Immigration, Passing, and the Racial Other in Neo-Victorian Imperialist Fiction: The Case of Carnival Row (2019–)

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom on 2021-10-21 14:20Z by Steven

Immigration, Passing, and the Racial Other in Neo-Victorian Imperialist Fiction: The Case of Carnival Row (2019–)

Adaptation
Published 2021-10-07
DOI: 10.1093/adaptation/apab018

Dina Pedro, Ph.D. candidate
Department of English and German, School of Philology, Translation and Communication
Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain

In this article, I provide a close reading of Season 1 of the neo-Victorian TV series Carnival Row as both an ambivalent postcolonial and neo-passing narrative. I first draw on previous criticism on postcolonial neo-Victorianism and turn-of-the-century American passing novels in order to analyze Carnival Row’s contradictory revision of imperial London through its re-imagining in a fictional city named The Burgue. I then explore the conflicting ways in which the series tackles (neo-)imperialism and colonialization, as it simultaneously criticizes and reproduces imperial ideologies and stereotypes of the racial Other. Finally, I argue that Carnival Row seems to offer a new take on American passing novels by allowing Philo, the mixed-race male protagonist, to embrace his biracial nature without meeting a tragic fate at the end of Season 1. Nonetheless, by choosing a White actor (Orlando Bloom) to play the role of the passer, the series culturally appropriates a form of Black oppression for the entertainment of a White audience. Thus, despite the series’ well-intentioned attempts to criticize (neo-)imperial, racist, and xenophobic practices, it ultimately perpetuates—rather than subverts—those very same ideologies.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Beyoncé in the World: Making Meaning with Queen Bey in Troubled Times

Posted in Anthologies, Arts, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2021-10-01 15:45Z by Steven

Beyoncé in the World: Making Meaning with Queen Bey in Troubled Times

Wesleyan University Press
2021-06-08
392 pages
31 color photos
Hardback ISBN: 9780819579911
Paperback ISBN: 9780819579928
eBook ISBN: 9780819579935

Edited by:

Christina Baade, Professor, Communication Studies & Media Arts
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Kristin A. McGee, Associate Professor of Popular Music
University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

Essays investigate Beyoncé’s global impact

From Destiny’s Child to Lemonade, Homecoming, and The Gift, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has redefined global stardom, feminism, Black representation, and celebrity activism. This book brings together new work from sixteen international scholars to explore Beyonce’s impact as an artist and public figure from the perspectives of critical race studies, gender and women’s studies, queer and cultural studies, music, and fan studies. The authors explore Beyoncé’s musical persona as one that builds upon the lineages of Black female cool, Black southern culture, and Black feminist cultural production. They explore Beyoncé’s reception within and beyond North America, including how a range of performers—from YouTube gospel singers to Brazilian pop artists have drawn inspiration from her performances and image. The authors show how Beyoncé’s music is a source of healing and kinship for many fans, particularly Black women and queer communities of color. Combining cutting edge research, vivid examples, and accessible writing, this collection provides multiple lenses onto the significance of Beyoncé in the United States and around the world.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword / Janell Hobson
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Beyoncé Studies / Christina Baade, Marquita Smith, and Kristin McGee
  • Part One “Diva” / Black Feminist Genealogies
    • 1. “I Came to Slay”: The Knowles Sisters, Black Feminism, and the Lineage of Black Female Cool / H. Zahra Caldwell
    • 2. From Colorism to Conjurings: Tracing the Dust in Beyoncé’s Lemonade / Cienna Davis
  • Part Two “Formation” / A Southern Turn
    • 3. Beyoncé’s South and a “Formation” Nation / Riché Richardson
    • 4. Merging Past and Present in Lemonade’s Black Feminist Utopia / J. Brendan Shaw
  • Part Three “XO” / Faith and Fandom
    • 5. At the Digital Cross(roads) with Beyoncé: Gospel Covers That Remix the Risqué into the Religious / Birgitta J. Johnson
    • 6. “She Made Me Understand”: How Lemonade Raised the Intersectional Consciousness of Beyoncé’s International Fans / Rebecca J. Sheehan
  • Part Four “Worldwide Woman” / Beyoncé’s Reception Beyond the United States
    • 7. The Performative Negotiations of Beyoncé in Brazilian Bodies and the Construction of the Pop Diva in Ludmilla’s Funk Carioca and Gaby Amarantos’s Tecnobrega / Simone Pereira de Sá and Thiago Soares
    • 8. A Critical Analysis of White Ignorance Within Beyoncé’s Online Reception in the Spanish Context / Elena Herrera Quintana
  • Part Five “Hold up” / Performing Femme Affinity and Dissent
    • 9. Six-Inch Heels and Queer Black Femmes: Beyoncé and Black Trans Women / Jared Mackley-Crump and Kirsten Zemke
    • 10. From “Say My Name” to “Texas Bamma”: Transgressive Topoi, Oppositional Optics, and Sonic Subversion in Beyoncé’s “Formation” / Byron B Craig and Stephen E. Rahko
  • Part Six “Freedom” / Sounding Protest, Hearing Politics
    • 11. Musical Form in Beyoncé’s Protest Music / Annelot Prins and Taylor Myers
    • 12. Beyoncé’s Black Feminist Critique: Multimodal Intertextuality and Intersectionality in “Sorry” / Rebekah Hutten and Lori Burns
  • Part Seven “Pray You Catch Me” / Healing and Community
    • 13. Beyond “Becky with the Good Hair”: Hair and Beauty in Beyoncé’s “Sorry” / Kristin Denise Rowe
    • 14. The Livable, Surviving, and Healing Poetics of Lemonade: A Black Feminist Futurity in Action / Mary Senyonga
  • About the Contributors
  • Index
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Racial Masks and Stereotypes in Imitation of Life and Bamboozled

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-09-29 15:36Z by Steven

Racial Masks and Stereotypes in Imitation of Life and Bamboozled

Caméra Stylo: The Cinema Studies Undergraduate Student Journal
University of Toronto
Volume 13 (2013)
2013-04-01
pages 62-74

Nicole Wong

Visible signs of difference mark the racialized body only in com-bination with nonvisible social preconceptions and expectations. A racial stereotype is the link, the image, which ties the visible with the nonvisible imagined meanings and values specific to the culture in which they are produced and shared. The process of racial stereotyping therefore requires three components: the marked body, the collective society of meaning and image-makers, and the racial mask through which the latter views and defines the former. My concern in this article is how American1 popular culture and mass media entertainment has become the foremost platform for racial meaning production, perpetuating false racial stereotypes, yet at the same time attempting to expose its own role as image-maker.

As forms of popular mass media entertainment, Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life (1959) and Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (2000) depict such an exposition of the racial stereotyping process, but with significant differences that come with forty years’ distance. These two films function as tragic allegories of the racial stereotype production process as popular entertainment, wherein central characters mask their marked bodies, their self-identity and essential personhood. Racial stereotypes literally are enacted on stage to entertain an audience, a downsized representation both American media makers and receivers. Through the optic of Sander Gilman’s conceptions of the Other and the Self, I will explore the motives behind, and subsequent futility of, attempts to mask racial self-identities with media-defined projected identities that ultimately turn performers into the slaves of spectators. I will also position the ideologies of both films as reflections of the racial performer/audience relationship of their respective time periods…

Read the entire article here.

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WTF!? A Few Stories I Don’t Know What To Do With

Posted in Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2021-09-29 01:34Z by Steven

WTF!? A Few Stories I Don’t Know What To Do With

Black Power Media
2021-09-28

Jared A. Ball, Ph.D., Professor of Africana and Communications
Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

From 00:21:44 through 00:34:01 in the video, Dr. Ball discusses his views on multiraciality within popular culture and how it connects with blackness in the United States.

Watch the clip here.

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Why Didn’t Movies about Passing Cast Black Actors?

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-09-23 22:16Z by Steven

Why Didn’t Movies about Passing Cast Black Actors?

JSTOR Daily: Where News Meets Its Scholarly Match
2021-02-03

Matthew Wills


Fredi Washington and Louise Beavers in a scene from Imitation of Life via New York Public Library

“Social problem” films were all the rage after World War II. So how could movies about racism be so conservative?

After World War II, Hollywood tried something new: realism, tackling social problems like mental illness, drug addiction, anti-Semitism, and racism. But as media-studies scholar Karen M. Bowdre argues, films “about” race and racism “often focused on the concept of passing, a Black character claiming his or her White heritage while denying any African ancestry.”

Passing movies also tended to cast white actors in the roles of mixed-race characters who passed as white. But that wasn’t the case with the original version of Imitation of Life, made in 1934. Fredi Washington made history by being the first Black actress to play a character (“Peola”) who passes as white. Even more unusually, two Black children were cast to play the part of Peola at ages three and seven.

The Production Code Administration (PCA), the industry’s self-censorship office, was roiled by director John Stahl’s casting choices. The PCA’s “voluminous” file on the film is filled with references to miscegenation, which isn’t a topic of the movie, but presumably would be raised by white viewers who would want to know why Washington looked so “white.”…

Read the entire article here.

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AMST 3407 – Racial Borders and American Cinema

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Course Offerings, Judaism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, Religion, United States on 2021-09-04 00:47Z by Steven

AMST 3407 – Racial Borders and American Cinema

University of Virginia
Department of American Studies
Fall 2021

This class explores how re-occurring images of racial and ethnic minorities such as African Americans, Jews, Asians, Native Americans and Latino/as are represented in film and shows visual images of racial interactions and boundaries of human relations that tackle topics such as immigration, inter-racial relationships and racial passing.

For more information, click here.

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Glen Ford, Black Journalist Who Lashed the Mainstream, Dies at 71

Posted in Articles, Biography, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2021-09-04 00:17Z by Steven

Glen Ford, Black Journalist Who Lashed the Mainstream, Dies at 71

The New York Times
2021-08-18

Clay Risen, Reporter and Editor


Glen Ford in the 1970s. As a journalist, he took aim at the intersection of corporate interests and what he called the Black “misleadership” class.
via Tonya Rutherford

Fiercely progressive and independent, he was a persistent critic of the liberal establishment, especially Black leaders like Barack Obama.

Glen Ford, who over a 50-year career was a leading voice among progressive Black journalists and a constant scourge of the liberal establishment, especially Black politicians like Barack Obama, died on July 28 in Manhattan. He was 71.

His daughter, Tonya Rutherford, said the cause was cancer.

Originally as a radio news reporter in Augusta, Ga., and later as a television and online correspondent, Mr. Ford offered his audience a progressive perspective across a wide array of issues, including welfare rights, foreign policy and police misconduct.

Read the entire obituary here.

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‘An American riddle’: the black music trailblazer who died a white man

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-07-15 15:14Z by Steven

‘An American riddle’: the black music trailblazer who died a white man

The Guardian
2021-07-14

Ammar Kalia


Harry Pace, lawyer and cultural entrepreneur, thought by his family to have been Italian. Photograph: Courtesy of Peter Pace

A fascinating new podcast delves into the life of Harry Pace, forgotten founder of the first black-owned major record label in the US – and unlocks a shocking and prescient story about race

There are, according to the academic Emmett Price, “six degrees of Harry Pace”. He is referring to the man born in 1884 who founded America’s first black-owned major record label; desegregated part of Chicago; mentored the founder of Ebony and Jet magazines and spearheaded the career of blues singer Ethel Waters. Pace is a figure who is seemingly everywhere at once, yet his name has been suspiciously absent from the history books.

“This story encapsulates how progress comes about in America – and it is never in a straight line,” says Jad Abumrad. “It is often a cycle – one that contains hope and despair, smashed together.”

Best known for their work on Radiolab and its hit spin-off, Dolly Parton’s America, Abumrad and his co-producer Shima Oliaee are speaking from New York about their latest podcast, The Vanishing of Harry Pace. The six-part series examines the life and legacy of its titular character – the founder of Black Swan records, who had a hand in coining the term “rock ‘n’ roll”. Pace was also a civil rights lawyer, a collaborator of WEB Du Bois, and, you might think, a pioneering black American erased from history because of his race…

Read the entire article here.

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Policing Cardi B’s Blackness: A Critical Analysis of “Commonsense” Notions of Race

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2021-06-30 02:41Z by Steven

Policing Cardi B’s Blackness: A Critical Analysis of “Commonsense” Notions of Race

Black Latinx Studies
2019-06-15

Shantee Rosado, Assistant Professor of Afro-Latinx Studies
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick.

When Cardi B entered the Hip Hop landscape during Love & Hip Hop: New York, the world seemed more entertained by her loud, humorous persona than her music. So, it didn’t surprise me that her emergence as a Hip Hop tour de force was met with some skepticism. Cardi B, born Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, is a Bronx-born and raised Hip Hop phenom. If you haven’t heard of her by now, I’d like an escape to the deserted island you’ve been living on, por favor. Cardi is known for many things these days: for her tenuous relationship with fellow hip hop artist Offset, from Migos, for her very public pregnancy and recent birth of baby girl Kulture; and for her awkward, yet hilarious, interviews with late night figures like Jimmy Fallon.

Despite her obvious appeal to listeners, Cardi’s rise to fame was also met with some ridicule and suspicion, as critics took to Twitter to debate her legitimacy as an artist and her appearance as a “racially ambiguous” woman. Public concerns over Cardi’s Blackness are obvious from just a quick Google search. Existing articles include a blog post on Blavity, published last fall, titled “People want to know if Cardi B is Black, but for Afro-Caribbeans, things are not Black and White.” Another article, published on fuse early last year, is titled “Yes, Cardi B is Black and proud of it: Why the rapper’s Afro-Latina heritage shouldn’t be erased.” Tapping into similar concerns, a YouTube video published by The Talko and titled “20 things you didn’t know about Cardi B,” uses the first item on their list to “clear up” rumors regarding Cardi’s ethnic background. The video “clarifies” that her parents are Dominican and Trinidadian, but that Cardi was born and raised in the Bronx.

Read the entire article here.

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Racial Mixture and Musical Mash-ups in the Life and Art of Bruno Mars

Posted in Books, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2021-06-30 02:16Z by Steven

Racial Mixture and Musical Mash-ups in the Life and Art of Bruno Mars

Lexington Books (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
November 2020
154 pages
Trim: 6½ x 9
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-7936-1982-2
eBook ISBN: 978-1-7936-1983-9

Melinda A. Mills, Visiting Instructor
Department of Women’s and Gender Studies
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

This book argues that Bruno Mars is uniquely positioned to borrow from his heritage and experiential knowledge as well as his musical talent, performative expertise, and hybrid identities (culturally, ethnically, and racially) to remix music that can create “new music nostalgia.” Melinda Mills attends to the ways that Mars is precariously positioned in relation to all of the racial and ethnic groups that constitute his known background and argues that this complexity serves him well in the contemporary moment. Engaging in the performative politics of blackness allows Mars to advocate for social justice by employing his artistic agency. Through his entertainment and the everyday practice of joy, Mars models a way of moving through the world that counters its harsh realities. Through his music and perfomance, Mars provides a way for a reconceptualization of race and a reimagining of the future.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Introducing Bruno Mars
  • Chapter 1: New Music Nostalgia, Or, Is What’s Old New Again?
  • Chapter 2: Blurred Boundaries, or Reading Between the Lines
  • Chapter 3: The Performative Politics of Blackness
  • Chapter 4: The Sonic Politics of Pleasure, Or Love and Joy in a Time of Trauma and Tragedy
  • Chapter 5: (Re)fashioning Race and Music
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