The Challenge of Identity: The Experience of Mixed Race Women in Higher Education [Book Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, New Media, Women on 2010-03-29 17:59Z by Steven

The Challenge of Identity: The Experience of Mixed Race Women in Higher Education [Book Review]

Academic Matters
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty
Journal of Higher Education

Yasmin Jiwani, Associate Professor of Communications Studies
Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The gaps between policies and the realities of those to whom these policies are addressed remains a crucial issue in any critical policy analysis. Indra Angeli Dewan’s Recasting Race brings to the fore an analysis of the experientially-based identities of mixed race women and their entry into, as well as experiences within, the realm of higher education.

Anti-racist advocacy movements of the last three decades have highlighted the embedded nature of discrimination in the education policies, pedagogical approaches, and curricular materials used at different levels of schooling and higher education. They have emphasized the need for inclusive educational policies and practices. These social movements have spurred critical analyses of, and interventions in, education policy and praxis. Many of the existing studies have documented the paucity of representations of racialized groups and the erasure of their histories in traditional pedagogical approaches and standard curricula. [1] Indeed, some studies have gone further and explored how racialized youth negotiate the school yard and their encounters within the structure of the school system. Issues of racism have been underscored as shaping the lived realities and constraining the life choices of racialized youth within mostly white schools. [2]

Dewan’s work takes this analysis further by first focusing on mixed race women and then exploring their encounters within higher education institutions and their response to educational policies. This allows her to refrain from essentializing race and racialized identities, thereby emphasizing the constructed nature of such identities. She argues that the trap of essentialism surfaces in terms of how popular discourses position mixed race people—as either belonging to one “race”—usually perceived as being inferior—or as celebratory embodiments of postmodern identity. In the latter respect, mixed race people are regarded as signs of the “end of racism” and the evolution of a whole new world marked by race-lessness. Canadian scholar Minelle Mahtani has described this as a “vacant celebration of hybridity” that “veils gendered and racialized power dynamics.” (p. 74) [3] While Dewan adopts a constructionist perspective, she argues that her findings suggest that “essentialist, postmodernist and individualist theories and discourses do not manifest themselves in mutually exclusive ways.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Situating “Race” And Racisms In Space, Time, And Theory: Critical Essays for Activists and Scholars

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Media Archive, Social Science on 2009-11-18 03:28Z by Steven

Situating “Race” And Racisms In Space, Time, And Theory: Critical Essays for Activists and Scholars

McGill-Queen’s University Press
256 pages
6 x 9
Paper: (0773528873) 9780773528871
Cloth: (0773528865) 9780773528864

Edited by

Jo-Anne Lee, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies
University of Victoria

John Sutton Lutz, Associate Professor of History
University of Victoria

A resource for anti-racist scholars and activists.

Grounded in real life and theoretically charged, the nine essays in this interdisciplinary collection explore how race, racisms, and racialization are changing and suggest strategies for reading their emerging forms and discourses. Race has historically been defined by visible difference, but the slippery nature and malleability of racisms and racialising processes challenge scholars and activists to remain vigilant, responsive, and critical in their analyses and actions.

This collection explores the strengths and weaknesses of postmodern social theory in the struggle against racism. Recognizing diversity as a conduit for resilience, endurance, and strength, the editors have tried to encourage coalition building by bringing together historians, sociologists, cultural theorists, and literary scholars in dialogue with artists and activists. Topics considered include nation formation, racialized states, cultural racism, multiculturalism, hyphenated and mixed-race identities, media and representation, and shifting identities.

Contributors include Jeannette Armstrong, director of the En’owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, Canada; Frances Henry, professor emirita at York University; Yasmin Jiwani, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University; Paul Maylam, chair of the Department of History at Rhodes University, South Africa; Minelle Mahtani, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, and the Program in Journalism, University of Toronto; Roy Miki, professor of contemporary literature in the English Department at Simon Fraser University; Roxana Ng, professor in the Department of Adult Education, Community Development and Counselling Psychology at the Ontario Institute of Secondary Education/University of Toronto; Ali Rattansi, retired professor of sociology at City University London; Ann Stoler, distinguished professor and chair, Department of Anthropology, New School University in New York; and Carol Tator, course coordinator in the Department of Anthropology, York University.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Toward a Critical Literacy of Racisms, Anti-Racisms?
and Racialization

Jo-Anne Lee and John Lutz

Deconstructing Race? Deconstructing Racism (with Postscript 2004)
A Conversation Between Jeannette Armstrong and Roxana Ng

On Being and not Being Brown/Black-British: Racism, Class, Sexuality?
and Ethnicity in Post-Imperial Britain (with Postscript 2004: The Politics of Longing and (Un)Belonging, Fear? and Loathing)

Ali Rattansi

Mixed Metaphors: Positioning ?Mixed Race? Identity
Minelle Mahtani

Turning In, Turning Out: The Shifting Formations of ?Japanese Canadian? from Uprooting to Redress
Roy Miki

Racist Visions for the Twenty-First Century: On the Banal Force of the French Radical Right
Ann Laura Stoler

Unravelling South Africa?s Racial Order: The Historiography of Racism, Segregation? and Apartheid
Paul Maylam

A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Globe and Mail Editorials on Employment Equity
Frances Henry and Carol Tator

Orientalizing ?War Talk?: Representations of the Gendered Muslim Body Post-9/11 in The Montreal Gazette
Yasmin Jiwani


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