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Whither race? Physical anthropology in post-1945 Central and Southeastern Europe

Marius Turda

Although research on the history of physical anthropology in Central and Southeastern Europe has increased significantly since the 1990s the impact race had on the discipline's conceptual maturity has yet to be fully addressed. Once physical anthropology is recognized as having preserved inter-war racial tropes within scientific discourses about national communities, new insights on how nationalism developed during the 1970s and 1980s will emerge, both in countries belonging to the communist East—Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania, and in those belonging to the West—Austria and Greece. By looking at the relationship between race and physical anthropology in these countries after 1945 it becomes clear what enabled the recurrent themes of ethnic primordiality, racial continuity, and de-nationalizing of ethnic minorities not only to flourish during the 1980s but also to re-emerge overtly during political changes characterizing the last two decades.

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Black citizenship, Afropolitan critiques

Vernacular heritage‐making and the negotiation of race in the Netherlands

Marleen Witte

This paper offers a new perspective on the relationship between the contested terrain of race and the politics of heritage and belonging in postcolonial Europe. Presenting material from the Netherlands, I argue that instead of reproducing the dyadic white‐majority–black‐minority framework, we must situate the negotiation of race in the triangular relationship between the persistent ‘whiteness’ of Dutch nationhood, the country’s postcolonial Afro‐Caribbean population and its more recent African postmigrant population. Discussing ‘African heritage’ projects by young Dutch people of Afro‐Caribbean and Ghanaian descent respectively, I discern two different critiques of the racialised exclusivity of Dutchness. Struggles for ‘Black citizenship’ seek recognition of African heritage as part of Dutch colonial history and seek to inscribe Blackness into Dutch nationhood; ‘Afropolitan’ celebrations of ‘being African in the world’ not only question the primacy of Dutch national belonging but also resist hegemonic formulations of Blackness. In this ‘trialogue’, race gets done and undone in intersection with other axes of difference and inequality, including citizenship status, migration trajectory and African origin. The triadic framework the paper advances not only conveys the complexity of racial dynamics in heritage‐making, but also sensitises to alternative understandings of belonging and alternative sources of critique.

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Janet Seow

Introduction Toys are important tools through which the social constructions of race, gender, and class are explored and enacted, particularly, but not exclusively, among children. Within a multicultural Canadian context, ethnic dolls have

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Visible on Our Own Terms

Evoking Girlhood Self-Images Through Photographic Self-Study

Rosalind Hampton and Rachel Desjourdy

Photographic self-study can promote professional growth and deepen analysis of how girlhood experiences such as those related to ability, class, gender, and race are conditioned by and inform our multiple, shifting identities as women. This article presents excerpts from three women's experiences of photographic self-study, highlighting the possibilities of this method as a malleable, feminist approach to critical reflexive practice. Our stories demonstrate how a creative process of self-interpretation, self-representation, and self-knowing can draw oppressive categories of self-identification-carried from girlhood-to the surface and expose them to critique and deconstruction.

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Tourism and the revolutionary new man

The specter of jineterismo in late 'special period' Cuba

Mette Louise Berg

Cuba's economic restructuring in the past decade has involved the country's reinsertion into the global tourist market. One of the undesired consequences of the new tourism based economy has been the phenomenon of jineterismo, literally horseback riding, but used to indicate hustling or prostitution. Prostitution is associated with the pre-revolution era and is therefore a sensitive issue for the socialist government. At the same time, sex tourism has become an important source of hard currency income. This article proposes to see jineterismo as a complex social phenomenon that brings issues of race, class, gender and nation into play, ultimately challenging the revolutionary narrative of social and racial equality.

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The colour of family happiness

Adoption and the racial distribution of children in contemporary France

Sébastien Roux

In France, the notion of ‘race’ – which echoes both (post‐)colonialist discourses and a long history of state‐regulated racism – is itself usually publicly inexpressible, despite its implicit presence that nonetheless saturates public debates. However, in some specific cases, such as transnational adoption, the verbalisation of racial preferences and desires is encouraged by social workers and family experts as a means to prevent racism. This article aims to analyse the kind of practical institutional framing that produces and supports such verbalisation, and to explore its consequences with respect to the definition of racial hierarchies. Hence, instead of considering the preference of skin colour as a pre‐established parental desire that informs the racial distribution of children, I suggest focusing on the French case to analyse the racialisation of familial desires produced and the apparatus that frames adoption. Thus, by concentrating on the governance of family intimacy, this article aims to question the social dynamics that construct race as a meaningful performative category requiring professional expertise and action, that allow its public expression and that even facilitate the verbalisation of racial preferences in an institutional context supposedly defined by colour‐blindness.

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Elena Calvo‐Gonzalez

This article focuses on how whiteness, in the process of being (re)enacted in its different everyday versions, becomes invisibilised at certain moments while reappearing at others as overly present. The article borrows Widmer's metaphor of race as two types of ‘watermarks’, that of a banknote that stands in to confirm authenticity when needed, and that of the marks left by glasses on a wooden surface. The idea is to consider the experiences of early 20th‐century Galician immigrants in the city of Salvador, Brazil. I argue that understanding this process of (in)visibility helps us comprehend some of the ways in which these immigrants were involved in both confirming and challenging local versions of what it means to be white. This analytical approach allows us to go beyond a homogenised, monolithic and ahistorical portrayal of whiteness, towards a more nuanced one that takes into account the heterogeneous combination of historical and contemporary, global and regional, hegemonic and alternative versions of whiteness.

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Breaking Barriers and Coded Language

Watching Politics of Race at the Ballpark

Thomas D. Bunting

Drawing on recent literature on political spectatorship, I show how sport, and baseball in particular, can both illuminate and shape American politics. Following the history of racial segregation and immigrant assimilation in baseball, one sees that it mirrors American race politics on the whole. I argue that Jackie Robinson and the desegregation of baseball changed both American politics and the horizons within which citizens think. Although it is tempting to focus on this positive and emergent moment, I argue that for the most part, looking at the history of race in baseball shows instead coded language that reinforces racial stereotypes. This example of baseball and race shows how powerful spectatorship can be in the democratic world. Spectatorship need not be passive but can be an important sphere of activity in democratic life.

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Soo Ah Kwon

Drawing on existing literature and student ethnographic projects, this article examines Asian American undergraduates' overwhelming focus on individual racial identity and practices of racial segregation in their ethnographic research about the University of Illinois. The author examines how such racial segregation is described and analysed as a matter of personal 'choice' and 'comfort' rather than as the result of racial inequality, racism and the marginalisation and racialisation of minority groups. This lack of structural racial analysis in the examination of Asian American students' experiences points to the depoliticisation and institutionalisation of race in higher education today. Race is understood and more readily analysed as a politically neutral concept that invokes celebration of racial diversity and 'culture' and not as a concept marked by power and inequities as it once may have been.

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Some Assembly Required

Black Barbie and the Fabrication of Nicki Minaj

Jennifer Dawn Whitney

This article explores the public persona of hip hop artist Nicki Minaj, and her appropriation of the iconic Barbie doll. Minaj's image has drawn criticism from pundits and peers alike, but, nonetheless, it has inspired a creative fan following. With reference to feminist theory and recent trends in poststructuralist thought, this article suggests the ways in which Minaj and her fans pluralize how we think about Barbie, race and idealized femininity in the West.