It is common in academic circles to assert that racial and ethnic identities are socially constructed entities. This masterclass will offer students tools for examining how those identities are in fact constructed. It will explore the history of racial thinking, examine how modern racial ideas came to be, and think about how different racial and ethnic systems operate in different parts of the world. In particular, it will explore the rise in the last quarter century of the idea of racial mixedness and contemplate that idea's impact on our ideas about race. Finally, the masterclass will examine the possibility of racial change.
The three readings for this masterclass are:
"Race and Nation, Identity and Power: Thinking Comparatively about Ethnic Systems," in Paul Spickard, ed. Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World (New York: Routledge, 2015): 1-32.
"What Must I Be? Asian Americans and the Question of Multiethnic Identity," Amerasia Journal, 23 1(Spring 1997): 43-60.
Farida Fozdar and Maureen Perkins, "Antipodean Mixed Race: Australia and New Zealand" (pp. 119-43 in Spickard et al., eds. Global Mixed Race (New York: New York University Press, 2014): 119-43.
To participate in this masterclass, students must contact Carolyn Strange, Graduate Director, School of History (email@example.com) by 21 July to receive the readings.
Participants must also e-mail an abstract to Professor Spickard (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 25th July, outlining how your thesis considers the question of racial and ethnic identities.
Paul Spickard teaches History, Black Studies, and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has taught at fifteen universities in the United States and abroad. He is author or editor of nineteen books and seventy-odd articles on race, migration, and related topics, including: Race in Mind (2015); Global Mixed Race (2014); Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race and Colonialism in American History and Identity (2007); Is Lighter Better? Skin-Tone Discrimination among Asian Americans (2007); Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World (2005); Racial Thinking in the United States (2004); Pacific Diaspora (2002); and Mixed Blood: Intermarriage and Ethnic Identity in 20th-Century America (1989).
Image: SOS Racismo, Pamploma, Spain, 2002