MixedRaceStudies.org Celebrates Its Fifth Year!

Posted in Articles, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, New Media on 2014-05-29 13:12Z by Steven

MixedRaceStudies.org Celebrates Its Fifth Year!

2014-05-29

Steven F. Riley

This month, MixedRaceStudies.org celebrates its fifth year. The purpose of the site, to provide a non-commercial gateway to interdisciplinary English language scholarship about multiraciality, has held steady for the last five years. Since then, the amount of content has mushroomed to over 7,000 posts and I continue to maintain the site today.

At this five-year mark, a collection of nearly 4,000 articles, over 1,100 books, and thousands of other items from various media sources are available to peruse. The site design provides links for users to follow, with excerpted remarks and passages to educate, illuminate, and pique a reader’s curiosity. Since early 2014, the site now has an active bibliography of books!

Part of the enjoyment of maintaining the site is that I have to continually update categories to keep pace with the ever-evolving field of mixed race studies.

Users from all over the world have corresponded with me, often commending the richness and usefulness of the material. One Ph.D. student wrote to say, “It’s probably the single most valuable tool in my work.”

Five years into its existence, the site now welcomes over 2,500 visitors per day; logging over 750,000 page views per month.

Thank you for your support!

Bung Mokhtar: Mixed-race Malaysians will benefit from racial voting

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, New Media, Oceania, Politics/Public Policy on 2014-04-01 21:59Z by Steven

Bung Mokhtar: Mixed-race Malaysians will benefit from racial voting

Malay Mail Online
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
2014-04-01

Zurairi AR

UALA LUMPUR, Apr 1 — Malaysians with mixed-race parentage will benefit the most from voting along racial lines as they will have more than one representative, Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin said today.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) MP also claimed that the system suggested by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim yesterday will ensure justice for every ethnic group in Malaysia.

“For those who may have two or three ancestries, they can choose which one they prefer… They can be in both worlds,” Bung said in Parliament here.

“For me that is really good. At least, for me who has both Sungai and Malay ancestries, I can then get two or three representatives. Now, I can only get one.”

Sungai is the name of one of the many official tribes in Sabah.

Bung also refuted claims that Shahidan’s remarks is alike the now-abolished apartheid regime in South Africa, in which people voted for representatives from their own ethnic communities…

Read the entire article here.

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Playing Chinese Whispers: The Official ‘Gossip’ of Racial Whitening in Jorge Amado’s Tenda dos Milagres

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, New Media on 2014-03-26 17:36Z by Steven

Playing Chinese Whispers: The Official ‘Gossip’ of Racial Whitening in Jorge Amado’s Tenda dos Milagres

Forum for Modern Language Studies
Published online: 2014-03-26
DOI: 10.1093/fmls/cqu006

Helen Lima de Sousa, Santander Post-Doctoral Senior Studentship in Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies
Clare College, University of Cambridge

This article explores the possible inauthentic nature of official discourse, as political, religious or intellectual elites manipulate facts in a process that parallels the childhood game of Chinese Whispers. Considering this process of manipulation, and the false messages it produces, it is suggested that such discourses, while official, resemble the assumed inauthentic nature of gossip. Within the framework of this concept, the article explores the fusion of official and unofficial discourse in Jorge Amado’s novel Tenda dos milagres (1969). Initially analysing Amado’s fictionalization of the nineteenth-century Bahian doctor Raimundo Nina Rodrigues and his theories on racial whitening, the article subsequently investigates the continued manipulation of fact by the fictional Bahian political and intellectual elite of the 1960s as the image of the protagonist Pedro Archanjo is transformed, during the official posthumous celebrations of his life, from a poor mulatto who questioned the status quo, to an obedient, white intellectual.

Read or purchase the article here.

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‘Stretching out the categories’: Chinese/European narratives of mixedness, belonging and home in Singapore

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, New Media, Oceania, Social Science on 2014-03-20 20:45Z by Steven

‘Stretching out the categories’: Chinese/European narratives of mixedness, belonging and home in Singapore

Ethnicities
Volume 14, Number 2 (April 2014)
pages 279-302
DOI: 10.1177/1468796813505554

Zarine L. Rocha, Research Scholar
Department of Sociology
National University of Singapore

Racial categorization is important in everyday interactions and state organization in Singapore. Increasingly, the idea of ‘mixed race’ and new conceptions of mixedness are challenging such classification along racial lines. Although contemporary Singapore is extremely diverse, the underlying ideology of multiracialism remains grounded in distinctly racialized groups, leaving little space for more complex individual identities. This paper explores the identifications of individuals of mixed Chinese and European descent in the Singaporean context, looking at how complexity is lived within firmly racialized structures. Drawing on a series of 20 narrative interviews, this research examines the relationship between categorization and identity, focusing on the identities of individuals with multiple national, cultural and ethnic ties. The practical impacts of racial categorization shape many aspects of life in Singapore, and individuals of mixed descent illustrated a constant tension between official categorization and personal mixedness, seen in the frustrations experienced and strategies developed by individuals around race and belonging. Individuals negotiated their connections around race and nationality both in practical terms around language, social policies and culture, and personally in terms of symbolic feelings of connection.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Dark skin, blue eyes: Genes paint a picture of 7,000-year-old European

Posted in Articles, Europe, Health/Medicine/Genetics, New Media on 2014-01-27 03:10Z by Steven

Dark skin, blue eyes: Genes paint a picture of 7,000-year-old European

NBC News
2014-01-26

Alan Boyle, Science Editor

A 7,000-year-old man whose bones were left behind in a Spanish cave had the dark skin of an African, but the blue eyes of a Scandinavian. He was a hunter-gatherer who ate a low-starch diet and couldn’t digest milk well — which meshes with the lifestyle that predated the rise of agriculture. But his immune system was already starting to adapt to a new lifestyle.

Researchers found all this out not from medical records, or from a study of the man’s actual skin or eyes, but from an analysis of the DNA extracted from his tooth.

The study, published online Sunday by the journal Nature, lays out what’s said to be the first recovered genome of a European hunter-gatherer from a transitional time known as the Mesolithic Period, which lasted from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. It’s a time when the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was starting to give way to a more settled existence, with farms, livestock and urban settlements.

The remains of the Mesolithic male, dubbed La Braña 1, were found in 2006 in the La Braña-Arintero cave complex in northwest Spain. In the Nature paper, the researchers describe how they isolated the ancient DNA, sequenced the genome and looked at key regions linked to physical traits — including lactose intolerance, starch digestion and immune response.

The biggest surprise was that the genes linked to skin pigmentation reflected African rather than modern European variations. That indicates that the man had dark skin, “although we cannot know the exact shade,” Carles Lalueza-Fox, a member of the research team from the Spanish National Research Council, said in a news release. At the same time, the man possessed the genetic variations that produce blue eyes in current Europeans…

Read the entire article here.

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“A Lot Like You” ~ Where Will Your Cultural Journey Take You?

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Live Events, New Media, United States on 2014-01-15 20:06Z by Steven

“A Lot Like You” ~ Where Will Your Cultural Journey Take You?

Mixed Race Radio
Blog Talk Radio
2014-01-15, 20:00Z (15:00 EDT)

Tiffany Rae Reid, Host

Eliaichi Kimaro, Filmmaker

On today’s episode of Mixed Race Radio, we will meet Activist-turned-filmmaker Eliaichi Kimaro. As the director of 9elephants productions, Eli produces videos for non-profits about social and economic justice issues in an effort to use  video to bring stories of struggle, resistance and survival to a broader audience. 

Eliaichi brings a lifetime of personal and professional experience exploring issues of culture, identity, race, class, gender and trauma to her Award-winning directorial debut, A Lot Like You.  Drawing upon her 9-year film journey, she is currently on the campus and conference lecture circuit engaging communities across the country in discussion about mixed race/multicultural issues, cultural identity, gender violence, and the power of personal storytelling.

Please join us Today as we discuss how we can “use our own personal stories (our own documentaries if you will) like ‘A Lot Like You’, as a spring board for exploring issues of race, identity, and belonging.”

WON’T YOU JOIN US? We’d love to hear your story!

Listen to the interview here.

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Gov’t to overhaul services for multicultural families

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2014-01-15 18:53Z by Steven

Gov’t to overhaul services for multicultural families

Yonhap News Agency
Seoul, South Korea
2014-01-15

Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) — The government plans to streamline its support system for multicultural families to help them integrate into society, officials said Wednesday.

The move comes as some existing services, including Korean-language education, have been redundant or failed to reach those in need who are in distant rural areas.

Under the plan, immigrants can learn the Korean language at local government-designated locations in their respective neighborhoods and earn incentives that would later be helpful when they apply for citizenship, according to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

Currently, only those who successfully finish a Korean-language course offered by the justice ministry are eligible for incentives such as exemption from a written test or an interview when they apply for naturalization.

The nation’s two call immigration centers — one for marriage immigrants and the other for foreign residents in general — will be integrated, so they can more effectively serve the foreign population, the ministry said…

…The envisioned new organization will offer various support for children raised by single parents, grandparents or North Korean defectors, as well as in multiracial families, the government said…

Read the entire article here.

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The Mixed Marriage

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Family/Parenting, Interviews, New Media, Religion, United States on 2014-01-12 16:18Z by Steven

The Mixed Marriage

The New York Times
2014-01-11

Interview by Lise Funderburg

Lise Funderburg, a journalist, interviewed Yael Ben-Zion, a photographer raised in Israel, about her new book, “Intermarried,” published by Kehrer, which features families from the Washington Heights neighborhood where she lives with her French husband and 5-year-old twins.

Q. What inspired this project?

A. I saw an Israeli television campaign that showed faces on trees and bus stops, like missing children ads. A voice-over said, “Have you seen these people? Fifty percent of young Jewish people outside of Israel marry non-Jews. We are losing them.” I happen to be married to a person who is not Jewish. And, so for me it was, “Aah, they’re losing me.” I’m not religious, but this campaign made me wonder more generally why people choose to live with someone who is not from their immediate social group, and what challenges they face.

Q. How did you establish your taxonomy for what qualified as mixed?

A. I wasn’t going to go in the street and ask couples if they were mixed. I didn’t grow up here; I didn’t even know what terminology to use. But I live in a very diverse Manhattan community that has an online parent list with more than 2,000 families on it. I put up an ad saying I was looking for couples that define themselves as mixed. I said it could be different religion, ethnicity or social background. I didn’t use the word race, because I wasn’t sure how politically correct that was. All the couples who responded are either interfaith or interracial or both, but my goal from the beginning wasn’t to create some statistical visual document. For example, I have hardly any Asian people, and I don’t think there are any Muslims, and the reason is that they didn’t approach me…

Read the entire interview and view the slide shows here.

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24,000-Year-Old Body Shows Kinship to Europeans and American Indians

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Europe, Native Americans/First Nation, New Media on 2013-11-21 00:16Z by Steven

24,000-Year-Old Body Shows Kinship to Europeans and American Indians

The New York Times
2013-11-20

Nicholas Wade

The genome of a young boy buried at Mal’ta near Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia some 24,000 years ago has turned out to hold two surprises for anthropologists.

The first is that the boy’s DNA matches that of Western Europeans, showing that during the last Ice Age people from Europe had reached farther east across Eurasia than previously supposed. Though none of the Mal’ta boy’s skin or hair survives, his genes suggest he would have had brown hair, brown eyes and freckled skin.

The second surprise is that his DNA also matches a large proportion — about 25 percent — of the DNA of living Native Americans. The first people to arrive in the Americas have long been assumed to have descended from Siberian populations related to East Asians. It now seems that they may be a mixture between the Western Europeans who had reached Siberia and an East Asian population...

…There they lay for some 50 years until they were examined by a team led by Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen. Dr. Willerslev, an expert in analyzing ancient DNA, was seeking to understand the peopling of the Americas by searching for possible source populations in Siberia. He extracted DNA from bone taken from the child’s upper arm, hoping to find ancestry in the East Asian peoples from whom Native Americans are known to be descended…

…The other surprise from the Mal’ta boy’s genome was that it matched to both Europeans and Native Americans but not to East Asians. Dr. Willerslev’s interpretation was that the ancestors of Native Americans had already separated from the East Asian population when they interbred with the people of the Mal’ta culture, and that this admixed population then crossed over the Beringian land bridge that then lay between Siberia and Alaska to become a founding population of Native Americans.

“We estimate that 14 to 38 percent of Native American ancestry may originate through gene flow from this ancient population,” he and colleagues wrote in an article published Wednesday in the journal Nature

Read the entire article here.

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‘Hafu’ tells story of Japan’s mixed-race minority and changing attitudes in society

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Interviews, New Media, Social Science on 2013-11-15 02:07Z by Steven

‘Hafu’ tells story of Japan’s mixed-race minority and changing attitudes in society

Japan Today
2013-11-15

Philip Kendall

TOKYO—For such a small word, “half” carries an awful lot of weight here in Japan. Adapted to fit the syllabary, the word is pronounced “hafu” in Japanese, and describes a person who has one Japanese – and of course one non-Japanese – parent. More often than not, the word carries certain connotations, and many Japanese have preconceived, often erroneous, notions that hafu have natural English ability, have spent time abroad, and possess many of the physical characteristics Japanese associate with Westerners. At the same time, the word is immediately indicative of something very un-Japanese, and many hafu – even those who have never set foot outside of Japan and speak no other language – are never truly accepted by society as a result.

The Hafu Project was begun in 2009 as an initiative aiming to promote awareness of racial diversity in Japan and the issues facing those of mixed heritage. It was after becoming involved with the project that two filmmakers, Megumi Nishikura and Lara Perez Takagi, began a collaborative work that would eventually become a full-length feature film titled, simply, “Hafu.”

Three years in the making, “Hafu” was completed in April this year, and has been screened at independent cinemas everywhere from Madrid to Tokyo. After checking out the film for ourselves when it came to Shibuya recently, RocketNews24 talked with Megumi and Lara to learn a little more about the making of the film and how in their opinion attitudes in Japan are evolving.

“Hafu” documents the daily lives and experiences of five hafu who have either lived most of their lives in Japan or are visiting for the first time in an effort to learn more about their Japanese heritage. Shot in the documentary style with the featured hafu providing the voiceover throughout, the film has a quiet poignancy to it that at times brought us close to tears, yet ultimately left us feeling both upbeat and confident that attitudes toward hafu in Japan are changing for the better.

Hugely impressed by this profoundly moving and inspiring film, RocketNews24 got in touch with Megumi and Lara, who kindly answered our questions about themselves, the making of the film, and how they see life for hafu in Japan changing as the number of children born to mixed-race parents increases each year…

Read the entire interview here.

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