She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2015-11-23 21:35Z by Steven

She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body

Oxford University Press
240 Pages
53 images
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780199968169
Paperback ISBN: 9780199968176

Melissa Blanco Borelli, Senior Lecturer in Dance
Royal Holloway University of London

  • Weaves together historical method, auto-ethnographic, and performative writing
  • Sits at the precipice of scholarly and public interest in Cuban cultural history

She is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body traces the history of the Cuban mulata and her association with hips, sensuality and popular dance. It examines how the mulata choreographs her racialised identity through her hips and enacts an embodied theory called hip(g)nosis. By focusing on her living and dancing body in order to flesh out the process of identity formation, this book makes a claim for how subaltern bodies negotiate a cultural identity that continues to mark their bodies on a daily basis. Combining literary and personal narratives with historical and theoretical accounts of Cuban popular dance history, religiosity and culture, this work investigates the power of embodied exchanges: bodies watching, looking, touching and dancing with one another. It sets up a genealogy of how the representations and venerations of the dancing mulata continue to circulate and participate in the volatile political and social economy of contemporary Cuba.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue, Entre Familia/Between Family
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Historicizing Hip(g)nosis
  • Interlude 1: Echando Cuentos/Telling Stories
  • Chapter 2: Hip(g)nosis at Work: Rumors, Social Dance and Cuba’s Academias de Baile
  • Interlude 2: A Marriage Proposal
  • Chapter 3: Hip(g)nosis as Pleasure: The Mulata in Film
  • Interlude 3: Lost Baggage
  • Chapter 4: Hip(g)nosis as Brand: Despelote, Tourism and Mulata Citizenship
  • Conclusion or Rear Endings
  • Index
Tags: , , ,

Q&A with Miriam Jiménez Román

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2015-11-22 22:02Z by Steven

Q&A with Miriam Jiménez Román

Los Afro-Latinos: A Blog Following the Afro-Latino Experience

Kim Haas

In February, Latina magazine listed “6 Afro-Latinas Who Are Changing the World.” Naturally, Miriam Jiménez Román was second on the list.

Her work as a writer, professor and head of the Afro-Latin@ Forum has educated the world about the Afro-Latin experience and made her an authority on the subject. Her latest work, The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States, has been hailed for critics for its diverse portrait of Black Latinos in America.

Jiménez sat down to speak with Los Afro-Latinos about the book, Afro-Latinos in the media and bridging the gap between African Americans and Latinos.

Los Afro-Latinos: Why did you publish The Afro-Latin@ Reader?

Miriam Jiménez Román: After the 2000 Census was released [the mainstream media], basically posed Latinos and African-Americans in a Black vs. Brown dynamic. And it gave the sense that the [United States] was evolving into this post racial state and we didn’t really have to talk about race anymore. Latinos didn’t have a concern about race because the Census says Latinos, the largest minority group, can be of any race and this is a demonstration of overcoming race in [the United States]. My co-editor [Juan Flores] and I and a number of other people were appalled by that kind of analysis.

First, we’re not in a post racial state. Race is still a very important part of how all of us – globally – live our lives. African-Americans and Latinos need to get together, create change that will benefit not just Latinos and African-Americans but all people of color…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , , ,

Academia and the Identity of Mixed-Race Women

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2015-11-12 04:21Z by Steven

Academia and the Identity of Mixed-Race Women

Ain’t I A Woman Collective

Nicola Codner
Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Image: Vox Efx

I am a 35-year old mixed race woman (Black Jamaican, Nigerian and White British), born and living in Leeds, Yorkshire the UK and I recently completed a counselling diploma. As part of the work I had to do to achieve my diploma I had to do a great deal of work around examining my racial and cultural identity. It was also part of the course requirements that I had to do 20 hours of personal counselling.

I didn’t know it when I started the diploma but I had a massive amount of work that I needed to do around exploring my identity as a mixed race woman. This emerged when I started my personal counselling. I began to realise I had a lot of unresolved feelings around past experiences of racism and the lack of understanding and acknowledgement I had met as a mixed race female. I also needed to look at issues to do with race within my family as well as ancestral baggage…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

Race and the Modern Exotic: Three ‘Australian’ Women on Global Display

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, Passing, Women on 2015-11-11 03:01Z by Steven

Race and the Modern Exotic: Three ‘Australian’ Women on Global Display

Monash University Publishing
October 2011
180 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781921867125
eBook ISBN: 9781921867132

Angela Woollacott, Manning Clark Professor of History
The Australian National University

Annette Kellerman, Rose Quong and Merle Oberon were internationally successful ‘Australian’ performers of the first half of the twentieth century. Kellerman was a swimmer, diver, lecturer, and silent-film star, Quong an actor, lecturer and writer who forged a career in London and New York, and Oberon one of the most celebrated film stars of the 1930s and 1940s, first in London and then Hollywood.

Through her international vaudeville performances and film roles, Kellerman played with the quasi-racial identity of South Sea Islander. Quong built a career based on her own body, through a careful appropriation of Orientalism. Her body was the signifier of her Chinese authenticity, the essentialist foundation for her constructed, diasporic Chinese identity. The official story of Oberon’s origins was that she was Tasmanian. However, this was a publicity story concocted at the beginning of her film career to mask her lower-class, Anglo-Indian birth. Despite anxious undercurrents about her exoticism, Australians were thrilled to claim a true Hollywood star as one of their own.

These three women performers created newly modern, racially ambiguous Australian femininities. Racial thinking was at the core of White Australian culture: far from being oblivious to racial hierarchies and constructions, Australians engaged with them on an everyday basis. Around the world, ‘Australian’ stars represented a white-settler nation, a culture in which white privilege was entrenched, during a period replete with legal forms of discrimination based on race. The complex meanings attached to three successful ‘Australian’ performers in this period of highly articulated racism thus become a popular cultural archive we can investigate to learn more about contemporary connections between race, exoticism and gender on the global stage and screen.

Tags: , , , , ,

The legend of Merle

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive, Oceania, Passing, Women on 2015-11-11 02:33Z by Steven

The legend of Merle

The Age
Docklands, Victoria, Australia

Merle Oberon (1943)

She was one of the most glamorous stars of the 1930s and ’40s. A screen siren with smouldering looks, exotic features and almond-shaped eyes. Merle Oberon was described as graceful and hauntingly beautiful.

On her ascent, in 1939, she captivated the world in the box office Hollywood hit, Wuthering Heights, playing Cathy opposite Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff.

From the other side of the globe, Tasmanians glowed with pride. Oberon, according to a biography that read like a Hollywood film script, had been born in Hobart, the daughter of an upper-class white colonial family. She left Tasmania for India after her distinguished father died in a hunting accident, and was raised there by aristocratic godparents.

If Errol Flynn was the island state’s favourite son, Merle Oberon was its treasured daughter. In 1978, the Hobart Town Hall hosted a function attended by well-known local identities to welcome her back. Decades later, Tasmanians proudly recount stories and anecdotes about the hometown girl who blazed her way to Hollywood. Only Oberon wasn’t born in Tasmania. She was Anglo-Indian

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Saskatchewan artist Leah Dorion features Métis women in stunning exhibit

Posted in Articles, Arts, Canada, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Women on 2015-11-10 02:58Z by Steven

Saskatchewan artist Leah Dorion features Métis women in stunning exhibit

CBC News

Visual artist Leah Dorion said this painting is dedicated to Catherine Beaulieu Bouvier from Fort Providence, N.W.T. (Eric Anderson/CBC)

Country Wives and Daughters of the Country: Métis Women of This Land at the Affinity Gallery

Visual artist Leah Marie Dorion grew up in Prince Albert, proud of her Métis heritage, but she always wondered why Métis women were never represented in textbooks.

Now, Dorion’s doing something about it with her new exhibit of acrylic paintings and crafts.

“I have created paintings and dedicated them to specific Métis women of history,” Dorion told Saskatchewan Weekend host Eric Anderson. “These women I felt never really had a visual presence in the history books. There is a lot of oral history of these women and their contributions.”

It’s called Country Wives and Daughters of the Country: Métis Women of This Land

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Women on 2015-11-08 21:25Z by Steven

Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson

Yale University Press
424 pages
64 b/w illus.
6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Cloth ISBN: 9780300124347

Barbara Ransby, Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, African American Studies & History
University of Illinois, Chicago

  • Won Honorable Mention for the 2013 Southern California Book Festival, in the Biography/Autobiography category, sponored by JM Northern Media LLC.
  • Won an Honorable Mention for the 2013 New England Book Festival given by the JM Northern Media Family of Festivals, in the Biography/Autobiography Category.
  • Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 in the North America Category.
  • Won a Honorable Mention for the 2014 Los Angeles Book Festival in the Biography/Autobiography Category.

Eslanda “Essie” Cardozo Goode Robeson lived a colorful and amazing life. Her career and commitments took her many places: colonial Africa in 1936, the front lines of the Spanish Civil War, the founding meeting of the United Nations, Nazi-occupied Berlin, Stalin’s Russia, and China two months after Mao’s revolution. She was a woman of unusual accomplishment—an anthropologist, a prolific journalist, a tireless advocate of women’s rights, an outspoken anti-colonial and antiracist activist, and an internationally sought-after speaker. Yet historians for the most part have confined Essie to the role of Mrs. Paul Robeson, a wife hidden in the large shadow cast by her famous husband. In this masterful book, biographer Barbara Ransby refocuses attention on Essie, one of the most important and fascinating black women of the twentieth century.

Chronicling Essie’s eventful life, the book explores her influence on her husband’s early career and how she later achieved her own unique political voice. Essie’s friendships with a host of literary icons and world leaders, her renown as a fierce defender of justice, her defiant testimony before Senator Joseph McCarthy’s infamous anti-communist committee, and her unconventional open marriage that endured for over 40 years—all are brought to light in the pages of this inspiring biography. Essie’s indomitable personality shines through, as do her contributions to United States and twentieth-century world history.

Tags: , , ,

Halle Berry and the Myth of the Black Man-Eating Bitch

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2015-11-08 19:57Z by Steven

Halle Berry and the Myth of the Black Man-Eating Bitch

For Harriet

Kelly Davis
Brookyln, New York

I have a complicated relationship with Halle Berry. I have admired her work, mainly Losing Isaiah and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. She inspired my haircut senior year of college, not long after she won her history-making Academy Award. She is beautiful—unbelievably beautiful, virtually keeping the same physique for over 20 years. She has stood for me, and women like me, in places we were previously forbidden—on the covers of high-fashion magazines, and the podiums of the world’s most exclusive awards. And yet, when I think of her and her body of work, I am mostly nonplussed.

I recognize that every barrier she has broken and every challenge she has surmounted as a Black woman has been facilitated by her proximity to whiteness. Her bone structure, frame, and facial features make her “good enough” to occupy spaces where other Black actresses have been historically disallowed. She is classically beautiful. She has worked hard to be where she is, but, as with all actresses, appealing to white male gaze gives to a leg up over the competition. Her inclusion has often meant the exclusion of other phenotypically Black girls who have more melanin and more talent…

…The myth of the Man-eating Bitch has a long and storied history, especially for Black and mixed-raced women. Since the days of Thomas Jefferson, brown girls like Sally Hemings have been repeatedly cast as irresistible harlots whose sexual wiles render men incapable of making sound decisions. White women can get away with this. We all found it entertaining and encouraging on Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones, but on Black women it’s filthy, tragic, pitiful, and reviled. Imagine the conversations that would commence if Being Mary Jane was on NBC instead of BET. Let’s think about the disgust that filled the blogosphere over Annalise Keating’s undesirability on How to Get Away with Murder. We all know the deal…

Read the entire artcle here.

Tags: , ,

‘Monstress’: Inside The Fantasy Comic About Race, Feminism And The Monster Within

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Women on 2015-11-08 15:57Z by Steven

‘Monstress’: Inside The Fantasy Comic About Race, Feminism And The Monster Within

The Hollywood Reporter

Graeme McMillan

“I didn’t realize how massive it was until I started writing it,” creator Marjorie Liu tells THR.

Monstress, a new comic book series from Image Comics which launches this week, is all about hidden depths. Not only for the title character — a teenager who literally has a monster living inside her — but for the series itself, which uses the fantasy genre to explore real world issues in a new and fascinating way. Writer and series creator Marjorie Liu (Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men, the Hunter Kiss series of novels) talked to The Hollywood Reporter about the origins of the series, and why Monstress is even more than she anticipated.

“I didn’t realize how massive it was until I started writing it, and realized I had totally underestimated both the size of the project, and my own ability to wrap my head around it,” Liu says of the series. “I wanted to write about girls and monsters, which has been a theme of mine from almost the start of my career — girls and giant monsters, and the supernatural. I wanted to tell a story about war, and surviving war — and I wanted to set it all in an alternate Asia.”…

Monstress was influenced by a number of people, ideas and experiences from Liu’s life, she explained. “For example, growing up with my Chinese grandparents who were always talking about WWII — how they survived, how they fought. It wasn’t just the war they discussed, but what came after: how they had to piece their lives back together. But what’s striking to me are the photos from this time, especially the ones of my grandmother. She’s always beaming. Her smile is amazing. You would never have dreamed she went through hell.”

That pushed Liu into considering inner strength — “What does it take to hold on to one’s humanity when you’re forced to suffer the long, continuous, dehumanizing experience of war? Is it just strength? Is it something in your character? Is it the kinds of friends you surround yourself with?” — which is one of the key themes to the series. “Other questions I’ve wrestled with, both in this book and others [are] what it means to be of mixed race, what it means to straddle the borderlands of two cultures,” she added.

“The world of Monstress is one that has been torn apart by racism, slavery, by the commodification of mixed race bodies that produce a valuable substance that humans require like a drug. Even if you look human, you might not be safe. It’s a familiar story to people of color in this country, and in the last four or five years I’ve found myself deeply immersed in the study of identity and race, especially in the Asian American context.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Legal Codes and Talking Trees: Indigenous Women’s Sovereignty in the Sonoran and Puget Sound Borderlands, 1854-1946

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2015-11-08 15:34Z by Steven

Legal Codes and Talking Trees: Indigenous Women’s Sovereignty in the Sonoran and Puget Sound Borderlands, 1854-1946

Yale University Press
360 pages
23 b/w illus.
6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Cloth ISBN: 9780300211689

Katrina Jagodinsky, Assistant Professor of History
University of Nebraska

Katrina Jagodinsky’s enlightening history is the first to focus on indigenous women of the Southwest and Pacific Northwest and the ways they dealt with the challenges posed by the existing legal regimes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In most western states, it was difficult if not impossible for Native women to inherit property, raise mixed-race children, or take legal action in the event of rape or abuse. Through the experiences of six indigenous women who fought for personal autonomy and the rights of their tribes, Jagodinsky explores a long yet generally unacknowledged tradition of active critique of the U.S. legal system by female Native Americans.

Tags: ,