Request for Participants in a Study About Multiracial Identity and Conceptions of Self

Posted in Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2012-11-01 03:46Z by Steven

Request for Participants in a Study About Multiracial Identity and Conceptions of Self


We are currently seeking interested, eligible individuals to participate in a study about multiracial identity and conceptions of self conducted by Evelina Lou and Dr. Richard Lalonde at York University, Toronto, Canada.

Participants will be asked to complete an online questionnaire that will take approximately 30 minutes of their time. All responses are entirely anonymous and confidential. As a thank you for contributing to this research, participants may enter a draw for a $25 Amazon gift card (1 in 30 chances to win).

You must meet all of the following eligibility requirements in order to participate:

  • Your biological parents are of different racial backgrounds
  • One of your parents is White
  • You are at least 18 years old

Multiraciality is an ever-increasing lived experience for many individuals that goes well beyond “Black and White.” Unfortunately, most of the psychological research in this area so far has focused on mixed-race individuals from specific backgrounds (e.g., Black/White), despite statistics showing that only a subset of the multiracial population in the U.S. and Canada are limited to these groups. Our aim is to better understand the unique experiences of mixed-race individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. We are particularly interested in how biracial individuals perceive their own racial identity and how this identity is related to past and present social experiences, attitudes, and feelings.

To participate, go to the following website:

And please feel free to pass this along to any eligible friends or family members who might be interested in participating!

Thank you!

Evelina Lou, M.A. (
Dr. Richard Lalonde (
Department of Psychology
York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3

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Shades of gray: Black-white multiracialism in contemporary American literature

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2011-06-05 03:51Z by Steven

Shades of gray: Black-white multiracialism in contemporary American literature

York University (Canada)
294 pages
Publication Number: AAT NR71345
ISBN: 9780494713457

Molly Littlewood McKibbin

A Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in English in partial fulfillment of the requirments for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

The American construction of whiteness and blackness as dichotomous racial categories and subsequent black refashioning of the one-drop rule as a method of empowering and mobilizing African Americans have meant that whiteness has developed in terms of purity (and not-blackness) while blackness has absorbed mixture into one racial category. However, since the Civil Rights Movement and the Multiracial Movement (begun shortly after the Loving v. Virginia decision invalidated antimiscegenation laws in 1967), American treatment of racial mixture has undergone consistent change. My dissertation addresses how literature at the turn of the millennium ultimately offers a new exploration of black-white multiracialism. I examine four texts in detail: Danzy Senna’s Caucasia (1998), Rebecca Walker’s Black White and Jewish (2001), Emily Raboteau’s The Professor’s Daughter (2005), and Rachel Harper’s Brass Ankle Blues (2006).

The introduction outlines the historical development of racial blackness in the U.S. and traces the possibilities and limitations of racial identity for multiracial figures throughout African American literary history. In the first chapter, I analyze more recent multiracial theory and advocacy to establish and critique the state of current discourse surrounding (multi)racial identity and also examine the ways in which contemporary writers depict the negotiation of racial identity within a new social climate that permits self-identification but still clings to recognized labels. In the second chapter, I use white studies and an understanding of the historical development of racial whiteness in the U.S. to analyze how contemporary writing is transforming the apparent homogeneity of whiteness into a heterogeneous classification by racializing and diversifying the otherwise normative, generic category of whiteness. In the third chapter, I use the context of black racial identity politics to analyze the difficulty multiracial figures have in claiming blackness, since on the one hand they are “not black enough” to claim blackness and on the other they are seen as “race traitors” for not claiming monoracial blackness.

My research emphasizes that multiracial discourse is still in its formative stages but is working towards articulating multiracial identities and writing them into the American literary landscape even if current literature can only gesture towards such identities at present.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Black and White in the United States
  • Chapter One: “What are you, anyway?”: Mixture, Identity Formation, and the Social Context of Race Classification
  • Chapter Two: Racializin’ and Diversifyin’: Negotiating Whiteness
  • Chapter Three: “Black Like Me”: Negotiating Blackness
  • Conclusion: The (Continuing) Work of Multiracial Literature
  • Bibliography

Purchase the dissertation here.

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Understanding what it means to be mixed

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2011-03-31 02:10Z by Steven

Understanding what it means to be mixed

York University’s Community Newspaper

Victoria Alarcon, Sports & Health Editor

People have always seen me as different. It doesn’t matter where I went, when it happened or who it was; I’ve too often come face-to-face with puzzled looks and people examining me, trying to dissect what I was. That curious look prefaced the inevitable question: “Where are you from?”

“This question of ‘where do you come from?’ has become normalized. For people that is a normal way of trying to figure something out about someone,” said Arun Chaudhuri, an anthropology professor at York University.

“It’s a very profound expectation of how you’re supposed to understand someone in terms of talking about where they came from and their origin.”

I’ve been called Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and a few other names that weren’t even close. But what people don’t know is that I’m mixed race.

Growing up I had a father whose ancestors came from China and a mother who was very much from a traditional Spanish family. They got married, and just like that, I was born into a mixed family. From my Asian eyes to my beige skin, I was neither Chinese nor Spanish, but both. The hardest part was constantly being surrounded by scrutinizing eyes and getting past their judgments to accept what I was…

Read the entire article here.

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Re-imagining mixed race: Explorations of multiracial discourse in Canada

Posted in Canada, Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2010-11-02 02:37Z by Steven

Re-imagining mixed race: Explorations of multiracial discourse in Canada

York University
December 2008
190 pages
ISBN: 9780494517864
Publication Number: AAT NR51786

Leanne Taylor

A Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of graduate Studies in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

This dissertation analyses discourses of racial mixture, with particular focus on the Canadian context. I suggest that mixed race has been largely under-theorized in current racial and multiracial research and argue that this deficiency, as well as the controversies that mixed race often inspires, is an effect of the limitations in discourses about race, racism and identity. Throughout, I address many of the challenges, questions and controversies surrounding racial mixture (including struggles over identity, classification and the recent multiracial movement), and engage stories depicting experiences of mixed race people in Canada. I focus most closely on Lawrence Hill’s Black Berry Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada, Carol Camper’s anthology Miscegenation Blues: Voices of Mixed Race Women, and Shanti Thakur’s documentary Domino. I use their stories as a means of commenting on broader struggles around racialization, racial identities, and racial discourse in our present multicultural context—one that is increasingly placing unbalanced focus on ideals of colour-blindness and neo-liberalism. My study is meant to inspire a re-thinking of some key concepts in contemporary theories of race and mixed race and the growing societal claims that we are moving toward a raceless state. The issues and questions I raise in this dissertation are intended to address the problems and concerns that many critical theories of race and mixed race fail to consider. I argue that creolization theory, particularly Edouard Glissant’s theory of “Relation”, his attention to rhizomatic identity, and his challenge to linearity and fixity, offer a critical challenge that might move complex discussions of mixed race and multiracial theory forward and away from the restrictions of binaries, racial biologism, and essentialist identity politics.

Order the dissertation here.

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