As We Are Now: Mixblood Essays on Race and Identity

As We Are Now: Mixblood Essays on Race and Identity

University of California Press
January 1998
282 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780520210738

edited by

William S. Penn, Professor of Creative Writing
Michigan State University

The thirteen contributors to As We Are Now invite readers to explore with them the untamed territory of race and mixblood identity in North America. A “mixblood,” according to editor W.S. Penn, recognizes that his or her identity comes not from distinct and separable strains of ancestry but from the sum of the tension and interplay of all his or her ancestral relationships. These first-person narratives cross racial, national, and disciplinary boundaries in a refreshingly experimental approach to writing culture. Their authors call on similar but varied cultural and aesthetic traditions—mostly oral—in order to address some aspect of race and identity about which they feel passionate, and all resist the essentialist point of view. Mixblood Native American, Mestizo/a, and African-American writers focus their discussion on the questions indigenous and minority people ask and the way in which they ask them, clearly merging the singular “I” with the communal “we.” These are new voices in the dialogue of ethnic writers, and they offer a highly original treatment of an important subject.

Table of Contents

William S. Penn

Cutting and Pinning Patterns
Erika Aigner-Varoz

Howling at the Moon: The Queer but True Story of My Life as a Hank Williams Song
Craig Womack

Crossing Borders from the Beginning
Alfonso Rodriguez

Carol Kalafatic

What Part Moon
Inez Petersen

Tradition and the Individual Imitation
William S. Penn

On Mapping and Urban Shamans
Kimberly Blaeser

Race and Mixed-Race: A Personal Tour
Rainier Spencer

Visions in the Four Directions: Five Hundred Years of Resistance and Beyond
Arturo Aldama

Between the Masques
Diane DuBose Brunner

From the Turn of the Century to the New Age: Playing Indian, Past and Present
Shari Huhndorf

Rolando Romero

Ritchie Valens Is Dead: E Pluribus Unum
Patricia Penn Hilden

Notes on Contributors

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