014-02-24

Ray Hemachandra

Often I’m asked “What are you?”

Racial and ethnic identity still inform so much in our culture. The question asked really is a question of identity. “What are you?” masks the underlying question, “Who are you?”

When I was young I was black. My father, Neal Hemachandra, was black. His mother, Leathe Wade Colvert, was black. Her mother, Martha Pleasant, came from Virginia and slave plantations. She was black.

I was black even as I carried an Asian Indian name and just as much ethnic heritage: my father’s father, Balatunga Hemachandra, emigrated from Sri Lanka. I was black even as I was Jewish: my blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jewish mother’s family were immigrants from eastern Europe, and much of their family died in the Holocaust. I was black even as American Indian and black Dutch genes contributed to my father’s ancestral lines…

American history and family history confirmed this identity. One drop. My parent’s mixed marriage: they were married in New York City, where they both were born, by a prominent NYC African American judge, Hubert Delany, brother of the Delany sisters who became famous decades later. My parents’ marriage was reported in the black press in several papers up and down the East Coast

Read the entire article here.

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Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial by Ralina L. Joseph (review) [Ardizzone]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2014-10-29 00:25Z by Steven

Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial by Ralina L. Joseph (review) [Ardizzone]

African American Review
Volume 46, Number 4, Winter 2013
pages 787-790
DOI: 10.1353/afa.2013.0105

Heidi Ardizzone, Assistant Professor of American Studies
Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

Joseph, Ralina L., Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012)

Ralina Joseph begins Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial with a personal story. Her own engagement with ongoing debates over identity, ancestry, authenticity, and race mirrored political and cultural shifts in perceptions of people of mixed ancestry at the time. As a college student in the 1990s, Joseph quickly embraced the term multiracial to describe her own “race story,” becoming a leader of Brown (University’s) Organization of Multi- and Biracial Students (BOMBS). Being multiracial became, she says, a “full blown preoccupation” (xv), resulting in her undergraduate thesis on cultural depictions of black-white women. Transcending Blackness continues this project, identifying two related images, the millennial mulatta, and the exceptional multiracial, which operate in a dialectic cultural relationship as a “two-sided stereotype” (5). Joseph defines both representations in relationship to blackness: Millennials are punished for their attempts to identify as black; exceptionals are rewarded for transcending blackness or even race itself. Rather than demonstrating that blackness might be embraced “in messy, hybridized, multiracial forms” in the cultural texts Joseph examines, blackness is the thing that “must be risen above, surpassed, or truly transcended” (4). However, Joseph also introduces a third potential option: multiracial blackness, identifying positively and simultaneously as mixed and as black or African American. While she embraces this option for herself and claims it as a dominant identity, the authors whose works she analyzes never display it in their fictional depictions of this black-unite figure. So multiracial blackness forms a third point in a now triangulated relationship that crosses the line between social experience and cultural representation.

Transcending Blackness follows a familiar literary and media studies format: The Preface, Introduction, and Conclusion bracket four chapters, each focusing on a particular genre, work, and multiracial or black-white female character. Joseph’s Introduction lays out her terms and framework, while providing a clear and concise history of people of mixed ancestry, of their treatment and categorization, and of the attitudes toward and circumstances of interracial unions. She also provides a selective trajectory of literary and media depictions of the black-white figure covering roughly a century prior to her target years of 1998-2008. This decade spans the first inclusion of the “pick one or more” option under the federal census’ racial categories, and the election of the first U.S. president who could have—but publically didn’t—exercise that option. Like the twenty years that preceded it, the 1998-2008 decade falls squarely in the overlapping postracial and postfeminist eras that Joseph identifies as key to understanding the shifting meaning of the representations of black-white women. However, her decade is a static one: Her chapters are not chronological, but organized around her analytic positioning of each text and character within her framework.

One result of this is that the four main chapters operate in some ways more as related essays than as an integrated argument. But there is a consistent analytical thread. In the first two chapters Joseph presents two examples of the new millennium mulatta to show “how blackness is cause and effect of sadness and pain for the multiracial African American figure.” The last two chapters then argue that for the exceptional multiracial “blackness is an irrelevant entity” (6). And the first chapter sets up Joseph’s argument, not just for the new millennium mulatta, but also for the absence of the multiracial blackness that Joseph is looking for but doesn’t find—at least not in the form in which she desires it to be…

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A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life – Allyson Hobbs

Posted in Audio, Forthcoming Media, History, Interviews, Live Events, Passing, United States on 2014-10-28 21:10Z by Steven

A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life – Allyson Hobbs

Research at the National Archives and Beyond
BlogTalk Radio
Thursday, 2014-11-06, 21:00 EST (Friday, 2014-11-07, 02:00Z)

Bernice Bennett, Host

Allyson Hobbs is an assistant professor in the history department at Stanford. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and she received a Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Chicago. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. Allyson teaches courses on American identity, African American history, African American women’s history, and twentieth century American history. She has won numerous teaching awards including the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize. She has appeared on C-SPAN and National Public Radio and her work has been featured on CNN.com and Slate.com. Allyson’s first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, published by Harvard University Press, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present.

For more information, click here.

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‘I Hope My Son Stays White’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-28 21:06Z by Steven

‘I Hope My Son Stays White’

Ebony
News & Views
2014-09-02

Calvin Hennick

A White father of a biracial son admits his fears for what happens when his child gets older and can no longer ‘pass

I am a white man, and part of the privilege that comes along with that fact is this: I know, with something bordering on 100 percent certainty, how my death will not be portrayed if I am shot and killed while walking down the street unarmed.

No one will scour my social media accounts for photos of me wearing a hooded sweatshirt or flipping off the camera. No one will ignore my lack of a criminal record and decide that I’m a “thug” for unnamed reasons. It won’t matter whether I’ve smoked pot, or shoplifted, or if I was ever suspended from school.

And, especially if my hypothetical assailant turns out to be black, I can be confident that there will be no rallies to support him. His identity will not be hidden from the public for days, and no crowdfunding campaign will raise a six-figure sum to support his family through “their” difficult time.

There will be no national effort to blame me for my own death…

Read the entire article here.

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Shows: One Drop of Love

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2014-10-28 20:57Z by Steven

Shows: One Drop of Love

Mesa Arts Center
Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse
One East Main Street
Mesa, Arizona 85201
Box Office: (480) 644.6500

Performing Live Series
Saturday, 2014-11-01, 15:00 & 19:30 MT (Local Time)

Produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and the show’s writer/performer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, One Drop of Love is a multimedia one woman show. It incorporates film, photographs, and animation to examine how ‘race’ has been constructed in the United States and how it can influence our most intimate relationships.

For more information, click here.

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