Local Stories Show Realities of Biracial Identity for People and Families

Posted in Articles, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2019-01-27 23:42Z by Steven

Local Stories Show Realities of Biracial Identity for People and Families

WAER 88.3 FM
Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York


Chris Bolt, News Director

Elliott Lewis, Professor of Practice, Broadcast & Digital Journalism
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah is the featured speaker at Syracuse University’s Martin Luther King celebration this Sunday. Noah’s life story as the son of a South African mother and European father has struck a chord with many on campus. SU journalism professor Elliott Lewis explores the ways biracial Americans are answering questions of race and identity.

“I grew up in South Africa during Apartheid, which was awkward because I was raised in a mixed family …” wrote Trevor Noah in his book “Born a Crime”…

Read the story here. Listen to the story here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The use of popular media in multicultural education: Stressing implications for the Black/non-Black biracial North American student

Posted in Communications/Media Studies, Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Teaching Resources on 2013-03-07 22:42Z by Steven

The use of popular media in multicultural education: Stressing implications for the Black/non-Black biracial North American student

Syracuse University
206 pages

Wendy Cecille Thompson

Instructor usage of popular media in the classroom has spawned studies on the impact of the visual image on minority populations. These studies range from examining the effects of films as role models on the self-concepts of Black elementary school children (Dimas, 1970), to Black college women’s persistence in viewing a popular television show in which none of the cast members were Black (Strother, 1994). This study is the first to examine the effects of classroom usage of popular media on populations that are racially “in the middle”—biracial individuals. Moreover, it is believed that popular media recommended for use with Blacks may be used with these individuals to reify the notion that the world’s population can be categorized into five socially-constructed groups called race. Lastly, a thorough examination of the relevant literature reveals that no models or paradigms of multicultural education specifically address the educational needs of biracial persons.

This study, through the use of unstructured and semi-structured qualitative interviews with 15 informants, seeks to discover how parental and cultural influences aid in the formation of a racial identity. The study is also concerned with the informants’ views on whether or how multicultural education served their educational needs. This study also attempts to discover how this marginalized population has responded to the use of popular media in multicultural education.

This study concludes that, although biracial persons have their own process of racial self-definition that is unique to them, society views them as Blacks. Parents and cultural influences greatly affect the biracial process of racial identification. Such influences minimize the effects of media on the biracial formation of a self-image. Media images, however, enable others to harbor perceptions of biracial persons based on essentialized notions of race and culture.

Such essentialized notions permeate educational structures, and thwart efforts at multicultural education. These efforts further marginalize biracial people by forcing them into rigid racial categories and by providing stereotypical images of those races when using popular media to further instructional goals.

This study should provide recommendations for popular media use in diverse fields, such as education, communication, and media studies.

Log in to read the dissertation here.

Tags: , ,

Representations of colonial intimacy in Anglo-Indian narratives

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, Media Archive, United States on 2012-10-13 19:31Z by Steven

Representations of colonial intimacy in Anglo-Indian narratives

Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
272 pages

Nandini Sengupta

This dissertation examines nineteenth-century manifestations of colonial intimacy in a range of texts produced by Anglo-Indians, capturing their colonial experience from the 1830s to the 1880s. Through these texts, I examine the ideological implications of interracial intimacy in a range of relationships that were established between the Indians and British in the ‘contact zone.’ The first two chapters examine the letters of Emily Eden and Fanny Parks to probe British women’s experience of India. I argue that the women forge an alternative space of intimacy that defies the notion that Anglo-Indian women remained on the periphery of Indian space as female ethnographers using their pen and pencil to engage in the act of colonial appropriation. Instead, such intimacies and attachments produce an alternative knowledge about India that expand our understanding of colonial interactions. In the third chapter, I read Philip Taylor’s novel Seeta (1872), which recuperates the events of the Sepoy Uprising of 1857. Taylor composes a story of interracial love and marriage between an English administrator and a Hindu widow. Probing the manifestations and ideological import of the sexual and emotional affinities for colonial relations in the moment of the Uprising, I argue that the interracial intimacy in the novel ultimately translates itself into an exercise of punishing the recalcitrant Indian man by embracing the compliant, loyal Indian woman. The final chapter continues the examination of interracial heterosexual intimacy through a reading of Rudyard Kipling’s short stories contained in the volume Plain Tales from the Hills. In particular, I probe his delineations of interracial heterosexual intimacy between various officers of empire and socially marginalized Indian women belonging to different ethnic communities of India to construct an argument about the operations of class in colonial India.


  • List of Illustrative Material
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: The British Woman Traveler in India: Diplomatic Intimacy and Hetero-Social Bonding in Emily Eden’s Up the Country
  • Chapter Two: The British Woman Traveler in India: Cultural Intimacy and Interracial Kinship in Fanny Parks’s Wanderings of a Pilgrim In Search of the Picturesque
  • Chapter Three: Interracial Love, Marriage and Female Friendship in Philip Meadows Taylor’s Seeta
  • Chapter Four: “Behind the Wooden Gate”: Rudyard’s Kipling’s Stories of Love and Betrayal
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited
  • Curriculum Vita
  • List of Illustrative Material
    • Page 50: Map of India in 1836
    • Page 89: Frontispiece from Fanny Parks’s Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque
  • Acknowledgements
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,