Mixed Bloods and Other Crosses: Rethinking American Literature from the Revolution to the Culture Wars

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2013-03-16 19:42Z by Steven

Mixed Bloods and Other Crosses: Rethinking American Literature from the Revolution to the Culture Wars

University of Pennsylvania Press
288 pages
6×9; 24 illustrations
Cloth: ISBN 978-0-8122-3844-0

Betsy Erkkilä, Henry Sanborn Noyes Professor of Literature
Northwestern University

In Mixed Bloods and Other Crosses, Betsy Erkkilä argues that it is through the historical and psychological dramas of blood as a marker of violence, or race, or sex, or kinship that Americans have struggled over the meanings of democracy, citizenship, culture, national belonging, and the idea of America itself as it was constituted and contested in its relations with others and the world. Whether blood is construed as setting up a boundary incapable of being crossed or is perceived as a site of mixing and hybridity, its imagery has saturated the literature of the American republic from the time of the founding. Erkkilä moves from a consideration of contests about territorial, sexual, racial, class, national, and aesthetic borders in the Revolutionary period and the nineteenth century to a discussion of recent contests about the boundaries of culture and the disciplines and the relation between aesthetics and politics, identity and difference, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, the local and the global.

Erkkilä’s American literature is a field of cultural and political struggle, one she examines in scenes of mixture and crossing, miscegenation and incest, doubling and hybridity that subvert, alter, or undo the boundary-building imperatives of American history. While she is concerned with the “crosses” of sex, race, class, and blood, she also looks at the ways history and “blood” impinge on the putatively pure realms of culture, literature, and aesthetics in the writings of Thomas Jefferson, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, and the Caribbean writer C. L. R. James; she explores the ways the hybridity or mixture of social languages becomes a force for resistance and New World transformation in the writings of Phillis Wheatley and Abigail Adams, Walt Whitman and Harriet Jacobs; and she considers the ways modern subjectivity and the Freudian unconscious bear the markings of the dark, savage, sexual, and alien others that were expelled by the disciplinary logic of the Western Enlightenment and its legacy of blood in the Americas.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. Blood, Sex, and Other American Crosses
  • 2. Mixed Bloods: Jefferson, Revolution, and the Boundaries of America
  • 3. Revolutionary Women
  • 4. The Poetics of Whiteness: Poe and the Racial Imaginary
  • 5. Whitman and the Homosexual Republic
  • 6. Emily Dickinson and Class
  • 7. Beyond the Boundaries: C.L.R. James to Herman Melville
  • Notes
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments

Read the Preface here.

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Reconstructing Hybridity: Post-Colonial Studies in Transition

Posted in Anthologies, Books, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2010-02-07 01:14Z by Steven

Reconstructing Hybridity: Post-Colonial Studies in Transition

330 pages
Hardback: 978-90-420-2141-9 / 90-420-2141-1

Edited by:

Joel Kuortti, Adjunct Professor of Contemporary Culture
University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Jopi Nyman, Acting Professor of English
University of Joensuu, Finland

This interdisciplinary collection of critical articles seeks to reassess the concept of hybridity and its relevance to post-colonial theory and literature. The challenging articles written by internationally acclaimed scholars discuss the usefulness of the term in relation to such questions as citizenship, whiteness studies and transnational identity politics. In addition to developing theories of hybridity, the articles in this volume deal with the role of hybridity in a variety of literary and cultural phenomena in geographical settings ranging from the Pacific to native North America. The collection pays particular attention to questions of hybridity, migrancy and diaspora.

Table of Contents

  • Contributors
  • Joel KUORTTI and Jopi NYMAN: Introduction: Hybridity Today
  • Part One: Reconstructing Theories of Hybridity
    • David HUDDART: Hybridity and Cultural Rights: Inventing Global Citizenship
    • Sabine BROECK: White Fatigue, or, Supplementary Notes on Hybridity
    • Dimple GODIWALA: Postcolonial Desire: Mimicry, Hegemony, Hybridity
    • Jeroen DEWULF: As a Tupi-Indian, Playing the Lute: Hybridity as Anthropophagy
    • Paul SHARRAD: Strategic Hybridity: Some Pacific Takes on Postcolonial Theory
    • Andrew BLAKE: From Nostalgia to Postalgia: Hybridity and Its Discontents in the Work of Paul Gilroy and the Wachowski Brothers
  • Part Two: Reading Hybridity
    • Zoe TRODD: Hybrid Constructions: Native Autobiography and the Open Curves of Cultural Hybridity
    • Sheng-Mei MA : The Necessity and Impossibility of Being Mixed-Race in Asian American Literature
    • Jopi NYMAN: The Hybridity of the Asian American Subject in Cynthia Kadohata’s The Floating World
    • Joel KUORTTI: Problematic Hybrid Identity in the Diasporic Writings of Jhumpa Lahiri
    • Andrew HAMMOND: The Hybrid State: Hanif Kureishi and Thatcher’s Britain
    • Valerie KANEKO LUCAS: Performing British Identity: Fix Up and Fragile Land
    • Samir DAYAL: Subaltern Envy? Salman Rushdie’s Moor’s Last Sigh
    • Mita BANERJEE: Postethnicity and Postcommunism in Hanif Kureishi’s Gabriel’s Gift and Salman Rushdie’s Fury
    • Index
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Patrolling Borders: Hybrids, Hierarchies and the Challenge of Mestizaje

Posted in Articles, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2010-01-23 19:32Z by Steven

Patrolling Borders: Hybrids, Hierarchies and the Challenge of Mestizaje

Political Research Quarterly
Vol. 57, No. 4
pages 597-607
DOI: 10.1177/106591290405700408

Cristina Beltran, Associate Professor of Political Science
Haverford College

Hybridity” has become a popular concept among scholars of critical race theory and identity, particularly those studying Chicano identity. Some scholars claim that hybridity—premised on multiplicity and fluidity—represents a new approach to subjectivity, challenging the idea of a stable and unified subject. In “Patrolling Borders,” I argue that scholars are mistaken in their belief that “hybrid” or “bordered” identities are inherently transgressive or antiessentialist. By constructing a genealogy of Chicano hybridity (i.e., mestizaje) I show how Chicano nationalists produced a politicized subjectivity during the Chicano Movement that emerged as the basis for recent notions of hybridity put forward by writers like Gloria Anzaldúa. By tracing the historical construction of mestizaje, I show how hybridity continues to be a discursive practice capable of comfortably coexisting with dreams of privileged knowledge, order, and wholeness.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Hybridity, So What? The Anti-Hybridity Backlash and the Riddles of Recognition

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2009-12-22 05:33Z by Steven

Hybridity, So What? The Anti-Hybridity Backlash and the Riddles of Recognition

Theory, Culture & Society
Volume 18, Numbers 2-3 (June 2001)
pages 219-245
DOI: 10.1177/026327640101800211

Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Mellichamp Professor of Global Studies and Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Take just about any exercise in social mapping and it is the hybrids, those that straddle categories, that are missing. Take most arrangements of multiculturalism and it is the hybrids that are not counted, not accommodated. So what? This article is about the recognition of hybridity, in-betweenness. The first section discusses the varieties of hybridity and the widening range of phenomena to which the term now applies. According to anti-hybridity arguments, hybridity is inauthentic and ‘multiculturalism lite’. Examining these arguments provides an opportunity to deepen and fine-tune our perspective. What is missing in the antihybridity arguments is historical depth; in this treatment the third section deals with the longue durÈeand proposes multiple historical layers of hybridity. The fourth section concerns the politics of boundaries, for in the end the real problem is not hybridity—which is common throughout history—but boundaries and the social proclivity to boundary fetishism. Hybridity is a problem only from the point of view of essentializing boundaries. What hybridity means varies not only over time but also in different cultures and this informs different patterns of hybridity. Then we come back to the original question: so what? The importance of hybridity is that it problematizes boundaries.

Read the entire article here.

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Are Mestizos Hybrids? The Conceptual Politics of Andean Identities

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Social Science on 2009-12-12 00:35Z by Steven

Are Mestizos Hybrids? The Conceptual Politics of Andean Identities

Journal of Latin American Studies
Volume 37, Issue 02
May 2005
pp 259-284
DOI: 10.1017/S0022216X05009004

Marisol de la Cadena, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of California, Davis

Through a genealogical analysis of the terms mestizo and mestizaje, this article reveals that these voices are doubly hybrid. On the one hand they house an empirical hybridity, built upon eighteenth and nineteenth century racial taxonomies and according to which ‘mestizos’ are non-indigenous individuals, the result of biological or cultural mixtures. Yet, mestizos’ genealogy starts earlier, when ‘mixture’ denoted transgression of the rule of faith, and its statutes of purity. Within this taxonomic regime mestizos could be, at the same time, indigenous. Apparently dominant, racial theories sustained by scientific knowledge mixed with, (rather than cancel) previous faith based racial taxonomies. ‘Mestizo’ thus houses a conceptual hybridity – the mixture of two classificatory regimes – which reveals subordinate alternatives for mestizo subject positions, including forms of indigeneity.

Read the entire article here.

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Mestizaje: Critical Uses of Race in Chicano Culture

Posted in Books, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2009-11-05 01:43Z by Steven

Mestizaje: Critical Uses of Race in Chicano Culture

University of Minnesota Press
272 pages
15 halftones; 5 7⁄8 x 9
Paper ISBN: 0-8166-4595-7
Paper ISBN-13: 978-0-8166-4595-4
Cloth ISBN: 0-8166-4594-9
Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0-8166-4594-7

Rafael Pérez-Torres, Professor and Chair of English
University of California, Los Angeles

A major reassessment of how mixed-race identity affects Chicano culture and politics.

Focusing on the often unrecognized role race plays in expressions of Chicano culture, Mestizaje is a provocative exploration of the volatility and mutability of racial identities. In this important moment in Chicano studies, Rafael Pérez-Torres reveals how the concepts and realities of race, historical memory, the body, and community have both constrained and opened possibilities for forging new and potentially liberating multiracial identities.

Informed by a broad-ranging theoretical investigation of identity politics and race and incorporating feminist and queer critiques, Pérez-Torres skillfully analyzes Chicano cultural production. Contextualizing the history of mestizaje, he shows how the concept of mixed race has been used to engage issues of hybridity and voice and examines the dynamics that make mestizo and mestiza identities resistant to, as well as affirmative of, dominant forms of power. He also addresses the role that mestizaje has played in expressive culture, including the hip-hop music of Cypress Hill and the vibrancy of Chicano poster art. Turning to issues of mestizaje in literary creation, Pérez-Torres offers critical readings of the works of Emma Pérez, Gil Cuadros [1962-1996], and Sandra Cisneros, among others. This book concludes with a consideration of the role that the mestizo body plays as a site of elusive or displaced knowledge.

Moving beyond the oppositions—nationalism versus assimilation, men versus women, Texans versus Californians—that have characterized much of Chicano studies, Mestizaje synthesizes and assesses twenty-five years of pathbreaking thinking to make a case for the core components, sensibilities, and concerns of the discipline.

Table of Contents


PART I. Creating Mestizaje
1. The Critical Mixture of Race
2. The Mestizo Voice

PART II. Fashioning Mestizaje
3. Popular Music and Postmodern Mestizaje
4. Land and Race in Chicano Public Art

PART III. Challenging Mestizaje
5. The Transgressive Body and Sexual Mestizaje
6. Narrative and Loss

Works Cited

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Impurity of Blood: Defining Race in Spain, 1870-1930

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2009-11-02 01:28Z by Steven

Impurity of Blood: Defining Race in Spain, 1870-1930

Louisiana State University Press
Published: December 2009
288 pages
Trim: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 1 map
Cloth ISBN: 13: 978-0-8071-3516-7

Joshua Goode, Professor of History and Cultural Studies
Claremont Graduate University, California

Although Francisco Franco courted the Nazis as allies during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s, the Spanish dictator’s racial ideals had little to do with the kind of pure lineage that obsessed the Nazis. Indeed, Franco’s idea of race—that of a National Catholic state as the happy meeting grounds of many different peoples willingly blended together—differed from most European conceptions of race in this period and had its roots in earlier views of Spanish racial identity from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Impurity of Blood, Joshua Goode traces the development of racial theories in Spain from 1870 to 1930 in the burgeoning human science of anthropology and in political and social debates, exploring the counterintuitive Spanish proposition that racial mixture rather than racial purity was the bulwark of national strength.

Goode begins with a history of ethnic thought in Spain in the medieval and early modern era, and then details the formation of racial thought in Spain’s nascent human sciences. He goes on to explore the political, social, and cultural manifestations of racial thought at the dawn of the Franco regime and, finally, discusses its ramifications in Francoist Spain and post–World War II Europe. In the process, he brings together normally segregated historiographies of race in Europe.

Goode analyzes the findings of Spanish racial theorists working to forge a Spanish racial identity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when race and racial sciences were most in vogue across Europe. Spaniards devised their own racial identities using scientifically substantiated racial ideas and confronted head-on the apparent limitations of Spain’s history by considering them as the defining characteristics of la raza española. The task of the Spanish social sciences was to trace the history of racial fusion: to study both the separate elements of the Spanish composition and the factors that had nurtured them. Ultimately, by exploring the development of Spanish racial thought between 1875 and 1930, Goode demonstrates that national identity based on mixture—the inclusion rather than the exclusion of different peoples—did not preclude the establishment of finely wrought and politically charged racial hierarchies.

Providing a new comprehensive view of racial thought in Spain and its connections to the larger twentieth-century formation of racial thought in the West, Impurity of Blood will enlighten and inform scholars of Spanish and European history, racial theory, historical anthropology, and the history of science.

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A Premonition of Obama: La Raza Cosmica in America

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-27 14:53Z by Steven

A Premonition of Obama: La Raza Cosmica in America

New Perspectives Quarterly (NPQ)
Volume 26 Issue 4
Pages 100 – 110
Published Online: 2009-10-26
DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5842.2009.01119.x

Ryszard Kapuscinski

Ryszard Kapuscinski, who died in 2007, was one of the 20th century’s greatest literary journalists. He personally witnessed the dramatic post-World War II upheavals of decolonization and revolution across what we used to call “the Third World” and set down his reflections in such best-selling books as The Emperor, about the fall of Haile Selassie [I] of Ethiopia, and Shah of Shahs, about the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. He served on NPQ’s editorial board until his death.

When I last saw Kapuscinski for coffee at the Hotel Bristol in Warsaw in the summer of 2005 he was busy preparing a lecture on Herodotus, the ancient Greek traveler and historian regarded as “the father of journalism.”

In 1987, NPQ brought Kapuscinski to Los Angeles to roam around and observe North America’s largest “Third World city.” He stayed at the New Seoul Hotel in the heart of Koreatown, venturing from there all the way down to Disneyland, Hispanic East L.A. and the wealthy Westside. At the end of each day, we sat down to gather his impressions.

Kapuscinski saw the United States as the place where the idea of “la raza cosmica”—the cosmic race—would be realized. For him, America was a premonition of the plural, racially mixed, culturally hybrid civilization the whole world would one day become. In a way, his insight was also a premonition of the presidency of Barack Obama, a self-described cultural and racial “mutt.” In a world where the contamination of globalization has sparked troubling yearnings for a return to purity, being a nation of mutts, Kapuscinski understood, is America’s competitive advantage.

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Mixing Race, Mixing Culture: Inter-American Literary Dialogues

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2009-10-21 02:07Z by Steven

Mixing Race, Mixing Culture: Inter-American Literary Dialogues

University of Texas Press
6 x 9 in.
324 pp., 4 photos, 1 chart
ISBN: 978-0-292-74348-9
Print-on-demand title

Edited by

Monika Kaup, Assistant Professor of English
University of Washington, Seattle

Debra Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of English
John Carroll University

Over the last five centuries, the story of the Americas has been a story of the mixing of races and cultures. Not surprisingly, the issue of miscegenation, with its attendant fears and hopes, has been a pervasive theme in New World literature, as writers from Canada to Argentina confront the legacy of cultural hybridization and fusion.

This book takes up the challenge of transforming American literary and cultural studies into a comparative discipline by examining the dynamics of racial and cultural mixture and its opposite tendency, racial and cultural disjunction, in the literatures of the Americas. Editors Kaup and Rosenthal have brought together a distinguished set of scholars who compare the treatment of racial and cultural mixtures in literature from North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America. From various angles, they remap the Americas as a multicultural and multiracial hemisphere, with a common history of colonialism, slavery, racism, and racial and cultural hybridity.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • I. Mixed-Blood Epistemologies
    1. Werner Sollors, Can Rabbits Have Interracial Sex?
    2. Doris Sommer, Who Can Tell? The Blanks in Villaverde
    3. Zita Nunes, Phantasmatic Brazil: Nella Larsen‘s Passing, American Literary Imagination, and Racial Utopianism
  • II. Métissage and Counterdiscourse
    1. Françoise Lionnet, Narrating the Americas: Transcolonial Métissage and Maryse Condé‘s La Migration des coeurs
    2. Michèle Praeger, Créolité or Ambiguity?
  • III. Indigenization, Miscegenation, and Nationalism
    1. Priscilla Archibald, Gender and Mestizaje in the Andes
    2. Debra J. Rosenthal, Race Mixture and the Representation of Indians in the U.S. and the Andes: Cumandá, Aves sin nido, The Last of the Mohicans, and Ramona
    3. Susan Gillman, The Squatter, the Don, and the Grandissimes in Our America
  • IV. Hybrid Hybridity
    1. Rafael Pérez-Torres, Chicano Ethnicity, Cultural Hybridity, and the Mestizo Voice
    2. Monika Kaup, Constituting Hybridity as Hybrid: Métis Canadian and Mexican American Formations
  • V. Sites of Memory in Mixed-Race Autobiography
    1. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, Living on the River
    2. Louis Owens, The Syllogistic Mixedblood: How Roland Barthes Saved Me from the indians
  • Coda: From Exoticism to Mixed-Blood Humanism
    1. Earl E. Fitz, From Blood to Culture: Miscegenation as Metaphor for the Americas
  • Contributors
  • Works Cited
  • Index

Read the entire introduction here.

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The Historical Problematization of ‘Mixed Race’ in Psychological and Human-Scientific Discourses

Posted in Books, Canada, Chapter, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-20 21:31Z by Steven

The Historical Problematization of ‘Mixed Race’ in Psychological and Human-Scientific Discourses

Defining difference: Race and Racism in the History of Psychology
Edited by Andrew Winston
pages pp. 79-108
American Psychological Association

Thomas Teo, Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
York University

This paper reconstructs techniques of problematization regarding “mixed race” from Enlightenment inspired anthropological discourses to the North-American psychological discourses of the present time. Two central techniques of problematization are discussed. The conceptual technique of problematization, used in bio-psychological discourse at the beginning of the 20th century, transformed a lack of evidence into invoking metaphysical concepts such as disharmony. Sociological and social-psychological discourses changed problems of society with hybridity into problems of individuals. The empirical technique of problematization refers to the repeated testing of the inferiority of hybrid groups, for example of the “mulatto hypothesis.” Finally, it is shown how multiracial academics in the contemporary discourse shifted the discourse by focusing on problems that biracial people experience within society. It is suggested that the reconstruction of hybridity illustrates the epistemological and ethical shortcomings of a paradigm that considers humans as objects and not as subjects of research.

Read the entire chapter here.

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