Being La Dominicana: Race and Identity in the Visual Culture of Santo Domingo

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2021-09-06 01:55Z by Steven

Being La Dominicana: Race and Identity in the Visual Culture of Santo Domingo

University of Illinois Press
August 2021
264 pages
6 x 9 in.
13 black & white photographs
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04381-9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08580-2
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-252-05271-2

Rachel Afi Quinn, Associate Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies
University of Houston, Houston, Texas

Dominican women being seen—and seeing themselves—in popular culture

Rachel Afi Quinn investigates the ways Dominican visual culture portrays Dominican women and how women represent themselves in their own creative endeavors in response to existing stereotypes. Delving into the dynamic realities and uniquely racialized gendered experiences of women in Santo Domingo, Quinn reveals how racial ambiguity and color hierarchy work to shape experiences of identity and subjectivity in the Dominican Republic. She merges analyses of context and interviews with young Dominican women to offer rare insights into a Caribbean society in which the tourist industry and popular media reward, and rely upon, the ability of Dominican women to transform themselves to perform gender, race, and class.

Engaging and astute, Being La Dominicana reveals the little-studied world of today’s young Dominican women and what their personal stories and transnational experiences can tell us about the larger neoliberal world.

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Black Indians and Freedmen: The African Methodist Episcopal Church and Indigenous Americans, 1816-1916

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion, United States on 2021-08-31 18:42Z by Steven

Black Indians and Freedmen: The African Methodist Episcopal Church and Indigenous Americans, 1816-1916

University of Illinois Press
December 2021
256 pages
6 black & white photographs, 2 maps, 3 tables
6 x 9 in.
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04421-2
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08625-0

Christina Dickerson-Cousin, Assistant Professor of History
Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut

The union of Native Americans and a black church institution

Often seen as ethnically monolithic, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in fact successfully pursued evangelism among diverse communities of indigenous peoples and Black Indians. Christina Dickerson-Cousin tells the little-known story of the AME Church’s work in Indian Territory, where African Methodists engaged with people from the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles) and Black Indians with various ethnic backgrounds. These converts proved receptive to the historically black church due to its traditions of self-government and resistance to white hegemony, and its strong support of their interests. The ministers, guided by the vision of a racially and ethnically inclusive Methodist institution, believed their denomination the best option for the marginalized people. Dickerson-Cousin also argues that the religious opportunities opened up by the AME Church throughout the West provided another impetus for black migration.

Insightful and richly detailed, Black Indians and Freedmen illuminates how faith and empathy encouraged the unique interactions between two peoples.

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Imagining the Mulatta: Blackness in U.S. and Brazilian Media

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2020-05-26 20:26Z by Steven

Imagining the Mulatta: Blackness in U.S. and Brazilian Media

University of Illinois Press
May 2020
288 pages
9 color photographs
6 x 9 in.
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04328-4
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08520-8

Jasmine Mitchell, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Media Studies
State University of New York, Old Westbury

Mixed-race women and popular culture in Brazil and the United States

Brazil markets itself as a racially mixed utopia. The United States prefers the term melting pot. Both nations have long used the image of the mulatta to push skewed cultural narratives. Highlighting the prevalence of mixed race women of African and European descent, the two countries claim to have perfected racial representation—all the while ignoring the racialization, hypersexualization, and white supremacy that the mulatta narrative creates.

Jasmine Mitchell investigates the development and exploitation of the mulatta figure in Brazilian and U.S. popular culture. Drawing on a wide range of case studies, she analyzes policy debates and reveals the use of mixed-Black female celebrities as subjects of racial and gendered discussions. Mitchell also unveils the ways the media moralizes about the mulatta figure and uses her as an example of an “acceptable” version of blackness that at once dreams of erasing undesirable blackness while maintaining the qualities that serve as outlets for interracial desire.

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Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-03-14 16:57Z by Steven

Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow

University of Illinois Press
March 2018
296 pages
6 x 9 in.
11 black & white photographs
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04158-7
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08323-5
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-252-05024-4

Edited by:

Mollie Godfrey, Assistant Professor of English
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Vershawn Ashanti Young, Associate Professor of Drama and Speech Communication
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Crossing old boundaries to create new identities

African Americans once passed as whites to escape the pains of racism. Today’s neo-passing has pushed the old idea of passing in extraordinary new directions. A white author uses an Asian pen name; heterosexuals live “out” as gay; and, irony of ironies, whites try to pass as black.

Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young present essays that explore practices, performances, and texts of neo-passing in our supposedly postracial moment. The authors move from the postracial imagery of Angry Black White Boy and the issues of sexual orientation and race in ZZ Packer’s short fiction to the politics of Dave Chappelle’s skits as a black President George W. Bush. Together, the works reveal that the questions raised by neo-passing—questions about performing and contesting identity in relation to social norms—remain as relevant today as in the past.

Gale Wald offers a foreword and Michele Elam an afterword.

Contributors: Derek Adams, Christopher M. Brown, Martha J. Cutter, Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Alisha Gaines, Jennifer Glaser, Allyson Hobbs, Brandon J. Manning, Loran Marsan, Lara Narcisi, Eden Osucha, and Deborah Elizabeth Whaley

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Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2017-11-27 01:09Z by Steven

Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940

University of Illinois Press
April 2017
278 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.
12 black & white photographs, 2 line drawings, 7 maps, 2 tables
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04086-3
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08234-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-252-09935-9

Jason Oliver Chang, Assistant Professor of History and Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut

The politics of racial difference amid the tumult of modern Mexican history

From the late nineteenth century to the 1930s, antichinismo–the politics of racism against Chinese Mexicans–found potent expression in Mexico. Jason Oliver Chang delves into the untold story of how antichinismo helped the revolutionary Mexican state, and the elite in control of it, build their nation.

As Chang shows, anti-Chinese politics shared intimate bonds with a romantic ideology that surrounded the transformation of the mass indigenous peasantry into dignified mestizos. Racializing a Chinese Other became instrumental in organizing the political power and resources for winning Mexico’s revolutionary war, building state power, and seizing national hegemony in order to dominate the majority Indian population. By centering the Chinese in the drama of Mexican history, Chang opens up a fascinating untold story about the ways antichinismo was embedded within Mexico’s revolutionary national state and its ideologies.

Groundbreaking and boldly argued, Chino is a first-of-its-kind look at the essential role the Chinese played in Mexican culture and politics.

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Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention: The Old Negro in New Negro Art

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2017-09-06 04:20Z by Steven

Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention: The Old Negro in New Negro Art

University of Illinois Press
September 2017
248 pages
6 x 9 in.
8 color photographs, 34 black & white photographs

Phoebe Wolfskill, Assistant Professor
Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies
Indiana University, Bloomington

The painter’s struggle at the crossroads of artistic expression and social progress

An essential African American artist of his era, Archibald Motley Jr. created paintings of black Chicago that aligned him with the revisionist aims of the New Negro Renaissance. Yet Motley’s approach to constructing a New Negro–a dignified figure both accomplished and worthy of respect–reflected the challenges faced by African American artists working on the project of racial reinvention and uplift.

Phoebe Wolfskill demonstrates how Motley’s art embodied the tenuous nature of the Black Renaissance and the wide range of ideas that structured it. Focusing on key works in Motley’s oeuvre, Wolfskill reveals the artist’s complexity and the variety of influences that informed his work. Motley’s paintings suggest that the racist, problematic image of the Old Negro was not a relic of the past but an influence that pervaded the Black Renaissance. Exploring Motley in relation to works by notable black and non-black contemporaries, Wolfskill reinterprets Motley’s oeuvre as part of a broad effort to define American cultural identity through race, class, gender, religion, and regional affiliation…

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Scripts of Blackness: Race, Cultural Nationalism, and U.S. Colonialism in Puerto Rico

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-02-08 20:07Z by Steven

Scripts of Blackness: Race, Cultural Nationalism, and U.S. Colonialism in Puerto Rico

University of Illinois Press
February 2015
320 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.
38 black & white photographs, 3 maps, 1 chart, 3 tables
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03890-7
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08045-6

Isar P. Godreau, Researcher and Former Director
Institute for Interdisciplinary Research
University of Puerto Rico, Cayey

Ideas of blackness, whiteness, and racial mixture in a Puerto Rican barrio

The geopolitical influence of the United States informs the processes of racialization in Puerto Rico, including the construction of black places. In Scripts of Blackness, Isar P. Godreau explores how Puerto Rican national discourses about race—created to overcome U.S. colonial power—simultaneously privilege whiteness, typecast blackness, and silence charges of racism.

Based on an ethnographic study of the barrio of San Antón in the city of Ponce, Scripts of Blackness examines institutional and local representations of blackness as developing from a power-laden process that is inherently selective and political, not neutral or natural. Godreau traces the presumed benevolence or triviality of slavery in Puerto Rico, the favoring of a Spanish colonial whiteness (under a hispanophile discourse), and the insistence on a harmonious race mixture as discourses that thrive on a presumed contrast with the United States that also characterize Puerto Rico as morally superior. In so doing, she outlines the debates, social hierarchies, and colonial discourses that inform the racialization of San Antón and its residents as black.

Mining ethnographic materials and anthropological and historical research, Scripts of Blackness provides powerful insights into the critical political, economic, and historical context behind the strategic deployment of blackness, whiteness, and racial mixture.

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Regina Anderson Andrews, Harlem Renaissance Librarian

Posted in Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2014-11-09 17:52Z by Steven

Regina Anderson Andrews, Harlem Renaissance Librarian

University of Illinois Press
May 2014
176 pages
6 x 9 in.
23 black & white photographs

Ethelene Whitmire, Associate Professor of Library & Information Studies
University of Wisconsin, Madison

The life of a groundbreaking librarian and Harlem Renaissance figure

The first African American to head a branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL), Regina Andrews led an extraordinary life. Allied with W. E. B. Du Bois, Andrews fought for promotion and equal pay against entrenched sexism and racism and battled institutional restrictions confining African American librarians to only a few neighborhoods within New York City.

Andrews also played a key role in the Harlem Renaissance, supporting writers and intellectuals with dedicated workspace at her 135th Street Branch Library. After hours she cohosted a legendary salon that drew the likes of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Her work as an actress and playwright helped establish the Harlem Experimental Theater, where she wrote plays about lynching, passing, and the Underground Railroad.

Ethelene Whitmire’s new biography offers the first full-length study of Andrews’ activism and pioneering work with the NYPL. Whitmire’s portrait of her sustained efforts to break down barriers reveals Andrews’s legacy and places her within the NYPL’s larger history.

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Jean Toomer: Race, Repression, and Revolution

Posted in Biography, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2014-11-09 17:48Z by Steven

Jean Toomer: Race, Repression, and Revolution

University of Illinois Press
July 2014
336 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.
10 black & white photographs, 1 chart
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03844-0

Barbara Foley, Professor of English
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark

Political and personal repression and its effect on the work of a Harlem Renaissance luminary

The 1923 publication of Cane established Jean Toomer as a modernist master and one of the key literary figures of the emerging Harlem Renaissance. Though critics and biographers alike have praised his artistic experimentation and unflinching eyewitness portraits of Jim Crow violence, few seem to recognize how much Toomer’s interest in class struggle, catalyzed by the Russian Revolution and the post–World War One radical upsurge, situate his masterwork in its immediate historical context.

In Jean Toomer: Race, Repression, and Revolution, Barbara Foley explores Toomer’s political and intellectual connections with socialism, the New Negro movement, and the project of Young America. Examining his rarely scrutinized early creative and journalistic writings, as well as unpublished versions of his autobiography, she recreates the complex and contradictory consciousness that produced Cane.

Foley’s discussion of political repression runs parallel with a portrait of repression on a personal level. Examining family secrets heretofore unexplored in Toomer scholarship, she traces their sporadic surfacing in Cane. Toomer’s text, she argues, exhibits a political unconscious that is at once public and private.

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Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2014-06-15 23:29Z by Steven

Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture

University of Illinois Press
January 2014
264 pages
6 x 9 in.
15 black & white photographs
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-03807-5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-07956-6

Leilani Nishime, Assistant Professor of Communication
University of Washington, Seattle

Representations of mixed race Asian Americans in popular culture

In this first book-length study of media images of multiracial Asian Americans, Leilani Nishime traces the codes that alternatively enable and prevent audiences from recognizing the multiracial status of Asian Americans. Nishime’s perceptive readings of popular media–movies, television shows, magazine articles, and artwork–indicate how and why the viewing public often fails to identify multiracial Asian Americans. Using actor Keanu Reeves, golfer Tiger Woods, and the television show Battlestar Galactica as examples, Nishime suggests that this failure is tied to gender, sexuality, and post-racial politics. In contrast to these representations, Nishime provides a set of alternative moments when audiences can view multiracial Asians as multiracial. Through a consideration of the Matrix trilogy, reality TV star Kimora Lee Simmons, and the artwork of Kip Fulbeck, these examples highlight both the perils and benefits of racial visibility, uncovering our society’s ways of constructing racial categories. Throughout this incisive study, Nishime offers nuanced interpretations that open the door to a new and productive understanding of race in America.

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