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The Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies (JCMRS) is a peer-reviewed online interdisciplinary journal dedicated to Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS). JCMRS functions as an open-access forum for critical mixed race studies and will be available without cost to anyone with access to the Internet. JCMRS is sponsored by UC Santa Barbara's Department of Sociology and is hosted on the eScholarship Repository, which is part of the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library.

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2014

Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies

Issue cover
Cover Caption: The cover image is from Multimedia artist Saya Woolfalk’s 2012 project titled The Empathics. This performance piece is set in a fictional hybrid plant/human community that Woolfalk ethnographically analyzes, documents, and displays. For more information see “Editor’s Note.”

Front Matter

Cover Art

Saya Woolfalk, video still from "The Empathics," 2012.

Editor's Note

Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies (JCMRS) is a new scholarly outlet that seeks to bring together innovative work on the topic of mixed race in the United States and abroad.

Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies

This essay seeks to map out the critical turn in mixed race studies. It discusses whether and to what extent the field that is now being called critical mixed race studies (CMRS) diverges from previous explorations of the topic of mixed race, thereby leading to formations of new intellectual terrain.

Appendix A: Publications from 1989 to 2004

This is a partial list of publications relevant to the topic of race and multiraciality, specifically books mostly released in English beginning with the foundational scholarship in the 1989 through 2004. The list was compiled by Paul Spickard and Steven F. Riley and edited by Jacqueline Heckman and G. Reginald Daniel.

Appendix B: Publications from 2005 to 2013

This is a partial list of publications relevant to the topic of race and multiraciality, specifically books, mostly released in English from 2005 to 2013, including some publications that are forthcoming in 2014. The list was compiled by Steven F. Riley and edited by Jacqueline Heckman and G. Reginald Daniel.

Articles

Historical Origins of the One-Drop Racial Rule in the United States

Winthrop Jordan, one of the most honored of US historians, wrote about racial mixing ageneration before there was a field of mixed race studies. At the time of his death, he left an unfinished manuscript: “Historical Origins of the One-Drop Racial Rule in the United States.” For this inaugural issue of the JCMRS, Jordan’s former student Paul Spickard, himself a foundational scholar of multiracial studies from the first wave of scholarship in the late 1980s and early 1990s, has edited Jordan’s final article.

Reconsidering the Relationship Between New Mestizaje and New Multiraciality as Mixed-Race Identity Models

Given the high rate of Mexican American intermarriage, it is crucial that scholars consider where the children of these unions fit within current ethnoracial paradigms. Chicana/o studies addresses racial and culture mixture through discourses of (new) mestizaje, while multiracial studies proposes (new) multiraciality. Both, however, have devoted limited attention to people who have both Mexican American and other ethnoracial backgrounds.

Both mixed-race models have significant parallels and divergences, and thus cannot be collapsed. Specifically, both contest previous inegalitarian conceptions of mixture by: (1) challenging conceptions of racial purity, essentialism, binaries, and hierarchies; (2) redefining the meaning of key racialized terms; and (3) centering liminality, multiplicity, fluidity, self-integration, and self-creation. However, both of these identity paradigms also share the potential to support racial binaries and hierarchies if inattentive to racism. On the other hand, they have several significant divergences, including: (1) the immediacy of and reasons for mixing; (2) which mixtures are addressed; (3) individual's relationships to their respective communities; and (4) the relationship between self and other.

Entering these new mixed-identity discourses into conversation through such an examination benefits both fields by expanding upon existing ethnoracial models and challenging the exclusions that each reproduces.

 

Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Directions in the Politics of Race and Representation

"Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Directions in the Politics of Race and Representation” was Andrew J. Jolivétte’s keynote address at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, November 5, 2010, at DePaul University. Jolivétte posits critical mixed-race pedagogy as a model for developingintersectional coalitions across various categories of difference composed of a "new American majority" (people of color, queers, women, immigrants, and youth), which was in fact President Barack Obama’s 2012 winning coalition. This shifts racial formation and social change from binary constructions to more multivalent approaches to achieving human rights and social justice. Taken to a logical conclusion, mixed-race pedagogy could also serve as a similar organizing principle for international movements for equity and social justice.

"Only the News They Want to Print": Mainstream Media and Critical Mixed-Race Studies

This essay lauds the publication of the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies, then turns immediately to argue that the journal must focus itself on actively becoming the authoritative voice on mixed-race matters, while also speaking out against naive colorblindness and premature declarations of postraciality. This is crucial because the public receives its information on mixed-race identity from the mainstream media, which has a long historical record of inaccurate and damaging reporting on mixed race. Using the recent "Race Remixed" series in the New York Times as a contemporary example of this problem, the essay argues that it is imperative that mainstream media writers seek out and use scholarly input in the publication of their articles.

The Current State of Multiracial Discourse

This paper identifies how multiracial discourse is functioning at present by outlining what is at stake in current advocacy and scholarship, what problems arise in popular and academic discourses, and what concerns ought to be addressed as multiracial discourse continues to develop. Among other issues, the paper discusses group versus individual identity, the uses of language in multiracial discourse, what multiracialism is considered to be and do within the context of US race practices, progressive and conservative political approaches to multiracialism, classification methods, and the relationship of critical multiracial studies to critical white studies.

Slimy Subjects and Neoliberal Goods: Obama and the Children of Fanon

This article documents the various metaphors that have been used to depict mixed-race individuals as animalistic, infantile, or commodified subjects in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In doing so, McNeil’s article reveals the discordant affinities between the politics and poetics of Frantz Fanon and anti-colonial intellectuals in the 1950s and 60s. It also calls attention to postcolonial theorists who emphasize Fanon’s continuing relevance in the fight against neocolonialism and neoliberalism in the twenty-first century. Moreover, McNeil’s analysis not only brings into sharp focus the carefully constructed civility of contemporary politicians and journalists who seek to distance themselves from Fanon’s trenchant radicalism but also encourages further reflection on the language and style of academic debates in critical mixed race studies.

Book Reviews

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian Americans Identities

Book review of Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu's When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian Americans Identities.

Ralina Joseph, Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial

Book review of Ralina Joseph's Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial.

Greg Carter, The United States of the United Races: A Utopian History of Racial Mixing

Book review of Greg Carter's The United States of the United Races: A Utopian History of Racial Mixing.

Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr., Becoming Mexipino: Multiethnic Identities and Communities in San Diego

Book reivew of Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr., Becoming Mexipino: Multiethnic Identities and Communities in San Diego.

The Contributors

About the Contributors

A list of the contributors to this volume.