Purchasing Whiteness in Colonial Latin America

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2013-09-21 05:39Z by Steven

Purchasing Whiteness in Colonial Latin America

Not Even Past: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” —William Faulkner
Department of History
University of Texas at Austin
2013-09-18

Ann Twinam, Professor of History
University of Texas, Austin

The castas, or mixed race populations, suffered numerous forms of discrimination in colonial Latin America, but in practice pardos and mulatos could still achieve some social mobility.  A rare few, by the mid eighteenth century, were able to petition the Spanish crown through a process known as the gracias al sacar, to purchase whiteness…

Read the entire article here.

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Addressing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities Best Practices for Clinical Care and Medical Education in the 21st Century

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2013-09-14 18:21Z by Steven

Addressing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities Best Practices for Clinical Care and Medical Education in the 21st Century

University of Texas, Austin
2013-09-23 through 2013-09-24

One of the primary goals of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and many public health programs is the reduction of health disparities in the United States. However, significant racial/ethnic disparities persist in the prevalence of disease, access to medical care, quality of care, and health outcomes for the most common causes of death (including cardiovascular and lung disease, infectious disease, cancer, diabetes, and accidents). At this conference, nationally-recognized speakers will discuss the causes of such disparities and describe new approaches in clinical care and medical education that improve care, achieve better health outcomes, and reduce racial/ethnic health disparities. We will also discuss how these best practices can be incorporated into medical training at the new Dell Medical School at The University of Texas and at other medical schools around the country. One key goal of this conference is to help design a cutting-edge curriculum that will better prepare medical students to meet the challenges and opportunities of 21st century medicine.

Conference registration is open to anyone interested in attending this event. See the Continuing Medical Education (CME) tab for information regarding continuing education for the September 23rd portion of the conference.

The second day of the conference (September 24) is open to invited participants only. Discussions and working groups on the second day will focus on developing new pedagogical approaches and innovative learning modules for the pre-clinical curriculum at the Dell Medical School, with the goal of more effectively integrating training on human genomic variation, race/ethnicity, health disparities, and social/environmental determinants of health into the medical curriculum.

Speakers

For more information, click here.

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Drawn in Bloodlines: Blood, Pollution, Identity, and Vampires in Japanese Society

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2012-10-22 01:01Z by Steven

Drawn in Bloodlines: Blood, Pollution, Identity, and Vampires in Japanese Society

University of Texas, Austin
May 2012
117 pages

Benjamin Paul Miller

Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

This thesis is an examination of the evolution of blood ideology, which is to say the use of blood as an organizing metaphor, in Japanese society. I begin with the development of blood as a substance of significant in the eighth century and trace its development into a metaphor for lineage in the Tokugawa period. I discuss in detail blood’s conceptual and rhetorical utility throughout the post-Restoration period, first examining its role in establishing a national subjectivity in reference to both the native intellectual tradition of the National Learning and the foreign hegemony of race. I then discuss the rationalization of popular and national bloodlines under the auspices of the popular eugenics movement, and the National Eugenics Bill. Then, I discuss the racialization this conception of blood inflicted on the Tokugawa era Outcastes, and its persistent consequences. Through the incongruity of the Outcastes ability to “pass” despite popular expectations that their blood pollution was visibly demonstrative, I introduce the notion of blood anxiety. Next, I address the conceptual and rhetorical role blood played in articulating Japan’s empire and imperial ambitions, focusing on the Theory of Common Descent and the Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus report. I follow this discussion with a detailed examination of the postwar reconceptualization of national subjectivity, which demands native bloodlines and orthodox cultural expressions, and which effectively de-legitimized minority populations. As illustration of this point, I describe the impact of this new subjectivity on both the Zainichi and the Nikkeijin in lengthy case studies. Finally, I conclude this examination with a consideration of blood ideology’s representation in popular culture. I argue that the subgenre of vampire media allegorizes many of the assumptions and anxieties surrounding blood that have developed since the Restoration, and demonstrates the imprint of blood ideology on contemporary society.

Table of Contents

  • List of Tables
  • Introduction
    • Blood Matters
    • Thesis Organization
  • Chapter One: The Development of Blood as an Organizing Metaphor
    • The Blood Bowl Sutra and the Feminization of Blood Pollution
    • Sōtō Zen and the Dissemination of Blood Determinism
    • Lineage and a New Vocabulary
  • Chapter Two: Bloodlines in Modern Japanese Society
    • A State Without a Nation
    • The Formulation of the Family-State
    • Civil Code and Constitution
    • Eugenics and the Rationalization of Bloodlines
      • Race, Science, and the Introduction of Eugenic Thought
      • Popular Eugenics
      • State Eugenics
    • From Outcastes to Burakumin
      • Outcastness as Pollution
      • The Racialization of the Outcastes
      • Infiltration and Blood Anxiety
  • Chapter Three: The Empire
    • Blood-Kinship and Overseas Expansion
    • Imperial Manifesto
  • Chapter Four – Postwar Reconceptualization and the De-legitimization of Minority Populations
    • The Aesthetics of Ethnic Homogeneity
    • Blood and Culture
    • Zainichi
      • Colonial Koreans and Their Subjective Shift
      • Hereditary Foreigners
    • The Nikkeijin
      • Immigration and the Racially Homogenous State
      • The Sakoku-Kaikoku Debate
      • 1990 Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act
      • Culture Clash
  • Chapter Five – Blood Ideology in the Popular Media
    • The Vampire Boom
    • The Vampire as Blood Allegory
  • Bibliography
  • Vita

Read the entire dissertation here.

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Reaping the Whirlwind

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2012-10-21 15:49Z by Steven

Reaping the Whirlwind

The New York Times
Opinionator: Exculive Online Commentary From The Times
2012-10-17

Linda Greenhouse, Senior Research Scholar in Law, Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence, and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law
Yale University

On reading the transcript and listening to the audio of last week’s Supreme Court argument in the University of Texas affirmative action case, my primary reaction was one of embarrassment — for the court and also for Texas.

First the court. Of the four justices most intent on curbing or totally eradicating affirmative action — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas — the three who spoke (minus Justice Thomas, of course) failed to engage with the deep issues raised by Fisher v. University of Texas. Instead, they toyed with the case.

Chief Justice Roberts, after posing only one question to the lawyer representing Abigail Fisher, the rejected white applicant who filed a lawsuit claiming she was unconstitutionally discriminated against, flung 27 questions at the university’s lawyer, Gregory G. Garre, many seemingly designed to make the university’s commitment to assembling a diverse student body look silly. “Should someone who is one-quarter Hispanic check the Hispanic box or some different box?” the chief justice wanted to know. “What about one-eighth?” he persisted. “Would it violate the honor code for someone who is one-eighth Hispanic and says ‘I identify as Hispanic’ to check the Hispanic box?”

Justice Scalia piled on: “Did they require everybody to check a box or they have somebody figure out, oh, this person looks one thirty-second Hispanic and that’s enough?”

On it went, and it was impossible to avoid the conclusion that ridicule rather than a search for understanding was the name of the game. “How many people are there in the affirmative action department of the University of Texas?” Justice Scalia asked Mr. Garre. “Do you have any idea? There must be a lot of people to, you know, to monitor all these classes and do all of this assessment of race throughout the thing.” Justice Scalia mused that if the court invalidated the program, “there would be a large number of people out of a job,” a prospect that seemed to tickle his fancy.

It doesn’t take a genius to point out that it’s inherently problematic for the government to count people by race (“It is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race,” as Chief Justice Roberts famously expressed the thought during his first term on the court, dissenting from a 2006 Voting Rights Act decision that found that Texas had improperly diluted Latino voting strength). That’s why the Supreme Court has insisted that any affirmative action plan must meet the test of “strict scrutiny” — that is, that the plan must be “narrowly tailored” to serve a “compelling interest.”

But the fact is, as the justices obviously know, that the court has concluded that affirmative action in higher education admissions can clear that high bar — as it did nine years ago in Grutter v. Bollinger, the University of Michigan Law School decision. In other words, there was a context in which the Regents of the University of Texas, following upon the Michigan decision, chose to act, a history they sought to acknowledge, and a better future they hoped to achieve for their diverse state by supplementing the unsatisfactory and mechanical “top 10 percent” admissions plan with one that considers each applicant as an individual — with race as “only one modest factor among many others,” according to the university’s brief. It was this context that was almost entirely missing from the justices’ questions to the university’s lawyer. The questions were not so much hostile as trivializing…

Read the entire opinion piece here.

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The Lure of Whiteness and the Politics of “Otherness”: Mexican American Racial Identity

Posted in Census/Demographics, Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Texas, United States on 2012-09-13 00:30Z by Steven

The Lure of Whiteness and the Politics of “Otherness”: Mexican American Racial Identity

University of Texas, Austin
2004
185 pages

Julie Anne Dowling

Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the The University of Texas at Austin In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Using a “constructed ethnicity” (Nagel 1994) approach, this project employs multiple methods to explore the racial identification of Mexican Americans. The U.S. Census has grappled with appropriate strategies for identifying the Mexican-ancestry population for over a century, including the use of a “Mexican” racial category in 1930. I examine historical documents pertaining to the 1930 Census and the development of the “Mexican” racial classification, as well as how Mexican Americans in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) constructed “White” racial identities in their efforts to resist such racialization. I then explore contemporary Mexican American identity as reflected in current racial self-reporting on the U.S. Census. Finally, I conduct fifty-two in-depth interviews with a strategic sample of Mexican Americans in five Texas cities, investigating how such factors as socioeconomic status, racial composition of neighborhood, proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, social networks, nativity/migration history, Spanish language fluency, physical appearance, and political attitudes affect their racial and ethnic identifications. Results indicate a complex relationship between personal histories and local community constructions of identity that influences racial identification.

Table of Contents

  • List of Tables
  • List of Figuresxii
  • Chapter 1: Latinos and the Question of Race
  • Chapter 2: Modernity and Texas Racial Politics in the Early Twentieth Century, LULAC and the Construction of the White Mexican
  • Chapter 3: The “Other” Race of Mexican Americans: Exploring Racial Identification in the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Censuses
  • Chapter 4: “Where’s Hispanic?” Mexican American Responses to the Census Race Question
  • Chapter 5: What We Call Ourselves Here: Mexican American Racial and Ethnic Labeling in Texas
  • Chapter 6: Just An(other) Shade of White? Making Meaning of Mexican American
  • Whiteness on the Census.
  • Appendix A: Census 1990 Race Question
  • Appendix B: Census 2000 Race Question
  • Bibliography
  • Vita

Chapter 1: Latinos and the Question of Race

Introduction

The roots of this dissertation can be traced to a qualitative study I began as an undergraduate, interviewing persons of “biracial” mixed Mexican-Anglo heritage like myself. During the course of this research that became the basis for my master’s thesis, I discovered that according to the U.S. Census, Latinos are not a racial group. This did not fit my experience growing up in Texas where I found myself torn between two different worlds, one white and one brown.

This disjuncture between government classification and self-identification, between federal definitions and regional definitions of race, is at the heart of my project. The goal of this dissertation is to explore the historical roots of the census classification of Mexican Americans as “White,” and to examine who rejects this classification, identifying as “Other” race. Are there significant differences between these groups? What factors play into how Mexican Americans label themselves? And what are the meanings of these labels?

The most common “other race” response given on the racial identification question of the 1990 U.S. Census was a Hispanic identifier—Hispanic, Latino or a nationality such as Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993). While approximately 51% of Mexican Americans in the 1990 census identified as “White” on the racial identity question, an almost equal proportion (47%) identified as “Other.” In 2000, the numbers were similar with 48% of Mexican Americans identifying as “White” and 46% as “Other.” It is clear that a substantial number of Mexican Americans view themselves as a racial group outside of the current census classifications of White, Black, Native American, and Asian American…

Read the entire dissertation here.

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The White Media: Politics of Representation, Race, Gender and Symbolic Voilence in Brazilian Telenovelas

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, United States on 2012-05-09 09:27Z by Steven

The White Media: Politics of Representation, Race, Gender and Symbolic Voilence in Brazilian Telenovelas

University of Texas, Austin
May 2010
47 pages

Monique H. Ribeiro

Report Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF ARTS

Brazil was the first country in South America to launch a television network and air television shows. Television programming was designed to develop national capitalism and to foster a national identity. Although Brazil is composed of an overwhelmingly large population of African descent, they are usually underrepresented in mainstream media, chiefly in telenovelas (soap operas). This research examines what happens when a telenovela attempts to portray issues of race relations and tensions in contemporary Brazil.

Duas Caras (“Two Faces”), a TV Globo telenovela aired October 1, 2007 to May 31, 2008. The show was a turning point in Brazilian programming because it was the first prime time soap opera to present audiences with an Afro-Brazilian as the main hero. It was also the first novela das oito (“eight o’clock” or “primetime soap opera”) to openly address racial issues through its plot and dialogue. However, in depth critical and theoretical analysis of different episodes demonstrates that instead of debunking the myth of racial democracy, this soap opera in fact helps to further reproduce it through the portrayal of interracial relationships amongst the characters. As shown here, interracial relationships between white and Black Brazilians was used as a strategy of erasing African ancestry traits from the population through a process of whitening.

This report combines a traditional textual analysis of Duas Caras with theoretical frameworks about race relations, gender and anti-Black racism in Brazil. The investigation revealed how telenovelas contribute to social ideology and hegemonic discourses in a way that has not been properly recorded. This discussion contributes to Latin American media studies generally, and the scholarship on interracial relationships in Brazilian media particularly.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • INTRODUCTION
  • Telenovela Genealogy
  • ENCODING AND DECODING HEGEMONY, SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE AND CONTROLLING IMAGE
  • The Negative Impact of Telenovelas on Black Social Movements
  • Shutting down the alternative
  • DUAS CARAS: A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS
  • CONCLUSION
  • APPENDICES
    • Appendix A
    • Appendix B
    • Appendix C
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY
  • VITA

…An important text to this discussion is A Negacao do Brasil: O Negro na Telenovela Brasileira (“The Negation of Brazil: Blacks in Brazilian Soap Operas), by Brazilian filmmaker Araújo. This book contributes to the debate about the impact of the media on everyday life and the lack of diversity in telenovelas. Araújo provides a great deal of historical background on the overall disenfranchisement of Afro-Brazilian actors and furthers his discussion by providing an analysis of the stereotypical roles often offered to said actors. Despite the immense contribution Araújo makes to Brazilian television studies, one of the major gaps in his scholarship is the lack of a theoretical framework to guide the issues he raises. Thus, in order to close this gap I will use Antonio Gramsci’s concept of hegemony and Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of symbolic violence in order to argue that the media is another site of domination within the state. My research also challenges Araújo’s work by engaging with Abdias do Nascimento’s work Brazil: Mixture or Massacre and Jared Sexton’s Amalgamation Schemes in order to understand the pernicious project of whitening that is stitched in the fabric of Brazilian discourses of harmonious miscegenation and racial democracy and how that is perpetuated in programs like Duas Caras

…The white elite owns Brazilian mainstream media, including TV Globo. Whenever a new soap opera is aired, its author makes his or her rounds in different television shows, magazines, and newspapers in order to publicize the new production. Watching these interviews it, it becomes clear that that Brazil does not have any Black scriptwriters, which complicates the situation, leaving white men and women to construct Blackness according in whatever way they see fit. This way, the dominant class controls what types of ideas are produced in television shows, namely telenovelas. As Sander Gilman suggests, “specific individual realities are thus given mythic extension through association with the qualities of a class. These realities [are] … composed of fragments of the real world, perceived through the ideological bias of the observer.” In the imagination or creative process of writing a telenovela storyline, white scriptwriters do not allow much space for for representations of Black power, whether social, capital, or cultural. It should not be any surprise that “whites appear in disproportionately high numbers as figures of authority and examples of beauty in the Brazilian media.” Because of that the audience is bombarded with images and values of whiteness, and Afro-Brazilians, for the most part, do not have a diverse set of images to relate to or emulate. This control over the images seen on television gives the white bourgeoisie the power to circulate their ideologies (i.e.: racial democracy) to socially subordinate groups. Scholar Liv Sovik when she states that, “hegemonic discourse affirms mestiçagem both as a primary national characteristic and as a token of Brazilian openness to non-racialism and multiplicity.” However, the affirmation of mestiçagem (racial mixing) simply valorizes whitening or white mixing. There is no hegemonic discourse in Brazil that promotes Black-Indigenous mixing, for instance. Consequently, non-whites are socialized to believe that dominant social and cultural norms are natural. In her essay, “Genre and Gender: The Case of Soap Opera,” Christine Gladhill states that “hegemony is won in the to-and-fro of negotiation between competing social, political, and ideological forces through which power is contested, shifted, or reformed.” As we can see, hegemony operates in a much more covert fashion than forceful domination. Hegemony is a contradictory, fraught process that is constantly being challenged by communities who perpetually organize to disrupt and push back against the existing hegemony, while the dominant class must work to reconstitute new hegemonic processes, which brings us to the issue of symbolic violence and how such process of violence is exerted by the media…

…Considering that soap operas are so engrained in Brazilian culture, these teledramas provide a vehicle for symbolic violence to enter the homes of thousands of Black families every night when men and women sit in front of their TVs to consume the messages encoded in the soap operas. Since symbolic violence is unseen and unspoken, telenovelas have the power to affect how people think of themselves and their sense of self-esteem. According to Sander L. Gilman, “visual conventions [are] the primary means by which we perceive and transmit our understanding of the world about us.” As I will discuss in a following section, Aguinaldo Silva partakes in this process of symbolic violence through the hidden message that Black love, specifically Black heterosexual unions must be avoided, suggesting that racial mixing is the ideal model of racial progress. According to Bourdieu, the longer this process of symbolic violence is veiled from and left unchallenged, the more powerful it is in maintaining class dominance and delaying the process of liberation…

Read the entire report here.

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“Custodians of History”: (Re)Construction of Black Women as Historical and Literary Subjects in Afro-American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2012-05-09 01:48Z by Steven

“Custodians of History”: (Re)Construction of Black Women as Historical and Literary Subjects in Afro-American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing

University of Texas, Austin
August 2005
500 pages

Paula Sanmartín, Assistant Professor of (Afro) Caribbean and (Afro) Spanish American Literature
California State University, Fresno

Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor in Philosophy

Set within a feminist and revisionist context, my dissertation examines literary representations of the historic roots of black women’s resistance in Cuba and the United States, by studying texts by both Afro-American and Afro-Cuban women from four different literary genres: Harriet Jacobs’s autobiographical slave narrative, a neo-slave narrative by Sherley Ann Williams, the testimonio of María de los Reyes Castillo (“Reyita”), and the poetry of Nancy Morejón and Georgina Herrera. Conscious of the differences between the texts, I nevertheless demonstrate how the writers participate in black women’s self-inscription in the historical process by positioning themselves as subjects of their history and seizing discursive control of their (hi)stories.

Although the texts form part of separate discourses, I explore the commonalities of the rhetorical devices and narrative strategies employed by the authors as they disassemble racist and sexist stereotypes, (re)constructing black female subjectivity through an image of active resistance against oppression, one that authorizes unconventional definitions of womanhood and motherhood. My project argues that in their revisions of national history, these writings also demonstrate the pervasive role of racial and gender categories in the creation of a discourse of national identity, while promoting a historiography constructed within flexible borders that need to be constantly negotiated.

Putting these texts in dialogue with one another both within and across geopolitical boundaries, my project is characterized by a tension between positions, from close textual readings to historical commentaries, as I develop multilayered readings drawing on sources that range from cultural history and genre studies to psychoanalytical theory and black feminist criticism. The authors’ literary representations of their culture of resistance constitute an essential contribution to literary and historical studies, suggesting a dialectic model for “reading dialogically” such concepts as “subjectivity,” “discourse,” “tradition,” and “history,” by simultaneously exploring multiple, contradictory, or complementary discursive spaces. This dialectic of identification and difference, continuity and change, serves to describe the intertextual relationships within Afro-American and Afro-Cuban literary traditions. Simultaneously, drawing on dialogic relationships can open up new lines of enquiry and redress the historical imbalance of Western historiography by presenting black women’s history and subjectivity as multiple and discontinuous.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction. “Custodians of History”: (Re)Construction of Black Women as Historical and Literary Subjects in Afro-American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing
    1. Gender and Genre
    2. Authorship and Authority
    3. Rebellious (M)Others
    4. National Identification
    5. Revising (Hi)stories
  • Chapter 1. “We Could Have Told Them a Different Story”: Harriet Jacobs’s Alternative Narrative and the Revision of the White Transcript
    1. Hybrid Genres: Assimilation and Subversion in Autobiographical Slave Narratives
    2. The Female Slave Author and the Dialogic of Discourses in Incidents
    3. “The War of Her life”: Harriet Jacobs’s Rebellious Motherhood
    4. Split Subject/Split Nation: Abolitionism, Miscegenation and Black Women as National Subjects
    5. Rewriting the Slave Woman’s “Histories.”
  • Chapter 2. “They Mistook Me for Another Dessa”: Correcting the (Mis)Reading Techniques of the Master(’s) Narrative
    1. Neo-Slave Narratives and the Revision of the Slaves’ Texts.
    2. “Twice-Told Tales”: Real and Fictive Authorships in a Black Women’s Double-Voiced Text
    3. Devil Woman or Debil Woman?: Asserting Rebelliousness Through an Interracial Sisterhood
    4. One Single Nation?: Interrelation of Communities in Dessa Rose
    5. Revising the Fictions of History
  • Chapter 3. “In My Own Voice, In My Own Place”: The Continuous Revision of History in a Black Cuban Woman’s Testimonial Narrative
    1. The Dialectics of Testimonio: Past, Present and Future?
    2. A Family Feud? “Authority-in-Process” in the Production of Reyita, sencillamente: testimonio de una negra cubana nonagenaria
    3. Like Mother, Like Daughter: The Rebel/Revolutionary (M)Other
    4. Black and/or Cuban: The Black Female (M)Other of the Cuban Nation
  • Chapter 4. Revolution in Poetic Language: (Re)Writing Black Women’s History in Black Cuban Women’s Poetry
    1. Neo-Negrista Poetry? : Searching for the “Authentic” Black Female Subject
    2. Authorship and (State’s) Authority in Black Cuban Women’s Poetry
    3. Black Cuban Women Poets and the Revolutionary Black (M)Other
    4. “National” Poetry? Diaspora and/or Transculturation in the Representation of Cuban National Identity
    5. (Re)construction of (Revolutionary) History
  • Bibliography
  • Vita

Read the entire dissertation here.

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Constructing Afro-Cuban Womanhood: Race, Gender, and Citizenship in Republican-Era Cuba, 1902-1958

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Dissertations, History, Media Archive, Women on 2012-05-02 18:24Z by Steven

Constructing Afro-Cuban Womanhood: Race, Gender, and Citizenship in Republican-Era Cuba, 1902-1958

University of Texas, Austin
343 pages
August 2011

Takkara Keosha Brunson

Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

This dissertation explores continuities and transformations in the construction of Afro-Cuban womanhood in Cuba between 1902 and 1958. A dynamic and evolving process, the construction of Afro-Cuban womanhood encompassed the formal and informal practices that multiple individuals—from lawmakers and professionals to intellectuals and activists to workers and their families—established and challenged through public debates and personal interactions in order to negotiate evolving systems of power. The dissertation argues that Afro-Cuban women were integral to the formation of a modern Cuban identity. Studies of pre-revolutionary Cuba dichotomize race and gender in their analyses of citizenship and national identity formation. As such, they devote insufficient attention to the role of Afro-Cuban women in engendering social transformations. The dissertation’s chapters—on patriarchal discourses of racial progress, photographic representations, la mujer negra (the black woman), and feminist, communist, and labor movements—probe how patriarchy and assumptions of black racial inferiority simultaneously informed discourses of citizenship within a society that sought to project itself as a white masculine nation. Additionally, the dissertation examines how Afro-Cuban women’s writings and social activism shaped legal reforms, perceptions of cubanidad (Cuban identity), and Afro-Cuban community formation. The study utilizes a variety of sources: organizational records, letters from women to politicians, photographic representations, periodicals, literature, and labor and education statistics. Engaging the fields of Latin American history, African diaspora studies, gender studies, and visual culture studies, the dissertation maintains that an intersectional analysis of race, gender, and nation is integral to developing a nuanced understanding of the pre-revolutionary era.

Table of Contents

  • List of Figures
  • Introduction: Constructing Afro-Cuban Womanhood: Race, Gender, and Citizenship in Republican-Era Cuba, 1902-1958
  • Historiographical Contributions
  • Mapping the Dissertation
  • A Note on Terminology
  • Chapter 1: Patriarchy and Racial Progress within Afro-Cuban Societies in the Early Republic
    • Patriarchy, Racial Progress, and Social Hierarchy
    • Afro-Cuban Organizations during the Republican Era
      • Gender, Patriarchy, and Respectability
    • Afro-Cuban Social Life during the Early Decades of the Republic
      • Class, Gender, and Society Life in Santa Clara
    • A Shift in Discourse: Morality
      • Women, the Family, and Racial Regeneration
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 2: Exemplary Women: Afro-Cuban Women’s Articulation of Racial Progress
    • Racial Progress and Republican Womanhood
    • Republican Womanhood and the Work of Racial Improvement
      • Writing Republican Womanhood
    • Women of the Partido Independiente de Color (Independent Colored Party)
      • Patriarchy and Women’s Contributions to the PIC
    • Minerva and the Emergence of Afro-Cuban Feminism
      • Marriage and Divorce
    • Patriarchy and Political Voice Through Letter Writing
      • Writing for Work and Educational Opportunities
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 3: Visualizing Progress: Afro-Cuban Womanood, Sexual Politics, and Photography
    • Theoretical Framework and Methodology
    • Photography and Racism in Cuba
    • Afro-Cuban Photographic Portraiture and Racial Progress
    • Staging Racial Progress Through Adornment Practices
      • Racial Womanhood and Understandings of Beauty
    • The Legal and Moral Family
    • Modern Womanhood and Photography during the 1920s
      • Amelia González: Afro-Cuban Society and Modern Womanhood
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 4: La Mujer Negra (The Black Woman): The Transformation of Afro-Cuban Women’s Political and Social Thought during the 1930s
    • Popular Mobilization and the Tranformation of Gender Ideologies
      • The “Triple Discrimination” Confronted by Black Women
      • Political Debates on Race, Gender, and Citizenship
    • Black Women and National Politics
      • Afro-Cuban Feminism in the 1930s
    • Afro-Cuban Feminists and the Third National Women’s Congress of 1939
      • Black Womanhood and the Third National Women’s Congress
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5: Enacting Citizenship: Afro-Cuban Womanhood in a New Constitutional Era
    • Political Alliances and Democratic Discourses
    • Afro-Cuban Women Communists in the New Constitutional Era
    • Labor and Citizenship
    • Afro-Cuban Women Communists and Popular Protests
      • Economic Reform and Anti-War Protests
      • Connecting Local Issues to Global Struggles after WWII
      • The Democratic Cuban Women’s Federation
    • Nuevos Rumbos (New Directions) and the Struggle for Citizenship
      • Women’s Political Representation and Civil Rights within Afro-Cuban Publications
    • Anti-Racial Discrimination Campaign
      • Racial Discrimination and the Law
    • Conclusion
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography

List of Figures

  • Figure 1: “Úrsula Coimbra Valverde,” Minerva (15 December 1888)
  • Figure 2: “Úrsula Coimbra Valverde,” El Nuevo Criollo (17 December 1904)
  • Figure 3: “Consuelo Serra y Heredia,” El Nuevo Criollo (18 June 1905)
  • Figure 4: “Consuelo Serra y Heredia,” El Nuevo Criollo (18 June 1905)
  • Figure 5: “Esperanza Díaz,” Minerva (September 1910)
  • Figure 6: “Inéz Billini,” Minerva (30 September 1910)
  • Figure 7: “Juana M. Mercado,” Minerva (15 December 1912)
  • Figure 8: Advertisement for Pomada “Mora,” Minerva (15 December 1914)
  • Figure 9: Portrait of Martín Morúa Delgado and his daughters, Arabella and Vestalina. Published in Rafael Serra’s Para blancos y negros: ensayos políticos, sociales y económicos
  • Figure 10: Portrait of Martín Morúa Delgado, his wife, Elvira Granados de Morúa, and their daughters, Vestalina and Arabella. Published in El Fígaro (12 September 1910)
  • Figure 11: “Amelia González,” El Mundo (1 December 1922)
  • Figure 12: “Dámas de Atenas,” Revista Atenas (1931)
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Anthropology 324L/American Studies 321: The Black Indian Experience in the United States

Posted in Anthropology, Course Offerings, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-03-19 18:22Z by Steven

Anthropology 324L/American Studies 321: The Black Indian Experience in the United States

University of Texas, Austin
Fall 2011

Circe Dawn Sturm, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of Texas, Austin

This course explores the entwined histories, cultures and identities of African American and Native American people in the United States. Long neglected in popular and scholarly accounts, the Black Indian experience sheds light on comparative histories and legacies of racial formation, as well as the conjoined role that these two groups played in the emergence of the United States as an independent nation. Students will be exposed to a range of voices, including Black Indian artists, scholars and activists, as well as other scholars working in a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, history, Native American Studies, African American Studies, American Studies and women’s studies. The readings will range from primary historical documents and ethnographies, to creative and autobiographical accounts. Course content will cover key issues and topics critical to Black Indian communities, such as US settler colonialism, American Indian slaveholding, cultural and linguistic exchange, kinship practices, forms of resistance, and ongoing struggles for tribal citizenship, with an in depth focus on several different tribes as they are represented in the required texts. Throughout the course, we will focus particular attention on how American race making practices have shaped Native American and African American views of one another and overshadowed the contexts in which they have interacted. Students are also required to consider how their own perceptions of race, culture, and indigeneity might limit their understanding of how American Indians, African Americans, and those of both heritages, answer the question, “Who am I,” for themselves.

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Educational Disadvantages Associated with Race Still Persist in Brazil Despite Improvements, New Study Shows

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2012-03-09 21:42Z by Steven

Educational Disadvantages Associated with Race Still Persist in Brazil Despite Improvements, New Study Shows

University of Texas, Austin
Department of Sociology
2012-01-19

Despite notable improvements in educational levels and opportunity during the past three decades, disadvantages associated with race still persist in Brazil, according to new research at The University of Texas at Austin.

Although educational advantages for white over black and pardo (mixed-race) adolescents declined considerably in Brazil, the gap is still significant, with whites completing nearly one year more of education.

Sociologist and Population Research Center affiliate Leticia Marteleto investigated educational inequalities using the nationally representative data from Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios from 1982 to 2007. Her findings will be published in the February issue of the journal Demography.

“Although the educational advantage of whites has persisted over this period, I found that the significance of race as it relates to education has changed in important ways,” Marteleto said.

By 2007, adolescents who identified themselves as blacks and pardos became more similar in their education levels, whereas in the past blacks had greater disadvantages, according to the study. Marteleto tested two possible explanations for this shift: structural changes in income levels and parents’ education, and shifts in racial classification…

…The second potential explanation for the closing educational gap between pardo and black Brazilians is a shift in racial identity. Children of college-educated black fathers and mothers have a greater probability of being identified by their family as black in 2007, while in 1982 these associations were still considered negative. This seems to explain — at least in part — some of the increases in the educational attainment of those identified as black in relation to pardo, since highly educated Brazilians now have a disproportionately higher likelihood of identifying their children as black rather than either white or pardo…

Read the entire article here.

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