Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality by Michael J. Montoya (review) [Wentzell]

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Forthcoming Media, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-29 21:17Z by Steven

Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality by Michael J. Montoya (review) [Wentzell]

The Americas
Volume 71, Number 1, July 2014
pages 179-181
DOI: 10.1353/tam.2014.0105

Emily Wentzell, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Iowa

Montoya, Michael J., Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011)

Michael J. Montoya investigates U.S.-based genetic research and discourse asserting Mexican-American susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, to reveal “the role of genetic research in the persistent use of race to divide populations in society at large” (p. 12). Montoya makes the importance of this project clear, situating it in a sociocultural context where genetics suffuse our understandings of humanness, identity, and sickness, and where folk taxonomies of race—which Montoya understands as embodiments of group-based oppression—are simultaneously contested and enduring. His chapters follow blood samples and their use from donation, though abstraction into datasets and analyses, to market and the popular cultural deployment of the scientific claims they generate. Montoya reveals how each of these moments entails the construction of scientific objects, including the recasting of borderlands residents who cannot afford healthcare as humanist donors, the elision of folk taxonomies of race into bodily attributes on the population level, and the construction of “the Mexican American population” as a homogenously admixed ethno-racial group. These chapters also illustrate the process of what Montoya terms “bioethnic conscription,” in which “ethnicity comes to be construed as meaningful for scientific research,” supporting genetic or clinical claims (p. 26) and obscuring the social origins of human difference and sickness. Overall, this book reveals how broader contexts of oppression lead well-meaning researchers to further the biologization of inequality into ethno-racial categories, which pathologize and homogenize the oppressed while obscuring the material causes of sickness.

This work builds on the best foundations from anthropology and STS, wedding attention to the co-construction of society and science with an anthropological eye to material and social realities. Montoya’s resistance to dualities when investigating science-race relationships is at the same time a resistance to reductionist traditions. Avoiding oppositions between biology and society, he productively frames biology as part of society to understand how embodied inequality can come to look like racial disease susceptibility, and how broader social phenomena, like the existence of racial labels, filter into biological research.

He similarly complicates debates about the use of race in science. Pointing out that scientists are themselves wary of naturalizing race, Montoya sees that simply identifying their failures is a dead end. Instead, he investigates how even those seeking to avoid biologizing folk taxonomies of race participate in broader cultural assemblages that reinforce them. His claims draw authority from his impressive engagement with scientific practice and fluency in the language of genetics, which enable him to avoid critiquing a scientific straw man.

Such analysis draws on remarkable ethnography. Montoya conducted extensive participant observation in multiple sites of an international diabetes research consortium. This research yields data on geneticists’ daily practice in offices in Chicago, DNA sample collection along the U.S.-Mexico border, and diabetes research conferences, as well as the resulting documents such as grant proposals. Linking rich ethnography with equally rich analysis, Montoya shows readers how interactions in these sites illustrate widely varying uses and even critiques of ideas of race which ultimately, because of broader social forces, revivify ideas of human difference that perpetuate inequality. Montoya clearly situates himself in the work, discussing his intellectual and social background and its relationship to the development of his project; graduate students designing their own fieldwork will find this instructive.

This book is a must-read for scholars seeking an ethnographically grounded yet highly theoretical read on science, sickness, race and Mexicanness. It reveals relationships between race, science, and context that should be widely understood, and Montoya expresses hope that a broadly interdisciplinary readership might apply these insights. However, this aim of applicability might be thwarted by the book’s impressive but dizzying linkage of analyses to relevant theories from multiple disciplines, as well as its inclusion (especially in the introduction) of rafts of provocative questions that will not be explicitly answered. Somewhat ironically, given Montoya’s engaging discussion of a geneticist critiquing an ethnography of science’s emphasis on “philosophy shit” (p. 128), this work uses high-level theory in a way that will excite social scientists but overwhelm others. While excerpts (especially the engaging sections analyzing rich ethnography) would be useful for undergraduate classes on medical and cultural anthropology, race…

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William Wells Brown: An African American Life

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2014-09-29 19:13Z by Steven

William Wells Brown: An African American Life

W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
October 2014
624 pages
6.6 × 9.6 in
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-393-24090-0

Ezra Greenspan, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor of English
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

A groundbreaking biography of the most pioneering and accomplished African-American writer of the nineteenth century.

Born into slavery in Kentucky, raised on the Western frontier on the farm adjacent to Daniel Boone’s, “rented” out in adolescence to a succession of steamboat captains on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, the young man known as “Sandy” reinvented himself as “William Wells” Brown after escaping to freedom. He lifted himself out of illiteracy and soon became an innovative, widely admired, and hugely popular speaker on antislavery circuits (both American and British) and went on to write the earliest African American works in a plethora of genres: travelogue, novel (the now canonized Clotel), printed play, and history. He also practiced medicine, ran for office, and campaigned for black uplift, temperance, and civil rights.

Ezra Greenspan’s masterful work, elegantly written and rigorously researched, sets Brown’s life in the richly rendered context of his times, creating a fascinating portrait of an inventive writer who dared to challenge the racial orthodoxies and explore the racial complexities of nineteenth-century America.

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Sociology of Race and Ethnicity will publish its first issue in January 2015!

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Social Science on 2014-09-28 20:29Z by Steven

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity will publish its first issue in January 2015!

Editors:
David L. Brunsma, Professor of Sociology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
David G. Embrick, Associate Professor of Sociology
Loyola University, Chicago

The Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, the American Sociological Association (ASA), along with Sage, will open the submission portal for the new journal, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, which will publish its first issue in January 2015!

The official journal of ASA’s Section for Racial and Ethnic Minorities, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity will publish the highest quality, cutting-edge sociological research on race and ethnicity regardless of epistemological, methodological, or theoretical orientation. While the study of race and ethnicity has derived from a broad and deep tradition of interdisciplinarity, sociology indeed has often been at the forefront of scholarly understanding of the dynamics of race and ethnicity; yet, there exists no journal in sociology devoted to bringing together this important theoretical, empirical, and critical work. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity will provide a fulcrum upon which sociologically-centered work will swing as it also seeks to provide new linkages between the discipline of sociology and other disciplines and areas where race and ethnicity are central components.

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, published four times per year, is devoted to publishing the finest cutting-edge, critical, and engaged public sociological scholarship on race and ethnicity.

Each issue will be organized around a core group of original research articles. Depending on the length of the articles, each issue will have approximately three or four of these articles. Original articles, of 8,000 to 10,000 words, will represent rigorous sociological research in the sociology of race and ethnicity, broadly conceptualized, methodologically varied, and theoretically important pieces. The journal will also include a section that will feature original research and pedagogical application pieces devoted to the teaching of race and ethnicity–“Race and Ethnicity Pedagogy”–as well as Book Reviews and a section on Books of Note.

We are currently welcoming submissions of:

  • Regular length journal articles (8,000-10,000 words)
  • Shorter pieces on race and ethnicity pedagogy (1,500 words)

The journal’s co-editors, associate editors, and editorial board members are committed creating a high quality outlet for the most important work in the sociology of race and ethnicity, through timely and constructive peer reviews, careful and engaging editorial decision-making, as well as drawing from all epistemological, theoretical, and methodological perspectives and approaches.

Subscription Information:

Individual articles are available for immediate purchase online (See View Full-Text icon above). Print copies of individual issues can be purchased by contacting the SAGE Journals Customer Service department journals@sagepub.com 1-800-818-7243.

If you are eligible for non-standard pricing please contact Journals Customer Service department journals@sagepub.com 1-800-818-7243 for a price quote.

Frequency: eISSN: 2332-6506 ISSN: 2332-6492
Months of Distribution: Current Volume: Current Issue:
Other Titles In:

For more information, click here. For submission guidelines, click here.

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Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs on 2014-09-28 20:21Z by Steven

Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

2Leaf Press
October 2014
300 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-28-5
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-29-2

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd

Dream of the Water Children, at once a haunting collective memory and a genre-bending critical account of dominance and survival, interweaves intimate multi-family details with global politics spanning generations and continents. Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s debut work defies categorization as histories and families are intimately connected through sociological ghosts alive in the present. It is a one-of-a-kind ‘non-fiction’ inter-disciplinary evocation that will appeal to not only those interested in Black and Asian relations and mixed-race Amerasian histories, but also a wide general audience including those interested in Asian, Asian-American, Nikkei, African-American, and mixed-race identities as well as multicultural literature, history and post-colonial memoir. Those focused on academic studies such as women and gender studies, ethnic and critical mixed-race studies, social justice curriculum, political histories, memory, feminism, and militarization, etc. will appreciate the profound questions for thought that rise up from the pages. Cloyd’s book not only challenges readers to explore technologies of violence, identity, difference, and our responsibilities to the world, it will also move readers through emotional depths.

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M.I.X.E.D: Multidisciplinary.Intersectional.Xchanging.Empowering.Dialogues Art Show Call for Entries

Posted in Arts, Forthcoming Media, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2014-09-28 20:16Z by Steven

M.I.X.E.D: Multidisciplinary.Intersectional.Xchanging.Empowering.Dialogues Art Show Call for Entries

2014-08-29

M.I.X.E.D is a 100% volunteer run event & art show created in order to make space for progressive discussion around mixed-race identity and our many other intersecting identities. To learn more about “intersectionality”, please visit: http://mixed-me.ca/intersectionality

This year’s event will take place on Saturday May 2nd, 2015. The accompanying art show will take place May 1, 2015 -May 8th, 2015. The opening reception will take place May 1st, 2015.

  • Visual art due date: November 3rd, 2014
  • Facilitator due date: November 3rd, 2014
  • Performance art due date: January 16th, 2015

Submission guidelines can be found here.

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The 3rd Biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference “Global Mixed Race”

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2014-09-28 20:14Z by Steven

The 3rd Biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference “Global Mixed Race”

DePaul University
DePaul Student Center
2550 North Shefield
Chicago, Illinois 60614
2014-11-13 through 2014-11-15

Free and open to the public!

Global Mixed Race, the third biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, will be hosted at DePaul University in Chicago, November 13th-15th, 2014. It will bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines around the world to facilitate a conversation about the transnational, transdisciplinary, and transracial field of Critical Mixed Race Studies.

The 2014 conference is organized in partnership with DePaul’s Department for Latin American and Latino Studies and the Center for Intercultural Programs, and the non-profit organization Mixed Roots Stories. CMRS 2014 is also co-sponsored by DePaul’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, African Black Diaspora Studies, Art, Media, & Design, Center for Latino Research, Critical Ethnic Studies, Global Asian Studies, Irish Studies, LGBTQ Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

View the draft schedule (as of 2014-08-27) here. The final schedule will be posted after 2014-10-01.

Website: www.criticalmixedracestudies.org
E-Mail: cmrs@depaul.edu
Telephone: 773-325-4994
Facebook: criticalmixedracestudies
Twitter: @CMRSmixedrace #CMRS2014

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“Am I White” by Adrienne Dawes

Posted in Arts, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, United States on 2014-09-28 20:12Z by Steven

“Am I White” by Adrienne Dawes

Salvage Vanguard Theater Presents the Word Premiere of Am I White by Adrienne Dawes

Performances run October 1- 18, 2014
VIP Opening Night Performance: October 4, 2014

Salvage Vanguard Theater
2803 Manor Road
Austin, Texas 78722
Telephone: (512) 474-SVT-6 (474-7886)

Salvage Vanguard Theater announces the third and final MADE IN THE SVT production of its 20th anniversary season: the world premiere of Am I White by local playwright Adrienne Dawes, directed by Jenny Larson.

When Neo-Nazi terrorist Wesley Connor returns to prison after a failed bomb plot, he is confronted with the two identities that threaten his position within the White Order of Thule most: fatherhood and his own mixed race heritage.

Wesley Connor first entered the prison system at age 19. He became a member of the White Order of Thule, quickly rising the ranks of the “esoteric brotherhood working toward the revitalization of the Culture-Soul of the European people.” Within months of his release from prison, Wesley and teenage girlfriend Polly were arrested exchanging counterfeit bills at an ice cream shop. The subsequent search of their apartment found bomb-making materials, illegal weapons and plans that targeted the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Inspired by the true story of Leo Felton and Erica Chase, Am I White travels between recurring dream and minstrel show nightmare to discover if a singular self exists in an alleged “post-racial” America…

For more information, click here.

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Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Canada, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science on 2014-09-26 14:55Z by Steven

Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality

University of British Columbia Press
2014-10-21
288 pages
6 x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-7748-2772-0
Library E-Book: ISBN: 978-0-7748-2774-4

Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Geography and the Program in Journalism
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Mixed Race Amnesia is an ambitious and critical look at how multiraciality is experienced in the global north. Drawing on a series of interviews she conducted with twenty-four women of mixed race, acclaimed geographer Minelle Mahtani explores some of the assumptions and attitudes people have around multiraciality.

She discovers that, in Canada at least, people of mixed race are often romanticized as being the embodiment of a progressive, post-racial future—an ideal that is supported by government policy and often internalized by people of mixed race themselves. As Mahtani reveals, this superficial celebration of multiraciality is often done without any acknowledgment of the freight and legacy of historical racisms. Consequently, a strategic and collective amnesia is taking place—one where complex diasporic and family histories are being lost while Canada’s colonial legacy is being reinforced.

While noting that our “analytical vocabulary for describing the experience of multiraciality is not yet up to the task of telling a more complex story about whiteness, race, diasporic mobility, and grids of racial intelligibility in a white-settler society within what is understood as a multicultural liberal democracy,” Mahtani nevertheless undertakes to give us the tools we need to do this. The result is a book that takes critical race studies in new and exciting directions.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Disentangling Our Curious Affection with Mutiraciality
  • 1. Mixed Race Mythologies: Toward an Anticolonial Mixed Race Studies
  • 2. Mixed Race Narcissism? Thoughts on the Interview Experience
  • 3. The Model Multiracial: Propping Up Canadian Multiculturalism through Racial Impotency
  • 4. Beyond the Passing Narrative: Multiracial Whiteness
  • 5. Mongrels, Interpreters, Ambassadors, and Bridges? Mapping Liberal Affinities among Mixed Race Women
  • 6. Mixed Race Scanners: Performing Race
  • 7. Present Tense: The Future of Critical Mixed Race Studies
  • References
  • Index
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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 2014-09-16 01:17Z 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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The Morristown Festival of Books is Proud to Announce the Authors for September 26 and 27, 2014

Posted in Articles, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, Passing, United States on 2014-09-16 01:01Z by Steven

The Morristown Festival of Books is Proud to Announce the Authors for September 26 and 27, 2014

Morristown Festival of Books: Where Readers & Authors Meet
Morristown, New Jersey
2014-06-24

We are pleased to present our Friday night Keynote speaker and 21 authors appearing at the all-day Saturday Festival!

They will be sharing their perspectives on writing, on their book topics, answering audience questions, and signing copies of their recent releases. Choose some great summer reading and have fun trying to decide which authors you want to meet in the fall. The schedule and venues will be published early in September. Continue to check the website for updates and news throughout the summer…

…Coming in September, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life is the intriguing topic examined by Morristown High School graduate Allyson Hobbs, an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Stanford University. In the margins of historical accounts and the dusty corners of family archives, she uncovers stories long hidden.  A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, and awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Hobbs has appeared on C-Span and National Public Radio

Read the entire announcement here.

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