Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Canada, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2014-10-24 20:16Z 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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Metis: Race, Recognition, and the Struggle for Indigenous Peoplehood

Posted in Books, Canada, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation on 2014-08-21 00:39Z by Steven

Metis: Race, Recognition, and the Struggle for Indigenous Peoplehood

University of British Columbia Press
2014-05-12
284 pages
6 x 9 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 9780774827218

Chris Andersen, Research and Associate Professor of Native Studies
University of Alberta

“Métis”

Ask any Canadian what “MĂ©tis” means, and they will likely say “mixed race” or “part Indian, part white.” Canadians consider MĂ©tis people mixed in ways that other indigenous people — First Nations and Inuit — are not, and the census and the courts have premised their recognition of the MĂ©tis on this race-based understanding.

Chris Andersen argues that Canada got it wrong. He weaves together personal anecdotes, critical race theory, and discussions of history and law to demonstrates that our understanding of “MĂ©tis” — that our very preoccupation with mixedness — is not natural but stems from more than 150 years of sustained labour on the part of the state, scholars, and indigenous organizations. From its roots deep in the colonial past, the idea of “MĂ©tis as mixed” pervaded the Canadian consciousness through powerful sites of knowledge production such as the census and courts until it settled in the realm of common sense. In the process, “MĂ©tis” has become an ever-widening racial category rather than the identity of an indigenous people with a shared sense of history and culture centred on the fur trade.

Andersen asks all Canadians to consider the consequences of adopting a definition of “MĂ©tis” that makes it nearly impossible for the MĂ©tis Nation to make political claims as a people.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword / Paul Chartrand
  • Introduction
  • 1. Mixed: The History and Evolution of an Administrative Concept
  • 2. MĂ©tis-as-Mixed: The Supreme Court of Canada and the Census
  • 3. The MĂ©tis Nation: A People, a Shared History
  • 4. MĂ©tis Nation and Peoplehood: A Critical Reading of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Census
  • 5. A Case of (Mis)recognition: The NunatuKavut Community Council
  • Conclusion; Notes; Works Cited; Index
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Identity Politics in the Public Realm: Bringing Institutions Back In

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Europe, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-01-22 02:41Z by Steven

Identity Politics in the Public Realm: Bringing Institutions Back In

University of British Columbia Press
2011-10-11
308 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780774820813   

Edited by:

Avigail Eisenberg, Professor of Political Science
University of Victoria

Will Kymlicka, Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy
Queen’s University

In an age of multiculturalism and identity politics, many minority groups seek some form of official recognition or public accommodation of their identity. But can public institutions accurately recognize or accommodate something as subjective and dynamic as “identity?” Are there coherent standards and fair procedures for responding to identity claims?

In this book, Avigail Eisenberg and Will Kymlicka lead a distinguished team of scholars who explore state responses to identity claims worldwide. Their case studies focus on key issues where identity is central to public policy—such as the construction of census categories, interpretation of antidiscrimination norms, and assessment of indigenous rights—and assess the influence of democratization on the capacity of institutions to respond to group claims. By illuminating both the risks and opportunities of institutional responses to diversity, this volume shows that public institutions can either enhance or distort the benefits of identity politics. Much depends on the agency of citizens and the ability of institutions to adapt to success and failure.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. Bringing Institutions Back In: How Public Institutions Assess Identity / Avigail Eisenberg and Will Kymlicka
  • 2. The Challenge of Census Categorization in the Post—Civil Rights Era / Melissa Nobles
  • 3. Knowledge and the Politics of Ethnic Identity and Belonging in Colonial and Postcolonial States / Bruce J. Berman
  • 4. Defining Indigeneity: Representation and the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 in the Philippines / Villia Jefremovas and Padmapani L. Perez
  • 5. Indigenous Rights in Latin America: How to Classify Afro-Descendants? / Juliet Hooker
  • 6. Domestic and International Norms for Assessing Indigenous Identity / Avigail Eisenberg
  • 7. The Challenge of Naming the Other in Latin America / Victor Armony
  • 8. From Immigrants to Muslims: Shifting Categories of the French Model of Integration / ElĂ©onore LĂ©pinard
  • 9. Beliefs and Religion: Categorizing Cultural Distinctions among East Asians / AndrĂ© LalibertĂ©
  • 10. Assessing Religious Identity in Law: Sincerity, Accommodation, and Harm / Lori G. Beaman
  • 11. Reasonable Accommodations and the Subjective Conception of Freedom of Conscience and Religion / Jocelyn Maclure
  • Contributors
  • Index
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One of the Family: Metis Culture in Nineteenth-Century Northwestern Saskatchewan

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Canada, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion on 2010-04-07 03:57Z by Steven

One of the Family: Metis Culture in Nineteenth-Century Northwestern Saskatchewan

University of British Columbia Press
2010-02-22
360 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-7748-1729-5

Brenda Macdougall, Chair in MĂ©tis Studies
University of Ottawa

One of the Family

In recent years there has been growing interest in the social and cultural attributes that define the Metis as both Aboriginal and a distinct people. The study of Metis identity formation has also become one of the most innovative ways to explore cultural encounters and change in North American history and anthropology.

In One of the Family, Brenda Macdougall draws on diverse written and oral sources and employs the concept of wahkootowin—the Cree term for a worldview that privileges family and values relatedness between all beings—to trace the emergence of a distinct Metis community at Île à la Crosse in northern Saskatchewan. Wahkootowin describes how relationships in the nineteenth century were supposed to work and helps to explain how the Metis negotiated with local economic and religious institutions while creating and nurturing—through marriage choices and living arrangements, adoption and the selection of godparents, economic decisions and employment—a society that emphasized family obligation and responsibility.

This path-breaking study showcases how one Metis community created a distinct identity rooted in Aboriginal values about family and shaped by the fur trade and the Roman Catholic Church. It also offers a model for future research and discussion that will appeal to anyone interested in the history of the fur trade or Metis culture and identity.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Note on Methodology and Sources
  • Note on Writing Conventions
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: “They are strongly attached to the country of rivers, lakes, and forests”: The Social Landscapes of the Northwest
  • Chapter Two: “The bond that connected one human being to another”: Social Construction of the Metis Family
  • Chapter Three: “To live in the land of my mother”: Residency and Patronymic Connections Across the Northwest
  • Chapter Four: “After a man has tasted of the comforts of married life this living alone comes pretty tough”: Family, Acculturation, and Roman Catholicism
  • Chapter Five: “The only men obtainable who know the country and Indians are all married”: Family, Labour, and the HBC
  • Chapter Six: “The HalfBreeds of this place always did and always will dance”: Competition, Freemen, and Contested Spaces
  • Chapter Seven: “I Thought it advisable to furnish him”: Freemen to Free Traders in the Northwest Fur Trade
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix
  • Glossary
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index of Names
  • Index of Subjects
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Colonial Proximities: Crossracial Encounters and Juridical Truths in British Columbia, 1871-1921

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Canada, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2010-02-14 03:01Z by Steven

Colonial Proximities: Crossracial Encounters and Juridical Truths in British Columbia, 1871-1921

University of British Columbia Press
2009-05-15
288 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780774816335
Paperback ISBN: 9780774816342

Renisa Mawani, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of British Columbia

Contemporary discussions of multiculturalism and pluralism remain politically charged in former settler societies. Colonial Proximities historicizes these contestations by illustrating how crossracial encounters in one colonial contact zone — late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century British Columbia—inspired juridical racial truths and forms of governance that continue to inform contemporary politics, albeit in different ways.

Drawing from a wide range of legal cases, archival materials, and commissions of inquiry, this book charts the racial encounters between aboriginal peoples, European colonists, Chinese migrants, and mixed-race populations. By exploring the real and imagined anxieties that informed contact in salmon canneries, the illicit liquor trade, and the (white) slavery scare, this book reveals the legal and spatial strategies of rule deployed by Indian agents, missionaries, and legal authorities who, in the interests of racial purity and European resettlement, aspired to restrict, and ultimately prevent, crossracial interactions. Linking histories of aboriginal-European contact and Chinese migration, this book demonstrates that the dispossession of aboriginal peoples and Chinese exclusion were never distinct projects, but part of the same colonial processes of racialization that underwrote the formation of the settler regime.

Colonial Proximities shows us that British Columbia’s contact zone was marked by a racial heterogeneity that not only produced anxieties about crossracial contacts but also distinct modes of exclusion including the territorial dispossession of aboriginal peoples and legal restrictions on Chinese immigration. It is essential reading for students and scholars of history, anthropology, sociology, colonial/ postcolonial studies, and critical race and legal studies.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction: Heterogeneity and Interraciality in British Columbia’s Colonial “Contact Zone”
  • 2. The Racial Impurities of Global Capitalism: The Politics of Labour, Interraciality, and Lawlessness in the Salmon Canneries
  • 3. (White) Slavery, Colonial Knowledges, and the Rise of State Racisms
  • 4. National Formations and Racial Selves: Chinese Traffickers and Aboriginal Victims in British Columbia’s Illicit Liquor Trade
  • 5. “The Most Disreputable Characters”: Mixed-Bloods, Internal Enemies, and Imperial Futures
  • Conclusion: Colonial Pasts, Entangled Presents, and Promising Futures
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Read the front matter and chapter 1 here.

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