Author: Daniel J. Sharfstein
Release Date: 2011-02-17
Genre: Social Science
"The Invisible Line" shines light on one of the most important, but too often hidden, aspects of American history and culture. Sharfstein's narrative of three families negotiating America's punishing racial terrain is a must read for all who are interested in the construction of race in the United States." --Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello In America, race is a riddle. The stories we tell about our past have calcified into the fiction that we are neatly divided into black or white. It is only with the widespread availability of DNA testing and the boom in genealogical research that the frequency with which individuals and entire families crossed the color line has become clear. In this sweeping history, Daniel J. Sharfstein unravels the stories of three families who represent the complexity of race in America and force us to rethink our basic assumptions about who we are. The Gibsons were wealthy landowners in the South Carolina backcountry who became white in the 1760s, ascending to the heights of the Southern elite and ultimately to the U.S. Senate. The Spencers were hardscrabble farmers in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, joining an isolated Appalachian community in the 1840s and for the better part of a century hovering on the line between white and black. The Walls were fixtures of the rising black middle class in post-Civil War Washington, D.C., only to give up everything they had fought for to become white at the dawn of the twentieth century. Together, their interwoven and intersecting stories uncover a forgotten America in which the rules of race were something to be believed but not necessarily obeyed. Defining their identities first as people of color and later as whites, these families provide a lens for understanding how people thought about and experienced race and how these ideas and experiences evolved-how the very meaning of black and white changed-over time. Cutting through centuries of myth, amnesia, and poisonous racial politics, The Invisible Line will change the way we talk about race, racism, and civil rights.
Author: Dorothy Roberts
Publisher: The New Press
Release Date: 2011-06-14
This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of biological concept of race—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, Fatal Invention offers a timely and “provocative analysis” (Nature) of race, science, and politics by one of the nation’s leading legal scholars and social critics.
Author: David Nirenberg
Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Social Science
Racism Analysis is a research series by LIT Verlag that explores racial discrimination in all its varying historical, ideological, and cultural patterns. It examines the invention of race, as well as the dimensions of modern racism, and it inquires into racism avant la lettre. Race and Blood in the Iberian World is the third volume in the Race Analysis series. This collection offers an historical approach to the topics of race and blood in the Spanish Atlantic world, with extended comparative glances toward other Iberian imperial contexts (Portuguese India) and periods (the modern). The contributions include: a proposition to analyze processes of racialization in plural before the modern period * the question of whether it is analytically appropriate to apply the concept of race to early modern Spanish and Spanish American contexts * the intricate dynamics of race and blood in Iberian discourses of otherness * an analysis of the discourse of limpieza de sangre in relation to Spain's Muslims and moriscos in New Granada * the meanings of the Spanish notions of race and its relationships with gender in colonial Mexico * the meaning of casta, raza, and limpieza de sangre in Goa * the place of Gypsies, indigenous people, and blacks within discourses of citizenship and nativeness * a discussion about how to transform colonial subjects into citizens * an exploration of the works of two scientists of the inter-war period whose research in different ways contributed to what is called blood science. (Series: Racism Analysis - Series B: Yearbooks - Vol. 3)
Giving Blood represents a new agenda for blood donation research. It explores the diverse historical and contemporary undercurrents that influence how blood donation takes place, and the social meanings that people attribute to the act of giving blood. Drawing from empirical studies conducted in the United States, Canada, France, Australia, China, India, Latin America and Africa, the book’s chapters turn our attention to the evolution of blood donation worldwide, examining: the impact of technology advances on blood collection practices the shifting approaches to donor recruitment and retention the governance and policy issues associated with the establishment of blood clinics the political and legal challenges of regulating blood systems. This innovative examination moves the focus from individual explanations of rates of blood donation to a social, structural explanation. It will appeal to international scholars and students working in the areas of sociology, medical anthropology, health care, public policy, socio-legal studies, comparative politics, organizational management, health and illness, the history of medicine, and public health ethics.
Author: Gil Anidjar
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2014-05-06
Blood, in Gil AnidjarÕs argument, maps the singular history of Christianity. A category for historical analysis, blood can be seen through its literal and metaphorical uses as determining, sometimes even defining, Western culture, politics, and social practices and their wide-ranging incarnations in nationalism, capitalism, and law. Engaging with a variety of sources, Anidjar explores the presence and the absence, the making and unmaking of blood in philosophy and medicine, law and literature, and economic and political thought, from ancient Greece to medieval Spain, from the Bible to Shakespeare and Melville. The prevalence of blood in the social, juridical, and political organization of the modern West signals that we do not live in a secular age into which religion could return. Flowing across multiple boundaries, infusing them with violent precepts that we must address, blood undoes the presumed oppositions between religion and politics, economy and theology, and kinship and race. It demonstrates that what we think of as modern is in fact imbued with Christianity. Christianity, Blood fiercely argues, must be reconsidered beyond the boundaries of religion alone.
Author: Jeffory Clymer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-11-29
Combining nuanced literary interpretations with significant legal cases, Family Money reveals a shared preoccupation with the financial quandaries emerging from interracial sexuality in nineteenth-century America. At stake, Clymer shows, were the very notions of family and the long-term distribution of wealth in the United States.
Explores the role of rhetoric and the racial classification of Asian American immigrants in the early twentieth century. From 1870 to 1940, racial eligibility for naturalization in the United States was limited to “free white persons” and “aliens of African nativity and persons of African descent,” and many interpreted these restrictions to reflect a policy of Asian exclusion based on the conclusion that Asians were neither white nor African. Because the distinction between white and Asian was considerably unstable, however, those charged with the interpretation and implementation of the naturalization act faced difficult racial classification questions. Through archival research and a close reading of the arguments contained in the documents of the US Bureau of Naturalization, especially those documents that discussed challenges to racial eligibility for naturalization, Doug Coulson demonstrates that the strategy of foregrounding shared external threats to the nation as a means of transcending perceived racial divisions was often more important to racial classification than legal doctrine. He argues that this was due to the rapid shifts in the nation’s enmities and alliances during the early twentieth century and the close relationship between race, nation, and sovereignty.
Author: Karl Jacoby
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2016-06-13
A prize-winning historian tells a new story of the black experience in America through the life of a mysterious entrepreneur. To his contemporaries in Gilded Age Manhattan, Guillermo Eliseo was a fantastically wealthy Mexican, the proud owner of a luxury apartment overlooking Central Park, a busy Wall Street office, and scores of mines and haciendas in Mexico. But for all his obvious riches and his elegant appearance, Eliseo was also the possessor of a devastating secret: he was not, in fact, from Mexico at all. Rather, he had begun life as a slave named William Ellis, born on a cotton plantation in southern Texas during the waning years of King Cotton. After emancipation, Ellis, capitalizing on the Spanish he learned during his childhood along the Mexican border and his ambivalent appearance, engaged in a virtuoso act of reinvention. He crafted an alter ego, the Mexican Guillermo Eliseo, who was able to access many of the privileges denied to African Americans at the time: traveling in first-class train berths, staying in upscale hotels, and eating in the finest restaurants. Eliseo’s success in crossing the color line, however, brought heightened scrutiny in its wake as he became the intimate of political and business leaders on both sides of the US-Mexico border. Ellis, unlike many passers, maintained a connection to his family and to black politics that also raised awkward questions about his racial status. Yet such was Ellis’s skill in manipulating his era’s racial codes, most of the whites he encountered continued to insist that he must be Hispanic even as Ellis became embroiled in scandals that hinted the man known as Guillermo Eliseo was not quite who he claimed to be. The Strange Career of William Ellis reads like a novel but offers fresh insights on the history of the Reconstruction era, the US-Mexico border, and the abiding riddle of race. At a moment when the United States is deepening its connections with Latin America and recognizing that race is more than simply black or white, Ellis’s story could not be more timely or important.
Nineteenth-century America witnessed some of the most important and fruitful areas of intersection between the law and humanities, as people began to realize that the law, formerly confined to courts and lawyers, might also find expression in a variety of ostensibly non-legal areas such as painting, poetry, fiction, and sculpture. Bringing together leading researchers from law schools and humanities departments, this Companion touches on regulatory, statutory, and common law in nineteenth-century America and encompasses judges, lawyers, legislators, litigants, and the institutions they inhabited (courts, firms, prisons). It will serve as a reference for specific information on a variety of law- and humanities-related topics as well as a guide to understanding how the two disciplines developed in tandem in the long nineteenth century.
Author: Ellen Samuels
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2014-04-25
Genre: Social Science
In the mid-nineteenth-century United States, as it became increasingly difficult to distinguish between bodies understood as black, white, or Indian; able-bodied or disabled; and male or female, intense efforts emerged to define these identities as biologically distinct and scientifically verifiable in a literally marked body. Combining literary analysis, legal history, and visual culture, Ellen Samuels traces the evolution of the “fantasy of identification”—the powerful belief that embodied social identities are fixed, verifiable, and visible through modern science. From birthmarks and fingerprints to blood quantum and DNA, she examines how this fantasy has circulated between cultural representations, law, science, and policy to become one of the most powerfully institutionalized ideologies of modern society. Yet, as Samuels demonstrates, in every case, the fantasy distorts its claimed scientific basis, substituting subjective language for claimed objective fact. From its early emergence in discourses about disability fakery and fugitive slaves in the nineteenth century to its most recent manifestation in the question of sex testing at the 2012 Olympic Games, Fantasies of Identification explores the roots of modern understandings of bodily identity.
Author: Carlos Kevin Blanton
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2016-03-08
Genre: Social Science
Chicana/o history has reached an intriguing juncture. While academic and intellectual studies are embracing new, highly nuanced perspectives on race, class, gender, education, identity, and community, the field itself continues to be viewed as a battleground, subject to attacks from outside academia by those who claim that the discipline promotes racial hatred and anti-Americanism. Against a backdrop of deportations and voter suppression targeting Latinos, A Promising Problem presents the optimistic voices of scholars who call for sophisticated solutions while embracing transnationalism and the reality of multiple, overlapping identities. Showcasing a variety of new directions, this anthology spans topics such as growth and reassessment in Chicana/o history manifested in a disruption of nationalism and geographic essentialism, the impact of legal history, interracial relations and the experiences of Latino subpopulations in the US South, race and the politics of religious history, transborder feminism in the early twentieth century, and aspirations for a field that increasingly demonstrates the relational dynamics of cultural production. As they reflect on the state of their field, the contributors offer significant insights into sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, education, and literature, while tracing the history of activism throughout the last century and debating the very concepts of "Chicano" and "Chicano history." Although the political landscape is fraught with closed-off rhetoric, A Promising Problem encourages diversity of thought and opens the possibilities of historical imagination.
Author: John Ernest
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 2009-11-15
Genre: Social Science
What is African American about African American literature? Why identify it as a distinct tradition? John Ernest contends that too often scholars have relied on naive concepts of race, superficial conceptions of African American history, and the marginalization of important strains of black scholarship. With this book, he creates a new and just retelling of African American literary history that neither ignores nor transcends racial history. Ernest revisits the work of nineteenth-century writers and activists such as Henry "Box" Brown, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Wilson, William Wells Brown, and Sojourner Truth, demonstrating that their concepts of justice were far more radical than those imagined by most white sympathizers. He sheds light on the process of reading, publishing, studying, and historicizing this work during the twentieth century. Looking ahead to the future of the field, Ernest offers new principles of justice that grant fragmented histories, partial recoveries, and still-unprinted texts the same value as canonized works. His proposal is both a historically informed critique of the field and an invigorating challenge to present and future scholars.