Mixing—whether referred to as mestizaje, callaloo, hybridity, creolization, or multiculturalism—is a foundational cultural trope in Caribbean and Latin American societies. Historically entwined with colonial, anticolonial, and democratic ideologies, ideas about mixing are powerful forces in the ways identities are interpreted and evaluated. As Aisha Khan shows in this ethnography, they reveal the tension that exists between identity as a source of equality and identity as an instrument through which social and cultural hierarchies are reinforced. Focusing on the Indian diaspora in the Caribbean, Khan examines this paradox as it is expressed in key dimensions of Hindu and Muslim cultural history and social relationships in southern Trinidad. In vivid detail, she describes how disempowered communities create livable conditions for themselves while participating in a broader culture that both celebrates and denies difference.
Khan combines ethnographic research she conducted in Trinidad over the course of a decade with extensive archival research to explore how Hindu and Muslim Indo-Trinidadians interpret authority, generational tensions, and the transformations of Indian culture in the Caribbean through metaphors of mixing. She demonstrates how ambivalence about the desirability of a callaloo nation—a multicultural society—is manifest around practices and issues, including rituals, labor, intermarriage, and class mobility. Khan maintains that metaphors of mixing are pervasive and worth paying attention to: the assumptions and concerns they communicate are key to unraveling who Indo-Trinidadians imagine themselves to be and how identities such as race and religion shape and are shaped by the politics of multiculturalism.
Bringing immigrants onstage as central players in the drama of rural
capitalist transformation, Anne Kelly Knowles traces a community of
Welsh immigrants to Jackson and Gallia counties in southern Ohio. After
reconstructing the gradual process of community-building, Knowles
focuses on the pivotal moment when the immigrants became involved with
the industrialization of their new region as workers and investors in
Welsh-owned charcoal iron companies. Setting the southern Ohio Welsh in
the context of Welsh immigration as a whole from 1795 to 1850, Knowles
explores how these strict Calvinists responded to the moral dilemmas
posed by leaving their native land and experiencing economic success in
the United States.
Knowles draws on a wide variety of sources, including obituaries and
community histories, to reconstruct the personal histories of over 1,700
immigrants. The resulting account will find appreciative readers not
only among historical geographers, but also among American economic
historians and historians of religion.
Drawing on both personal experience and critical theory, Carole Boyce Davies illuminates the dynamic complexity of Caribbean culture and traces its migratory patterns throughout the Americas. Both a memoir and a scholarly study, Caribbean Spaces: Escapes from Twilight Zones explores the multivalent meanings of Caribbean space and community in a cross-cultural and transdisciplinary perspective.
From her childhood in Trinidad and Tobago to life and work in communities and universities in Nigeria, Brazil, England, and the United States, Carole Boyce Davies portrays a rich and fluid set of personal experiences. She reflects on these movements to understand the interrelated dynamics of race, gender, and sexuality embedded in Caribbean spaces, as well as many Caribbean people's traumatic and transformative stories of displacement, migration, exile, and sometimes return. Ultimately, Boyce Davies reestablishes the connections between theory and practice, intellectual work and activism, and personal and private space.
In Chains of Babylon, Daryl J. Maeda presents a cultural history of Asian American activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, showing how the movement created the category of "Asian American" to join Asians of many ethnicities in racial solidarity. Drawing on the Black Power and antiwar movements, Asian American radicals argued that all Asians in the United States should resist assimilation and band together to oppose racism within the country and imperialism abroad.
As revealed in Maeda's in-depth work, the Asian American movement contended that people of all Asian ethnicities in the United States shared a common relationship to oppression and exploitation with each other and with other nonwhite peoples. In the early stages of the civil rights era, the possibility of assimilation was held out to Asian Americans under a model minority myth. Maeda insists that it was only in the disruption of that myth for both African Americans and Asian Americans in the 1960s and 1970s that the full Asian American culture and movement he describes could emerge. Maeda challenges accounts of the post-1968 era as hopelessly divisive by examining how racial and cultural identity enabled Asian Americans to see eye-to-eye with and support other groups of color in their campaigns for social justice.
Asian American opposition to the war in Vietnam, unlike that of the broader antiwar movement, was predicated on understanding it as a racial, specifically anti-Asian genocide. Throughout he argues that cultural critiques of racism and imperialism, the twin "chains of Babylon" of the title, informed the construction of a multiethnic Asian American identity committed to interracial and transnational solidarity.
The population of Mexican-origin peoples in the United States is a diverse one, as reflected by age, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. Far from antiquated concepts of mestizaje, recent scholarship has shown that Mexican@/Chican@ culture is a mixture of indigenous, African, and Spanish and other European peoples and cultures. No one reflects this rich blend of cultures better than Chican@ rappers, whose lyrics and iconography can help to deepen our understanding of what it means to be Chican@ or Mexican@ today. While some identify as Mexican mestizos, others identify as indigenous people or base their identities on their class and racial/ethnic makeup. No less significant is the intimate level of contact between Chican@s and black Americans. Via a firm theoretical foundation, Pancho McFarland explores the language and ethos of Chican@/Mexican@ hip hop and sheds new light on three distinct identities reflected in the music: indigenous/Mexica, Mexican nationalist/immigrant, and street hopper. With particular attention to the intersection of black and Chicano cultures, the author places exciting recent developments in music forms within the context of progressive social change, social justice, identity, and a new transnational, polycultural America.
Since the 1980s Chicana writers including Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, Sandra Cisneros, Ana Castillo, and Alma Luz Villanueva have reworked iconic Mexican cultural symbols such as mother earth goddesses and La Llorona (the Wailing Woman of Mexican folklore), re-imagining them as powerful female figures. After reading the works of Chicana writers who created bold, powerful, and openly sexual female characters, Debra J. Blake wondered how everyday Mexican American women would characterize their own lives in relation to the writers’ radical reconfigurations of female sexuality and gender roles. To find out, Blake gathered oral histories from working-class and semiprofessional U.S. Mexicanas. In Chicana Sexuality and Gender, she compares the self-representations of these women with fictional and artistic representations by academic-affiliated, professional intellectual Chicana writers and visual artists, including Alma M. López and Yolanda López.
Blake looks at how the Chicana professional intellectuals and the U.S. Mexicana women refigure confining and demeaning constructions of female gender roles and racial, ethnic, and sexual identities. She organizes her analysis around re-imaginings of La Virgen de Guadalupe, La Llorona, indigenous Mexica goddesses, and La Malinche, the indigenous interpreter for Hernán Cortés during the Spanish conquest. In doing so, Blake reveals how the professional intellectuals and the working-class and semiprofessional women rework or invoke the female icons to confront the repression of female sexuality, limiting gender roles, inequality in male and female relationships, and violence against women. While the representational strategies of the two groups of women are significantly different and the U.S. Mexicanas would not necessarily call themselves feminists, Blake nonetheless illuminates a continuum of Chicana feminist thinking, showing how both groups of women expand lifestyle choices and promote the health and well-being of women of Mexican origin or descent.
During the 1960s and '70s, Mexican Americans began to agitate for social and political change. From their diverse activities and agendas there emerged a new political consciousness. Emphasizing race and class within the context of an oppressive society, this militant ethos would become the unifying theme for groups involved in a myriad of causes. Chicanismo, as it came to be known, marked a transformation in the way Mexican Americans thought about themselves, enabling them for the first time to see themselves as a community with a past and a present. In Chicanismo, the first intellectual history of the Chicano Movement and the militant ethos that emerged from it, Ignacio Garcia traces the development of the philosophical strains that guided the movement. First, Mexican Americans came to believe that the liberal agenda that had promised education and equality had failed them, leading them toward separatism. Second, they saw a need to reinterpret the past as it related to their own history, leading them to discovered their legacy of struggle. Third, Mexican American activists, intellectuals, and artists affirmed a renewed pride in their ethnicity and class status. Finally, this new philosophy-Chicanismo-was politicized through the struggles of the Chicano organizations that promoted it as they faced resistance or external attacks. Although the idea of Chicanismo would eventually unravel, its ideological strains remain important even today. Combining research and personal knowledge of people, events, organizations, and political/cultural rhetoric, along with a synthesis of scholarship from a variety of fields, Chicanismo provides a unique, multidimensional view of the Chicano Movement.
Until recently, mainstream American environmentalism has been a predominantly white, middle-class movement, essentially ignoring the class, race, and gender dimensions of environmental politics. In this provocative collection of original essays, the environmental dimensions of the Chicana/o experience are explicitly expressed and debated. Employing a variety of genres ranging from poetry to autobiography to theoretical and empirical essays, the voices in this collection speak to the most significant issues of environmentalism and social justice, recognizing throughout the need for a pluralism of Chicana/o philosophies. The contributors provide an excellent basis for understanding how multiple Chicana/o views on the environment play out in the context of dominant social, political and economic views. Chicano Culture, Ecology, Politics examines a number of Chicana/o ecological perspectives. How can the ethics of reciprocity present in Chicana/o agropastoral life be protected and applied on a broader scale? How can the dominant society, whose economic structure is invested in "placeless mobility," take note of the harm caused to land-based cultures, take responsibility for it, and take heed before it is too late? Will the larger society be "ecologically housebroken" before it destroys its home? Grounded in actual political struggles waged by Chicana/o communities over issues of environmental destruction, cultural genocide, and socioeconomic domination, this volume provides an important series of snapshots of Chicana/o history. Chicano Culture, Ecology, Politics illuminates the bridges that exist—and must be understood—between race, ethnicity, class, gender, politics, and ecology. CONTENTS
Part 1: IndoHispano Land Ethics
Los Animalitos: Culture, Ecology, and the Politics of Place in the Upper R¡o Grande, Devon G. Peña
Social Action Research, Bioregionalism, and the Upper Río Grande, Rubén O. Martínez
Notes on (Home)Land Ethics: Ideas, Values, and the Land, Reyes García
Part 2: Environmental History and Ecological Politics
Ecological Legitimacy and Cultural Essentialism: Hispano Grazing in Northern New Mexico, Laura Pulido
The Capitalist Tool, the Lawless, and the Violent: A Critique of Recent Southwestern Environmental History, Devon G. Peña and Rubén O. Martínez
Ecofeminism and Chicano Environmental Struggles: Bridges across Gender and Race, Gwyn Kirk
Philosophy Meets Practice: A Critique of Ecofeminism through the Voices of Three Chicana Activists, Malia Davis
Part 3: Alternatives to Destruction
The Pasture Poacher (a poem), Joseph C. Gallegos
Acequia Tales: Stories from a Chicano Centennial Farm, Joseph C. Gallegos
A Gold Mine, an Orchard, and an Eleventh Commandment, Devon G. Peña
Thirteen Chicano scholars draw upon their personal experiences and expertise to paint a vivid, colorful portrait of what it means to be a Chicano.
“We have come a long way,” says Arnulfo D. Trejo, editor of this volume, “from the time when the Mexicano silently accepted the stereotype drawn of him by the outsider.” He identifies himself as a Chicano, and his “promised land” is Aztlán, home of the ancient Aztecs, which now provides spiritual unity and a vision of the future for Chicanos.
In these twelve original compositions, says Trejo, “our purpose is not to talk to ourselves, but to open a dialogue among all concerned people.” The personal reactions to Chicano women’s struggles, political experiences, bicultural education and history provide a wealth of information for laymen as well as scholars. In addition, the book provides the most complete recorded definition of the Chicano Movement, what it has accomplished, and its goals for the future.
Roberto R. Bacalski-Martínez
José Antonio Burciaga
Rudolph O. de la Garza
Ester Gallegos y Chávez
Sylvia Alicia Gonzales
Manuel H. Guerra
Martha A. Ramos
Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez
Maurilio E. Vigil
Sometimes the losses of childhood can be recovered only in the flight of the dragonfly.
Native American children have long been subject to removal from their homes for placement in residential schools and, more recently, in foster or adoptive homes. The governments of both the United States and Canada, having reduced Native nations to the legal status of dependent children, historically have asserted a surrogate parentalism over Native children themselves.
Children of the Dragonfly is the first anthology to document this struggle for cultural survival on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border. Through autobiography and interviews, fiction and traditional tales, official transcripts and poetry, these voices— Seneca, Cherokee, Mohawk, Navajo, and many others— weave powerful accounts of struggle and loss into a moving testimony to perseverance and survival. Invoking the dragonfly spirit of Zuni legend who helps children restore a way of life that has been taken from them, the anthology explores the breadth of the conflict about Native childhood.
Included are works of contemporary authors Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, Luci Tapahonso, and others; classic writers Zitkala-Sa and E. Pauline Johnson; and contributions from twenty important new writers as well. They take readers from the boarding school movement of the 1870s to the Sixties Scoop in Canada and the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 in the United States. They also spotlight the tragic consequences of racist practices such as the suppression of Indian identity in government schools and the campaign against Indian childbearing through involuntary sterilization.
CONTENTS Part 1. Traditional Stories and Lives
Severt Young Bear (Lakota) and R. D. Theisz, To Say "Child"
Zitkala-Sa (Yankton Sioux), The Toad and the Boy
Delia Oshogay (Chippewa), Oshkikwe's Baby
Michele Dean Stock (Seneca), The Seven Dancers
Mary Ulmer Chiltoskey (Cherokee), Goldilocks Thereafter
Marietta Brady (Navajo), Two Stories Part 2. Boarding and Residential Schools
Embe (Marianna Burgess), from Stiya: or, a Carlisle Indian Girl at Home
Black Bear (Blackfeet), Who Am I?
E. Pauline Johnson (Mohawk), As It Was in the Beginning
Lee Maracle (Stoh:lo), Black Robes
Gordon D. Henry, Jr. (White Earth Chippewa), The Prisoner of Haiku
Luci Tapahonso (Navajo), The Snakeman
Joy Harjo (Muskogee), The Woman Who Fell from the Sky Part 3. Child Welfare and Health Services
Problems That American Indian Families Face in Raising Their Children, United States Senate, April 8 and 9, 1974
Mary TallMountain (Athabaskan), Five Poems
Virginia Woolfclan, Missing Sister
Lela Northcross Wakely (Potawatomi/Kickapoo), Indian Health
Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d'Alene), from Indian Killer
Milton Lee (Cheyenne River Sioux) and Jamie Lee, The Search for Indian Part 4. Children of the Dragonfly
Peter Cuch (Ute), I Wonder What the Car Looked Like
S. L. Wilde (Anishnaabe), A Letter to My Grandmother
Eric Gansworth (Onondaga), It Goes Something Like This
Kimberly Roppolo (Cherokee/Choctaw/Creek), Breeds and Outlaws
Phil Young (Cherokee) and Robert Bensen, Wetumka
Lawrence Sampson (Delaware/Eastern Band Cherokee), The Long Road Home
Beverley McKiver (Ojibway), When the Heron Speaks
Joyce carlEtta Mandrake (White Earth Chippewa), Memory Lane Is the Next Street Over
Alan Michelson (Mohawk), Lost Tribe
Patricia Aqiimuk Paul (Inupiaq), The Connection
Terry Trevor (Cherokee/Delaware/Seneca), Pushing up the Sky
Annalee Lucia Bensen (Mohegan/Cherokee), Two Dragonfly Dream Songs
Chinese American Transnationalism considers the many ways in which Chinese living in the United States during the exclusion era maintained ties with China through a constant interchange of people and economic resources, as well as political and cultural ideas. This book continues the exploration of the exclusion era begun in two previous volumes: Entry Denied, which examines the strategies that Chinese Americans used to protest, undermine, and circumvent the exclusion laws; and Claiming America, which traces the development of Chinese American ethnic identities. Taken together, the three volumes underscore the complexities of the Chinese immigrant experience and the ways in which its contexts changed over the sixty-one year period.
Sucheng Chan introduces this valuable new anthology with a commanding discussion of the field of Chinese American studies, in which she examines its history and points the way ahead. Here she and Madeline Y. Hsu have brought together leading-edge scholarship from a new generation of thinkers, as useful for scholars as it is for undergraduate readers.
The contributors address a broad range of issues, from the activism of left-wing and Communist Chinese immigrants to the U.S. in the 1920s and early 1930s and humanitarian relief during the Sino-Japanese War to the construction of new Chinese regional identities in New York.
What happens when Chinese American youths travel to mainland China in search of their ancestral roots, only to realize that in many ways they still feel out of place, or when mainland Chinese realize that the lives of the Chinese abroad may not be as good as they had imagined? By considering programs designed to facilitate interactions between overseas Chinese and their ancestral homelands, Andrea Louie highlights how these programs not only create opportunities for new connections but also reveal the disjunctures that now separate Chinese Americans from China and mainland Chinese from the Chinese abroad.
Louie focuses on “In Search of Roots,” a program that takes young Chinese American adults of Cantonese descent to visit their ancestral villages in China’s Guangdong province. Through ethnographic interviews and observation, Louie examines the experiences of Chinese Americans both during village visits in China and following their participation in the program, which she herself took part in as an intern and researcher. She presents a vivid portrait of two populations who, though connected through family ties generations back, are meeting for the first time in the context of a rapidly changing contemporary China. Louie situates the participants’ and hosts’ shifting understandings of China and Chineseness within the context of transnational flows of people, media, goods, and money; China’s political and economic policies; and the racial and cultural politics of the United States.
Winner of the 2003 Senior Book Prize from the American Ethnological Society.
Cholas and Pishtacos are two provocative characters from South American popular culture—a sensual mixed-race woman and a horrifying white killerwho show up in everything from horror stories and dirty jokes to romantic novels and travel posters. In this elegantly written book, these two figures become vehicles for an exploration of race, sex, and violence that pulls the reader into the vivid landscapes and lively cities of the Andes. Weismantel's theory of race and sex begins not with individual identity but with three forms of social and economic interaction: estrangement, exchange, and accumulation. She maps the barriers that separate white and Indian, male and female-barriers that exist not in order to prevent exchange, but rather to exacerbate its inequality.
Weismantel weaves together sources ranging from her own fieldwork and the words of potato sellers, hotel maids, and tourists to classic works by photographer Martin Chambi and novelist José María Arguedas. Cholas and Pishtacos is also an enjoyable and informative introduction to a relatively unknown region of the Americas.
Teachers’ unions are the organizations responsible for safeguarding the conditions of teachers’ employment. Union supporters claim strong synergies between teachers’ interests and students’ interests, but critics of unions insist that the stance of teachers in collective bargaining may disadvantage students as unions reduce the power of administrators to manage, remove, reward or retain excellent teachers.
In A Collective Pursuit, Lesley Laveryunpacks how teachers’ unions today are fighting for contracts that allow them to earn a decent living and build “schools all students deserve.” She explains the form and function of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions. Lavery then explores unionization campaigns in the Twin Cities charter schools. A Collective Pursuit also examines teacher strikes and contract negotiations, school finance and finance reform, and district and union attempts to address racial achievement gaps, to provide a context for understanding the economic, political, and demographic forces that inspire teachers to improve conditions for students.
A Collective Pursuit emphasizes that while teachers’ unions serve a traditional, economic role, they also provide a vast array of valuable services to students, educators, parents, and community members.
This comparative study focuses on three groups often seen as antagonistic—Blacks, Jews, and Irish. Resolutely aware of past tensions, Bornstein argues that the pendulum has swung too far in that direction and that it is time to recover the history of lost connections and cooperation among the groups. The chronological range stretches from Frederick Douglass’s tour of Ireland during the Great Famine of the 1840s through the 1940s with the catastrophe of World War II. The study ends with the concept of the Righteous Gentile commemorated at the Israeli Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem--non-Jews who during the Holocaust risked their own lives to rescue Jews from the horror of the Holocaust. Bornstein expands the term here to include all those Irish, Jewish, or African American figures who fought against narrow identification only with their own group and instead championed a wider and more humane vision of a shared humanity that sees hybridity rather than purity and love rather than resentment. The identity politics and culture wars of recent decades often made recognizing those positive qualities problematic. But with the election of a mixed-race president who himself embodies mixture and mutual respect (and who famously described himself as a “mutt”), the shallow and arbitrary nature of narrow identity politics become evident. This study recuperates strong voices from the past of all three groups in order to let them speak for themselves.
In Compositional Subjects Laura Hyun Yi Kang explores the ways that Asian/American women have been figured by mutually imbricated modes of identity formation, representation, and knowledge production. Kang’s project is simultaneously interdisciplinary scholarship at its best and a critique of the very disciplinary formations she draws upon. The book opens by tracking the jagged emergence of “Asian American women” as a distinct social identity over the past three decades. Kang then directs critical attention to how the attempts to compose them as discrete subjects of consciousness, visibility, and action demonstrate a broader, ongoing tension between socially particularized subjects and disciplinary knowledges. In addition to the shifting meanings and alignments of “Asian,” “American,” and “women,” the book examines the discourses, political and economic conditions, and institutional formations that have produced Asian/American women as generic authors, as visibly desirable and desiring bodies, as excludable aliens and admissible citizens of the United States, and as the proper labor for transnational capitalism. In analyzing how these enfigurations are constructed and apprehended through a range of modes including autobiography, cinematography, historiography, photography, and ethnography, Kang directs comparative attention to the very terms of their emergence as Asian/American women in specific disciplines. Finally, Kang concludes with a detailed examination of selected literary and visual works by Korean women artists located in the United States and Canada, works that creatively and critically contend with the problematics of identification and representation that are explored throughout the book. By underscoring the forceful and contentious struggles that animate all of these compositional gestures, Kang proffers Asian/American women as a vexing and productive figure for cultural, political and epistemological critique.
Central Americans are the third largest and fastest growing Latino population in the United States. And yet, despite their demographic presence, there has been little scholarship focused on this group. Constituting Central American-Americans is an exploration of the historical and disciplinary conditions that have structured U.S. Central American identity and of the ways in which this identity challenges how we frame current discussions of Latina/o, American ethnic, and diasporic identities. By focusing on the formation of Central American identity in the U.S., Maritza E. Cárdenas challenges us to think about Central America and its diaspora in relation to other U.S. ethno-racial identities.
The standing of French Muslims is undercut by a predominant and persistent elite public discourse that frames Muslims as failed and incomplete French citizens. This situation fosters the very separations, exclusions, and hierarchies it claims to deplore as Muslims face discrimination in education, housing, and employment.
In Constructing Muslims in France, Jennifer Fredette provides a deft empirical analysis to show the political diversity and complicated identity politics of this relatively new population. She examines the public identity of French Muslims and evaluates images in popular media to show how stereotyped notions of racial and religious differences pervade French public discourse. While rights may be a sine qua non for fighting legal and political inequality, Fredette shows that additional tools such as media access are needed to combat social inequality, particularly when it comes in the form of unfavorable discursive frames and public disrespect.
Presenting the conflicting views of French national identity, Fredette shows how Muslims strive to gain recognition of their diverse views and backgrounds and find full equality as French citizens.
Organized by the theme of place and place-making in the Southwest, Contemporary Archaeologies of the Southwest emphasizes the method and theory for the study of radical changes in religion, settlement patterns, and material culture associated with population migration, colonialism, and climate change during the last 1,000 years.
Chapters address place-making in Chaco Canyon, recent trends in landscape archaeology, the formation of identities, landscape boundaries, and the movement associated with these aspects of place-making. They address how interaction of peoples with objects brings landscapes to life. Representing a diverse cross section of Southwestern archaeologists, the authors of this volume push the boundaries of archaeological method and theory, building a strong foundation for future Southwest studies.
This book will be of interest to professional and academic archaeologists, as well as students working in the American Southwest.
Once thought of in terms of geographically bounded spaces, Asian America has undergone profound changes as a result of post-1965 immigration as well as the growth and reshaping of established communities. This collection of original essays demonstrates that conventional notions of community, of ethnic enclaves determined by exclusion and ghettoization, now have limited use in explaining the dynamic processes of contemporary community formation.Writing from a variety of perspectives, these contributors expand the concept of community to include sites not necessarily bounded by space; formations around gender, class, sexuality, and generation reveal new processes as well as the demographic diversity of today's Asian American population. The case studies gathered here speak to the fluidity of these communities and to the need for new analytic approaches to account for the similarities and differences between them. Taken together, these essays forcefully argue that it is time to replace the outworn concept of a monolithic Asian America.
Contemporary Chinese America is the most comprehensive sociological investigation of the experiences of Chinese immigrants to the United States—and of their offspring—in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The author, Min Zhou, is a well-known sociologist of the Chinese American experience. In this volume she collects her original research on a range of subjects, including the causes and consequences of emigration from China, demographic trends of Chinese Americans, patterns of residential mobility in the U.S., Chinese American “ethnoburbs,” immigrant entrepreneurship, ethnic enclave economies, gender and work, Chinese language media, Chinese schools, and intergenerational relations. The concluding chapter, “Rethinking Assimilation,” ponders the future for Chinese Americans. Also included are an extensive bibliography and a list of recommended documentary films.
While the book is particularly well-suited for college courses in Chinese American studies, ethnic studies, Asian studies, and immigration studies, it will interest anyone who wants to more fully understand the lived experience of contemporary Chinese Americans.
The definition of Asian American dance is as contested as the definition of "Asian American." The contributors to this volume address such topics as the role of the 1960s Asian American movement in creating Japanese American taiko groups, and the experience of internment during World War II influencing butoh dance in Canada. Essays about artists such as Jay Hirabayashi, Alvin Tolentino, Shen Wei, Kun-Yang Lin, Yasuko Yokoshi, Eiko & Koma, Sam Kim, Roko Kawai, and Denise Uyehara look closely at the politics of how Asian aesthetics are set into motion and marketed. The volume includes first-person narratives, interviews, ethnography, cultural studies, performance studies, and comparative ethnic studies.
In Contemporary Latina/o Theater, Jon D. Rossini explores the complex relationship between theater and the creation of ethnicity in an unprecedented examination of six Latina/o playwrights and their works: Miguel Piñero, Luis Valdez, Guillermo Reyes, Octavio Solis, José Rivera, and Cherríe Moraga. Rossini exposes how these writers use the genre as a tool to reveal and transform existing preconceptions about their culture. Through “wrighting”—the triplicate process of writing plays, righting misconceptions about ethnic identity, and creating an entirely new way of understanding Latina/o culture—these playwrights directly intervene in current conversations regarding ethnic identity, providing the tools for audiences to reexplore their previously held perspectives outside the theater.
Examining these writers and their works in both cultural and historical contexts, Rossini reveals how playwrights use the liminal space of the stage—an area on the thresholds of both theory and reality—to “wright” new insights into Latina/o identity. They use the limits of the theater itself to offer practical explorations of issues that could otherwise be discussed only in highly theoretical terms.
Rossini traces playwrights’ methods as they address some of the most challenging issues facing contemporary Latinas/os in America: from the struggles for ethnic solidarity and the dangers of a community based in fear, to stereotypes of Latino masculinity and the problematic fusion of ethnicity and politics. Rossini discusses the looming specter of the border in theater, both as a conceptual device and as a literal reality—a crucial subject for modern Latinas/os, given recent legislation and other actions. Throughout, the author draws intriguing comparisons to the cultural limbo in which many Latinas/os find themselves today.
An indispensable volume for anyone interested in drama and ethnic studies, Contemporary Latina/o Theater underscores the power of theatricality in exploring and rethinking ethnicity. Rossini provides the most in-depth analysis of these plays to date, offering a groundbreaking look at the ability of playwrights to correct misconceptions and create fresh perspectives on diversity, culture, and identity in Latina/o America.
In Contours of White Ethnicity, Yiorgos Anagnostou explores the construction of ethnic history and reveals how and why white ethnics selectively retain, rework, or reject their pasts. Challenging the tendency to portray Americans of European background as a uniform cultural category, the author demonstrates how a generalized view of American white ethnics misses the specific identity issues of particular groups as well as their internal differences.
Interdisciplinary in scope, Contours of White Ethnicity uses the example of Greek America to illustrate how the immigrant past can be used to combat racism and be used to bring about solidarity between white ethnics and racial minorities. Illuminating the importance of the past in the construction of ethnic identities today, Anagnostou presents the politics of evoking the past to create community, affirm identity, and nourish reconnection with ancestral roots, then identifies the struggles to neutralize oppressive pasts.
Although it draws from the scholarship on a specific ethnic group, Contours of White Ethnicity exhibits a sophisticated, interdisciplinary methodology, which makes it of particular interest to scholars researching ethnicity and race in the United States and for those charting the directions of future research for white ethnicities.
When World War I brought an end to German colonial rule in Namibia, much of the German population stayed on. The German community, which had managed to deal with colonial administration, faced new challenges when the region became a South African mandate under the League of Nations in 1919. One of these was the issue of Germanness, which ultimately resulted in public conversations and expressions of identity.
In Creating Germans Abroad, Daniel Walther examines this discourse and provides striking new insights into the character of the German populace in both Germany and its former colony, Southwest Africa, known today as Namibia. In addition to German colonialism, Walther considers issues of race, class, and gender and the activities of minority groups. He offers new perspectives on German cultural and national identity during the Empire, the Weimar Republic, and the Third Reich.
In a larger context, Creating Germans Abroad acts as a model for investigating the strategies and motivations of groups and individuals engaged in national or ethnic engineering and demonstrates how unforeseen circumstances can affect the nature and outcome of these endeavors.
Analyzing the development of a Swedish American identity
The Creation of an Ethnic Identity: Being Swedish American in the Augustana Synod, 1860–1917 analyzes how Swedish American identity was constructed, maintained, and changed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Augustana Synod, the largest religious-based organization created by Swedish immigrants in the United States, played an important role in establishing what it meant to be Swedish American.
In this study, author Dag Blanck poses three fundamental questions: How did an ethnic identity develop in the Augustana Synod? What was that identity? Why was an ethnic identity formed? Based on primary sources formerly unknown or neglected, The Creation of an Ethnic Identity examines the Lutheran Augustana Synod, Augustana College, and the Augustana Book Concern to provide insights into how ethnic identity is constructed within a major religious body, a central educational institution, and a major publishing house.
Starting from the concept of ethnicity as something created or invented, Blanck goes on to explore how it was possible for a white European immigrant group like the Swedes to use its ethnicity as a tool of integration into American society. The nature of their ethnicity, says Blanck, was both determined by their cultural origins and also the values and nature of American society as they perceived it. Becoming Swedish American was also a way of becoming American.
The volume, which is augmented by illustrations, integrates the most critical scholarship on immigration and ethnicity over the past half century and provides a strong argument about how ethnicity is shaped over time within an immigrant group.
Martin Manalansan Temple University Press, 2000 Library of Congress E184.O6C85 2000 | Dewey Decimal 305.895073
Cultural Compass re-writes the space of Asian Americans. Through innovative studies of community politics, gender, family and sexual relations, cultural events, and other sites central to the formation of ethnic and citizen identity, contributors reconfigure ethnography according to Asian American experiences in the United States. In these eleven essays, scholars in anthropology, sociology, ethnic studies, and Asian American studies reconsider traditional models for ethnographic research.
Drawing upon recent theoretical discussions and methodological innovations, the contributors explore the construction and displacement of self, community, and home integral to Asian American cultural journeys in the late twentieth century. Some discuss the unique situation of doing ethnographic work "at home" -- that is researching one's own ethnic group or another group with Asian America. Others draw on rich and diverse field experiences. Whether they are doing homework or fieldwork, contributors reflect on the ways that particular matters of identity -- gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, age -- play out between researchers and informants. Individual essays and the book as a whole challenge the notion of a monolithic, spatially bounded Asian American community, pointing the way to multiple sites of political struggle, cultural critique, and social change.
The Cunning of Recognition is an exploration of liberal multiculturalism from the perspective of Australian indigenous social life. Elizabeth A. Povinelli argues that the multicultural legacy of colonialism perpetuates unequal systems of power, not by demanding that colonized subjects identify with their colonizers but by demanding that they identify with an impossible standard of authentic traditional culture. Povinelli draws on seventeen years of ethnographic research among northwest coast indigenous people and her own experience participating in land claims, as well as on public records, legal debates, and anthropological archives to examine how multicultural forms of recognition work to reinforce liberal regimes rather than to open them up to a true cultural democracy. The Cunning of Recognition argues that the inequity of liberal forms of multiculturalism arises not from its weak ethical commitment to difference but from its strongest vision of a new national cohesion. In the end, Australia is revealed as an exemplary site for studying the social effects of the liberal multicultural imaginary: much earlier than the United States and in response to very different geopolitical conditions, Australian nationalism renounced the ideal of a unitary European tradition and embraced cultural and social diversity. While addressing larger theoretical debates in critical anthropology, political theory, cultural studies, and liberal theory, The Cunning of Recognition demonstrates that the impact of the globalization of liberal forms of government can only be truly understood by examining its concrete—and not just philosophical—effects on the world.
"Anthropologists and students of anthropology may read this book because it is a superior ethnography, detailed and enriched by theoretical insights. But at the heart of this book is a moral take, a simple but powerful story about an indigenous people who were wronged, who resisted for more than 100 years, and who may yet prevail. This message, ultimately, lends the book its true meaning and value."—William Rodman, Anthropologica
"A major contribution to the ethnography and history of Malaita and Melanesia, and to the growing literature on cultural resistance. But above all, his humane and painful analysis of the meeting of peoples living in different worlds and constructing their agendas and moralities on incommensurate—and apparently equally arbitrary—principles, represents a major contribution and challenge to anthropological thought, addressing the basic issue of what it is to be human."—Fredrik Barth