Chapter 8 – “Theresa” and the Early Transatlantic Mixed-Race Heroine

Posted in Books, Chapter, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2022-10-03 18:51Z by Steven

Chapter 8 – “Theresa” and the Early Transatlantic Mixed-Race Heroine

Chapter in: African American Literature in Transition, 1800–1830
Cambridge University Press
March 2021
DOI: 10.1017/9781108632003.014
pages 202-226

Brigitte Fielder, Associate Professor of U.S. Literature
University of Wisconsin, Madison

This chapter examines the publication of “Theresa” in Freedom’s Journal, a short story about women’s wartime heroism into the broader history of the Haitian Revolution. “Theresa” paints an image of mixed-race womanhood that was not insignificant for both this American venue and for a larger transatlantic context. Like the anonymously written British epistolary novel, The Woman of Colour, A Tale (1808), “Theresa” shows mixed-race women who are aligned with Black racial uplift rather than white assimilation. Moreover, both of these texts present images of mixed-race heroines who differ significantly from those of the “tragic mulatta” genre that would gain popularity during the antebellum period. Instead, “Theresa” frames its mixed-race heroines as models not only of racial solidarity but also of radical abolitionist action. In this, “Theresa” anticipates postbellum mixed-race heroines, through foregoing mixed-race women’s heterosexual union with Black men with their political action alongside them. The chapter offers an analysis of early nineteenth-century texts such as Laura Sansay’s Secret History; or, the Horrors of St. Domingo (1808) and Zelica the Creole (1820), which make the safety of white women the priority of their mixed-race characters.

Read or purchase the chapter here.

Tags: , , ,

Striving to Sing Our Own Songs: Notes on the Left not Right in Africana Studies

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice on 2022-09-16 20:53Z by Steven

Striving to Sing Our Own Songs: Notes on the Left not Right in Africana Studies

The Discipline and African 2022 World Report
National Council for Black Studies
pages 186-192

Mark Christian, Ph.D., Professor of Africana Studies
City University of New York, New York, New York

By way of an introduction, the last year or more has witnessed an unprecedented upsurge in human insecurity across the globe. Perhaps it is the right time to put some historical context into what this means for peoples of African heritage globally—and more specifically, those located within the borders of the United States. This article will briefly consider the continued battle for Africana liberation, employing a Sankofa perspective—to go back and retrieve for present use. Moreover, there will be a critique of the so-called “Black Radical Left,” as it seems that scrutiny of such scholars rarely occurs. Indeed, many appear “untouchable” in terms of criticism from within Africana studies—yet the same cannot be stated in regard to African-centered scholars who, ironically, argue for largely similar forms of Black liberation. Therefore, while taking into account the developments of the last year for this NCBS annual report, it is necessary to consider some of the various schools of thought in the discipline and the imperative to develop a cross-fertilization of ideas in Africana studies.

In the last 18 months, I have traveled back in time to the 19th and 20th centuries in regard to my research output, completing two major studies (Christian, 2021a, 2021b). It has been palpably worthwhile because one finds that there is nothing particularly original in terms of the struggle for social justice. Of course, there have been major structural changes in the U.S. with the collapse of enslavement in 1865, followed by the ephemeral Reconstruction era, then de jure segregation, followed largely by de facto segregation. Women’s rights have also markedly improved since the 19th century, yet here we are, comfortably into the 2020s, in what could be deemed the “George Floyd era,” wherein the need for racialized justice across the spectrum of society remains ubiquitous. The seemingly insuperable reality of racism remains an ever-present social problem. Meanwhile, Africana scholars, in all their various schools of thought, continue to tackle an array of “isms” in their varied capacities throughout higher education…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Do you identify as Biracial or Multiracial? Are you 18 years old or older? Do you currently live in the United States?

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2022-09-15 22:43Z by Steven

Do you identify as Biracial or Multiracial? Are you 18 years old or older? Do you currently live in the United States?

Yale BIS Research Team
Yale School of Public Health
Yale University
2022-08-24

Skyler Jackson, Associate Research Scientist
Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

We are a team of researchers at Yale University who are interested in the experiences of individuals who identify as Biracial and Multiracial. Such individuals face unique challenges and the current research in this area is limited and needs greater representation.

We are currently conducting a two-part online study that addresses an important but little explored question: What are the unique experiences of Biracial and Multiracial individuals? If you choose to participate, your responses to this survey will contribute to knowledge about this underdeveloped area of research.

To participate in this study, you must (a) be 18 years of age or older, and (b) reside within the United States, and (c) identify as Biracial or Multiracial.

Participants are expected to complete two study phases.

  • Phase 1 is a single online survey, which takes most people between 30-60 minutes to complete. At the end of this survey, you can choose to either (a) receive $10 for your participation or (b) enter a $100 (USD) raffle.
  • Phase 2 involves completing a short 10-minute study every evening for one week. You will earn up to $15 for completing this weeklong study component ($1 per survey for surveys 1-5 and $5 per survey for surveys 6 and 7).
    Check out the attached flyer. To learn more and take an eligibility survey, use the following link and code (or “cut and paste” the link into your preferred Internet browser): https://bit.ly/31zSXor and code R22.

We appreciate you considering participating in this study. As you may imagine, Biracial and Multiracial individuals can be difficult to reach and recruit for research studies. By participating (and forwarding this email on to other groups and individuals), you will be helping to contribute to the body of accurate knowledge about the lives of Biracial and Multiracial individuals.

This study has been approved by the Yale University Institutional Review Board (HIC: 2000028402). If you have questions or concerns about participating, feel free to email our research team at yale.bis.study@gmail.com.

Tags: ,

The White Mosque: A Silk Road Memoir

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, Novels, Religion on 2022-09-13 01:54Z by Steven

The White Mosque: A Silk Road Memoir

Hurst Publishers
October 2022
304 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781787388079

Sofia Samatar, Assistant Professor of English
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

A rich history of wanderers, exiles and intruders. A haunting personal journey through Central Asia. An intimate reflection on mixed identity shaped by cultural crossings.

In the late 1800s, a group of German-speaking Mennonites fled Russia for Muslim Central Asia, to await Christ’s return.

Over a century later, Sofia Samatar traces their gruelling journey across desert and mountains, and its improbable fruit: a small Christian settlement inside the Khanate of Khiva. Named ‘The White Mosque’ after the Mennonites’ whitewashed church, the village—a community of peace, prophecy, music and martyrs—lasted fifty years.

Within this curious tale, Sofia discovers a tapestry of characters connected by the ancient Silk Road: a fifteenth-century astronomer-king; an intrepid Swiss woman traveller; the first Uzbek photographer; a free spirit of the Harlem Renaissance. Along the way, in a voice both warm and wise, she explores her own complex upbringing as an American Mennonite of colour, the daughter of a Swiss-American Christian and a Somali Muslim.

On this pilgrimage to a lost village and a near-forgotten history, Samatar traces the porous borders of identity and narrative. When you leave your tribe, what remains? How do we enter the stories of others? And how, out of life’s buried archives and startling connections, does a person construct a self?

Tags: ,

Anglo-India and the End of Empire

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2022-09-12 16:14Z by Steven

Anglo-India and the End of Empire

Hurst Publishers
September 2022
370 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781787383128

Uther Charlton-Stevens, Fellow
Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland

A startling new history of a community’s struggle to be heard as Empire waned in India, with echoes for all those of mixed heritage.

The standard image of the Raj is of an aloof, pampered and prejudiced British elite lording it over an oppressed and hostile Indian subject population. Like most caricatures, this obscures as much truth as it reveals. The British had not always been so aloof. The earlier, more cosmopolitan period of East India Company rule saw abundant ‘interracial’ sex and occasional marriage, alongside greater cultural openness and exchange. The result was a large and growing ‘mixed-race’ community, known by the early twentieth century as Anglo-Indians.

Notwithstanding its faults, Empire could never have been maintained without the active, sometimes enthusiastic, support of many colonial subjects. These included Indian elites, professionals, civil servants, businesspeople and minority groups of all kinds, who flourished under the patronage of the imperial state, and could be used in a ‘divide and rule’ strategy to prolong colonial rule. Independence was profoundly unsettling to those destined to become minorities in the new nation, and the Anglo-Indians were no exception.

This refreshing account looks at the dramatic end of British rule in India through Anglo-Indian eyes, a perspective that is neither colonial apologia nor nationalist polemic. Its history resonates strikingly with the complex identity debates of the twenty-first century.

Tags: , , ,

World-premiere recordings honor legacy of William Grant Still

Posted in Articles, Arts, Audio, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2022-09-08 02:24Z by Steven

World-premiere recordings honor legacy of William Grant Still

YourClassical
Minnesota Public Radio
2022-06-29

Julie Amacher, Host

Celeste Headlee and her grandfather, William Grant Still, on a visit to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Courtesy Celeste Headlee

”It’s crucial to remember this is not new music. These manuscripts have been around for generations. I’m aware that there are many more pieces from William Grant Sill and other composers who have been neglected over the years,” conductor Avlana Eisenberg said about Still, who has 13 world premieres on her latest release, William Grant Still: Summerland/Violin Suite/Pastorela/American Suite. “I think it’s incumbent upon us to make sure that this is not a passing phase but momentum that gets carried forth.”

Eisenberg is joined by journalist Celeste Headlee, who is the granddaughter of Still…

Read the article here. Listen to the extended interview (00:41:56) here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Nella Larsen

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Gay & Lesbian, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2022-09-07 22:37Z by Steven

Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Nella Larsen

Modern Language Association
2016-09-01
2010 pages
6 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781603292191
Paperback ISBN: 9781603292207

Edited by:

Jacquelyn Y. McLendon, Professor Emerita of English & Africana Studies; Director Emerita of Black Studies
College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

Nella Larsen’s novels Quicksand and Passing, published at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, fell out of print and were thus little known for many years. Now widely available and taught, Quicksand and Passing challenge conventional “tragic mulatta” and “passing” narratives. In part 1, “Materials,” of Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Nella Larsen, the editor surveys the canon of Larsen’s writing, evaluates editions of her works, recommends secondary readings, and compiles a list of useful multimedia resources for teaching.

The essays in part 2, “Approaches,” aim to help students better understand attitudes toward women and race during the Harlem Renaissance, the novels’ relations to other artistic movements, and legal debates over racial identities in the early twentieth century. In so doing, contributors demonstrate how new and seasoned instructors alike might use Larsen’s novels to explore a wide range of topics—including Larsen’s short stories and letters, the relation between her writings and her biography, and the novels’ discussion of gender and sexuality.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • PART ONE: MATERIALS / Jacquelyn Y. McLendon
  • PART TWO: APPROACHES
    • Introduction / Jacquelyn Y. McLendon
    • Historical and Cultural Contexts
      • Nella Larsen’s Passing and the Literary and Legal Context of the Passing Narrative / Martha J. Cutter
      • Nella Larsen’s Modernism / Caresse John
      • Helga Crane in West Egg: Reading Quicksand and The Great Gatsby as a Case Study in Canonicity / Shealeen Meaney
      • “A Whole World of Experience and Struggle”: Teaching Literature as Cultural and Intellectual Women’s History / Lyde Sizer
      • Nightlife and Racial Learning in Quicksand / Clark Barwick
    • Fiction and the Arts
      • Sounding and Being: A Resource for Teaching Musical References and Symbolism in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand / Gayle Murchison
      • Nella Larsen and the Racial Mountain: Teaching Black Musical Aesthetics in Passing and Quicksand / Lori Harrison-Kahan
      • Nella Larsen and the Civilization of Images: Teaching Primitivism and Expressionism in Quicksand / Cristina Giorcelli
    • Identity
      • “Anything Might Happen”: Freedom and American Identity in Nella Larsen’s Passing / Beryl Satter
      • Teaching Passing as a Lesbian Text / Suzanne Raitt
      • Approaching Gender in Quicksand / Beth Widmaier Capo
      • From “My Old Man” to Race Men in Quicksand / Riché Richardson
    • In the Classroom: Methods, Courses, Settings
      • The Matter of Beginnings: Teaching the Opening Paragraphs in Quicksand and Passing / Steven B. Shively
      • Versions of Passing / John K. Young
      • The Uses of Biography / George B. Hutchinson
      • “In Some . . . Determined Way a Little Flaunting”: Teaching with Nella Larsen’s Letters / M. Giulia Fabi and Jacquelyn Y. McLendon
      • Teaching Quicksand in Denmark / Martyn Bone
      • Teaching Nella Larsen’s Passing at an Urban Community College / Zivah Perel Katz
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Survey Participants
  • Works Cited
  • Index
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OMB Launches New Public Listening Sessions on Federal Race and Ethnicity Standards Revision

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2022-09-07 14:27Z by Steven

OMB Launches New Public Listening Sessions on Federal Race and Ethnicity Standards Revision

The White House
Washington, D.C.
2022-08-30

Dr. Karin Orvis, Chief Statistician of the United States

The first step in the formal review process for OMB’s statistical standards for collecting race and ethnicity data is well underway – and the public can now share their perspectives and input.

What we are reviewing: In June, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that my office would begin formal review to revise OMB’s Statistical Policy Directive No. 15 (Directive No. 15): Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. This Directive provides minimum standards that ensure the Federal Government’s ability to compare race and ethnicity information and data across Federal agencies, and also helps us to understand how well Federal programs serve a diverse America

Read the entire press release here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Psychological Lens Reveals Racial Repression at Heart of ‘Passing’

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2022-09-06 02:35Z by Steven

Psychological Lens Reveals Racial Repression at Heart of ‘Passing’

University of Kansas
2022-08-31

Rick Hellman
KU News Service

LAWRENCE – While many literary critics have found Nella Larsen’s 1929 novella “Passing” to be frustratingly opaque, and others have concentrated on its themes of same-sex attraction and class consciousness, an essay by a University of Kansas professor of English finds that racial repression is the focus of the novel by analyzing it from a Freudian perspective.

Doreen Fowler said she believed that the shift to a psychological reading explains why the two main characters — Irene, who lives as a Black woman, and Clare, who passes for white — are doubled.

In an article titled “Racial Repression and Doubling in Nella Larsen’s Passing” in the latest edition of The South Atlantic Review, Fowler wrote that the main character, Irene Redfield, “works to erase signs of her black identity — but those signs of blackness return to haunt her in the form of her double, Clare. While many scholars have recognized that Irene is ambivalent about her African American iden­tity and that Clare and Irene are doubled, my original contribution is to link the two. In my reading, Clare is Irene’s uncanny double because she figures the return of Irene’s rejected desire to fully integrate with the black race.”…

Read the entire press release here.

Tags: , , , ,

Afro-Brazilian Jewish Women: Female centaurs transgressing the borderlands

Posted in Anthropology, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Dissertations, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, Women on 2022-09-06 02:04Z by Steven

Afro-Brazilian Jewish Women: Female centaurs transgressing the borderlands

San Diego State University
Spring 2008
148 pages

Abby Suzanne Gondek

A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of San Diego State University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in Women’s Studies

Once I began my research in the synagogue in Salvador, Brazil, I met men and women of color who considered themselves Jewish, even when the rabbi and other congregants did not. I was especially interested in the stories of the Jewish women of color I met. Their passion for Judaism, desire to raise their children Jewish, and their insistence on claiming both identities – Black and Jewish – in the face of rejection from “white” Jewish communities and non-Jewish Afro-Brazilian communities, as well as their families, spoke to me deeply and I felt compelled to shift the focus of my thesis. I began to ask the question Aurora Levins Morales poses in “The Historian as Curandera,” “‘If women are assumed to be the most important people in the story, how will that change the questions we ask?’”

Because Brazil has consistently made efforts to make Jews into symbols of otherness and at the same time rhetorically valued the “mulatto” identity as a symbol of brasilidade (“Brazilianness”), Jews are seen as foreign parasites, light-skinned Blacks are portrayed as symbols of “authentic” Brazilian identity, dark-skinned Blacks are invisible, and Jews and Blacks are irreparably separated from each other. In addition, the rhetorical valuation of the “mulata” and the devaluation of the Jew, places the Black Jewish women I interviewed, who fit into the “ mulata” category because they are lighter-skinned black women, in between what is symbolically valued and devalued in Brazil, literally in the border between “us” and “them.”

Moacyr Scliar’s use of the centaur to describe Brazilian Jews’ position in the borderlands and Gloria Anzaldua’s use of the image of women “caught in the crossfire” are both transformed by the inclusion of Misty Anderson’s exploration of the transgressive meanings of the woman centaur. The Afro-Brazilian Jewish women I interviewed are spiritual, religious, sexual, and racial transgressors. They are “caught in the crossfire” between multiple communities and identities, but they assert their agency to break the barriers that surround them, to live how they want to live.

Read the entire dissertation here.

Tags: , , , ,