The term “Caucasian” is a curious invention of the modern age. Originating in 1795, the word identifies both the peoples of the Caucasus Mountains region as well as those thought to be “Caucasian”. Bruce Baum explores the history of the term and the category of the “Caucasian race” more broadly in the light of the changing politics of racial theory and notions of racial identity. With a comprehensive sweep that encompasses the understanding of "race" even before the use of the term “Caucasian,” Baum traces the major trends in scientific and intellectual understandings of “race” from the Middle Ages to the present day. Baum’s conclusions make an unprecedented attempt to separate modern science and politics from a long history of racial classification. He offers significant insights into our understanding of race and how the “Caucasian race” has been authoritatively invented, embraced, displaced, and recovered throughout our history.
Though Ireland is a relatively small island on the northeastern fringe of the Atlantic, 70 million people worldwide--including some 45 million in the United States--claim it as their ancestral home. In this wide-ranging, ambitious book, Cian T. McMahon explores the nineteenth-century roots of this transnational identity. Between 1840 and 1880, 4.5 million people left Ireland to start new lives abroad. Using primary sources from Ireland, Australia, and the United States, McMahon demonstrates how this exodus shaped a distinctive sense of nationalism. By doggedly remaining loyal to both their old and new homes, he argues, the Irish helped broaden the modern parameters of citizenship and identity. From insurrection in Ireland to exile in Australia to military service during the American Civil War, McMahon's narrative revolves around a group of rebels known as Young Ireland. They and their fellow Irish used weekly newspapers to construct and express an international identity tailored to the fluctuating world in which they found themselves. Understanding their experience sheds light on our contemporary debates over immigration, race, and globalization.
Between the turn of the twentieth century and the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, the way that American schools taught about "race" changed dramatically. This transformation was engineered by the nation's most prominent anthropologists, including Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, and Margaret Mead, during World War II. Inspired by scientific racism in Nazi Germany, these activist scholars decided that the best way to fight racial prejudice was to teach what they saw as the truth about race in the institution that had the power to do the most good-American schools. Anthropologists created lesson plans, lectures, courses, and pamphlets designed to revise what they called "the 'race' concept" in American education. They believed that if teachers presented race in scientific and egalitarian terms, conveying human diversity as learned habits of culture rather than innate characteristics, American citizens would become less racist. Although nearly forgotten today, this educational reform movement represents an important component of early civil rights activism that emerged alongside the domestic and global tensions of wartime. Drawing on hundreds of first-hand accounts written by teachers nationwide, Zo? Burkholder traces the influence of this anthropological activism on the way that teachers understood, spoke, and taught about race. She explains how and why teachers readily understood certain theoretical concepts, such as the division of race into three main categories, while they struggled to make sense of more complex models of cultural diversity and structural inequality. As they translated theories into practice, teachers crafted an educational discourse on race that differed significantly from the definition of race produced by scientists at mid-century. Schoolteachers and their approach to race were put into the spotlight with the Brown v. Board of Education case, but the belief that racially integrated schools would eradicate racism in the next generation and eliminate the need for discussion of racial inequality long predated this. Discussions of race in the classroom were silenced during the early Cold War until a new generation of antiracist, "multicultural" educators emerged in the 1970s.
In recent years, Europeans have engaged in sharp debates about migrants and minority groups as social problems. The discussions usually neglect who these people are, how they live their lives, and how they identify themselves. Multiple Identities describes how migrants and minorities of all age groups experience their lives and manage complex, often multiple, identities, which alter with time and changing circumstances. The contributors consider minorities who have received a lot of attention, such as Turkish Germans, and some who have received little, such as Kashubians and Tartars in Poland and Chinese in Switzerland. They also examine international adoption and cross-cultural relationships and discuss some models for multicultural success.
Fictions of Gender and Citizenship in the United States, 1860-1945
Author: Victoria Olwell
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Category: Literary Criticism
In the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century United States, ideas of genius did more than define artistic and intellectual originality. They also provided a means for conceptualizing women's participation in a democracy that marginalized them. Widely distributed across print media but reaching their fullest development in literary fiction, tropes of female genius figured types of subjectivity and forms of collective experience that were capable of overcoming the existing constraints on political life. The connections between genius, gender, and citizenship were important not only to contests over such practical goals as women's suffrage but also to those over national membership, cultural identity, and means of political transformation more generally. In The Genius of Democracy Victoria Olwell uncovers the political uses of genius, challenging our dominant narratives of gendered citizenship. She shows how American fiction catalyzed political models of female genius, especially in the work of Louisa May Alcott, Henry James, Mary Hunter Austin, Jessie Fauset, and Gertrude Stein. From an American Romanticism that saw genius as the ability to mediate individual desire and collective purpose to later scientific paradigms that understood it as a pathological individual deviation that nevertheless produced cultural progress, ideas of genius provided a rich language for contests over women's citizenship. Feminist narratives of female genius projected desires for a modern public life open to new participants and new kinds of collaboration, even as philosophical and scientific ideas of intelligence and creativity could often disclose troubling and more regressive dimensions. Elucidating how ideas of genius facilitated debates about political agency, gendered identity, the nature of consciousness, intellectual property, race, and national culture, Olwell reveals oppositional ways of imagining women's citizenship, ways that were critical of the conceptual limits of American democracy as usual.
Race, Recognition, and the Struggle for Indigenous Peoplehood
Author: Chris Andersen
Publisher: UBC Press
Category: Social Science
Ask any Canadian what "Métis" means, and they will likely say "mixed race." Canadians consider Métis mixed in ways that other Indigenous people are not, and the census and courts have premised their recognition of Métis status on this race-based understanding. Andersen argues that Canada got it wrong. From its roots deep in the colonial past, the idea of Métis as mixed has slowly pervaded the Canadian consciousness until it settled in the realm of common sense. In the process, "Métis" has become a racial category rather than the identity of an Indigenous people with a shared sense of history and culture.
Seminar paper from the year 2015 in the subject History Europe - Other Countries - Middle Ages, Early Modern Age, grade: 1,3, University of Göttingen (Seminar für Mittlere und Neuere Geschichte), language: English, abstract: This paper will revolve around the question of how the concepts of race and culture – encompassing the entirety of human behaviour, social practices, expressive forms and technologies – or civilisation – signifying the former’s upscaled and yet more complex version – might be interlinked in the anthropological and philosophical writings of four renowned German scholars: Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottfried Herder, Christoph Meiners and Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. To this end, the intellectual preconditions for culture and civilisation need to be taken into account as well. All four of these scholars were deliberately chosen not only due to their pioneering contributions to scientific race and cultural theories, but also the controversial, at times perhaps even acrimonious debates they were engaged in with each other. Scholarly activity of the Enlightenment could be said to have carried the impulse to classify and organise the world around us and even beyond our immediate reach to extremes. However, tied to classification systems of any kind are incongruities and generalisations that do not necessarily, if at all, measure up to reality. Perhaps it is in these generalising descriptions, especially of foreign peoples and cultures, where one’s own self-conception surfaces most clearly. In order to gain insight into but a small fraction of the Enlightened mind, the analysis of some of the most influential and remarkable writings about the racial division of humankind could be a useful starting point.
Daryl G. Smith’s career has been devoted to studying and fostering diversity in higher education. She has witnessed and encouraged the evolution of diversity from an issue addressed sporadically on college campuses to an imperative if institutions want to succeed. In Diversity's Promise for Higher Education, she analyzes how diversity is practiced today and offers new recommendations for effecting lasting and meaningful change. Smith argues that in the next generation of work on diversity, student population mix and performance will no longer be acceptable indicators of an institution's diversity effectiveness. To become more relevant to society, the nation, and the world while remaining true to their core mission, institutions must begin to see diversity, like technology, as central to teaching and research. She proposes a set of practices that will help colleges and universities embrace diversity as a tool for institutional success. This thoughtful volume draws on 40 years of diversity studies. It offers both researchers and administrators an innovative approach to developing and instituting effective and sustainable diversity strategies.
Racists, Race Rebels, and Transformations of American Identity
Author: Bruce Baum
Publisher: Duke University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Racially Writing the Republic investigates the central role of race in the construction and transformation of American national identity from the Revolutionary War era to the height of the civil rights movement. Drawing on political theory, American studies, critical race theory, and gender studies, the contributors to this collection highlight the assumptions of white (and often male) supremacy underlying the thought and actions of major U.S. political and social leaders. At the same time, they examine how nonwhite writers and activists have struggled against racism and for the full realization of America’s political ideals. The essays are arranged chronologically by subject, and, with one exception, each essay is focused on a single figure, from George Washington to James Baldwin. The contributors analyze Thomas Jefferson’s legacy in light of his sexual relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings; the way that Samuel Gompers, the first president of the American Federation of Labor, rallied his organization against Chinese immigrant workers; and the eugenicist origins of the early-twentieth-century birth-control movement led by Margaret Sanger. They draw attention to the writing of Sarah Winnemucca, a Northern Piute and one of the first published Native American authors; the anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett; the Filipino American writer Carlos Bulosan; and the playwright Lorraine Hansberry, who linked civil rights struggles in the United States to anticolonial efforts abroad. Other figures considered include Alexis de Tocqueville and his traveling companion Gustave de Beaumont, Juan Nepomuceno Cortina (who fought against Anglo American expansion in what is now Texas), Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and W. E. B. Du Bois. In the afterword, George Lipsitz reflects on U.S. racial politics since 1965. Contributors. Bruce Baum, Cari M. Carpenter, Gary Gerstle, Duchess Harris, Catherine A. Holland, Allan Punzalan Isaac, Laura Janara, Ben Keppel, George Lipsitz, Gwendolyn Mink, Joel Olson, Dorothy Roberts, Patricia A. Schechter, John Kuo Wei Tchen, Jerry Thompson
Political Scenes from the American Cultural Landscape
Author: Bruce Baum
Category: Political Science
In The Post-Liberal Imagination , Bruce Baum approaches American liberalism 'in a critical spirit' by examining the relationship between popular culture and politics. The book analyzes movies, television, and popular music to rethink the liberal views of democracy, equality, racism, dissent, and animal rights in the Bush-Obama era.