Mexican Costumbrismo: Race, Society, and Identity in Nineteenth-Century Art

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2019-11-03 03:05Z by Steven

Mexican Costumbrismo: Race, Society, and Identity in Nineteenth-Century Art

Pennsylvania State University Press
180 pages
8″ × 10″
31 color/29 b&w illustrations
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-07907-3

Mey-Yen Moriuchi, Assistant Professor of Art History
LaSalle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cover image for Mexican Costumbrismo: Race, Society, and Identity in Nineteenth-Century Art By Mey-Yen Moriuchi

The years following Mexican independence in 1821 were critical to the development of social, racial, and national identities. The visual arts played a decisive role in this process of self-definition. Mexican Costumbrismo reorients current understanding of this key period in the history of Mexican art by focusing on a distinctive genre of painting that emerged between 1821 and 1890: costumbrismo.

In contrast to the neoclassical work favored by the Mexican academy, costumbrista artists portrayed the quotidian lives of the lower to middle classes, their clothes, food, dwellings, and occupations. Based on observations of similitude and difference, costumbrista imagery constructed stereotypes of behavioral and biological traits associated with distinct racial and social classes. In doing so, Mey-Yen Moriuchi argues, these works engaged with notions of universality and difference, contributed to the documentation and reification of social and racial types, and transformed the way Mexicans saw themselves, as well as how other nations saw them, during a time of rapid change for all aspects of national identity.

Carefully researched and featuring more than thirty full-color exemplary reproductions of period work, Moriuchi’s study is a provocative art-historical examination of costumbrismo’s lasting impact on Mexican identity and history.


  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Racialized Social Spaces in Casta and Costumbrista Painting
  • 2. Traveler-Artists’ Visions of Mexico
  • 3. Literary Costumbrismo: Celebration and Satire of los tipos populares
  • 4. Local Perspectives: Mexican Costumbrista Artists
  • 5. Costumbrista Photography
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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“I Don’t See Color” Personal and Critical Perspectives on White Privilege

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Canada, Economics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science, United States on 2016-01-03 15:34Z by Steven

“I Don’t See Color” Personal and Critical Perspectives on White Privilege

Pennsylvania State University Press
280 pages
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-06499-4

Edited by:

Bettina Bergo, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada

Tracey Nicholls, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois

Who is white, and why should we care? There was a time when the immigrants of New York City’s Lower East Side—the Irish, the Poles, the Italians, the Russian Jews—were not white, but now “they” are. There was a time when the French-speaking working classes of Quebec were told to “speak white,” that is, to speak English. Whiteness is an allegorical category before it is demographic.

This volume gathers together some of the most influential scholars of privilege and marginalization in philosophy, sociology, economics, psychology, literature, and history to examine the idea of whiteness. Drawing from their diverse racial backgrounds and national origins, these scholars weave their theoretical insights into essays critically informed by personal narrative. This approach, known as “braided narrative,” animates the work of award-winning author Eula Biss. Moved by Biss’s fresh and incisive analysis, the editors have assembled some of the most creative voices in this dialogue, coming together across the disciplines.

Along with the editors, the contributors are Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Nyla R. Branscombe, Drucilla Cornell, Lewis R. Gordon, Paget Henry, Ernest-Marie Mbonda, Peggy McIntosh, Mark McMorris, Marilyn Nissim-Sabat, Victor Ray, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, Louise Seamster, Tracie L. Stewart, George Yancy, and Heidi A. Zetzer.

Table Contents

  • Preface / Eula Biss
  • Introduction / Bettina Bergo and Tracey Nicholls
  • Part I. What is White Privilege?
    • Chapter 1: Deprivileging Philosophy / Peggy McIntosh
    • Chapter 2: White Privilege and the Problem with Affirmative Action / Lewis R. Gordon
    • Chapter 3: Revisioning “White Privilege” / Marilyn Nissim-Sabat
  • Part II. The Images and Rhetoric of White Privilege
    • Chapter 4: The Very Image of Privilege: Film Creation of White Transcendentals in Vienna and Hollywood / Bettina Bergo
    • Chapter 5: Painting and Negotiating Colors / Lilia Moritz Schwarcz
    • Chapter 6: I Was an Honorary White Man: Reflections on Space, Place, and Origin / Mark McMorris
  • Part III. Troubling Privilege
    • Chapter 7: Whiteness as Insidious: On the Embedded and Opaque White Racist Self / George Yancy
    • Chapter 8: White Privilege: The Luxury of Undivided Attention / Heidi A. Zetzer
    • Chapter 9: The Costs of Privilege and Dividends of Privilege Awareness: The Social Psychology of Confronting Inequality / Tracie L. Stewart and Nyla R. Branscombe
    • Chapter 10: Unpacking the Imperialist Knapsack: White Privilege and Imperialism in Obama’s America / Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Victor Ray, and Louise Seamster
  • Part IV. Other Perspectives on White and Western Privilege
    • Chapter 11: Whiteness and Africana Political Economy / Paget Henry
    • Chapter 12: The Great White North: Failing Muslim-Canadians – Failing Us All / Tracey Nicholls
    • Chapter 13: Rethinking Ethical Feminism through uBuntu / Drucilla Cornell
    • Chapter 14: The Afrocentrist Critique of Eurocentrism: The Decolonization of Knowledge /Ernest-Marie Mbonda
  • Contributor Biographies
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Race in Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Women on 2015-01-26 02:08Z by Steven

Race in Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality

Pennsylvania State University Press
304 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9
1 illustration
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-01905-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-01906-2

Edited by: Rebecca Reichmann

Brazil’s traditionally agrarian economy, based initially on slave labor and later on rural labor and tenancy arrangements, established inequalities that have not diminished even with industrial development and urban growth. While fertility and infant mortality rates have dropped significantly and life expectancy has increased during the past thirty years, the gaps in mortality between rich and poor have remained constant. And among the poor of different races, including the 45 percent of Brazil’s population identified as preto (“black”) or pardo (“brown”) in the official census, persistent inequalities cannot be explained by the shortcomings of national economic development or failure of the “modernization” process.

Reichmann assembles the most important work of Brazilians writing today on contemporary racial dynamics in policy-relevant areas: the construction of race and color classification systems, access to education, employment and health, racial inequalities in the judiciary and politics, and black women’s status and roles. Despite these glaring social inequalities, racial discrimination in Brazil is poorly understood, both within and outside Brazil.

The still-widespread notion of harmonious “racial democracy” in Brazil was first articulated by anthropologist Gilberto Freyre in the 1930s and was subsequently reinforced by the popular media, social observers, and scholars. By giving voice to Brazilians’ own interpretations of race, this volume represents an essential contribution to the increasingly international debates about the African diaspora and comparative constructions of race.

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Race and Multiraciality in Brazil and the United States: Converging Paths?

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2011-04-25 03:30Z by Steven

Race and Multiraciality in Brazil and the United States: Converging Paths?

Pennsylvania State University Press
384 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-271-02883-5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-271-03288-7

G. Reginald Daniel, Professor of Sociology
University of California at Santa Barbara

Although both Brazil and the United States inherited European norms that accorded whites privileged status relative to all other racial groups, the development of their societies followed different trajectories in defining white/black relations. In Brazil pervasive miscegenation and the lack of formal legal barriers to racial equality gave the appearance of its being a “racial democracy,” with a ternary system of classifying people into whites (brancos), multiracial individuals (pardos), and blacks (pretos) supporting the idea that social inequality was primarily associated with differences in class and culture rather than race. In the United States, by contrast, a binary system distinguishing blacks from whites by reference to the “one-drop rule” of African descent produced a more rigid racial hierarchy in which both legal and informal barriers operated to create socioeconomic disadvantages for blacks.

But in recent decades, Reginald Daniel argues in this comparative study, changes have taken place in both countries that have put them on “converging paths.” Brazil’s black consciousness movement stresses the binary division between brancos and negros to heighten awareness of and mobilize opposition to the real racial discrimination that exists in Brazil, while the multiracial identity movement in the U.S. works to help develop a more fluid sense of racial dynamics that was long felt to be the achievement of Brazil’s ternary system.

Against the historical background of race relationsin Brazil and the U.S. that he traces in Part I of the book, including a review of earlier challenges to their respective racial orders, Daniel focuses in Part II on analyzing the new racial project on which each country has embarked, with attention to all the political possibilities and dangers they involve.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Part I. The Historical Foundation
    • 1. Eurocentrism: Racial Formation and the Master Racial Project
    • 2. The Brazilian Path: The Ternary Racial Project
    • 3. The Brazilian Path Less Traveled: Contesting the Ternary Racial Project
    • 4. The U.S. Path: The Binary Racial Project
    • 5. The U.S. Path Less Traveled: Contesting the Binary Racial Project
  • Part II. Converging Paths
    • 6. A New U.S. Racial Order: The Demise of Jim Crow Segregation
    • 7. A New Brazilian Racial Order: A Decline in the Racial Democracy Ideology
    • 8. The U.S. Convergence: Toward the Brazilian Path
    • 9. The Brazilian Convergence: Toward the U.S. Path
  • Epilogue: The U.S. and Brazilian Racial Orders: Changing Points of Reference
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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Who Is Black? One Nation’s Definition

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-17 21:04Z by Steven

Who Is Black? One Nation’s Definition

Penn State Press
2001 (Originally published in 1992)
232 pages
6 x 9
ISBN 978-0-271-02172-0

F. James Davis, Professor Emeritus of Sociology
Illinois State University

Winner of the 1992 Outstanding Book on the Subject of Human Rights from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in the United States.

Tenth Anniversary Edition

Reprinted many times since its first publication in 1991, Who Is Black? has become a staple in college classrooms throughout the United States, helping students understand this nation’s history of miscegenation and the role that the “one-drop rule” has played in it. In this special anniversary edition, the author brings the story up to date in an epilogue. There he highlights some revealing responses to Who Is Black? and examines recent challenges to the one-drop rule, including the multiracial identity movement and a significant change in the census classification of racial and ethnic groups.

Table of Contents

    • The One-Drop Rule Defined
    • Black Leaders, But Predominantly White
    • Plessy, Phipps, and Other Challenges in Courts
    • Census Enumeration of Blacks
    • Uniqueness of the One-Drop Rule
    • Racial Classification and Miscegenation
    • Racist Beliefs About Miscegenation
    • The Judge Brady Paradox
    • Miscegenation in Africa and Europe
    • Race vs. Beliefs About Race
    • Early Miscegenation in the Upper South: The Rule Emerges
    • South Carolina and Louisiana: A Different Rule
    • Miscegenation on Black Belt Plantations
    • Reconstruction and the One-Drop Rule
    • The Status of Free Mulattoes, North and South
    • The Emergence and Spread of the One-Drop Rule
    • Creation of the Jim Crow System
    • The One-Drop Rule Under Jim Crow
    • Effects of the Black Renaissance of the 1920s
    • The Rule and Myrdal’s Rank Order of Discriminations
    • Sexual Norms and the Rule: Jim Crow vs. Apartheid
    • Effects of The Fall of Jim Crow
    • De Facto Segregation and Miscegenation
    • Miscegenation Since the 1960s
    • Development of the One-Drop Rule in the Twentieth Century
    • Racial Hybrid Status Lower Than Both Parents Groups
    • Status Higher Than Either Parent Group
    • In-Between Status: South Africa and Others
    • Highly Variable Class Status: Latin America
    • Two Variants in the Caribbean
    • Equality for the Racially Mixed in Hawaii
    • Same Status as the Subordinate Group: The One-Drop Rule
    • Status of an Assimilating Minority
    • Contrasting Socially Constructed Rules
    • Alex Haley, Lillian Smith, and Others
    • Transracial Adoptions and the One-Drop Rule
    • Rejecton of the Rule: Garvey, American Indians, and Others
    • Black Acceptance: Reasons and Implications
    • The Death of Walter White’s Father and Other Traumas
    • Collective Anxieties About Racial Identity: Some Cases
    • Personal Identity: Seven Modes of Adjustment
    • Lena Home’s Struggles with Her Racial Identity
    • Problems of Administering the One-Drop Rule
    • Misperceptions of the Racial Identity of South Asians, Arabs, and Others
    • Sampling Errors in Studying American Blacks
    • Blockage of Full Assimilation of Blacks
    • Costs of the One-Drop Rule
    • A Massive Distortion? A Monstrous Myth?
    • Clues for Change in Deviations from the Rule
    • Clues for Change in Costs of the Rule
    • Possible Direction: Which Alternative?
    • Prospects for the Future
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Notes of a White Black Woman: Race, Color, Community

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States, Women on 2009-10-17 20:36Z by Steven

Notes of a White Black Woman: Race, Color, Community

Penn State Press
206 pages
6 x 9
cloth: ISBN 978-0-271-01430-2
paper: ISBN 978-0-271-02124-9

Judy Scales-Trent, Floyd H. & Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar, Professor Emerita
State Univerisity of New York at Buffalo Law School

“I remember one time in particular, after the cab I was in crashed into the car in front, then backed into the one behind. A policeman stopped to help.  As he was taking down my name and address, I noticed that he had checked the ‘white’ box.  ‘Officer,’ I said politely, ‘you made an error on your form. I am not white. I am black.’ He gave me a long, bored look, decided not to discuss it, and said, ‘Sure, lady.  If you say so.’ If I say so? If I say so!  As if it were my idea!  I was enraged at his assumption that all of this—the categories, the racial purity laws, the lives that are stomped, mangled, ruined because of those categories and those laws ïwas based on my say-so.  If I said so, we would do away with all of it ïthe sickness and fear, the need to classify as a way to control, the need to make some appear smaller so that others can appear larger. ‘If I say so’ indeed.”

While the “one-drop rule” in the United States dictates that people with any African ancestry are black, many black Americans have white skin.  Notes of a White Black Woman is one woman’s attempt to describe what it is like to be a “white” black woman and to live simultaneously inside and outside of both white and black communities.

Law professor Judy Scales-Trent begins by describing how our racial purity laws have operated over the past four hundred years.  Then, in a series of autobiographical essays, she addresses how race and color interact in relationships between men and women, within families, and in the larger community.  Scales-Trent ultimately explores the question of what we really mean by “race” in this country, once it is clear that race is not a tangible reality as reflected through color.

Scales-Trent uses autobiography both as a way to describe these issues and to develop a theory of the social construction of race.  She explores how race and color intertwine through black and white families and across generations; how members of both black and white communities work to control group membership; and what happens to relations between black men and women when thelayer of color is placed over the already difficult layer of race.  She addresses how one can tell–and whether one can tell–who, indeed, is “black” or “white.”  Scales-Trent also celebrates the richness of her bicultural heritage and shows how she has revised her teaching methods to provide her law students with a multicultural education.

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